In the last decade the number of licensed anime games has changed significantly! What was once a breeding ground for games with poor quality that licensed to sell extra copies has become some of the most profitable and well-known titles on the market! This shift in paradigm was due to a single studio that aimed to push the limits of what licensed games could do through their amazing adaptation of the Shonen Jump property, Naruto. For more than a decade, CyberConnect2’s Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series made an immediate impression with beautiful graphics and passion for the source material, which eventually led to a series that sold an astounding 15 million copies across six installments! Every game that tries to recreate the same charm of the series isn’t an easy task, but Demon Slayer Mobile Games: The Hinokami Chronicles is the spiritual successor that gamers like me were waiting for.
Demon Slayer The Hinokami Chronicles is a 3D arena-based fighting game that was developed by CyberConnect2 and released by SEGA. Based on the original manga written by Koyoharu Gotouge The series has become one of Shonen Jump’s most successful series. The anime adaptation was created by UFOTOTAL, the highest-grossing animation film in 2021, and now, a console video game created by a famous developer, it’s evident that Demon Slayer mobile games are a huge hit within the world of anime! There’s no doubt that the odds are in favor of Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chroniclesto be a great time, but can its console debut clear this incredibly high bar?
Demon Slayer Mobile Games Hinokami Chronicles: Hinokami Chronicles retells the events from to the Tanjiro Kamado, Unwavering Resolve Arc, all the way up until the Mugen Train arc. You’re in charge of Tanjiro Kamado, who’s world is changed after he discovers that his entire family has been killed by demons. The only person who survived is his sister, Nezuko however, he quickly realizes that even though her life was not affected and she survived, she became a demon. With renewed determination, Tanjiro aspires to become the Demon Slayer to not only take down the demon that killed his family, but also discover a way to transform Nezuko back into a human.
I’ll admit that I’m not the greatest enthusiast of Demon Slayer mobile games. This isn’t to say the plot isn’t great, it’s just not an original Shonen story with a hard-working protagonist and a mission to motivate them throughout the series. Not a poor effort though I’ve read similar stories before. But the thing that 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 regardless of Zenitsu experiencing severe panic attacks over the most mundane things, Inosuke being a parody of shonen characters that only think of fighting, Shinobu’s constant positive attitude up to the point of being quite disturbing, and the list goes on! This also extends to the many adversaries Tanjiro is forced to combat and who often provide a sympathetic background that explains why they behave the way they do.
The weakest of our heroes is Tanjiro. I didn’t really dislike him, but he’s not very interesting. The unique qualities he has are having a strong sense smell, a hard head, which is often used to headbutt people, and… it’s that simple. It’s not surprising that his determination to never give up and has a good heart however, these qualities are a dime dozen for protagonists within this type of story. What sets him apart though is that his motivation is a noble one, and he puts the needs of others first, to the point of regularly sharing his feelings with the demons that who he battles. It really helps us understand his growth! Before you ask, yes. Nezuko is adorable, and despite the fact that she never speaks, she serves as the emotional core of the story and I was eager to see her return to her normal.
The question that is now posed is what do you think Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chroniclesserve as a excellent way to learn about an original story? The answer is a little complex. The main events in the story are covered within the game’s story, even though it’s definitely an abridged version of the story. However, I like the fact that the game offers an option to play scenes that are not included in the game , using what’s known as Memory Fragments. This kind of mishap is because some of them are getting locked out later on in the game, so scenes near the start of the story will be locked off until you reach an additional time in the game’s narrative. It’s not very logical. Regardless, the game is the best way to experience a condensed version of the Demon Slayer mobile gamesstory!
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Gameplay – Story Mode
Every arc of Demon Slayer Mobile Games: The Hinokami Chroniclesis separated into chapters. To finish the game, you’ll have to complete the entire eight chapters. It’s recommended to do this, as it’s the fastest method to unlock all characters and levels you’ll encounter in the game’s combat mode. It’s unfortunate that story modes’ quality isn’t exactly uniform. On Tanjiro’s quest in order to rescue his daughter the character will often travel through different environments, leaping across rooftops and sliding beneath the bushes. It’s interesting, right? Sadly, these exploration sections are the weakest part of the campaign. The interactive elements I discussed can only be completed in pre-determined locations, which is an odd choice considering how agile the characters you control will be in scenes. This is compounded by the fact that your character’s movement is at the same speed but at a very slow rate and there is no way to increase your movement speed. There are side quests you may tackle however to label them “side quests” is rather generous. They’re all about speaking to specific people or dealing with objects each of which is marked in your map, taking away some of the excitement of fully exploring every environment.
