Also On: PC
Developer: Zenith Blue
What happens when you take the non-stop action of games like Devil May Cry or the lesser known Onechanbara, remove any and all exploration and just have arena style battles with only a few different enemy types? Well, you get Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae on the PS4. Players looking for an engaging story and adventure will be sorely disappointed, while others will only get mild satisfaction for a brief time.
Here you play as Misa, a schoolgirl with the task of basically killing her best friend Suzuka. Suzuka has taken a very powerful sword that seems to feed off of its user and slowly drive them mad. Misa wants to save her best friend but standing in her way are waves of demons and what appear to be robot/monster hybrids. She had to use her impressive sword skills to cut her way through the never ending armies of monsters in an attempt to save her friend … by killing her. Yeah, the story is definitely not the main focus here as the little cut scenes you see here and there make little to no sense.
Throughout your time in the game you will do nothing but mow down hordes of enemies while slowly gathering points so that you can power up Misa between levels. You do have some impressive skills at your disposal, but over time you can get even more powerful ones that can totally destroy anything in front of you. As the game progresses, the enemies will become tougher and more overbearing, so powering up is an absolute must if you hope to get anywhere. Little touches like the bleed out feature, where you sheathe your sword dramatically as the enemy behind you bleeds out and dies, are not only nice to watch a few times, but they can dramatically reduce the amount of attacks needed to kill an enemy. Once an enemy begins flashing red, the bleed out move can be used, but it may not give you an instant kill, so you will have to use this multiple times on occasion. The more times you see it, however, the more stale it gets and you are just better off killing them with combos instead. The more deadly combos you can equip Misa with in the later battles are more fun to use, but even they can get stale over time.
Visually, HKH, isn’t half bad. It’s got a very basic look but nothing looks ugly or messed up. Nothing really will jump out at you as impressive, but even though this is a budget title, everything still looks pretty good. Control is a bit of an issue here mostly because of the camera. It seems that Zenith Blue borrowed their camera mechanic from an early Sega Dreamcast game, as it never behaves the way you need it to. More times than not when I would use the bleed out, the camera would pan around me and I wouldn’t be able to see which enemy was dying. Other times I just took a lot of cheap hits from an enemy I didn’t know spawned behind me. Fighting the camera while you are trying to survive a wave of powerful enemies almost always ends up in a cheap death. On the sound front, you get to hear nonstop slashing and grunting as well as generic rock music that is completely forgettable. All in all this is a game where you can get a maximum of about a hour of good playtime before everything just gets on your nerves and you move on to anything else.
Would I recommend Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae? Well, for hardcore gamers I would say no. If anything this is more of a casual game that anyone can pick up and play. It’s definitely not for those who enjoy an engaging story, and tons of exploration through expansive worlds. This is more aimed towards those who like to play video games on a coffee break or someone who just wants to unwind and let out a little frustration on some monsters. It’s fun for about 1 to 2 hours but after that you will want to move on to something else. Still, for the budget that Zenith Blue had to work with, it’s fairly impressive. It’s good, but not great. Download with caution.