Muramasa the Demon Blade is the best 2D action game since Castlevania Symphon of the Night in 1997.
Muramasa has the most beautiful and advanced hand-drawn 2D graphic of any game in history.
Framerate is smokin 60fps.
Music is a mixture of techno and traditional Japanese music. A smokin' soundtrack.
Art-direction is breathtaking and reminds me a mixture of Okami and Otogi!
The game plays like a mixture of Super Metroid/Castlevania Symphony of the Night (level design/platforming/items to get to other areas) with combat that is like the Samurai Showdown arcade games. The game is quite simple, yet has light RPG elements to keep it interesting. You do earn XP(like Symphony of the Night) and can forge new blades and find/buy items.
Looks to be about 10-12 hours for your first playthrough. I am currently at 6 hours and am halfway through the game. This is the typical length of this style game...maybe slightly shorter than Super Metroid or SOTN.
I rented the game, but now I am definitely buying it. And I will definitely play it a 2nd time with the female character.