It doesn’t help that the narrative is often slow also, with you needing to watch a lot of cutscenes, along with the previously explained exploration sections before fighting any demons. The times that you are forced to disarm your sword are the best aspects of the adventure! This is especially true in the amazing boss battles! All of these fights add something unique that makes the game more enjoyable regardless of whether you are using your movements to avoid big fights or fighting multiple bosses at the same time. The fights come to an exquisitely-crafted cutting-scene interactive with CyberConnect2’s famous quick-time event sequences. There’s a little small nitpick however, as great as the final stages of boss fights are, I was shocked to discover that some of these fast-time event sequences are only requiring one or two button presses that is quite different from previous titles by CyberConnect2.
In addition to the main story, you’ll also unlock special demons that you can fight when you go through each chapter. Although they’re not required, I found these to be very enjoyable due to their difficulty and unique mechanics like the one that inflicts poison when attacking! A good thing, considering the majority of single-player game is easy. It’s not often that you die because attacks are frequently telegraphed and can be dodged when timed correctly. The game does thankfully get more challenging near its conclusion, though this difficulty issue isn’t a hindrance to the great boss battles.
Gameplay – Combat System
The biggest draw for Demon Slayer Mobile Game: The Hinokami Chroniclesis being able to play as your preferred characters in a thrilling combat game. I’m thrilled to report that the combat system the game gives you is one of the best aspects! CyberConnect2 weren’t known for their balanced combat systems It took them several episodes in the Naruto Storm series to repair the broken system they introduced, as an example. This experience proved fruitful though, as the mechanics and combat of Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles are among the top games the studio has ever crafted!
Two characters can be chosen by players and one of them acts as a backup to extend combos or protect you from an opponent’s combo. The battles are played in a 3-dimensional environment with players able to move freely within the arena. The majority of movement is done using ground dashes and sidesteps. Ground dashes possess properties for homing, just like your aids, however should an opponent take a sidestep, it’ll remove the homing property. It’s not just that your second character you choose to assist you, but you’re also able to switch positions together, allowing you to expand combos or make previously insecure moves more secure. When you block attacks, it’s an option, you can also push block to create some distance between yourself and your opponent, or by using good timing, counter your opponent’s attack, leaving your opponent open to create an attack. In addition to that, you have the blue gauge that you can use for special attacks and a super gauge which you can use to play your ultimate attack , or improve your speed and attack for a short time.
While you’re not limited to the standard fighting options there’s more advanced techniques to play with. Any time, you could rewind an attack string by jumping, sidestepping, or dashing, by using one bar of your blue counter. It’s the exact meter you use for special attacks, and as you are able to keep a maximum of five bars, you need to think strategically about how you use it. When you land the perfect combo, regardless of the type of attack you are using you will see a small, colored wheel is visible on the side of your combo meter. This is how long you are able to attack your opponent before they will no longer be damaged. If the gauge is green which is generally when you successfully parry your opponent, you can perform a very lengthy combo. In the case of a gauge that is red, which happens when attacking an enemy from above the time you are able to damage your opponent is greatly reduced. When all the above is combined it creates one of the most fun fighting games I’ve played for over a decade! It’s easy to learn to play, but there is enough depth to please those who seek it. I definitely can think of playing Demon Slayer Mobile Games: Hinokami Chronicles. Hinokami Chroniclesfor quite some time!
The system isn’t perfect, however there are two significant issues that detract from the effectiveness of the system. The first issue is the roster of characters. At launch, there are only 12 playable characters available to choose from, with six of them getting an alternative version that has more humorous and hilarious ultimate attacks. It’s not uncommon for a fighting game to have a limited roster of characters however, since some of the characters available are very similar in their special moves with each other I think that this was designed to include a larger initial roster, but it was forced to release it now. This is backed up by the anime adaptation to Demon Slayer Mobile Games beginning its anticipated second season a week before the game’s release. On the plus side, we have confirmation that the game will be receiving six DLC characters free of charge This means that this roster deficiency won’t be a concern for too long.
The second issue is a more troubling issue that could have a negative impact on the game’s performance if it’s not corrected. For the PlayStation 4 version I’ve experienced and it has been regularly reported by many players that there is noticeable delays in inputs when entering moves in battle. It’s not only limited to playing online, since it can also happen when playing locally. It means that the player’s response time is greatly affected and in a game which requires precise timing to parry moves, how an issue like this got out of testing is beyond me! Although reports of this issue occurring in other versions of the game like PlayStation 5 and PC PlayStation 5 and PC are conflicting, it is assumed that the latest generation of hardware doesn’t have this input delay. We’ll just have to wait and see if this delay issue is resolved in that PlayStation 4 . even though it’s not a guarantee.
