It's like Taken but supernatural and set in 1920's Japan, the anime gargantuan Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba comes to Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
Particularly in Japan but also around the globe was anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba a cult phenomenon. In fact, the Manga was among the most successful of all time, not far behind the likes of Slam Dunk and Doraemon, receiving such overwhelming support that Cyber Connect 2, the guys that built the Naruto gaming series, felt it had to gamify the show. Arriving on the 15th of October is a 3D anime fighting game titled The Hinokami Chronicles – Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, complete with a single-player campaign built in the Unreal Engine 4. The news has put many fans of the JRPG genre on Cloud Nine, let’s find out why.
I've never heard of Kimetsu No Yaiba, what's the background?
Our game begins by following the path of determined and protective big brother Tanjiro Kamado as he joins the ranks of the Demon Slayer Corps so he can, after many tribulations and battles with various demonic entities, exorcise and emancipate his little sister, Nezuko, from the force of evil. Demon Slayer allows players to explore various locations within the game, running through busy streets, chatting with NPC’s and clashing heads with cunning demons not always interwoven into the game’s narrative. Players can also take command of other characters each with their own fortes, like Sakoni and Inosuke, and can swap places with one another in the midst of battle, though they all share the same health bar. Demon Slayer conveys its tension-racked and moving story through its wonderful cutscenes and myriad arena-based boss battles. As is this case in many a patience-requiring narrative, we must first prove our hate of anything satanic and survive the Demon Slayer Corps trials, only then can we begin to contrive a plan to bring poor Nezuko back into the realm of the living. Fortunately, Tanjiro has a knack at sniffing out demonic presences and is able to pick up and trail a scent to its fiendish source: an awaiting demon, and so the twist-and-turn story goes.
'Tanjiro Kamado as he joins the ranks of the Demon Slayer Corps so he can, after many tribulations and battles with various demonic entities, exorcise and emancipate his little sister, Nezuko.'
What does combat involve?
Played in third-person, Demon Slayer involves a mature combat system pieced together by many varying attacks; a seamless offensive system designed in archetypal JRPG game fashion. Bearing a familial resemblance to other games developed by Cyber Connect 2 such as the Naruto titles, but also famed games like Scarlet Nexus and Code Vein, the fighting style donned by Demon Slayer is as rapid and chaotic, yet as simple to operate, as you might expect it to be, not reinventing the wheel per se but spinning it in several different ways. Demon Slayer uses only one primary button to orchestrate some devastating attacks, mashing and holding it down to clinch special and super moves earned through constructing successive combo moves. As frenzied as combat can be in this game, Cyber Connect 2 have quite clearly foreseen potential pitfalls in that they have introduced countermeasures like the Combo Meters which preclude gamers from becoming ensnared in an incessant combo loop, but also gives even more credence to the absurd might of Max Combos. More, Tanjiro and his crew of executioners can gain access to other combat faculties, like the Surge Mode, to inflict some heinous damage on our deplorable spectral foes.
How well is the game designed?
The writing exhibited by Demon Slayer suggests it was written for a TV show, and in many ways it is: the games plot arc develops in an abridged capacity from the Mugen Train movie as well as the renowned anime series. Better still, distinguished illustration studio Ufotable had a hand in the creation of many of the cutscenes Demon Slayer uses to nourish its narrative – Demon Slayer comes from a bloodline of immense prestige. If you are wondering just how well the game will reflect the Kimetsu No Yaiba series, some of the fight scenes have been choreographed to a T from the Manga and TV series. Wait, there’s more: the voice actors from the Mugen Train movie reprise their roles in Demon Slayer and provide the level of zealous and dramatic dialogue a game of this genre requires – we are confident no fan of the series will be disappointed by The Hinokami Chronicles. Looks wise, Cyber Connect have done a stellar job of marrying 3D graphics with the traditional anime feel, resulting in a game with a mellow, embracing feel to it. I am personally already enamoured with the game’s beautiful societal setting, the Taisho period sometimes referred to as Japan’s roaring 20’s, and we are intrigued to see how the depiction of this time will contribute to the games already-authentic milieu. Demon Slayer certainly has the potential to eclipse many entries to the JRPG world and is likely to be the first games of many in the prospected series.
'Better still, distinguished illustration studio Ufotable had a hand in the creation of many of the cutscenes Demon Slayer uses to nourish its narrative.'
Players will also be able to delve into both LAN and Online features of Versus Mode, a team death-match comprised of the game’s 18-strong character roster. It looks as though some demons, especially the bosses, will be playable in the game, but it remains unclear if that remains isolated to Versus Mode or not. Either way, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - The Hinokami Chronicles looks to bring many facets of fan favourite anime to the game, taking strong inspiration from many of the genres most esteemed titles; the characters even run like Naruto - the influence is not at all subtle – but why should it be? The anime rendition comes to PlayStation and Xbox on the 15th of October – you’d be a demon to miss it.
Get stuck into Tanjiro's tale and find the game here.