In the last 10 years the number of licensed anime games has evolved substantially! The once-safer source of inspiration for games with poor quality that required a license to market extra copies has grown into some of the most profitable and well-known titles that are available in the marketplace! This paradigm shift was due to one studio which determined to push the boundaries of what licensed games can do through their amazing adaptation from the Shonen Jump property, Naruto. For the better part of a decade CyberConnect2’s Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series was a hit with stunning visuals and an adoration for the original material which resulted in a game series that sold a staggering 15 million copies over six installments! Every game that tries to recreate the same appeal of this series isn’t an simple task, but Demon Slayer Mobile Games: The Hinokami Chronicles is the spiritual successor that gamers like me have been waiting for.
Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles is a 3D arena fighting game developed by CyberConnect2 and was published by SEGA. Based on the manga written by Koyoharu Gotouge The series has become one of Shonen’s most popular series. With an anime adaptation by ufotable, the highest-grossing anime film in 2021, and in the near future, a console video game from a renowned developer, it’s obvious the Demon Slayer mobile games are a huge hit in the anime community! The stars are aligned for Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chroniclesto be a great time, but can the console version of this game surpass the huge mark?
Demon Slayer Mobile Games The Hinokami Chronicles retells the events from to the Tanjiro Kamado, Unwavering Resolve Arc up to the Mugen Train arc. You are in control of Tanjiro Kamado, whose world is transformed when he discovers the entire family of his was murdered by demons. Only one survivor is his sister, Nezuko and he discovers that although her life was not affected and she survived, she became an undead. With newfound resolve, Tanjiro aspires to become the Demon Slayer to not only kill the demon who slaughtered his family but also come up with a method to transform Nezuko back to a human.
It’s true that I’m not the biggest fan of Demon Slayer mobile games. It’s not to say that the story isn’t great, it’s just not the typical Shonen set-up with a strong main character and a goal to keep them going throughout the entire series. A decent effort although I’ve heard similar stories before. With that said though, what makes Demon Slayer mobile games stand out and the reason why I believe it’s so popular is because of its diverse character cast. Many of them are fun to watch and enjoy, no matter Zenitsu having panic attacks that are intense over seemingly insignificant matters, Inosuke being a parody of other shonen heroes who only think of fighting, Shinobu’s steadfast positive attitude up to the point of being nearly disturbing, and the list goes on! This is also true of the many adversaries Tanjiro has to fight that often provide a sympathetic background to help explain the reasons they act the way they do.
Sadly, the weakest among them is our favorite, Tanjiro. I didn’t really dislike him, but he’s just boring. The unique qualities he has are possessing a keen sense of smell, a hard head that’s frequently employed to headbutt other people, along with… that’s all. As you’d expect, he has the tenacity to never quit and has a good heart However, these qualities are a dime dozen for protagonists in this genre. What sets him apart though is that his motivation is altruistic and he constantly thinks of the needs of others first, at the point of sharing his feelings with the demons that who he battles. This really helps us understand his progress! Before you ask, yes. Nezuko is absolutely adorable and, despite the fact she never speaks she’s the emotional center of the story and I was eager to see her return to normal.
This is the most important question: does Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chroniclesserve as a ideal way to discover the story for the first time? The answer is complex. The major events of the story are included in the game’s narrative. However, it’s definitely an abridged telling. But I do like the fact that the game gives you the option of seeing scenes not covered within the game by using something called Memory Fragments. Where this sort of fumbles is due to some of them getting locked out later on in the game, so scenes at the beginning of the story get locked off until you get to an additional moment in the game’s story. It doesn’t make much sense. Regardless, the game is an excellent way to learn a condensed version of the Demon Slayer mobile gamesstory!
Gameplay – Story Mode
Every arc of Demon Slayer Mobile Games: The Hinokami Chroniclesis separated into chapters. In order to finish the game, you’ll need to finish the entire eight chapters. It’s recommended that you do so, as it’s the most efficient method to unlock all characters and stages that you’ll encounter in the game’s combat mode. It’s unfortunate then that story modes’ quality isn’t exactly uniform. In Tanjiro’s search in order to rescue his daughter you’ll see him exploring unique environments, jumping across rooftops and sliding through vegetation. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately, these exploration segments aren’t the most effective part of the campaign. Those interactive elements I just described can only be done at specific locations. This was an odd choice, considering how agile the characters you’ll control are in the cutscenes. Compounding this problem is how your character’s movement speed is the same speed but at a very slow rate, with no option to boost your speed. There are side-questions you can take on but calling them side quests is rather generous. They’re all about talking to certain people or engaging with objects each of which is marked on your map, removing some of the excitement of fully exploring every environment.
