It has been nearly five years since the anime community was graced with the loveable anime, Kill la Kill. It was around this time that I started getting into this genre of TV shows and Kill la Kill was probably my sixth series to watch weekly as it aired. I remember while watching it saying to my friend that it would be amazing to see a Kill la Kill game but sadly nothing surfaced after the show ended. Alas time passed and now out of nowhere we get an announcement saying that a game is coming out based upon the critically acclaimed show and all I could think was isn’t it a bit late for that? Sure, Japanese culture and anime has gotten quite big worldwide within the last few years, but it seems a bit odd to get a game based on a series that came out a while ago. Nevertheless, I was still eager to get my hands on the game and see what it had to offer.
Based on the original anime show the game has been modelled with 3D Cell-look technology so you can play through your favourite scenes from the show with stunning visuals and cinematic cutscenes. There is also the new story plot “IF” that is present in the game which adds something new to original story. Personally, I felt that the IF plot point was quite poor and didn’t really make me go head over heels for it but my love for the anime was enough to pull me through the two-story modes. The story has the player play through the perspective of Satsuki for the first part and once completed allows you to play it again through the perspective of Ryuko. Once you have played through the one the second one is near by the same it just has some different fights and cutscenes but overall, I felt like it was just repeating itself and wasn’t really needed to be split into two stories. Could have been easily done in one flowing storyline.
For people that might be thinking, what is Kill la Kill? it’s about a girl called Ryuko who is in pursuit of the truth behind her father’s death. This sees her enrolling into Honnouji Academy where its students wear special uniforms, these are called “Goku Uniforms” which grant the wearer special powers. While at the academy she meets and engages in violent conflict with Satsuki who claims to know the truth behind her father’s death, Ryuko wanting answers does everything in her power to get to the bottom of it. It might not sound like much but trust me when I say that Trigger who are the studio behind this show made something so bizarre but fantastic at the same time. Another way to explain the show would be that people wear clothes that make them overpowered which when they fight make for some memorable fight scenes and fantastic visuals.
This is probably one of the easiest fighting games I’ve played which is a good thing. It offers devastating combos but are easy to pull off and it’s a simple system that allows any player to pick up the controller and fight as if they have been playing the game for years. While playing the game you can have visual aid at all times to see what combos do what and the corresponding buttons to press to activate your special moves and the best thing about this is it’s doesn’t take up the screen and get in the way of the action. One of the moves available to the player when they fill up their SP gauge is Bloody Valor. Once active you go into a cutscene and are presented with three options, mock attack, provoke attack or a taunt attack from there you must select one of the options which if successfully pulled off will grant a boost for you fighter. If you pull off the attack you can further attempt to boost your character. If successful three time you get an overall power up and the ability to use your characters finishing secret art which is an awesome visual cutscene where you basically one hit kill your opponent. The only thing I have against this is that it feels like it is all down to luck, like I don’t know how it fully works I just select one of the options and hope that it wins, I know it sounds silly but I couldn’t find a tutorial on this in the game, it might be my fault and I’m just not looking in the right place but. If you are unsuccessful with the Bloody Valor then you simply don’t get the boost and must build you SP gauge again to get another shot at it. The game sadly doesn’t have a huge character rooster, which is understandable if you have watched the show, but this leads to it getting repetitive and boring quite fast due to the lack of modes to play and fighters to choose from. It can keep you entertained for a while with its over the top fighting and being a Kill la Kill game but once you get past this it doesn’t really offer much else.
Graphically the game looks brilliant, I love seeing the 3D cell shaded character and visuals from the show. It captures everything that made the anime so good and puts it into a video game, what more could a fan ask for. Audio wise it’s nice to have the original Japanese voice acting as well as an English dub option too. The only probably I had with the game visually was that at time the camera angles while fighting could get confusing and cause you to get lost in the combat but it wasn’t anything to major to deter me from the madness that this game offers. Once you have played a few hours of the game the audio for certain moves and character can get repetitive and annoying to the point where you might just turn down the voice audio, I know it seems like I’m just picking at the game but it does get frustrating.
So other than the story mode that can be completed quite quickly you have a few other things available, you have versus mode, practise mode and a gallery. The gallery allows you to unlock digital figures of the in-game character models which is pretty cool, you also have a replay list where you can re-watch your favourite cutscenes. There are a few other things but there mainly just audio from the game and the anime cutscene that plays at the beginning of the story mode. In practise mode you get given a few different things that allows you to go into the game and practise with the different fighters and perfect your fighting combos as well as learning the game a bit better. Then finally you have versus, this is made up of free battles, player matches and ranked matches. Fight against people local to you or online to proves that you are the best of the best.
Docked Vs Undocked
With me playing the switch version of the game I was able to play Kill la Kill the Game: IF on the go which was fun as it’s one of them game where you can hop in and out of it with ease. While reviewing the game I would honestly say that I preferred playing it Undocked rather than docked. I found it more comfortable to play and I felt like when I docked the game the picture was stretched on my TV and would look a little blurry compared to when I was playing it in handheld mode, but this is just me. It was nice to play with my pro controller when it was docked but I still could enjoy playing it while in handheld mode too.
After a long wait we finally got a Kill la Kill game but was it what we really wanted? Sure, it was a good fighting game, but I don’t know if making it a fighter was the right call. I think it might have been better if they made it in the style of the Warriors games we see from Koei Tecmo, where you fight hordes of students and the Elite four and Satsuki. Though saying that it was still nice to have a 3D fighter based on one of my favourite animes of all time. The game was fast paced, easy to play and visually pleasing with the fighting animations and cutscenes but ultimately lacked with a bland story mode, limited game modes and character rooster which made me die off the game within a few days of playing it. If it has done one thing right, it has made me want to re-watch the anime again and reminisce over certain scenes and parts from the show. If you are a fan of Kill la Kill I would recommend playing this game, but maybe wait until it goes on offer or see if you lend it off a friend but sadly if you aren’t to bothered about anime or the show it probably isn’t worth picking up. For these reasons I’m having to give this game an overall score of 6-10.