Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles — Review

Release Date
October 13, 2021
Developer
CyberConnect2
Publisher
Aniplex, Sega
Platforms
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC
Reviewed On
PS4
Review Copy Provided By
Sega

CyberConnect2’s long history of turning beloved anime series into video games has made its way to another acclaimed action-packed title, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.

In a world of demons and sword fighters, Demon Slayer follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado in his quest to regain his younger sister, Nezuko’s, lost humanity. On the day Tanjiro’s family was murdered by the story’s main antagonist, Nezuko turned into a self-aware demon. This leads to Tanjiro’s journey to becoming a Demon Slayer and finding the necessary methods to free his sister from her cursed fate.

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba — The Hinokami Chronicles” details the first season of the anime adaptation, from Tanjiro’s training until the events of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train. Taking notes from CyberConnect2’s Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, the game heavily uses the elements familiar with those titles as the main progression of Demon Slayer is through one-on-one battles, short linear explorations, and 3D-animated cutscenes.

Following Tanjiro Kamado’s sense of smell towards the map destination

Besides controlling and using Tanjiro during the battle sequences, players are treated to being able to experience the battle styles of the characters shown throughout the anime itself. The story mode is 80% battles and 20% walking explorations during sequences that require the anime’s protagonists to look around or be familiar with the environment before the big boss fights. While it gives a short feeling of immersive interaction with the anime’s setting, the unnecessity of it becomes obvious over the course of the story’s progression — especially as maps are usually one-way despite being able to use Tanjiro’s notable sense of smell as a feature within the game.

Meanwhile, though the battles are a glaring similar layout to that of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, it misses an important mark of the fighting game genre: choices and variety.

Within the versus mode of the game, players only have a choice of 18 characters. These characters are a limited number of the anime’s heroes and their counterparts in the spinoff anime, Chuukou Ikkan!! Kimetsu Gakuen Monogatari. Unfortunately, players will not be given the option to use the colorful antagonists witnessed throughout the anime. Demons are left to be boss battles during the story, and unheard of during versus mode.

Versus mode consisting of 18 characters introduced in the anime

In its entirety, Demon Slayer seemed like a mini version of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series. It’s a quick game that can easily be completed, S-Ranked, and accomplished trophies within 2-3 days. The replayability then becomes non-existent because of the short sequences of the anime’s first season. Not even the game’s Hard Mode could showcase a challenge worthy of hours of gameplay.

Versus mode then becomes stagnant due to not only the limited characters you could use but also for their simple choices of abilities. Some characters possess similar skills, therefore potentially causing a tiresome barrage of the same animation throughout the choices of characters (most specifically, those who use Water-Breathing techniques).

The only thing that could keep the title interesting is through the online versus battles, but even then — the animations and the constant yelling of their lengthily-named skills will soon grow tiresome.

The anime’s premise and potential could have been largely utilized in this game, without it seeming like another copy-paste of CyberConnect2’s most popular franchise. As not even the font style and layout were spared from the obvious replication, it may not hit the mark with a new generation of those presently following the genre.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles — Review
Score Definition
You’ll be left out with a “meh” after finishing the game. What game did we just play?
Pros
Experience the anime yourself and immerse in the high-action battles seen on the series.
A quick fix for those seeking to test their skills and combos in offline and online versus mode.
Cons
The character choices are limited, despite the numerous introductions of potential options in the anime.
The visuals and even the sounds and music are reminiscent of CyberConnect2’s Naruto titles, which turned Demon Slayer into a spinoff instead of an independent title.
Short gameplay and little room for replayability.
4
Below Average