Genroku Legends: Fishy Tale of The Nekomata

How to do a Beat-Em-Up. And fun DLC.

All right, it’s time to review a game that I’ve been playing recently. I got Muramasa Rebirth from Gamefly, and was about to post a review of it, when I discovered something fun. While in the middle of gameplay, the first DLC, Genroku Legends, came out. Since I was impressed by the main game, owned it on the Wii, and it was a bit old, I decided to play the DLC. This was a wise choice.

The DLC is awesome. I will refrain from discussing the story, in part to avoid stories, in part because the relative difficulty has given me a bit of trouble actually defeating said story. That said, the writing is on par with the original. It has a beautiful, poetic style, a clear plot to it, and good characterization. It doesn’t feel like ‘just DLC’. It feels like it’s written as a seperate game, that happens to be made for download.

The game itself is, well…it’s actually different from Muramasa Rebirth. The basic controls and gameplay are the same. However, instead of switching swords, the Miike has a record four forms. Two of them are supermodes, though each supermode is unique from the one that spawned it. The two main forms, are a Catgirl who works traditionally, and a simple cat. The cat form is especially interesting, as it has a series of six different special attacks. Three on the ground, and three in the air. They’re enabled by using one, two, or three charges of a gauge. Despite what the player would think, it’s not just that the three-charge attacks is most powerful. While the one charge attacks are pretty much simple energy shots, the others are all unique, and there were plenty of situations where the two-charge shot was actualy better then the three-charge shot.

Instead of the previous system’s 108 swords, there are now what looks like, from a quick glance, 108 abilities to gain. Most, however, are just ‘attack+x’. What’s interesting, is that they stack. So, instead of switching out for new swords, it’s more crucial to get each and every one. This also means it’s easier to gain in strength, which is crucial because, just like the original, this game is DIFFICULT.

While it doesn’t have many new enemies, it does have new BOSSES. And these new bosses are well done. They have unique patterns, brand new art, and a fun introduction. Unfortunately, they also have ten of them in one marathon battle. And, it is at that battle that I suffer a problem. I’m kinda stuck.

Boss battle is too difficult, I can’t beat it. At the same time, it’s not UNFAIRLY difficult. The bosses have a specific pattern, it’s just that I can’t get through a couple. It’s a fun battle though, against a Tanuki who assumes the form of, well…the entire list of Japanese demons. Giant thundercloud, giant floating head, crawling giant with an eye on its rear end, person with a giant neck…Vanillaware’s character designer LOVEs giants.

That said, it’s up to me to review this game. And, well…it’s good. I mean, seriously good. It tells a unique, worthy story, and while difficult, isn’t difficult in an unfair manner. The boss battle is, however, frustrating, but can be beaten with practice. AND it’s easy to gain extra levels from facing other enemies. With the new way that abilities stack, it feels less like I’m ’stuck’. And, the boss battles are fun to lose, as well as win.

All in all, I’m rating this game a 5/5. It’s DLC, which means someone who owns it already has the original game. It’s dirt-cheap for the value, being $5.00 for quite a bit of gameplay, an entirely new character with a new story mode and tons of dialogue, and new bosses that quite frankly kick arse. If this was a single game, I do confess I’d probably lower the rating due to difficulty. However, even with the difficulty, there’s still the entire main game to practice on. And, again…it’s fair.

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