With its unique cast of characters, a rich "good versus evil" plotline, and epic fight scenes in almost every episode, this popular anime series was always primed for the video game treatment. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba -- The Hinokami Chronicles takes key moments from the show's first season and movie, adapting them into a fast paced, over-the-top arena fighting game that does a phenomenal job of recreating the feel of the anime. Cutscenes and combat look like they've been lifted straight from the show, and as an added bonus, both the English and Japanese voice casts have been brought over to the game as well. Unfortunately, the exploration portions of the game that take place between the cutscenes and combat are barren and boring by comparison. Players just sort of go through the motions here, picking up a few items and talking to people to solve small side quests that unlock bits of extra content. This feels more like it's been tacked on to pad the gameplay, especially considering the drought of other overall content.
Fighting is the core focus of The Hinokami Chronicles, and it's something the game pulls off almost flawlessly. Newcomers and casual gamers can jump right into the action, thanks to easily accessible controls that don't require any sort of complicated or awkward button/joystick combinations. At the same time, more experienced fighters will appreciate some of the deeper layers of combat, such as perfectly timed parries and counterattacks, dash moves, and support mechanics. It's extremely well-balanced but suffers from an anemic roster. After working through the initial Story mode's prologue, only four characters are unlocked for use in Versus play. Players can unlock the rest of the eighteen characters by playing through the Story and extra side missions, or by buying them with credits earned by fighting matches, participating in Training, and completing other in-game challenges. This is a long and arduous process, especially for fans that just want to dive into Versus mode and duke it out with their friends.