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Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit
Score: 5.0 / 10
When a game reviewer points to lack-luster
voice-over work, more often than not they’re blowing smoke.
Occasionally, the description is correct but you don’t know this for
sure until you’ve played the game and made your own judgment. So, what
I’m about to say may need verification by you, dear reader. Murakumo has
the worst voice acting I’ve heard in a long time.
“Stilted,” might describe it. Awkward, amateur, crummy or just plain,
bad might also be used. If you want an idea of just how bad it is,
imagine a group of Third Graders performing Hamlet or Measure for
Measure. Now imagine they perform one of those classics while flipping
around wearing robot costumes. In a nutshell, this sums up the kind of
“high drama” you’ll find in Murakumo. Granted, most gamers don’t play
games for high drama but even gamers can appreciate professional
delivery. It does leave me scratching my head as to why the original
Japanese dialogue wasn’t left in and
captioned with English subtitles.
Developer From Software is known for making some pretty slick-looking
games and Murakumo isn’t any different. The weapon effects and
cut-scenes are particularly brilliant – in that Anime sensibility.
Actually, the Anime theme runs throughout so if you’re an Anime fan
probably worth checking out… but there’s not enough action to keep you
Murakumo begins with an “explanation” of the Mech Hunter team and the
destruction of Port Oliver by the mysterious ARK LX-30. Ultimately, you
face-off against the LX-30 but only after piloting through some
While Murakumo does not ride on rails, after a few missions you realize
just how restricted each level is. If your target gets too far away,
it’s mission over. And most times, there’s only one target to go after.
So, it’s not like other sci-fi action games like Star Wars Jedi
Starfighter or even Halo’s flying sections that allow you to pick and
choose targets. Although Murakumo looks good and moves fluidly, it just
can’t shake the “You Must Do This One Specific Thing!” paradigm that is
the source of so much frustration, particularly on the more difficult
missions. But more specifically, there just isn’t a lot to do in each
level. It always falls to the same repetition of selecting one of five
Mechs then chasing down a target that moves along a predetermined path.
The first few run-throughs of a level are exciting but quickly become a
matter of memorization.
During the menu portions, the control stinks and the layout will mean
several wrong selections until you get used to the look. When you hit a
button you expect a response right away but during the menus there seems
to be a lag; fortunately, during the in-game action, the responses are
much better. The control is actually one of Murakumo’s better aspects.
Big robots can be hard to control but Murakumo uses a mere five buttons
(which can be assigned to suit your preference) so jumping right into
the action is no problem. The layout of the in-game HUD doesn’t distract
either and even if it did, you can alter their layout in the Options.
There are a few different modes in Murakumo, but only the storyline or
Scenario mode is initially open, with all its drama-filled character
exchanges. Free Mission and Expert Missions are the unlockable modes.
Are they worth unlocking? Well, if you like the rail-like action, yes.
Overall, Murakumo is full on style but short on substance. Although it’s
firing on all cylinders in terms of presentation, the repetitiveness is
disheartening and becomes too boring to make Murakumo even a recommended