Hinokami Kagura (Dance of the Fire God) saved Kamado Tanjiro’s life. On the verge of death vs. Rui, he remembered how his ill father danced during freezing winter seasons. He turned a loving memory into a weapon and managed to push forward, even with a broken sword.
That’s in case you were wondering where the “Hinokami” term comes from. Because you see, we Demon Slayer fans are getting the first video game in the franchise: Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Hinokami Chronicles.
Is it as good as the manga or the anime? It’s got some bases covered, at least. The original characters, heroes, villains, and world by mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge are amazing. And now, we get to play it.
Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles is debuting on October 14 worldwide.
CyberConnect2 is the game’s developer. They are known as the developers of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja and Ultimate Storm series. If you’re unfamiliar, these are a bunch of games offering 3D arcade battles, as well as a story mode.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is another game under their umbrella. This is a great re-telling of Saiyan’s story.
SEGA is the publisher behind these titles and behind the Demon Slayer game as well. Lastly, Aniplex is the production house behind the video game. They’ve been taking care of the Demon Slayer merchandise.
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Hinokami Chronicles is available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PC via Steam.
The developers are offering a free upgrade to the PS5 version to those who buy the PS4 or PS4 Pro versions.
On consoles, the game asks for 40 GB of storage.
If you want to play it on console, here’re the minimum requirements:
- Windows 8.1
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 / AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
- RAM: 6GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7950 3G
- Storage: 40GB HDD
These would allow you to play with low settings, 30 FPS, and a 720p resolution. Then, 30fps, 1080p, and high resolution require:
- Windows 10
- CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 / AMD FX-8350
- RAM: 6GB
- GOU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2GB / AMD Radeon R9 280 4G
- Storage: 40GB SSD.
As you see, the game doesn’t ask for much.
Is The Hinokami Chronicles canon?
The last content of Demon Slayer anime saw was the successful Mugen Train movie, a $503 billion box office success. The film adapts the homonymous Mugen Train arc.
Recently, the studio UFOTable premiered an anime adaptation of the Mugen Train arc on October 10, 2021. It consists of weekly seven episodes, with new scenes, music, and animation. Particularly, much of the new story will focus on Kyojuro Rengoku’s mission on the train.
The next part of the official story will debut on December 5. Demon Slayer Season 2 is adapting the Entertainment District Arc with 11 weekly episodes.
Here’s a trailer that explains it all:
Kimetsu no Yaiba: Hinokami Chronicles doesn’t tell a new story, but it’s still canon. The game plays Tanjiro Kamado’s story, all the way through the 26 episodes of the first season, plus the events of the movie. And I say the film, because the game won’t include scenes from the newer anime adaptation.
Either way, there’s a great focus on the biggest moments of the anime, like the Demon Slayer exam.
Does it have the original voices?
Hinokami Keppuutan includes the original voices for both the sub and the dub versions.
The original Japanese voice-acting is amazing, so I advise you to go for that.
Like the previously mentioned Naruto games, Hinokami Chronicles has a single-player mode and a versus mode.
In Adventure Mode, you play as Tanjiro Kamado through the anime story, plus the movie events.
In Versus Mode, you choose a roster of anime characters to fight against the AI or other players. The game allows both online and offline versus mode.
I should share the game’s trailer before we go on:
If you’ve played the Naruto Ninja Storm games before, you probably noticed how similar the newer game is. CyberConnect2 made Hinokami Chronicles with the exact same cloth…or haori.
So, you play as Tanjiro, and you’ll meet other franchise characters during your adventure. You will explore linear paths as you follow the anime’s story, talk to other NPCs, find collectibles, and explore towns.
And by anime story, I mean everything. That includes Tanjiro’s training, Tanjiro’s rehabilitation, and even Tanjiro in the spa. Similarly, you’ll learn new moves and skills as the story moves along.
This all happens with a third-person action-adventure formula. You move your hero on semi-linear maps while rating the camera around him.
Then, there’s the meat of the game: combat. You’ll fight against the same demons Tanjiro faces in the series. These battles may allow you to use Nezuko as well.
Contrary to the series, the big villains of each arc can power themselves up to become invulnerable. After you deal enough damage, you’ll defeat the enemies with a shot-for-shot recreating the anime victory climaxes.
Aside from the boss battles, you may encounter multiple minor demons across the journey. Once you find an enemy, the game quickly loads to an arena-style layout and prompts you to fight.
That said, you can explore the world by going through 3D environments and entering 3D arena battles. I’m discussing the battle mechanics in Versus mode section.
The Hinokami Chronicles follow the same battle mechanics as the Naruto Ninja series. It’s a 3D arena fighter featuring 2v2 battles.
