After having had a dazzling success in particular thanks to the animated one, the franchise Demon Slayer exported to the world of video games with Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles. Produced by the CyberConnect2 studio to which we owe the series of Naruto Ninja Storm or more recently Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, the game aroused great expectation among fans. The adaptation of the successful manga by Koyoharu GOTÔGE on consoles (PS4, PS5, Xbox Series et Xbox One) and has PC been successful? Journal du Japon offers you its test of The Hinokami Chronicles.
When the trailer for the game was unveiled, it had generated a lot of excitement from fans. On the one hand, because CyberConnect2 was responsible for producing the game and the other because the studio had taken the recipe for what had worked for the games Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm : namely graphics approaching very close to the anime and dynamic gameplay, marked by team fights with the possibility of interchanging characters. And once the controller is in hand, it offers a completely amazing and satisfying gaming experience.
Dynamic and engaging gameplay …
If there is one point on which The Hinokami Chronicles is a success, it is about the gameplay. It is dynamic and sublimated by very successful 3D graphics. I have to say that Cyberconnect2 is not at its first attempt. The development studio had notably set up in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot a story mode set in an open world. The series of Ultimate Ninja Storm stood out for its extraordinary animation, ultimate techniques, characters and a team combat system, which was taken over for this game. Demon Slayer. Here, the fights are carried out in two against two, unless one faces a demon.
Players can perform combos to bring down their opponents by combining classic attacks and three special techniques specific to each character. The characters have the freedom to move in any direction in a larger or smaller arena. You can jump to dodge a hit and charge towards your opponent. We also note the possibility of moving sideways and parry an attack that will leave his character vulnerable to a rapid response.
The support character has a gauge that can be used in three different ways: support can be called in to trigger an attack aimed directly at the enemy; the support can intervene to get you out of a delicate situation during the sequence of a combo for example; or you can also swap it with your character who started the fight at any time. To this is added of course an ultimate technique and an awakening mode which improves the abilities of the characters for a period of time. Demons, on the other hand, have a capacity to regenerate health points and two demonic techniques that replace the slayer’s breath gauge. It becomes exhausted as one uses special techniques. Just like in the series Ultimate Ninja Storm, a small cutscene is triggered if we finish off the enemy with an ultimate technique.
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… spoiled by too short a lifespan
The big weak point of Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles lies in its lifespan. Indeed, it will take less than ten hours of play to overcome the Story mode. To progress in the latter, we embody Plate, the main hero, that made him move on the different maps of the different arcs of the manga. The latter is especially aimed at connoisseurs of the anime but takes care to tell the main story for neophytes. It will sometimes be necessary to interact with certain characters to unlock the cutscenes leading to the fights. In addition, we must collect Kimetsu points, in the form of small orange balls, to unlock certain rewards. There are also secondary missions intended, among other things, to extend the life span. For example, you have to find several smells of a demon in order to confront it later or ask for information from the villagers.
To lengthen the experience a bit, it is also possible to focus on collecting “memory fragments”. These are scenes from the anime that weren’t included in the in-game cutscenes. But for those who haven’t watched the anime or read the manga, it might be a bit confusing. Indeed, some of these memory fragments refer to scenes that took place at specific points in history. Neophytes will therefore have to memorize the turn of events presented in the main cutscenes in order to be able to replace these small scenes correctly and chronologically. For some chapters in which the fights are little or not present, the game nevertheless manages to offer mini-games to give the players something to do. The Story mode aside, all that remains to be eaten is the Versus and Training mode …
Too easy story mode, fiercer online mode
To return to the Story mode, we can regret the fact that it is not possible to choose the level of difficulty and we make the sad observation that the real challenges offered by the game occur during the very last chapter. The game has 9 in total, including the prologue which presents the synopsis of the manga. However, boss fights are offered at the end of almost each chapter but we quickly understand the trick to defeat them without problem. Conversely, the level of difficulty of the last chapter really contrasts too much with the rest of the Story mode. The only moments when the game offers the possibility to choose the level of difficulty comes when you finish a chapter and unlock an unimportant side mission which consists of each time facing a demon with a random character design.
Fortunately, we can count on the online mode to raise the level. It has some small differences compared to the Offline mode. The damage dealt to the opponent is considerably higher, which means that the slightest second of inattention can prove fatal, especially since combos often rise to more than 20 hits. The only way to get out of a bad situation is to call on the support character, but the support character is then unavailable for long seconds before being able to help again. The gameplay being successful, it will be possible to spend long hours facing other players without getting bored.
The Hinokami Chronicles: an immersive game … with a limited cast
One of the strengths of Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles is his attention to detail. In story mode, for example, you can use the sense of smell of Plate to go to the main events. A red streak, just like in the anime, is visible at times to allow players not to get lost on sometimes very large maps. The music of the anime was notably used during the fights and the official Japanese and English voices of the anime were integrated into the game. The scenery is destructible following blows exchanged between two characters, adding a more epic dimension to the games. fights. It is possible to play in all the settings that we see in season 1 (9 in all) but you have to meet special conditions to unlock them all.
However, we regret the size of the list of available characters. Indeed, we must be satisfied with only 18 characters, 11 different in fact. The other 7 include Plate in Fire God mode and 6 characters in academy version. 6 other characters will however arrive for free through updates, including demons Rui and He comes. Each character has nevertheless been faithfully transposed, with its arsenal of techniques. Extenuating circumstances may explain the reasons for this meager choice. The game could only adapt the story up to the Infinity Train arc, with Season 2 yet to air. But couldn’t we wait any longer? We can predict the arrival of future sequels that will adapt the following arcs but the question arises of the interest of such a rapid release of the game …
Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles is a very good game which perfectly transcribes the world of demon slayers and whose playing experience is very satisfying. But the short lifespan of the Story mode is a big black point that may disappoint fans of the saga who would like to continue to experience the adventure of Tanjiro. The rewards may motivate some to complete the Story Mode side missions but nothing is less certain. The studio would surely have had to wait until the end of season 2 to adapt the manga and give a much more epic dimension to this game which will unfortunately leave more than one hungry.