The Hinokami Chronicles walked up to the scene and said “You want fanfare, I’ll give you fanfare” then gave us a traveling cart of playable content. Now to be specific this is catered to folks who watch the anime. References to the manga does not appear in the game in order to not spoil the arcs and characters that will appear in future seasons. But Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles sets the example of what a breakout anime video game should be like.
Demon Slayer is a simple story of revenge. It follows Tanjiro Kamado and his sister, Nezuko. The pair are the survivors of a demon attack that results in Nezuko herself becoming a demon from her wounds. In search of a cure and the death of Muzan Kibutsuji, the demon who killed his family, Tanjiro becomes a demon slayer. Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles’ story covers the first season of the anime and the Mugen Train arc.
The combat can be simplified to Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm with fewer specials and a clunky parry mechanic. The parry doesn’t work as you would think it should; you can’t break a combo with that or even start blocking in the middle of that combo. Like Dragon Ball FighterZ, once that combo starts, you are hands-off until it’s done. Additionally, the block can be broken if you’re against an enemy that knows how to press triangle/Y at the right time to extend their combo to almost an infinite.
The Hinokami Chronicles really took special care to boss battles and did justice to the form. From the Swamp Demon to Enmu, the developers took time to not only make the boss battles interactive with the Demon’s Blood Demon Art, but also make them challenging and multidimensional. Keeping the game in a three-dimensional format as opposed to side scrolling allows the players to find various ways to defeat the Demon. Some Demons are entirely too large, too quick or too forceful to just attack head on. You will literally bounce off the walls, dodge arrows and more according to each Demon’s Blood Demon Art.
The game capitalizes on prior knowledge of the franchise. Each story chapter is broken into several parts. The key instances from the anime comprise the story gameplay. Pivotal moments and fight scenes vibrantly catch the feel from the show. Cyberconnect2 shines at this recreation. Chiefly, the animation from the story is beautiful. Iconic moments such as Tanjiro versus the spider demon Rui are beautifully rendered. The scenes do a great job of stirring the kinds of emotional responses the anime does so well.
Overall I’m going to say this is a good game, but I found it lacking and kind of rushed out with so much potential. The fact that you can’t play most of the boss characters because they’re balanced around mechanics that again would fit more in an Action RPG game than the arena fighter this is.
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