Ethan Castro ‘24
As the second season of Demon Slayer (Kimetsu No Yaiba) presses on, rolling out new episodes weekly, the newest game adaptation of the series, Kimetsu No Yaiba: The Hinokami Chronicles grabs the attention of many. With a stylistic gameplay heavily focused on combos and high speed combat, this game perfectly encapsulates the ongoing mood of the story itself. However, many longtime anime fans are concerned that the game is too similar to a game series made under the same company: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm. Comparing and contrasting the differences between the games, we’ll recognize their differences and similitude.
Despite having very different play styles, the basic mechanics and overall aesthetics of the game are almost identical. Having the same chakra/special bar meter and health bar means that its very likely that aspect of the game was copy and pasted from Ninja Storm to Hinokami Chronicles. Also, the story mode format is the exact same in both. These consistencies made many fans of both games feel dissatisfied, as it almost felt as though you were playing the same game with characters from a different anime. Having to experience that similarly made Hinokami Chronicles feel somewhat old. Lacking that new game feeling meant that it became hard to feel like you were playing a new game at all.
Basic mechanics aside, the play styles of both games differ immensely. Having a very team heavy combat experience, Ninja Storm felt more routine than Hinokami Chronicles, which focused greatly on high level combos and more strategic gameplay. With less options as far as abilities go in Hinokami Chronicles, it made it more common to play more conservatively and focus on getting the one hit that would lead to many, whereas in Ninja Storm it felt much more hit and run. Playing safe so that you can counterattack at the right time was a recurring theme in Ninja Storm that led many people to fall out of the game’s fanbase. While it is the same case for Hinokami Chronicles, instead of becoming frustrated with the very boring, repetitive gameplay, many became frustrated with how difficult it was to learn combos and execute them. The competitive scene of Hinokami Chronicles is extremely fierce and leaves no room for error despite being a fairly new game, barely passing 3 months of availability in the US.
Having owned both games, I personally feel as though they are two games independent of each other. Despite some consistencies as far as simple mechanics, there are many things that make each game unique and different from the other. Through the heavily contrasting playing styles, it feels like a different experience which makes the games more enjoyable for me. On one side, I understand how some may be unhappy with the similarities, but on the other hand I understand that you can only make two fighting games under the same genre so much different. Both have redeeming qualities that tend to make up for what the other lacks and due to this, I really enjoyed both and will continue to follow both as they progress as games.