Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles
Supports : PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Genre : Arena fighting game / Adventure game
Developer: CyberConnect 2
Multiplayer: October 15, 2021
A faithful adaptation of the original work which however lacks a little fun in its gameplay
- Character design with small onions
- History and unfolding / staging of the fights faithful to the original work
- The voices of the voice actors of the anime
- Boss fights (phased)
- A nice roster of characters
- Disjointed narration via Collectible Fragments of Memory
- Uninspiring exploration phases
- Little variety of combos between characters
- Certain combinations not very intuitive and difficult to execute
Faithful like Lassie
Video game adaptations of successful series are a gamble. Indeed, regardless of the choice made by the developers to be faithful or not to the original work, there is always a great chance of disappointing the fans.
Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles made the decision to be as faithful as possible to the original and it is clear that this decision pays. First of all, the character design is very close to the masterful work carried out by the ufotable studio on the anime. Then, we find the original Japanese and English voices during many scenes dubbed in the story mode. Finally, the techniques and progress of the main fights are almost identical to those of the anime. All this means that fans of the series will find themselves directly immersed and will have the feeling of finally being an actor rather than a spectator in this adventure. Indeed, the fate of the heroes will depend on your skill during the sometimes tough fights against the main antagonists of the original work.
The story mode will make you live faithfully but differently the adventures of Tanjiro and Nazuko from their beginning to the events that we recently saw on the big screen in the movie The Infinity Train.
Lassie can leave on the floor
While this loyalty makes it easier for fans of the series to immerse themselves in the game, I think the game still leaves newcomers in the dark because of the very rambling storytelling.
The story mode is divided into chapters that bring together the events of the original storyline by theme. To give you an example that won’t spoil much, Chapter 1 will take you through the selection tests to become a Demon Slayer. As you will understand, you will not play / live all the previous events which are very important to situate the context. Otherwise, you will have to progress through the adventure mode of the story and collect memory fragments to then be able to attend as you progress to these introductory events. It’s very disjointed and will no doubt leave newcomers with plenty of unanswered questions before they’ve already finished several chapters and collected enough memories.
Lassie can also tire
I also think that the structure of the story mode can quickly tire fans.. Indeed, each chapter will force you to carry out long phases of rather tasteless exploration between the fights. It is in these phases that you will be able to collect the memory fragments and some Yaiba points. Yaiba points allow you to directly unlock memories without achieving the associated objectives. These objectives are sometimes very annoying, such as successfully completing a boss’s QTEs or obtaining S rank in all the fights of a chapter.
Given the fidelity of the adaptation, the fans will not have much new script to put in their mouths. In fact, reliving all these events through this structure of memories to collect and explore can quickly get boring. The real interest for the fans lies in my opinion in the boss fights and in multiplayer. The problem is, you won’t be able to run up against a boss without completing the corresponding chapter.
But there is still the fight!
As you will understand, the adventure mode did not particularly appeal to me. Fortunately, the fighting game gameplay arrives to save the day.
It offers scripted arena fights against the various antagonists of the story but also some battles against “little” anecdotal demons to help you get started. Not being used to this kind of fighting game (like Naruto informed me my colleague Titiks), it took me a little while to learn the key combinations and combos. I didn’t always find it super intuitive, especially when it comes to placing parries that allow you to do a 1-hit kill against trash mobs.
However, I found the fights to be very dynamic and affordable for newbies like me. Parrying, dodging, doing attacks and skills, or summoning your partner character is enough to win most fights. The mastery of combos will be necessary for the last chapters and multiplayer. I just regret that fighters don’t really have specific combos. The visual aspects and fields of action are different but the key combinations are the same.