Marvelous and XSEED are bringing Vanillaware's Wii-exclusive ninja RPG to North America in 2009, and calling it Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Joystiq mentions that this is the second title coming out of a co-publishing deal signed in May, the first being Valhalla Knights 2 for the PSP. The game is a 2D side-scroller featuring hand-drawn art, probably in the mode of Vanillaware's Odin Sphere. It will be shown at Tokyo Game Show 08, according to Marvelous' lineup, as Oboro Muramasa Youtouden Muramasa: The Demon Blade is an action RPG and according to its news release, it's set in Genroku-era Japan. Players will inhabit the lives of ninja warriors in a storyline involving a set of cursed "Demon Blades," powerful weapons that exact a terrible price on those who use them. In this case, the blades also summon evil spirits and powerful foes from the netherworld, providing you with your adversaries and the game's world with its existential crisis. The full text is on the jump.

Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games Announce Muramasa: The Demon Blade Exclusively on Wii October 2, 2008 - Game publishers Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games announced today that the highly anticipated title, Muramasa: The Demon Blade (known in Japan as "Oboro Muramasa Youtouden"), is currently in development and will be released for the North American market. A unique, highly stylized action RPG (role playing game) videogame, Muramasa: The Demon Blade will ship in North America in 2009, exclusively for the Wii. "Muramasa: The Demon Blade is an incredibly special title," stated Yasuhiro Wada, Managing Director of Marvelous Entertainment. "From the team that created the critically acclaimed Odin Sphere, Muramasa features a stunning visual look and palette that will be embraced by gamers world wide. We're pleased to continue our relationship with XSEED Games to bring such an anticipated title to the massive North American gaming market." Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games, shared Mr. Wada's sentiments. "Gamers are already excited for Muramasa. The game has already been included in many 'must-have Wii games' lists. We feel this enthusiasm will only continue to grow as gamers learn more about the mysterious 'Demon Blades, and have the opportunity to experience the life of a ninja warrior." Based on ancient Japanese lore, Murumasa: The Demon Blade plunges players into the mystical Genroku era, ruled by the skilled shogun Tsunayoshi Tokogawa. But this culture is threatened; Tokogawa's thirst for power leads to a conflict over the enormously powerful, though cursed, Demon Blades. Used in hatred, drenched in blood, the cursed blades condemn those who use them to tragedy, madness, and untimely deaths. As chaos spreads, denizens from the netherworld breach their realm as these malevolent swords summon evil spirits - and the Dragon and Demon Gods as well. Featuring hand-drawn 2D art reflecting the heritage and tone of the storyline, Muramasa: The Demon Blade transports players into a little known mythology, envisioned by the creators of the critically acclaimed Odin Sphere. Players take on the role of a male ninja or female kunoichi, utilizing their ninja prowess to traverse the clever side-scrolling levels that feature vertical progression as well as the traditional horizontal stage advancement. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is currently in development by Marvelous Entertainment and Vanillaware exclusively for the Wii, and will be unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show in Japan (October 9-12). The game will be co-published by Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games in North America and is expected to ship in 2009.

Vanillaware's Muramasa: The Demon Blade Coming Stateside [Joystiq] Marvelous Entertainment USA and XSEED Games Announce Muramasa: The Demon Blade Exclusively on Wii [news release, via IGN, thanks Chris.]