This is a column by Kat Bailey dedicated to the analysis of the once beloved Japanese RPG sub-genre. Tune in every Wednesday for thoughts on white-haired villains, giant robots, Infinity+1 swords, and everything else the wonderful world of JRPGs has to offer.
As RPGs go, it's pretty much a perfect fit for the Vita. It's lengthy, the art looks sharp on the OLED screen, and it plays out in discrete chunks that mesh well with the portable experience. It's just the sort of fully-fleshed portable RPG that the Vita needs.
It's also a port, something that's become an unfortunate trend for the PlayStation Vita. In fact, all three of the system's most anticipated RPGs – Final Fantasy X, Persona 4 Golden, and now Muramasa: The Demon Blade – are ports or updates from aging release lists. I'm not going to lie: This was exactly what I was afraid of when the Vita first arrived. Publishers appear to be playing it safe on the platform, to the detriment of RPG fans.
Granted, it's always a bit of a battle between the desire to take the path of least resistance and the desire to make something new at the outset. Early adopters are typically more willing to go out and try something new when the library is still small, but the smaller install base makes heavy investment in a new platform risky. It's very much a chicken-and-egg scenario – platforms need dynamic new properties to sell systems, but publishers want to see a large userbase before they are willing to leave their comfort zone. And it appears this is a bigger problem for the Vita than the 3DS.