The story is often poorly paced also, with you being forced to watch a plethora of cut scenes, in addition to the previously explained exploration sections before you can fight any demons. However, those times when you’re forced to unsheath your sword will lead to the best aspects of the campaign! This is particularly true for the game’s fantastic boss battles! All of these fights provide a unique element to spice up the combat, whether it be using your movement options to avoid big fights or fighting more than one boss simultaneously. These fights come to an exquisitely-crafted interactive cutscene featuring CyberConnect2’s famed quick-time event sequences. A bit of a small nitpick However, as impressive as these finishing sections of boss fights are I was a bit disappointed there were some quick-time event sequences only require two or three button presses in comparison to the previous titles from CyberConnect2.
Outside of the main story There are also special demons to fight as you finish each chapter. While they’re completely optional I found them enjoyable because of their difficulty and unique mechanics including the one that inflicts poison on enemies when they attack! It’s a good thing, as most of the single-player campaigns is simple. The chances of dying are very low since attacks are often broadcast and are able to be avoided by timing them correctly. The game is thankfully more challenging near its conclusion, though this difficulty issue isn’t a hindrance to the great boss fights.
Gameplay – Combat System
The primary reason to play Demon Slayer Mobile Game The Hinokami Chroniclesis being able to play your favorite characters in an action-packed fighting game. I’m thrilled to report that the combat system the game provides is easily one of its best features! CyberConnect2 did not have a reputation as a combat system that was balanced It took them several episodes in their Naruto Storm series to fix the broken mechanics they introduced, for example. All this experience was very fruitful though, as the mechanics and combat featured in Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles are among the finest that the studio has ever created!
Two characters can be chosen by players, with one acting as a backup character to extend combos or save you from the combo of your opponent. Battles are held in a 3-dimensional environment which allows players to move around the arena. Moving is mostly accomplished with ground dashes and sidesteps. Ground dashes possess properties that homify, as do your assistance, however, when an opponent makes a sidestep, it’ll remove the homing property. In addition, your second chosen character assist you however, you’ll also be able to switch positions with them, which allows them to extend combos or to make previously risky moves more reliable. As for blocking attacks, there is possible, it is also an option. You could use block to increase the an extra space between you and your opponent. Or with good timing, counter your opponent’s attack, leaving them wide open for an attack. On top of that there is a blue gauge used for specific attacks, as well as a super gauge can be used to create your ultimate attack or to increase your speed and attack in a short amount of time.
Though beyond the base possibilities of combat there’s much more complex mechanics that you can play with. Any time, you can end an attack by stepping back, jumping, or dashing. You can do this by using one bar on your blue meter. The same type of meter that is used for special attacks and with you only able to keep a maximum of five bars, it is important to consider your strategy carefully when you use it. When you land the perfect combo, regardless of the attack you choose to start with, a small colored wheel is displayed in the combo meter. This is how long you can strike your opponent until they can not be damaged. If your gauge’s gauge’s value is green, which is usually when you are able to successfully tackle your opponent, you are able to perform a long combination. In the case of a gauge that is red, which tends to occur when you attack an opponent from the air it means that the time you’ll be able to hurt your opponent is drastically reduced. When all this is gathered together it creates one of the most fun fighting games I’ve played in over a decade! It’s quick to learn how to play, but there is enough depth to please gamers who want it. I can definitely see myself continuing to play Demon Slayer Mobile Games: Hinokami Chronicles. Hinokami Chroniclesfor quite some time!
It’s not perfect however there are two significant issues that detract from the overall quality of the system. The first concern is the roster of characters: at the time of launch, there were only 12 characters playable from, with 6 of them receiving an alternative version that has more comical final attacks. It’s not uncommon to see a fighting game have a limited roster of characters however since some of the characters available feature very similar special attacks between each other I think this game meant to have a larger starting roster, but was forced to release it now. This theory is strengthened with the anime adaptation to Demon Slayer Mobile Games starting its anticipated second season a week before the game’s release. However, we know that the game will include 6 DLC characters for free This means that this roster deficiency won’t be a concern for too long.
The other problem is more serious that could have a negative impact on the game’s experience if it’s not resolved. For the PlayStation 4 version I’ve experienced and been frequently mentioned by a lot of players that there’s an obvious delay in inputs when inputting moves in battle. This isn’t only a problem for online versus play, as it also happens in the local game. This means that a player’s response time is greatly restricted and in a sport that requires precise timing to parry, how such a problem got beyond testing is puzzling! Although reports of this issue occurring in other versions of the game like those on the PlayStation 5 and PC are contradictory, it’s assumed that the latest generation of hardware doesn’t suffer from this delay in input. We’ll just have to wait and see if this issue of delay will be fixed in the PlayStation 4 . but that’s not a guarantee.
