When it comes to anime fighting games, I’d like to think I’m an expert at what exactly I should look out for. A story that accurately resembles the events that take place in the anime or the manga, a roster full of loveable and favorite characters with their own unique abilities and playstyles, and good face-paced arena type combat that makes the gameplay flow extremely well and doesn’t feel like it’s lacking something. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles is no different and I think it’s safe to say that other than a few minor complaints that I have, it does in fact hit those marks and then some.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles follows the same plot as the anime and the manga. Tanjiro Kamada returns home one day to find his whole family killed due to a demon attack. However, his sister Nezuko survives but unfortunately, she is turned into a demon. It’s because of this event that Tanjiro decides to become a Demon Slayer and vows to hunt down the demon responsible for his family’s deaths and also to find a way to turn Nezuko human again. Along the way, Tanjiro meets a very colorful cast of characters such as Zenitsu and Inosuke who are both demon slayers too and help Tanjiro along his journey. One of the things that I admire most about Hinokami Chronicles is that you don’t even have to watch the show or read the manga to understand what’s going on. All the events in the story are the same and are showcased in the beautiful in-game cutscenes. I was honestly surprised by how vibrant and clean they were setting the tone of the story perfectly.
As you progress along in the story mode you can also collect memory fragments that unlock different segments of the story that wasn’t able to be captured by a cutscene or a fight. I really do enjoy this feature because it really does bring the story together as a whole and makes sure that you don’t lose any of those deep and even funny moments that take place with Tanjiro and his crew. The big gripe that I have with this feature is that as you walk around as Tanjiro you have to make sure you grab every single one before you trigger a cutscene or an event. You have to restart the section if you end up missing one. Making sure you collect everything each map has to offer is also important since that’s how you can unlock different characters, pictures, and quotes from characters that you can use for your online player card. The story is broken up into eight different chapters so it might be tiring and a bore to have to try and collect everything, but if you ask me it’ll be worth it in the end.
Combat wise everything feels balanced and flows really well. It’s simple and to the point with having light attacks, heavy attacks, special abilities, and a surge meter which gives you a little power boost. Hinokami Chronicles is a 2v2 arena-style game so you have the main character that you want fighting while the second one acts as an assist character that either saves you from an attack or does one of their special moves to aid you in battle. Each assist character has two charges that take a while to recharge after you use them though. I love this feature in most fighting games because if you pull your assists off right you can really create some sick and devastating combos. It also feels nice to find the right duo that fits your playstyle and just create your own little combos as well. When performing combos the thing that irks me is that there’s a combo gauge dictating how long you can perform your combo until it automatically ends. Having to time your attacks with the gauge is extreme pain and really isn’t fun to work around. There have been plenty of times where my combo has been ruined because of it. When going up against story mode bosses they have different waves that you have to go up against and get stronger as you progress against them. I found most of them to be pretty easy while some made me stress out, but if you’re like me and want to 100% the game you will definitely have a tough time. One of the achievements is to get an “S Ranking” on all of the story mode fights and if you don’t finish the fight fast enough or take too much damage you have to start all over again.
When looking outside the story mode Hinokami Chronicles has its practice mode where you can learn different combos and such along with trying out different characters and see which one you like best. There are also archives where you can view everything that you’ve collected. One of the modes offered is the training mode where you go against the entire roster and complete different challenges for them. I found this mode to be extremely repetitive and drawn out as each character has ten training regimes for you to complete and they all basically have the same task for you to perform only varying in the number of times you have to do it. Of course, there is also an offline mode where you can go against CPU’s or with a friend and see how you fair going one on one with them.
The online multiplayer mode had a casual and a ranked play option and allows you to customize your online player card with different characters and voice lines that play when you enter a lobby. The thing that I really hate the most about ranked matches is that when I show no mercy and beat my opponent up with my favorite duo Shinobu and Makomo they would constantly quit out of the match and the game wouldn’t count my match which really makes me mad. I think it’s fair to ask for some type of compensation or punishment to be in play for when moments like those happen, which is a lot in ranked games.
Graphically the game is gorgeous and lively and depicts all the scenes from the anime to a tee. The music is beautifully choreographed and fits the mood perfectly whether it’d be fight scenes or just Tanjiro walking around. Combined these aspects make Hinokami Chronicles come together and just immerses you into a whole amazing experience.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles is both an enjoyable and amazing experience for those who are familiar with the series and for those who want to get into it for the first time. Even after I found myself 100% completing the game I still go back to it to play online as there’s just something so addicting with the flow of combat. Even though the roster may not be up to par with games such as the Ultimate Ninja Storm series we can expect DLC down the line to fill that gap and add another set of characters into the fray. In the meantime take in the wonderful story and gameplay that The Hinokami Chronicles has to offer.Become a Patron!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox Series X/S. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.