Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is the first game based on the hit anime and manga series. Play as Tanjiro in Story Mode and experience all the key battles on your journey to find a cure for the demon curse that afflicts his sister, Nezuko. Plus you can enjoy battles with friends and players around the world in VS mode.
While the graphics for Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles are in 3D, the cel shading on the models perfectly mimics the art style from the anime. It’s done so well that sometimes I thought they had switched over to 2D animation! The fighting arenas are also 3D, so you can run full circles around your enemies as you plan your next attack. The menu designs are decorative with traditional Japanese patterns that suit the era the story is set in. Despite all the visual elements, the menus are responsive, easy to read and navigate.
In Story Mode, between each boss battle are exploration zones where you can find clues about your next mission, fight lesser demons and gather Memory Fragments and Kimetsu Points. Memory Fragments are sound clips with screenshots from the anime, where Tanjiro will fill you in on scenes from the original story, as the gameplay will mostly focus on the battle scenes. Kimetsu Points are used for unlocking content in the game, so it is worth scouring every map before you move on. However, if you do miss something, you can always go back and replay sections in each chapter.
There are rankings for each fight in Story Mode, so those looking for a challenge can replay the battles until they achieve S Ranks. The game is not too hard to learn but the boss fights do get more challenging as you progress. There’s more to each battle than mashing buttons, such as you need to dodge their large attacks and find ways to approach them without being knocked back. The finishing blows are often played out through quicktime events, where you will have to hit the right buttons when prompted. While it is forgiving on some mistakes, those chasing S Ranks will have to be accurate.
In VS mode you have Online, Offline and Practice available. Whether you’d like to play with a friend, practice against the CPU or challenge players worldwide, there are good options for everyone. You can customise your player profile, called the Slayer ID, with screenshots and quotes from the Demon Slayer anime. Online Mode offers both ranked matches and a custom mode for more casual games over the internet with friends. Offline lets you play locally with a friend or against the computer, while Practice mode will have a passive CPU for you to beat up and test out your combos.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is a fighting game at its core with characters, costumes and media to unlock. With 18 characters and a total of 47 achievements, there’s plenty of things to work for and reasons to play all the different modes. Story Mode offers a really fun way for fans of the anime to be fully immersed in the action of every intense fight from the series. As a fan of the anime, I personally had a lot of fun playing as Tanjiro while beating up all the anime baddies! Whether you live and breathe Demon Slayer, love anime or are completely new to the franchise, this game is a great way to catch up on the story from season 1 of the anime, as season 2 just begins to air.
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles is available both physically and digitally now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
A copy of the game was provided on PlayStation 4 and was played on PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility for the purpose of this review.