Review by Braben

Reviewed: 08/31/03 | Updated: 01/07/04

The wacky way of the samurai.

The long time dead company Sigma (they went bankrupt after releasing a Snes rpg called Maka Maka, which is probably the most bizarre game in history) released this game back in 1990, another Dragon Quest clone this time set in the feudal Japan.

Plot 6,5/10:
The story involves a young ninja boy, descendant of the legendary Miyamoto Musashi, a man that actually existed (or so it seems), who has decided that is time to get laid, oh!, and to try to stop an evil ghost called Kojiro that threatens the world too.

The plot starts good, until you realize that it isn’t very well developed (mainly because it isn’t developed at all), too bad because it could’ve been very amusing, however, most of the things you’ll be doing during your quest to beat Kojiro are quite interesting even if they had nothing to do with the plot. Good.

Graphics 10/10:
Musahi’s graphics are extremely good, almost Snes quality I would say. During the combats you’ll even see backgrounds depending if you are on a mountain, in the plains, in a forest, etc. The character design is marvelous and the enemies are TERRIFIC, with capital letters, some of them are very silly (the typical Japanese stupidity) but funny, we have evil corns, drunken ghosts, rabid bamboo sticks, and such. The battle graphics are certainly the best I’ve ever seen in a Nes game, definitely, one of the better looking rpg’s for the Nes.

Music 6,5/10:
I was expecting some typical Japanese ninja music but well… there isn’t much.
Probably the biggest flaw here is that all the towns have the same music and that there isn’t very much variety in general, aside from that it’s pretty good.

Gameplay 7/10:
It is almost impossible to talk about the gameplay in a Nes rpg without mentioning Dragon Quest, indeed, it is basically impossible to talk about a Nes rpg without mentioning that game, but well, the thing is that this game plays the same as any DQ in terms of controls.
The combats are very DQ-ish, with the difference that in this game they are only one on one, and your companions will only attack randomly (which is something that, thankfully, makes everything easier).

We also have the most typical problems of any other rpg for the Nes, this is: you’ll never know what the hell you are buying before you try it, you’ll never know if the new sword you are buying is actually better than the one you already had. I know this is a very old game but come on, it is something too obvious, but wait, that’s not all, this game goes even further here, first of all you’ll have to go the status screen and try to remember your actual attack or defense power, then buy everything, equip it, and see if it’s better going to the status screen again. Unbelievable!

The encounter rate is dreadfully high, like in any other Japanese rpg non released outside Japan, with the “slight” difference that this game has the highest and most annoying I’ve ever experienced, thank god that the battles are quick because this is something that can get awfully exasperating even for the most patient person.

Together with the ridiculously high encounter rate the other big problem the game has it is also very common among Nes rpgs, the thing is that you are never told exactly what the hell to do next, you’ll have to go and explore or try to figure out all by yourself, well, maybe not exactly, the thing is that you’ll (more or less) know what to do, but not how to do it, which is more irritating, and trying to explore with that encounter rate is a pain. I really hate this on Nes rpgs, but well as I said before it is a very common problem among Nes rpgs, so I guess complaining is ridiculous.

To summarize, it’s a good and attractive game, I liked it a lot, but I have played better rpgs in the Nes, and again, it’s not for everyone, only die hard rpg fans and patient people are going to appreciate it.

”My lack of vocabulary and grammatical errors (if there’s any) are because I’m not from an English speaking country, sorry about that.”

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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