Enter the world of curses and sorcery in Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash, the long-awaited video game adaptation of the hit Shonen Jump anime. Released on February 2nd across multiple platforms including PS4, PS5, XBOX ONE, XBOX Series X|S, PC, and Nintendo Switch, this title marks the thrilling debut of a two-versus-two action brawler experience. Published by Bandai Namco and developed by Byking, it promises to immerse players in the intense combat and gripping narrative of the Jujutsu Kaisen universe. Let’s dive into the chaos and magic with our Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash review.

The story so far

Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash attempts to encapsulate the anime’s first season in an abridged form. The compressed storytelling may leave fans feeling that some of the original depth and nuances are sacrificed. While offering a glimpse into the world of Jujutsu Kaisen, the game’s approach to condensing the material raises questions about the effectiveness of such an abridged adaptation – this isn’t new to games based on animes, and this could be an excellent introduction to the series for newcomers. However, you might be disappointed if you’re experienced with the series.

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 1 follows Yuji Itadori, a high schooler thrust into the world of jujutsu after swallowing a cursed object containing Sukuna’s finger, an evil demon. Yuji is recruited by Megumi Fushiguro, mentored by the powerful sorcerer Satoru Gojo, and joins Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical College to become a jujutsu sorcerer.

Throughout the season, Yuji and his classmates confront various curses and adversaries, including Sukuna’s followers and rival sorcerers. Amidst intense battles, Yuji grapples with the moral implications of hosting Sukuna and navigates his sense of justice.

As someone new to the series, I was genuinely impressed to discover that Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash features the return of the English voice actors to reprise their roles. This attention to detail adds a significant level of authenticity and familiarity to the gaming experience, enhancing immersion for both anime fans and newcomers like myself. It’s a refreshing and welcome choice highlighting a dedication to continuity in voice acting within anime games. I hope this sets a precedent for future adaptations in the genre. Having familiar voices lend their talents to video game adaptations, which strengthens the connection to the source material and enriches the overall gaming experience in ways that resonate with fans and newcomers alike.

Faithful recreation of the source’s characters

The standout feature of Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash lies in its meticulous recreation of the anime’s visuals, successfully bringing the characters to life with faithful attention to detail. The fluid and impactful character movements contribute to an overall fantastic job of capturing the essence of the source material. However, the experience is a mixed bag with its environments. While some arenas are visually stunning, showcasing the developers’ prowess, there’s an equal number of lacklustre and uninteresting areas that fall short visually and impact the overall experience. This inconsistency in visuals and gameplay leaves the game with moments of brilliance alongside areas that completely miss the mark.

How the story and how it’s delivered falls short, leaving much to be desired. Despite the potential for a compelling story, the execution fails to match up. However, the plot intrigued me enough to explore the original anime. They’re utilising a visual novel style, directly lifting screenshots from the anime with a voice-over to tell their story. While this approach creates a bridge between the familiar anime visuals and the game, it also proves highly disappointing.

Combat that dances to a different beat

At launch, Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed: Clash boasts an impressive roster of characters, each offering a unique blend of strengths and weaknesses that add depth to the gameplay. The variety among characters is notable, yet their move sets lack the desired depth, with each character effectively limited to a mere nine attacks, including their ultimate ability.

What sets Jujutsu Kaisen apart from other anime brawlers is its innovative ‘Joint Attack Technique,’ where players can launch their target, setting up for a cinematic takedown performed by either AI or another player in CO-OP play.

However, despite these unique mechanics, the overall movement feels somewhat stiff, lacking a certain rhythm that detracts from the fluidity of combat. The systematic approach to combat, primarily consisting of blocking and countering while waiting for cooldowns, can lead to repetitive gameplay loops that may only partially engage players in the long run.

Final Verdict: A Tantalising Taste of Jujutsu Kaisen’s World

Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash offers an abridged yet immersive glimpse into the captivating world of the anime’s first season. While it may disappoint fans familiar with the series due to its condensed storytelling and lack of depth, it is a potential entry point for newcomers. The return of English voice actors adds authenticity and familiarity, enhancing the gaming experience for anime enthusiasts and those new to the franchise.

Visually, the game impresses with its faithful recreation of the anime’s characters but needs to improve in creating consistently engaging environments. The storytelling, delivered through a visual novel style, bridges the gap between the anime and the game but needs to captivate fully.

Combat mechanics, including the innovative Joint Attack Technique, offer variety, but the limited move sets and stiff movement detract from the overall fluidity and may lead to repetitive gameplay. Despite its shortcomings, Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash presents unique elements that may appeal to fans seeking a condensed version of the anime’s narrative or those looking for a fresh introduction to the series.

Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash marks the inaugural game adaptation of the beloved anime, staying faithful to its source material. As with any first entry, there’s a learning curve to navigate. Much like the evolution seen in the Dragon Ball and Naruto game series, I’m hopeful that this initial effort will pave the way for future adaptations to reach new heights.