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From Software



T (Teen)



Q1 2003



- Great presentation
- Easy controls



- Repetitive
- Painful voice acting
- Plays on rails without actually being on rails



Review: MechAssault (XB)

Anime: Akira (DVD)

Action Figure: Evangelion Unit 00 



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Murakumo: Renegade Mech Pursuit

Score: 5.0 / 10


murakumo xbox review          murakumo xbox review


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




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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 Murakumo


is probably worth checking out… but there’s not enough action to keep you coming back.

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 straightforward levels.

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.


murakumo xbox review         murakumo xbox review

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 rental.

- Omni
(April 19, 2003)


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