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Kill La Kill IF Demo Impressions — Rock, Paper, Scissor Sword

Kill La Kill IF Demo Impressions — Rock, Paper, Scissor Sword

Shonen anime always delivers on fast-paced action, eye candy explosions, and screaming protagonists. Studio Trigger’s first original Anime project is no different. 2013’s Kill La Kill follows Ryuko Matoi on her quest to find her fathers killer and take down the Student Council at Honnouji Academy. She uses her Kamui (a sailor outfit that gives her powers) to fights the student council’s Elite Four. Taking a look at the Kill La Kill IF demo for PlayStation gave us a chance to see how this Anime translates into a 3D fighting game.

There are three game modes in the demo; Story, Versus, and Covers Challenge. There is a fourth option available, gallery, but the unlock conditions are to pre-order the game. The Demo’s Story mode highlights the Naturals Election from the perspective of Satsuki. The included mission is only a long cutscene and a single battle so don’t expect too much from it.

Fans of the anime will see that a lot of effort went into recreating the style and feel of watching the animation. Large block text appearing, the camera shifting dramatically, and over the top action immediately makes fans feel at home. That said, there are a few unnatural moments in this cutscene. The battle you’ll play is between Satsuki and Ryuko, the match begins as a tutorial having players go through all the different moves before letting you loose.

Kill La Kill: The Game IF – First Impressions

Kill La Kill was probably one of my favorite anime of its season. Its bold artstyle, quirky characters and over-the-top action makes it one of those anime you could probably pick out from a single screenshot.

So imagine my surprise when a Kill La Kill fighting game is announced, published by Arc System Works of Guilty Gear fame. While the trailers never really stood out much for me, I got some time with the new demo out on PSN.

Ambiguous

One of the selling points of the game is how close it looks to the anime. Unlike many anime-based games, the team tried their hardest to keep away from the janky doll aesthetic other anime-based fighters like Jump Force took.

To this end, it works. Every screenshot of this game looks amazing, and the use of actual backgrounds from the anime makes it look respectably close to the anime.

For the story mode’s cutscenes however, the game starts to lose its way. Due to the constraints of 3D models compared to the anime’s 2D animation, the anime’s signature wow factor just isn’t there. Some of the animations feel off, almost lacking the character that comes with most Studio Trigger animations.

It’s weirdly jarring, because I really mean it when I say this game looks great in screenshots. There are things in this game that really sell an authentic Kill La Kill experience. Yet somehow, it follows up with something that then takes you out of it. It’s by no means bad, but it always stops short of great.

Before Your Meter Is Dry

As with the actual game itself, the demo comes with 4 characters. You have main characters Satsuki Kiryuin and Ryuuko Matoi, as well as Gamagoori and Sanageyama.

The game has very simple controls, not unlike the Field Phase in Pokken. Characters have 4 attacks- a close range, a long-range, a guard break and a homing attack. You have 3 supers, one for each range + your guard break.

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The fighting in the game feels really good, and the production team killed it here because it also looks great. Because it’s a 3D fighter, zoning is kind of important unless you fancy constantly being punched in the face.

One gripe I have to bring up though is the way the game treats rounds. Similar to old school Killer Instinct, the winner of every round doesn’t heal going into the next round. While I get that it does give the losing player more of a chance at a comeback, I feel like it doesn’t actually help them turn the match around, since even if they win the round, they’ll start the next one in prime position to be beaten up again. If anything, it just artificially pads out the game’s length.

Despite the game’s simple mechanics, though, they’ve found a way to make sure the characters have some kind of gimmick that sets them apart. Gamagoori, for example, has no projectiles. Instead, his ranged attack charges a secondary meter that’s required for him to use any of his normals. As long as he has the meter, the normals have a long enough range that they may as well be projectiles.

It’s a neat gimmick that’s based on the character’s own abilities from the anime, and I’m interested to see how any of the other announced characters also stand out.

