Published on May 22nd, 2024 | by Nay Clark

Musashi vs. Cthulhu Review (Switch)

Musashi vs. Cthulhu Review (Switch) Nay Clark

Summary: A speedy combo filled standoff with the legendary Musashi up against a malicious force of destruction.


Eldritch Expulsion

Musashi vs. Cthulhu is a fast-paced action beat em up game developed by QUByte Interactive and Cyber Rhino Studios, published by QUByte Interactive and initially released on PC on January 14th of 2020 and recently released on other platforms on May 16th of 2024. Musashi is the most well-known samurai and his life is the benchmark among samurai warriors. In Musashi vs. Cthulhu, Musashi was cursed and has become prey to unbelievable monstrosities set out in destroying him. By using your fast wits and skill with a blade, you must take on as many of Cthulhu’s never-ending minions in this high-scoring adrenaline rush fight to the death.

Musashi vs. Cthulhu is easy to play, yet hard to master. The gameplay is simple, but through its simplicity, it creates addictiveness. Musashi doesn’t move from his position, but you control Musashi’s sword movements to his left and right. Enemies approach Musashi from both sides and you must strike the enemies weak points in order to survive. Weak points are stationed on one of three different areas on the enemies. There is an upper spot, a middle spot, and a lower spot. Using the top, right, and bottom buttons on the right side of your controller attacks those spots on enemies to the right of Musashi and using the top, left, and bottom buttons on the left side of your controller attacks those spots on enemies to the left of Musashi.

Sounds easy enough, but the further you get into the waves of combatants, the more tricky it is to handle the variety of enemies and input the correct action at the right time. Withering insects always fly, so you must always attack them by pressing the upper button to swing at them in the air. Maggots grovel through the mud, so you must always attack them by pressing the lower button to swing at them on the ground. The aggressive Cultists can have a combination of weak spots on different parts of their body and you need to attack the bi-pedal fish humanoids known as Deep Ones in the same spot twice to send them to their watery grave back in the depths of the ocean. Fending off against these otherworldly evils only gets more challenging when the number of cosmic entities increases and new fiends enter the fray.

Other nuances in the gameplay construct some small strategy opportunities. Taunting or chaining attacks and creating combos fill a lamp meter and when the lamp is full, it will shield you from an attack or preserve you from an accidental missed swing. The lamp never becomes a crutch because after each use, it becomes more difficult to fill, impelling each brandish of your katanas to be purposeful. Attacking and missing, will leave Musashi vulnerable which gives enemies an ample amount of time to strike. After being hit, Musashi will blast away enemies, giving you a chance to recuperate and try again. Getting hit three times allows Cthulhu’s influence to spread completely and your resistance against the star born demon comes to an end.

Musashi vs. Cthulhu is all about getting a high score and rising in the leaderboards to prove to everyone that you are the most versatile and steady samurai. Successfully slaying your adversaries creates a combo which nets you with a better score. Ruining your combo by submitting to your foes bombardment, will reset your chain. If you attack enemies as soon as they enter the range of your sword, you will earn some extra points. Attacking makes Musashi shuffle a little bit toward that direction he is attacking. Using these quick side steps deliberately is imperative in surviving the onslaught of later waves.

The gameplay is super fun and absorbing. An abundance of focus is needed to fully commit to the drive and persistence of a samurai facing up against the irredeemable conundrums of a dimensional sea god. While skill is a big factor in playing correctly, muscle memory and being able to get in the zone with your button presses is what makes the game entertaining. The snappy design and quick decision making urges you to immediately jump back in if you lose and creates a “just one more time” type of attitude that will have you flourish your swords against the wicked again and again.

Graphically, the game looks unique by having a bold comic book style. Characters and enemies bare thick black lines that border their muted toned down color palette. All of the enemies have a wild and feral design to them that matches the mood beautifully. Musashi vs. Cthulhu is a dark game and the somber environments of a wooded area, a wooden bridge, and a shrine to the colossal deity itself set the tone in a creative and immersive way. I do wish there were more stages or a bit more to the one level to provide more variety while you are constantly slashing away, but the absence of these things wasn’t problematic as my attention was focused on the timing of the swordplay.

The audio is surprisingly distinctive and it’s a big factor on why the game is as compelling as it is. The main menu music is both formidable and respiring. Poking the throbbing pustules of the zombified brutes produces nasty guttural squishes and sloppy squelching. The sounds of the metal blades swinging and striking creates such strong audio cues of success and forewarning. The thwip of your lantern activating gives you a rush of reassurance and safety. All of these sounds together have palpable qualities to them that make it feel good to hear and experience, making you want to come back for more extraterrestrial terror.

Final Thoughts?

Musashi vs. Cthulhu is a small yet thrilling game with fun and involving gameplay. Enemy design, variety in the enemies, and random enemy structure throughout the waves themselves are appreciable and work well. The high speed action the game feverishly accommodates with your eagerness and nimble button presses is obsessively addicting and revered. Although the game doesn’t provide much with its uninteresting environment by only being able to destroy demons on the same drab lackluster area, the audio creates its own environment by generating tangible audible cues that provide a natural form of tactileness, making every action meaningful and simply fun to pull off. The small gameplay sessions make this a perfect game for the Switch and to pick up and play in increments. Musashi vs Cthulhu is a charming game that has gratifying gameplay and triumphantly creates a craving for the destruction of the supernatural.

About the Author

Gaming holds a special place in my heart and I never stop talking about video games. I really love all types of games and have an interest in games that have complicated stories and lore because I enjoy untangling the mystery of it all. When I'm not gaming, I unsuccessfully try to control three amazing and incredibly bright kids.

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