You choose two characters, but they share the same HP bar. You can have your second character come in for a support move or swap between your two heroes.
In essence, there’s an attack button, and you can mash it for a basic combo. You can also modify it to launch air combos, downward combos, and more.
Racking up consecutive hits makes for a combo, and combos allow you to deliver a powerful finishing move.
Notably, characters also have some special moves that allow you to stretch the combo even further. Other special moves provide some form of utility. For example, Urokudaki can lay a trap on the ground as one of his special moves.
There’s also a combo timer. It sets the time you have left before the opponent resets to a neutral position. That means you have a limited window to deliver a finishing move.
Some warriors have different ways to deal with the bar, though. For example, Inosuke adds more time to the combo as he lands more hits.
Now, the finishing attacks are the “Ultimate Art” moves. They vary per character, and they include unique animations and massive hits.
Aside from your HP bar, there’s a blue meter that governs your ability to perform special moves, dodges, and parries. It’s like your “Chakra” or your “Ki.” It regenerates over time, and it restores faster when you don’t press any buttons.
On top of all this, there’re push blocks, guards, parries, special power-ups, a surge mode, super-moves, and more.
Overall, the game’s mechanics are deep and offer multiple layers of mastery. You can go in as an amateur, though, and have a perfectly fun time.
Here’s a Versus Mode video:
Are there any collectibles?
There’re various collectibles in the single-player mode. However, the most significant one is Kimetsu Points.
Kimetsu Points allow you to unlock characters for the versus mode and buy different outfits and profile icons.
“Mae e susume,” keep moving forward.
Tanjiro Kamado is not the strongest nor the bravest character in the Demon Slayer universe. Failing is not an option, though. The last remaining family he’s got, Nezuko, depends on the young warrior.
Such is the core of the story if you’ve never seen the anime. If you have, though, rest assured the game keeps the plot and the characters intact. Moreover, it delivers the same story bits, with gorgeous CGI animation and music to keep spoiling the fans.
There’s Nezuko, of course, Tanjiro’s sister. She’s a human-turned demon who refuses to drink human blood. Although she can’t talk, she expresses love and loyalty to Tanjiro. Also, she’s kawaii.
You’ll check with Zenitsu and Inosuke as well, who become Tanjiro’s friends and greatest allies. These are young warriors who often join Tanjiro on his missions.
Inosuke grew up without a family on a secluded mountain. He’s strong-headed, noisy, and proud. However, he also fails to understand social cues, technology, and culture.
Zenitsu is quick to fall in love. He’s often unsure of himself, which makes him a coward. However, his master taught him to “master a single thing.” And he did: he’s possibly the most powerful character in the series.
You’ll also meet the Hashiras, the Pillars. Sadly, you can’t play with them during the Adventure Mode, so you won’t play as Rengoku during the Mugen Train chapter. Still, you can choose them in Versus Mode.
That said, here’s a trailer for the Mugen Train part of the game:
That said, fans can check the official character page for extra info. Each character has a presentation clip.
The main villain of the series is Muzan Kibutsuji. However, Tanjiro doesn’t fight against him in the first two arcs in the series. He still appears in Adventure Mode, though.
Instead, the main two enemies belong to the Twelve Kizuki organization, Muzan’s personal demon army.
First, you’ll face Rui. He’s a boy-turned demon who lost all memory of his family and life as a human. After taking shelter in a forest, he tried to imitate a human family by forcing other less powerful demons to follow a role.
Then, you’ll face Emma on the train. Emma doesn’t have much character development, sadly, but her powers are neat. She can force enemies into a dream.
We don’t know if Akasa will show up, though. Akaza is one of the most powerful Kizuki members, and he’s personally searching for other strong humans to turn them into demons. Because Rengoku faces him, and not Tanjiro, we’re not sure what the game will do.
Lastly, no demon is available in the Versus Mode.
The Hinokami Chronicles look exactly like what a Demon Slayer game should be. The developer already set the formula for turning a Shonen anime into a video game, and it works.
Better yet, the game features gorgeous animations, exciting combat mechanics, and the same art style of the series. Also, it has one of the most popular anime stories of all time.
It’s a great step to take for the franchise and a nicely done addition to the arena-fighter genre.
So, overall, Demon Slayer fans would love The Hinokami Chronicles. Non-anime-viewers could feel overwhelmed by the amount of mechanics the battle mechanics have, though. Still, the story is worth the game, even for newcomers.
Also, the game is “easy” to master on a superficial level, which feels fun, smooth, and gorgeous. Those experienced in games like Dragon Ball FighterZ or Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm would feel more at home.
Keep going forward, Demon Slayer.