Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles Xbox Series X Review

Save your money and watch the Demon Slayer anime instead of playing Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles.

By Grayshadow, Posted 15 Oct 2021

Demon Slayer is one of the most popular manga and animes today and with such a massive audience a video game was going to follow. Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is a retelling of the first season with little variation. The fun combat system is easy to learn but complicated to master with arena-style battles with iconic characters from the first season but outside of that, the game offers the most bare-bones retelling of the anime along with minor exploration and little replayability. Even the fun combat begins to wane due to a poor progression system. Unless you're the most hardcore Demon Slayer fan this title is a prime example of why anime games are not taken seriously.

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles,NoobFeed,SEGA,

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles retells the first season of Demon Slayer along with the movie Mugen Train. It starts with the protagonist Tanjiro Kamado training to become a demon in hopes of one day curing his sister who was transformed into a demon. If you watched the anime and the movie you know exactly what's going to happen. The developers did shift some of the perspectives such as when Tanjiro heads into the Swamp Demon's turf but instead players take control of his sister Nezuko to protect the humans. Likely these decisions were made due to the context of the fights as Tanjiro fights the demon while floating and the combat is solely based on circle flat arenas.

The cutscenes are wonderfully animated, especially when launching final attacks. QTEs are peppered but the visual candy shown is absolutely amazing, capturing the beauty of each of these profound attacks but not all scenes are animated. Iconic scenes such as when Ginyu used the 11th water breathing technique for the first time have been altered to significantly poorer quality. Much of the game is focused on watching long cutscenes with about 30% being gameplay. The cutscenes are breathtaking and CyberConnect2 did an outstanding job animating the breathing techniques but it's all bark without the bite. The bite is the actual gameplay.

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles,NoobFeed,SEGA,

The core of the gameplay comes in arena-based combat. You'll take control of Tanjiro, Nezuko, Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Kyojuro during this 8-hour adventure. Combat is solid with a combination of light and heavy attacks along with specialized abilities based on the character's breathing technique or blood art. Characters all have unique animations and attacks along with personalized statistics to complement their overall style of combat. For example, Tanjiro is balanced but Shinobu is quick and deals more damage and takes more damage. This isn't made aware to the player but it becomes apparent during gameplay as to complement each character's style of fighting.

Players usually only have access to 1 fighter during fights but occasionally will have 2 fighters. You can swap between the 2 but if 1 falls it's game over. Each assist is unique to that fighter and is based on a charging meter that charges 2 times. Speaking of charging meters players have access to an ultimate meter that charges based on attack inflicted and received that fills 3 times. 1 charge will allow players to boost their attack, defense, and mobility until the meter is drained. If you charge 2 meters you can use an ultimate attack  Combat is fun and quick but very easy, I never died only the final boss came close to defeating me. The game does offer optional fights after completing each chapter but these are against common demons the developers pushed in to try and extend the game. The fights are huge cinematic affairs and the developers went above and beyond with the Ultimate abilities but eventually, it grows dull.

Outside of fighting, you'll be exploring small often linear maps. Exploration is extremely basic, with mostly linear areas peppered with optional objectives. These objectives usually involve just interacting with something significant and are marked on the map. Even in areas with branching paths you're given a very small area to walk around, some areas are so small that the optional objectives are clustered together within inches of one another. 

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles,NoobFeed,SEGA,

Outside of optional objectives, you can collect memory fragments and Kimetsu Points. The points are used to unlock rewards without having to complete the requirements needed to unlock them. Memory fragments are just clips from the anime with static images, which is pointless considering you could just watch the anime with better quality. It becomes apparent that CyberConnect2 was desperate to put any type of progression and unlockables in the game. Most of them are quotes, pictures for profiles, panel images, and music tracks. There is optional battle attire but even those are limited, with 32 in total and most characters don't even get 1 optional cosmetic.

At the end of each chapter, you're graded on your performance and can replay any part of the mission. Special Missions provide fights against demons with your choice of fighter sometimes with multiple difficulty options. It's okay and serves as a good way to practice before taking your chance online.

Players are given plenty of ways to practice and learn the combat. The training option provides multiple challenges you can take part in with 3 objectives against each of the iconic characters. The practice option offers many ways to train and yes the developers included a local versus option. That seems like a standard feature but there have been plenty of games that launched without one. Most of the time online matches involve players running around, using an assist, and guard breaking. There's little balancing and most players use the same combination of characters. Due to limited aerial options support characters like Zenitsu make it impossible to keep a guard without losing it in the follow-up attack. Once I found this out it was near impossible to lose, just repeat the same attack.

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles,NoobFeed,SEGA,

Unless you're the most dedicated Demon Slayer fan it's hard to recommend this. Anime games have come a long way and titles like this highlight why most gamers don't take these games seriously. Dragon Ball was infamous for this but now we have titles like Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and even the CyberConnect2's Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot that went against the bare-minimum notoriety anime games are known for. Even original games based on anime like Astral Chain and Scarlet Nexus have gone beyond this, making what is offered from Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles multiple steps backward. Yes, CyberConnect2 was limited to what they could do with the source material but charging the full price is just not justified with what is offered here. The combat is fun but without a decent progression system, even the most beautiful flashy attacks won't save it. Save your money and watch the Demon Slayer anime instead of playing Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): CyberConnect2
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: 2021-15-10

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