Gameplay – Online
As someone who’s spent many years playing the games of CyberConnect2 online I’m very familiar with how their games are played and, unfortunately, their results are a bit skewed. Over the years they’ve continuously improved the online options available to players, including adding lobbies, tournament modes and a spectator mode. But the time Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was released in 2016, many of the options offered to players were not there. It was impossible to have lobbies of more than 4 people and spectating games could not longer be done. This was rectified during the games road to Boruto expansion in the year following, so you’d think that the studio had learned from its mistakes and will not cut corners on online features for their later titles, right? Well… lets think that they’ve come up with a way for online gaming to be even more restrictive!
There are two options to play online: ranked matches that prove your dominance in the game’s ranking system and custom matches, where you are able to alter options and invite friends to play with… That’s it. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people when playing online games from CyberConnect2 due to their earlier fighting game titles with online lobbying and spectating options. By eliminating these options and offering us the basic options that the community of Demon Slayer Mobile Games: the Hinokami Chroniclesis really going to be affected in the longer over the long term! For example, there will be no easy way to arrange online tournaments that will ultimately affect the potential competitive aspect of the game. Similar to the input delay problem on PlayStation 4, we can only hope these options will be added to the game in the line.
Regarding the delay-related issue with inputs we’ll talk about how the netcode of this game works. The game is based on a delay netcode that I’m sure has will have caused a lot of combat game enthusiasts to sigh in unison. Based on the connection to each opponent’s connection, it’s possible to either have a decent battle or a game with massive input delay. If you combine the game’s current input delay problem for the PlayStation 4 version, you can be afflicted with an insane amount of input delay while playing online! I’ve been through a lot of online battles with people in my region and while I got used to the issue, I’m not sure everyone will be able to engage in this manner.
If there’s a single area where CyberConnect2 never fails to impress with their presentation, it’s the design of their games. Demon Slayer Mobile Games: The Hinokami Chroniclesis no exception. This game is absolutely gorgeous! Cel shaders have advanced drastically in the last two decades and many instances of the most impressive use of this style blur the lines of 2D Animation in 3D. I often had to lift my jaw off the ground due to the accuracy with which the scenes and characters were recreated from the anime adaptation and, in some instances the game has surpassed it! If you take into account that CyberConnect2’s work is compared to ufotable, one the top animation studios in the world of anime, that speaks for itself! I frequently had to be reminded that it was not a 2D animated game with how well the anime’s art style was transformed into a 3D environment! The animation in all its forms, whether a comedic story sequence or an ultimate assault with incredible production values, was outstanding! However, it’s not perfect: while the environments you’ll explore when playing the Story mode all unique and bursting with detail however, I saw that there were a few instances of texture popping up. However, this isn’t a major point when compared with how amazing the game looks when it’s in motion!
Surprisinglyenough, the loading times were pretty decent including on PlayStation 4. They took around 10-15 seconds, regardless if it was a story mode cutscene or a multiplayer match therefore, kudos for the speed improvement on older platforms! The game is running at a solid 30 frames per second. While some might be offended at this, particularly since it being a fighting game, I felt that it added a cinematic feeling and allowed it to be more faithful to the original material!
The sound quality is also a bonus! In addition to the fact that the game use a few of the tracks from the now-famous anime soundtrack, the original compositions for the game perfectly match the mood and I was never bored of hearing the same battle music when I was playing online with my friends for over 20 matches in a row! It’s a first for a licensed anime game, the game also received an audio track that has the option of both English as well as Japanese voice actors that are available immediately out of the box. While I originally watched the series in its native Japanese language and the English voice actors do well as well, which includes Bryce Papenbrook as Inosuke being my favorite character! It was not difficult to convey the character’s constant chaotic energy, but I think Byrce was absolutely perfect in his performance! But I have to discuss Zach Aguilar’s portrayal in the main character in the show, Tanjiro. Although he does an acceptable job overall, whenever he had to shout or display intense emotions like anger or crying his voice and tone don’t match the rest of his acting. The situation got to the point that, during these instances the actor almost sounded as if that he was playing a totally distinct character. This was extremely distracting!
It’s fair to say that I’m with you, I’m put between an iceberg and a hard place in the case of Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles. It’s a 3D combat game by one of my most favorite game companies with a huge anime franchise behind it. It captivated me from the first moment it was announced in March of 2020! The fact that it was developed by one of my favorite games companies SEGA and SEGA, certainly didn’t help things either! I’ll admitit, I had a blast of enjoying it even though I’m not the biggest fan of Demon Slayer mobile games when compared with Naruto, but there are some inexplicably bad things that hold it back from excellence. The absence of online options and the slow input speed and the slow pace of the story keep me from making a positive recommendation, but I am confident more than anyone that there’s a market for a game like this.