Review – Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles, the anime phenomenon has come to video games | Spaghetti Code

Demon Slayer (O Kimetsu No Yaiba) is easily the biggest phenomenon anime has seen in recent years. Since mid-2019, Koyoharu Gotōge’s work has taken on an unstoppable force in the social media conversation, his fans quickly made their mark at every available convention, and it seems that the pandemic only fed the thousand-headed monster, which did no more. to wait patiently for a new dose of this work, whether in anime, manga or through a hit movie.

Kimetsu no Yaiba is, without a doubt, the anime of fashion, but also one of the cultural phenomena that reflect the great advance of globalization in a sector hungry for content. In fact, the speed with which the different products around Tanjiro and Nezuko advanced left the video game industry a bit in evidence, because even though The Hinokami Chronicles Announced in March 2020, the game arrived on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC until mid-October 2021; around the same time as the second season of the anime and long after Demon Slayer: The Infinity Train made his film debut.

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Was it worth the wait? If you are a fan of Kimetsu no Yaiba It would be impossible to resist this game, because in essence it is the interactive version of the anime. On the other hand, those who are not so familiar with this anime may not even have it on their radar and delving into it as a video game is not enough. But before giving a definitive answer, we invite you to continue reading our review of Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles.

A hunter accompanied by a demon

CyberConnect2, who took care of all the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm and Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, are the developers of Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles… So we can confirm what you are thinking: the video game of Demon Slayer it’s basically a new version of Ultimate Ninja Storm. Broadly speaking, what you will find in the game is a recreation of the first season of the anime and the film Mugen Train, all this through a series of iconic battles and short exploration lapses to artificially extend the game. Again, if you already know the studio you may even feel excited, and if you have never played any of them, then you will not have problems with delving into this concept either.

The Hinokami Chronicles It follows the story of the anime and the movie as it is, so it all begins with Tanjiro discovering that his family has been killed by a demon. All of his loved ones have died, except for his sister Nezuko. Unfortunately for her, Nezuko has turned into a demon, but her humanity has not been completely lost and she is even able to quench her bloodlust through long sleep sessions. Without much hope, but with his mind always focused on protecting his sister, Tanjiro begins training to become a demon hunter, but beyond seeking revenge, our hero is determined to heal his sister. and give peace to the demons that terrorize all of Japan.

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As I mentioned at the beginning, it is unlikely that a fan will be reluctant to relive the story through a video game, because although the plot is exactly the same, the immersion you achieve through control allows a higher level of engagement with the characters. and your actions. Even for those who want to save the 26 episodes of the series and the film, to enter the second season with everything, the video game may be an option (more expensive), but an option at the end of the day. Complaining CyberConnect2 for repeating the formula of their games and the narrative structure is completely valid, but we already know that this is how the studio works and at no time do they try to sell us a different idea.

The lovely smell of blood

Moving on to the playable sections, Demon Slayer is a carbon copy of what the developers have done with Naruto… Which seriously worries me. A year ago we Naruto for the first time and I took the opportunity to play Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, video game that originally came out in 2008 for PS3 and that I played in its reissue for Xbox One on the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy. So I was quite surprised to find in Demon Slayer everything Naruto had enjoyed a year before.

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And the surprise was both for the better and for the worse. CyberConnect2 has done a great job with Naruto, transforming the anime story into a video game, skipping the filler and delivering a product full of fan service with a beautiful visual style. For Demon Slayer all of the above is replicated, it even looks prettier, but the assets, movements and style is EXACTLY the same. Wow, the little dialog boxes where the game tells you not to turn off the console or gives you directions for fights are identical.

Even the game system where the fights take place in a circular arena and the fighters can move in a 3D environment is the same in Naruto and Demon Slayer. It works? Yes. But It is somewhat worrying that a studio cannot provide original ideas, or inspired by anime / manga, to liven up the video game in turn. It is one thing to take the idea of ​​recreating the anime, which in the end is the genesis of the project, and quite another is to just change the skin for the anime that plays this year. It definitely would not hurt an entire CyberConnect2 upgrade.

