We spoke with Yoshifumi Hashimoto, producer of Muramasa Rebirth and Chief Creative Officer at Marvelous AQL, and talked more about Muramasa Rebirth. You may recall that Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii was only partially complete.
Hashimoto explained there were other stories and characters, different protagonists and bosses, that were planned, but not finished for the original version. “We didn’t get to specifics when it came to gameplay, so the characters weren’t fully realized,” said Hashimoto. “The gameplay itself [in Muramasa Rebirth] is pretty much the same as the Wii version because we wanted it that way. We changed the controls to address feedback and added key config so all of the buttons can be reconfigured.” One of the features in Muramasa Rebirth lets players assign a button to jump instead of pressing up on the analog stick.
The biggest change between Muramasa: The Demon Blade and Muramasa Rebirth is a new localization from Aksys. We asked Hashimoto how he felt about the two very different approaches to localizing the game. “The localization in the Wii version was more of a direct translation while Aksys’ localization is more flavorful and closer to the Japanese text. I’m happy with the direction in this version,” Hashimoto commented.
Muramasa Rebirth will have four extra playable characters released as paid downloadable content in Japan and North America. You can read about those characters here. Vanillaware handled the port of Muramasa Rebirth and we asked Hashimoto if there were future plans to work with the developer. “If Muramasa Rebirth does well we would like to work with [Vanillaware] again. I like to make new games so if we did something it would probably be something new. Maybe an RPG, but this is just a thought.
Marvelous AQL has been a strong supporter of PlayStation Vita with self published games like Muramasa Rebirth. They also developed Soul Sacrifice which has done fairly well in Japan. “For the Japanese Vita market we published Senran Kagura and developed Soul Sacrifice. After the [Vita] price drop, among all of the titles in the series, Kagura sold the most games on Vita. For the US market, Vita needs more growth and I would like to be a part of it.”
Hashimoto was also invovled with Fate/Extra CCC, a role playing game set in the Type-Moon universe developed by Imageepoch. The PSP game was supposed to come out in 2012, but it was delayed over and over. “The story volume was supposed to be similar to Fate/Extra. However, it grew to be so much better and working on that part caused all of the delays,” Hashimoto explained.
We asked Aksys who published Fate/Extra if they would release Fate/Extra CCC in North America. “I think there has definitely been fans asking for us for it to be released. There is definitely a demand,” a representative from Aksys said.
Something else interesting is how quiet Marvelous AQL is about Harvest Moon. Marvelous AQL typically releases a Harvest Moon game which is picked up and published by Natsume. “Hmm… there’s been nothing about Harvest Moon yet,” I said. “Yeah, that’s right,” Hashimoto replied and teased, “The series is getting very interesting…”