Muramasa: The Demon Blade had quite a following on the Wii and for good reason.  Developed by Vanillaware, this side-scrolling adventure featured stylish combo-based swordplay and exquisite visuals.  Suffice to say, it was unlike anything released for Nintendo's console.

In case you missed it, don’t worry.  This past week, Aksys Games released Muramasa Rebirth, a reconfigured version of The Demon Blade for PlayStation Vita.  It's as stylish as ever, but easily surpasses its predecessor with high-definition graphics.

If you just downloaded the game and need help slicing enemies with combos, these beginner’s tips will help you along.

Characters

When you start up Muramasa, you'll be able to choose from two playable characters – the young amnesiac man Kisuke, or a young princess by the name of Momohime.  Each has his or her own separate story, but similar combat styles. Both stories are worth experiencing, with many quests available and no shortage of exciting hack-and-slash action.

Know Your Swords

At first, you'll have access to three swords.  These are divided into two types – Blade (katana) and Long Blade (nodachi).  With the Blade, you're capable of executing quicker attacks.  The Long Blade is much stronger when it comes to defeating enemies, but takes a bit longer to swing, leaving you more vulnerable to counter-attacks.

Both of these swords have Soul Gauges that determine their strength through an easy-to-track colored meter at the top of the screen.  Once this Gauge is depleted, the sword will break and be unusable, forcing you to switch to a new one.  Thankfully, you'll be able to "heal" it by keeping the weapon sheathed.

It's important to mix up your blades.  Not only will you keep these weapons strong, but in some cases, you'll be able to continue stringing combos together.  In addition, whenever you switch out a sword, everything on the screen stops and you execute an attack that hurts everyone within range.  When you're surrounded, don't hesitate to push the triangle button and switch things up.  

Collectibles

One other thing about swords – you'll find plenty of hidden ones throughout the game, including the cherished Demon Blades.  There are over 100 to locate, so feel free to change them up and see how they work for you. Some are even strong enough to deal massive damage to larger enemies, such as bosses.

In addition, little green glowing spirits are collectible throughout each world, which you can use to increase your health and guard meters when you're running low.  You can also locate and purchase food throughout villages.  It's important to eat often, lest your health run out during the most crucial times – like said boss battles.

You'll also find other items that could help you over the course of the journey, including Fire Charms, Smoke Bombs and other bizarre items, like the Bronze Mirror. Check your inventory and see what you can equip.

Know Your Combat Style

Finally, no matter which character you choose, you'll find various moves to fend off enemies.  There are your straightforward slash attacks that can be timed together into a combo, as well as a dashing strike, which can be performed by holding forward and hitting the attack button.  This is useful when groups of enemies like flying demons or ninjas come at you from one side.

On top of that, you can perform a sliding strike by holding down and pressing the attack button.  This is useful for an enemy trying to attack from a higher level, like a boss throwing a projectile. It also allows you to dodge.

Aerial moves also play a huge role in combat.  You can perform a rising slash by holding up and the attack button, which will fling smaller enemies into the air for additional strikes.  You can also jump into the air and slash, and perform a diving technique by holding down and hitting the attack button.

The opening tutorial for Muramasa: Rebirth will teach you how to pull off these moves, and you'll be surprised at how easy it is to chain together combos regardless of sword.  Play around to defeat enemies and reap the rewards.

Muramasa: Rebirth is available for PlayStation Vita.