Closing Thoughts

I don’t think this will be a game that takes EVO next year. But it does look like a fun, arcadey romp if you’ve invited your fellow anime fans over and want to just gush over how much you miss Kill La Kill.

One other neat thing it’s done is that by using this high-key rendering style, it looks like its hiding the deformations in the models skin for things like dialogue, which is a neat trick to keep your anime looking anime and still using 3D models.

The reason I bring this up is to highlight exactly what I think of the game- it’s done enough that it will outclass most anime-based games, but I think it’s just a few steps short of something truly great.

Kill La Kill The Game: IF has a demo available on PSN now and the full version will be released July 25, 2019.

THREE BASIC BATTLE ACTIONS

Basic actions include «Normal Attack», «Guard» and «Break Attack». These actions operate against one another much like in a game of Rock, Paper and Scissors.

Normal Attacks
A fast attack with little openings. There are «Close Ranged Attack» and «Long Ranged Attack». Press either of the attack buttons repeatedly for auto combo!

Guard
Blocks against all normal attacks and takes no damage. However, players are unable to guard against Break Attacks.

Break Attack
A slow, wide-range heavy attack. Able to penetrate past your opponent’s defenses, but leaves you wide open.

    Минимальные:

    • ОС: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 (32bit/64bit)
    • Процессор: Intel Core i5-7500
    • Оперативная память: 4 GB ОЗУ
    • Видеокарта: GeForce GTX760 2GB
    • DirectX: Версии 11
    • Сеть: Широкополосное подключение к интернету
    • Место на диске: 16 GB

© ARC SYSTEM WORKS / ©TRIGGER,Kazuki Nakashima/Kill la Kill Partnership

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Kill La Kill IF is as easy as Rock-Paper-Scissor Blade!

During the battle, the camera’s focus shifts between competitors as they deal damage or use super attacks. Some of these shifts of focus are subtle, but when you’re in the heat of battle you’ll find the camera darting around quite frantically. Watching the battle can be an entertaining sight, but trying to focus as a participant can be difficult if you’re not acclimated. Still, you’ve got to give credit to Arc System Works for recreating the anime experience in Kill La Kill IF as closely as they did.

Versus Mode will allow you to fight between four characters: Ryuko Matoi, Satsuki Kiryuin, Uzu Sanageyama, and Ira Gamagoori. Ryuko and Satsuki play quite similarly being small fast characters. Uzu and Ira are both much larger fighters but where Uzu has the speed of a smaller fighter Ira is a much slower character. His strong hits more than make up for it.

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The computer player AI scales from one to three-star difficulty. Having fought a few rounds with them all the biggest difference that you’ll find is the frequency of your opponents blocking. One-star characters will hold firm and continuously block, this makes them easy to dispatch with a Break Attack, but Three Star characters will dodge around you. The full game will have a roster of eight unique characters, a few different forms, and two already announced DLC characters. This isn’t quite large a roster for a fighting game so it will be interesting to see how unique each experience is.

The final game mode included in the demo, Covers Challenge, is reminiscent of the Tekken Force game modes from Tekken titles. Instead of a typical 1v1 battle, it’s a race to defeat 100 weaker enemies. You face sentient suits called COVERS, appearing in waves of 20 or so at a time. Your character will always be targeting one at a time, but as they bunch together you can use your Normal and Ranged attacks to hit many of them at once.

While there are some moves that you can really use for crowd control you’ll end up in combos against just one COVERS. There are moments where you race the clock only to stall out while a limited combo finishes. This highlights the mode’s lack of cohesion with the rest of the game. The final foe is a giant COVERS will show up, dispatching of them isn’t too different from the rest of the fight. There’s a built-in leaderboard that lists the completed time and character used so you can always work on new strategies and head back in to beat your previous time. This is a fun shake-up to the traditional fights and will have you coming back a few times but it may not have much staying power.

