Title: Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Zenith Blue
Publisher: Playism, Zenith Blue
Release date: Out now
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
The game stars a Blade Templar named Misa. She’s a high school student who happens to be a secret defender of humanity in her spare time. When her former friend, and classmate, Suzuka, succumbs to the dark side by stealing the Demon Blade, Misa must track her down in order to stop her madness and save the world from extinction.
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is a third person action game in the same vein as Ninja Gaiden or Onechanbara. Your character uses a sharp katana in order to take down enemies in her path by chaining attacks into combos. There’s the standard light and strong attacks, or charged up slash attacks, which causes quite a bit of damage to enemies in the near area. Misa can also make her opponents bleed. Worry not if you’re afraid of blood; the enemies who are bleeding will flash red, and thanks to a quick and powerful attack, smaller bleeding enemies can all wiped out with the press of a single button. Bigger and tougher enemies, as well as bosses, will be stunned instead, unless players have dished out enough damage to make them weaker.
As you progress through each level by taking down wave after wave of enemies, players earn SP, which can be used in between levels to upgrade Misa’s attack and providing her with a deeper set of skills. Unlockable skills can also be improved and thus provide a more devastating attack during combos. Much like other games of the same genre, players can increase their health and special attack meter.
One of the main differences between this game and others in the third person hack n’ slash genre, is that levels are restrained to a single area. Instead of progressing through a level with either platforming and/or puzzles to solve, players remain on the same arena-like environment, where they await the next wave of enemies. A bit à la Gears of War 3’s Horde mode where players have to wipe out all enemies in waves. Once the waves are depleted, you face off against a boss before moving on to the next chapter.
Unfortunately, the game is pretty light on content. Players who mastered games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry will probably run through this game in under an hour. Luckily, there are harder difficulty settings to tackle, but that’s it. It feels a bit shallow; this would’ve made a great demo for something greater and bigger.
Now onto the game’s presentation. Although we’ve had the chance to play through some incredible looking indie games, Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae won’t be remembered for its visuals or its audio. While the game’s protagonist and antagonist look pretty bare boned, not much detail has gone into enemy design. Smaller soldiers come in two flavors: red and black. Bigger threats come in black and gold. Environments are designed with only two tones of color; gray and metallic for city settings or green and brown for more traditional Japanese country backdrop. All locales feel soulless and pretty bland; the fact that you stay still while fighting wave after wave of enemies doesn’t help either.
Audio wise is where it gets odd. Although it features generic rock like tunes, the sound effects are strange. As player beat up armies of cronies, it sounds like Misa is banging her head with a frying pan. A more realistic sound byte, like a blade slashing/cutting skin would’ve been more appropriate. Although, we can only speculate that the enemies are robots, something that isn’t really elaborated on in the story.
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is an interesting little third person hack n’ slash, featuring a very simplistic level design and a surprisingly deep combat system, so it’s a must play for fans of games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden. Although, not all is perfect in this fictional Japanese setting. The game is insanely short and can be breezed through under an hour. And it’s presentation isn’t top notch, due to bland settings and odd sound effects during combat. It’s hard to recommend this game for 12$ when it can be played through in a single sitting. Great game, but very limited content. For 5-6$ it would’ve been a must buy, but for 12$? Wait for a sale. Too bad because what’s here is great, there’s just not enough of it.
- Deep combat
- Addictive gameplay
- Bland environments
- Small scale levels
- Way too short
- Uninspired enemy design
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae features a hefty amount of blood and and requires players to slice and dice enemies in order to move on to the next level. Definitely not for the young ones.
Code provided courtesy of Xbox UK