Luckily, the fights of Kimetsu no Yaiba they are well executed, both when fighting with the machine and when facing other players in the online modes. Even the control is less complex than in Naruto, with constant warnings about the buttons that we must press and with more refined options about the available attacks and the mobility of the character. Although in essence it is the same, with fights where we can choose two fighters and exchange without limits throughout the fight, as long as we have the energy bar ready.

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From basic attacks, to powerful breathing techniques, all the moves you’ve seen in the anime are available.. Depending on the ability you have with the control you can add and add combos, so that your opponent is not able to put his hands. On the other hand, there are also some combinations that will help you escape and even counterattack the opponent’s attacks, and although in the campaign you can be calm without worrying about the available opponents, for the online modes you will need to perfect your fighting style.

In the same way that it happens in Naruto, some fight sequences happen through quick time events, so you do not have to lose any detail about what happens on the screen. These special attacks are activated after taking considerable damage in the fight, and, in addition to emulating in a great way what happens in the anime, they can also save you from the worst situations. Here it should be noted that the matches are not won by the best of three rounds, but you must necessarily win all three rounds, so the fights spread considerably. Considering that special attacks can take you down to just over half your life bar, the length of the fights is not an overstatement and is very enjoyable.

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Demon Slayer is a fighting video game, and it does very well in that section. However, the limitations of the anime (in terms of available characters) leaves us with a little variety of fighters. In addition, many of those that are available have to be unlocked through somewhat tedious missions, which could limit that section if you are not committed to everything that this title represents.

On the other hand, the campaign is short and there are not many secondary missions to do, so playing online is almost mandatory to get more out of the game and it does not disappoint in that area … at least in gameplay. Within the online section we have a personalized and ranked game, although it is almost always easier to find a game in the latter. The fights are the same as in the campaign, with the possibility of playing with up to two characters, there is a bit of lag, but in general the games respond well. In addition, the developers maintain the possibility of choosing the region in which we want to play, which reduces the possibilities of games with Japanese who will not let us get our hands and maintains a more stable connection.

Strangely, Demon Slayer loses one of the great characteristics of that first Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm (which seems to me has been lost more and more): the exploration of the places of the anime. In the aforementioned Naruto game we have the opportunity to tour the Leaf Village at our whim, visiting emblematic places such as the Ninja Academy, the Ichiraku ramen stand or the Hokage Rock. This exploration, although somewhat limited, achieves a good fan service and extend the gameplay with missions that are a bit repetitive, but that through exploration are, to say the least, entertaining.

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Within Demon Slayer there is a linear scan that is cheeky filler, not fun at all and makes us yawn before every battle. At times there are flashes of interesting things like demon battles or some missions that seem to point to important things, but the execution is boring, slow and so simple that it does not even present a challenge. And of course, there is not a single place that we can travel like Konoha in Naruto, much less like the scenarios of Dragon Ball Z on Kakarot.

Something more important than life

Back to the good news, CyberConnect2 has had a major improvement in its graphics engine, so the recreation of the anime is simply incredible. From the outset, the cel shading is extremely versatile, but on The Hinokami Chronicles the experience is even more detailed, with bright colors and flawless execution of character animations throughout the fights and cutscenes. In addition, the fact that the story is supported by the footage taken from the anime helps us to quickly compare the styles and the game comes out very well.

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Within the sound sections the situation remains just as well, as the game allows us to listen to the dubbing in Japanese with subtitles in Spanish. In addition, the included soundtrack and the rest of the effects maintain the same level of quality as the graphics. Obviously we would have liked to find the dubbing into Latin Spanish, but if Bandai Namco has barely pleased us with Naruto and Saint Seiya, it was very difficult for SEGA to achieve it the first time with Demon Slayer.

The good
  • Demon Slayer has come to video games
  • It is the same story as the anime, with everything and the movie
  • Very well achieved graphics to recreate the anime
  • Japanese dubbing with Spanish subtitles
  • Good online battles
The bad
  • Boring side missions
  • Few characters available for combat
  • It is identical to Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm
Verdict

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles it’s a game for him fan service in the first instance, and in that section there are few complaints to point out, the hardest being the filling through a linear and little entertaining exploration. Nevertheless, CyberConnect2 does what it does best and turns anime into an immersive experience through a video game controller. If you are not a fan of the series this is a good opportunity to delve into it, but it is always advisable to start with the manga or anime and then see how your favorite characters come to life on a console.