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Gameplay – Online
Being someone who’s spent a number of years playing the games of CyberConnect2 online I’m very acquainted with how their games perform and unfortunately, the results aren’t always what you expect. For many years CyberConnect2 has been continually improving the online options offered to gamers, such as by having lobbies, tournaments and a mode for spectators. Though the time Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was launched in 2016, a lot of the options available to players were missing. It was impossible to create lobbies that could accommodate more than four persons and spectating matches could not longer be done. This was corrected during the games Road to Boruto expansion a year later which would suggest that the studio had learned from its mistakes and would not be compromising on online features for their subsequent games, wouldn’t it? Well… let’s just think that they’ve come up with the way for online gaming to be more restrictive!
There are two options to play online. Ranked matches to show your superiority in games’ ranking systems. You can also play custom matches, in which you can alter various options and invite a friend to play with… that’s it. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people by playing CyberConnect2’s games online because of their previous fighting game titles offering online lobbies and spectator options. With the removal of these features and offering us the basic options that the community of Demon Slayer Mobile Games Hinokami Chronicles Hinokami Chroniclesis really going to suffer in the long in the long run! For example, there will be no easy way to organize tournaments online that will ultimately affect the potential competitive aspect of the game. Much like the problem of input delay in PlayStation 4, we can only hope these options are added to the game in the line.
Regarding the delay-related issue with inputs, let’s talk about its netcode. It’s a delay-based netcode, which has brought a number of combat game enthusiasts to laugh in unison. In essence, based on the connection to opponents, players will experience a satisfying battle or a game that has massive input delay. When you add the game’s current problem with input delay in it’s PlayStation 4 version, you might experience an astonishment amount of input delays while fighting online! I’ve had many online matches with people in my region and while I became accustomed to it, not everyone will have the patience to engage in this manner.
If there’s one area that CyberConnect2 never fails to impress with their presentation, it’s the design of their games, and Demon Slayer Mobile Games: The Hinokami Chroniclesis no exception. The game is stunning! Cel methods of shading have developed significantly in the past two decades and some of the best applications of this visual style blurred the lines of 2D and 3D motion. I often had to pick up my jaw off the floor due to the accuracy with which the scenes and characters were recreated from the anime adaptation and in some cases the game is way ahead of it! When you consider that CyberConnect2’s work is compared with ufotable which is one of the best animation studios in the anime industry, that speaks for itself! I regularly had to be reminded that it wasn’t a 2D animated game, due to the way in which the art style of the anime transformed into a 3D world! The animation is exceptional, whether it’s an entertaining storyline or an ultimate attack with incredible production values were outstanding! It’s not perfect though: while the environments you’ll explore when playing the Story mode unique and packed with detail, I noticed that there were a few instances of texture popping up. This is a minor point when compared with how amazing the game looks when it’s in motion!
Surprisinglyenough, the loading times were fairly decent, especially on PlayStation 4. They took around 10-15 seconds, no matter if it was a story mode cutscene or a multiplayer game, so major props for the speed improvement on older platforms! The game plays at a steady 30 frames per second. While some might be offended at this, particularly since it being a combat game, I felt it created an immersive feel and made it more in line with the original material!
The sound quality is also a major feature! In addition to the fact that the game utilize some of the pieces from the now-famous anime soundtrack but the original soundtracks for the game perfectly match the mood and I never tired of listening to the same battle songs when fighting my friends online for over 20 matches in the same row! It’s a first to have a licensed anime title The game also features a dual audio track with each of English or Japanese voice actors that are available straight out of the box. While I initially watched the series in its original Japanese language, the English voice actors do great job, featuring Bryce Papenbrook as Inosuke being the clear standout for me! It’s no effortless to portray Inosuke’s chaos and I believe Byrce has absolutely done a great job with his performance! Though I do have to mention Zach Aguilar’s portrayal of the main character in the show, Tanjiro. Although he does an acceptable job in the majority of the time, whenever he had to shout or express strong emotions such as anger or crying but the delivery and tone aren’t in line with the rest his character. It got to the point that, at these times the actor almost sounded as if the character he played was a different character. It was extremely distracting!
I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m put between the rock and the hard spot by Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles. It’s a 3D combat game by one of my favorite game studios that has a well-known anime franchise backing it; It captivated me from the first moment it was announced back in March 2020! Its release with one of the top gaming companies SEGA, didn’t hurt any! I’ll admitit, I had quite an experience playing the game, even though I’m not the most enthusiastic about Demon Slayer mobile games as compared to Naruto However, there are some serious issues that prevent it from being an absolute success. The lack of online options as well as the input delay and the slow-paced story deter me from making a positive recommendation, but I know more than anyone else that there is a market for a game that is similar to this.