Top Ten: 2D Platformers

The platformers that rise above.

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 08/26/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

9) Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Released: Wii, 2009

Platformers saw something of a revival on Wii after the genre was all but shunned on home consoles from Nintendo 64 to the end of the GameCube era. With Wii, however, Nintendo had cultivated a new audience of inexperienced players, ones who found the simpler, 2D platformers of old much easier to comprehend and play. Nintendo appeased this crowd with titles like New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but for all those new fans who loved the accessibility of those titles, there was an equally fervent assemblage of players who wanted more of a challenge. They got their wish with Vanillaware’s Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Muramasa was a fascinating change of pace for Wii owners and platformer enthusiasts alike. The game sported an intricate, jaw-dropping visual style that looked like hand-rendered art come to life. The graphics were an integral part of the Muramasa experience, offering a stylized take on feudal Japan that was unlike anything anyone had seen outside of perhaps Capcom’s Okami, and certainly not in a 2D platformer. The gameplay offered three game modes that catered to different difficulties and play styles. With a massive game world to explore and a multitude of swords to obtain and upgrade, Muramasa a was fascinating mixture of RPG, platforming, and brawler elements.

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