Since its debut on the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump in 2016, Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has won the hearts of millions all over the world and became one of the most popular and acclaimed titles in recent memory. With that said, when CyberConnect2, the developer responsible for the Ultimate Ninja Storm franchise, revealed that they were working on an arena fighter based on the anime adaptation of Gotouge’s work, fans lost their minds. But does Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles live up to the high expectations?
In Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles, players get to take on the role of their favorite characters and live through many of the series most spectacular battles, in a fashion already established by CyberConnect2’s previous titles. The Hinokami Chronicles excels in many areas, including graphical fidelity, effects, and presentation, something that from the get-go sets the game apart from the many others on the market.
As an arena fighter, Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles features many mechanics present on the Ultimate Ninja Storm series while also adding a new layer to its combat by allowing players to link normal attacks and various techniques in quick succession. To avoid the spamming of infinite combos during the battles, the game features a combo timer, which forcibly finishes the combo after a said time has passed. The mechanic adds another layer to the game’s combat, making players think about which combinations will allow them to deal the most damage in the said time.
Overall, the title’s combat is set to be fast-paced, while also allowing for quick escapes and the ability to parry incoming attacks. When in battle, each character can use up to 3 different skills, as well as two supporting skills and one Ultimate Art. Players can also consume one of their special bars to enter Boost Mode. Once in Boost Mode, another bar can be spent to enter Surge, which enhances the character even further. The game features 3 main game modes, Story, Versus (online and off-line), and Training, where players can sharpen their skills by participating in different training regimens created by some of the game’s playable characters. Each training regimen is composed of 10 ranks, or levels, in which players need to defeat the featured instructor to advance. Each rank also features a series of optional challenges, or tasks, that can be completed in exchange for extra Kimetsu Points, the game’s currency.
The battles outside the game’s solo modes can only be fought on 2v2, which does add a new layer of depth while also allowing players to be creative with their combined combos. Something worth noticing is the fact that even characters who make use of the same techniques or style all feel fresh, a fact that showcases the work put on in making each of them unique and true to the source material. The way that the environment is affected by the attacks and the level of attention put into every one of the animations is also noteworthy. An example of it can be observed every time a character makes use of one of its skills in combat.
The game’s Story Mode features a style where players can advance by completing specific chapters, all filled with beautiful cutscenes and of course, jaw-dropping sequences. In the mode, players can also explore the areas on their way towards the main objective and by doing so get Kimetsu Points and more. The mode manages to, in true CyberConnect2 fashion, replicate some of the series’ moments perfectly. After completing each chapter in the game’s story, players will be rewarded with a rank corresponding to their overall performance. For those wondering, yes, the game fully supports both English and Japanese voice acting.
In each chapter, players can also take on a Special Mission in which they must select a duo and face a specific enemy. Differently from the main story battles, each Special Mission features 2 difficulty levels, Normal and Hard.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles also features a reward system, where players can get new battle attires, profile photos, music tracks, battlefields, quotes, and characters by unlocking reward panels. Each chapter’s available rewards can be unlocked by playing the game’s main storyline or by spending Kimetsu Points. By performing various tasks, players can also acquire or get access to Memory Fragments, which in turn allow them to see events that were not showcased in the game’s main story, such as characters’ backstories and much more. The addition allows fans to see some of their favorite moments again, now in a new format, while also offering more context to those unfamiliar with the story of the series.
One of the game’s main downsides, on the other hand, lies in how short its story mode is and in the fact that the game doesn’t offer any kind of challenge outside some selected battles. Those familiar with the Ultimate Ninja Storm franchise will also miss some features, such as the ability to customize the abilities of each character and the ability to execute Team Ultimate moves. The number of playable characters available at launch may also be a problem for some, but the fact that they all feel unique in their own right, as we said above, plus the different ways they can work when paired in battle can make up for it by offering players the opportunity to not only try many unthinkable combos but to also take their dream duo to combat.
The game offers exactly what it promises by presenting a high level of graphical fidelity, beautiful effects, a solid combat system, and a story mode that replicates some of the series’ best moments perfectly. The title also sets the foundations of what can become another successful series. With that said, Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is a title sure to hit the spot for both the fans of the acclaimed series and those of Arena Fighters in general.
Demon Slayer - Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles
- Score: 4 / 5
- Available On: PC, Playstation, Xbox
- Published By: SEGA
- Developed By: CyberConnect 2
- Genre: Arena Fighter
- US Release Date: October 15th, 2021
- Reviewed On: PlayStation 5
- Quote: "Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is a title sure to hit the spot for both the fans of the acclaimed series and those of Arena Fighters in general."