Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is a brawler / fighting game developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Sega. The game provides a decent retelling of the story of the Demon Slayer anime. The game’s combat system is enjoyable, even if it’s nothing special, and feels like other solid anime video games released in the past.

The Hinokami Chronicles follow the story of the first season of Demon Slayer anime and end with events from the film. The story is set more than a century ago in Japan and follows a boy named Tanjiro. His sister, Nezuko, is transformed into a demon while the rest of his family is killed, but her relationship with Taniro prevents her from indulging in her hunger. Tanjiro goes on a journey to join the Demon Slayer Corps, to learn more about the true nature of the demon and perhaps find a cure for his sister.

The Hinokami Chronicles tells his story through eight chapters, which are divided into levels that contain exploratory phases, battles, or segments of the story. The main round of the Hinokami Chronicles game are its combat phases. Hinokami Chronicles is a 3D brawler in the arena, with a player who can introduce two characters who share the health bar and can be swapped in the middle of a battle. Combat combines a variety of systems, including a skill bar for advanced moves, a second character bar that can be used for interruptions or time attacks, and a special meter used for temporary power boosts and final attacks. Battles are effortless and fun, and the player has access to many options at any time.

The two-player mode is where The Hinokami Chronicles shine. Different systems in the game and the limited ability to get out of combinations mean that there is a high speed back and forth that prevents one side from overpowering the other. A special gauge that allows players to amplify and perform ultimate attacks is also kept between rounds, allowing fighters to save their best attacks for when they need them. The special moves also look fantastic, and with the amazing visuals of the anime, they give the developers a lot of work, when it comes to creating explosive sword attacks.

Hinokami 2The Hinokami Chronicles single player mode also shakes things up with boss fights against demons, which possess their special tricks. One disappointing aspect of the game is that there is only one demon (Nezuko) available at launch, although many of them are encountered during the game. Demons come into the DLC after launch, but players will have to be content with using Demon Slayer Corps members in Vs.mod for now.

Where The Hinokami Chronicles falters is due to the level design. There are many stages with objects that can be detected, and the player can follow the smell of the enemy with a vision in the style of Arkham. These phases feel like a supplement, and most of their secrets stand outdoors. This even includes levels that have a lot of potential to be interesting, such as Villa Tsuzumi and its locker rooms. It’s a shame that The Hinokami Chronicles wasn’t just a fighting game, as it would have been more enjoyable without the mostly empty phases of research that shattered her more convincing fight.

Hinokami 3The visuals in Demon Slayer are beautiful and match the visuals of the anime, complemented by the voice acting from the series. Many scenes of the story that are not vital to the plot are contained in Memory Fragments, and which are scattered throughout the level. They can be watched outside of battle and consist of short vignettes that have additional segments of the story and funny side moments with the characters, many of which use photos from the anime. This is a nice bonus and manages to offer a lot of additional narrative content while being optional enough to be separate from those who just want to play battles.

Memory Fragments is a nice adaptation of the Demon Slayer anime, but it never tries to be anything bigger. The fight is fun, fast and allows the player to use the explosive moves of the Demon Slayer Corps in a visually exciting way, but the story mode that makes up most of the content for a single player is too stretched. Anime fans should enjoy The Hinokami Chronicles, but those who are not already familiar with the series will not like it much.

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