STORY

You control Satsuki Kiryuin as the main protagonist of this game, and proceed along with the story while battling against various characters. All scenarios are completely new and fully supervised under the watchful eyes of the original scenario-writer, Kazuki Nakashima. You will be experiencing the story unfold from the perspective of Satsuki Kiryuin, the rival of the original series’ protagonist Ryuko.

STORY

You control Satsuki Kiryuin as the main protagonist of this game, and proceed along with the story while battling against various characters. All scenarios are completely new and fully supervised under the watchful eyes of the original scenario-writer, Kazuki Nakashima. You will be experiencing the story unfold from the perspective of Satsuki Kiryuin, the rival of the original series’ protagonist Ryuko.

Kill La Kill: The Game IF – First Impressions

Kill La Kill was probably one of my favorite anime of its season. Its bold artstyle, quirky characters and over-the-top action makes it one of those anime you could probably pick out from a single screenshot.

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So imagine my surprise when a Kill La Kill fighting game is announced, published by Arc System Works of Guilty Gear fame. While the trailers never really stood out much for me, I got some time with the new demo out on PSN.

Ambiguous

One of the selling points of the game is how close it looks to the anime. Unlike many anime-based games, the team tried their hardest to keep away from the janky doll aesthetic other anime-based fighters like Jump Force took.

To this end, it works. Every screenshot of this game looks amazing, and the use of actual backgrounds from the anime makes it look respectably close to the anime.

For the story mode’s cutscenes however, the game starts to lose its way. Due to the constraints of 3D models compared to the anime’s 2D animation, the anime’s signature wow factor just isn’t there. Some of the animations feel off, almost lacking the character that comes with most Studio Trigger animations.

It’s weirdly jarring, because I really mean it when I say this game looks great in screenshots. There are things in this game that really sell an authentic Kill La Kill experience. Yet somehow, it follows up with something that then takes you out of it. It’s by no means bad, but it always stops short of great.

Before Your Meter Is Dry

As with the actual game itself, the demo comes with 4 characters. You have main characters Satsuki Kiryuin and Ryuuko Matoi, as well as Gamagoori and Sanageyama.

The game has very simple controls, not unlike the Field Phase in Pokken. Characters have 4 attacks- a close range, a long-range, a guard break and a homing attack. You have 3 supers, one for each range + your guard break.

The fighting in the game feels really good, and the production team killed it here because it also looks great. Because it’s a 3D fighter, zoning is kind of important unless you fancy constantly being punched in the face.

One gripe I have to bring up though is the way the game treats rounds. Similar to old school Killer Instinct, the winner of every round doesn’t heal going into the next round. While I get that it does give the losing player more of a chance at a comeback, I feel like it doesn’t actually help them turn the match around, since even if they win the round, they’ll start the next one in prime position to be beaten up again. If anything, it just artificially pads out the game’s length.

Despite the game’s simple mechanics, though, they’ve found a way to make sure the characters have some kind of gimmick that sets them apart. Gamagoori, for example, has no projectiles. Instead, his ranged attack charges a secondary meter that’s required for him to use any of his normals. As long as he has the meter, the normals have a long enough range that they may as well be projectiles.

It’s a neat gimmick that’s based on the character’s own abilities from the anime, and I’m interested to see how any of the other announced characters also stand out.

Closing Thoughts

I don’t think this will be a game that takes EVO next year. But it does look like a fun, arcadey romp if you’ve invited your fellow anime fans over and want to just gush over how much you miss Kill La Kill.

One other neat thing it’s done is that by using this high-key rendering style, it looks like its hiding the deformations in the models skin for things like dialogue, which is a neat trick to keep your anime looking anime and still using 3D models.

The reason I bring this up is to highlight exactly what I think of the game- it’s done enough that it will outclass most anime-based games, but I think it’s just a few steps short of something truly great.

Kill La Kill The Game: IF has a demo available on PSN now and the full version will be released July 25, 2019.

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