When Gamereactor’s captain and commander Petter Hegevall handed out review assignments last week, the undersigned probably looked like a living bird’s nest where he stood and fumbled in line. Because in my lap landed Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles, a game whose title sounded more like a series of sneezes than anything you would want to play, and I immediately felt like I was on my way to the deeper parts of the skill pool – this without either arm pushes or bathing to my aid. I’m not a connoisseur when it comes to anime, and trying to interpret something that, in all probability, has an extremely dedicated fan base is like walking across a minefield with connected arms and legs while someone gives you high-intensity electric shocks in the aisle. That’s problematic, to say the least. However, I have spent the last week slaughtering demons on a conveyor belt, and even though I have no previous knowledge of the serial itself, I must say that I am positively surprised by what I have experienced.
Through a quick google search, I have found out that Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles (try to say it quickly five times) is based on a manga from 2016 which in 2019 was made available as a TV series. There will also have been a full-length feature film during the year that followed, and season two of the series will also be released this winter. Have I seen any of the above creations? No. Has it stopped me from enjoying the game in question? Not really. Demon Slayer does a good job of rocking unread jubilation idiots like me with what’s going on, and I never felt disconnected from what was happening on screen despite my total ignorance. Sure, someone who has been involved from the start is guaranteed to be able to enjoy it to a greater extent, but don’t let your unfamiliarity with the series scare you away from dipping your toes into this exciting anime soup.
The story is briefly about a young boy named Tanjiro who trains to become a so-called Demon Slayer, this after his family has been slaughtered by demons and his sister has been turned into a ghost by his former self. The story then takes you from one beautiful scene to another and you get to meet dozens of exciting characters along the way. Of course, not everyone delivers deep human portrayals or multifaceted personalities, but in summary I’m happy with what I’ve seen, and it really felt like watching a series of interactive elements when you did not stress out the plot or skimped on the mood. or hand out the emotional rewards.
Something I did not like, however, was that there is a lot of exposure, and then preferably in the form of hearing people’s thoughts in time and out of time. I do not know if the series suffers from the same thing, but constantly hearing how people think was like the writers would write one on the nose all the time. This constant explained by people’s thoughts and feelings (in EVERY situation) of course means that there is an extremely low risk of misunderstanding, but it detracts a bit from the magic when you get everything clarified for yourself all the time. It is a small complaint in itself, but still something that affects the whole quite a lot.
If we continue on the negativity train, there is not much playing between the well-made film sequences, and what is served actually consists mostly of two types of playability. One is an extremely simple exploration part where you move your character through a simple map to find assets and get to the next main goal. The second consists of the much more fun fighting part as you get to use a number of different characters to mangle various demons into occult-labeled minced meat. These battles then take place inside a limited 3D environment and you can perform various combinations to unlock flashy combat animations that take up the majority of the screen space. It is a fun system that really entertained, and since you can play this against other people (locally and online), there are great opportunities for double the joy of playing in larger groups. It may not be the deepest combat system on the market, but it does a good job of making one feel powerful while not only working to hammer feverishly on the buttons.
The presentation then deserves praise. It should certainly be noted that the environments you can move in are extremely limited, but at the same time everything looks incredibly beautiful and beautiful, and it was really a joy to see how watercolor-like mountain and urban environments were painted via my Playstation 5. For the cool graphics really makes it feel like an anime series takes place in front of your eyes, and since the voice actors do a good job of bringing the characters to life, there is very little to complain about when it comes to the audiovisual ..
Demon Slayer ultimately offers a fun, albeit rather light-hearted, action-fighting game where the focus is on story and world-building. Are you familiar with the series from before, I would guess that this experience will fall into good soil, this as it really feels like it is built with love and reverence for the original material. If, on the other hand, you are, like me, a newcomer, you should not write off this colorful adventure without having given it an honest chance, especially if you have an interest in Japanese manga culture and fighting games in general. For this has actually made me a little curious to look at the series that the game is built around, and it is possible that it will be a project to land now already during the winter – and then not just because you want to avoid looking as questioning next time editor-in-chief Hegevall throws a Japanese anime game in one’s lap.