NSFW Gamer Review: Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

NSFW Gamer Review: Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

Many indie games get released at Comic Market but few officially make their way to the west.

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae, released in Japan at Comic Market 84 managed to get the attention of the Steam Greenlight community thanks to its flashy graphics, fast gameplay and fantastic character designs. Is the enthusiasm worth our 10 bucks? Find out after the jump.

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae
Systems: PC [Reviewed]
Developer: Zenith Blue
Publisher: Active Gaming Media, Inc.
Release: March 10, 2014
MSRP: $9.99 USD (Steam)

Our story begins with Misa, a Blade Templar sworn to protect the world from demons, yet not all Blade Templars fight for good. Suzuka, a former friend has slain their teacher and has stolen the evil Demon Blade. Misa must now retrieve and destroy the Demon Blade, and Suzuka too if worst comes to worst.

And that’s about it really.Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae’s story doesn’t have too much in the way of surprises. It’s a point A to point B affair until you face Suzuka as the final boss. Getting from point A to point B is also trivial since you won’t be doing any kind of level exploration either. The entire game is arena based fighting with waves of increasingly difficult enemies and bosses mixed in. Combat is the whole game and it’s a good thing that Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae’s combat is strong enough for not only one but multiple playthroughs.

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Once you dig in to the game’s systems you’ll find it fairly engaging. Combat is strongly governed by the katana gauge below your health bar. Using your sword and powerful special moves depletes the gauge but you can attack with hand to hand attacks which are weaker but replenishes the katana gauge and has the potential to break an enemy’s guard or launch them into the air. Sword attacks, special attacks and hand to hand attacks all flow into each other so it’s up to you to decide when to go all out or when to be more defensive and replenish the gauge.

Speaking of defense, you are also given plenty of options to stay alive. You have an evade which will cancel any attack animation you are in and get out of the way of attacks. You can block which guards against most but not all attacks. Luckily the unblockablen attacks are telegraphed with longer wind up animations and identifiable effects. In addition you can parry all attacks with careful timing (even unblockable ones) and retaliate back, if pulled off right you damage and knock enemies back and can start your offence once again. Lastly you can counter enemy attacks (called flourish) just before being hit. The timing is really strict and you open yourself up to eating a ton of damage but it’s just so satisfying if you can consistently pull it off.

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As you damage enemies you make them bleed and you build up zeal. Once they are bleeding you can stylishly sheathe your sword (called Zanshin) which damages enemies, restores some of the katana gauge and refills some of your health. It’s tempting to keep using Zanshin as often as possible but the longer you go without using it as a crutch the higher the payoff is with more health and katana gauge.

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is definitely small in scope but thanks to its breadth of combat options the moment to moment gameplay is rarely dull and very enjoyable. You have a lot of room to get creative with attacks and come up with flashy or optimal combos. Enemies are challenging but you have multiple ways of approaching and defeating them. And while there are no heath pick-ups in the levels, with Zanshin you always feel like there is a way to fight out of a bad situation. The bosses are especially great, testing your knowledge of the game mechanics while pushing you to excel and become better with them.

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On the downside Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae isn’t a very long game. It has about 5 stages with about 4 difficulties settings. I got about 4 hours in my first playthrough on normal and I can bet it would be even less on the easy difficulty. I’m interested in beating the higher difficulties for the challenge but that’s just me because I like these types of action games

Apart from that technical problems were very minor. There are a bunch of options to adjust with screen resolutions and graphic quality and the game recognizes PS3 and Xbox360 controllers right off the bat. The game is voiced in Japanese but subtitled in English. My only gripe was there wasn’t any support for borderless full screen but I can manage.

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Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae is a solid action game. It knows what it wants to do and does it well, not wasting any resources or superfluous fluff. The game is on the short side and I can see some not getting their money’s worth for the amount of content. Still this is Steam and sales happen every two minutes. Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae makes a satisfying short game, beatable in one sitting but memorable enough to come back for more.

Game 3.5/5

I wasn’t kidding when I said that Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae doesn’t waste resources on superfluous fluff. As far as graphics is concerned it on the cheap side. Outside of one, arenas are all forgettable, sporting boring designs and aesthetics. Enemies read well on screen but are also forgettable. Luckily a lot of attention to detail are in place with the two leading ladies.

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Misa and Suzuka are both well realized. Both are gorgeous and have fantastic animations to boot. Every action they perform exudes personality and fighting confidence. Misa’s eyes and soft lips are simply dazzling to look at and Suzuka’s psychotic personality shines in every cut scene.

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The outfits are mostly school girl-esque, giving generous views of long legs and plenty of panty shots. Outside of that though the fanservice is fairly minimal. You do unlock some other outfits like a hakama for Misa which lets you sneak peeks at her exposed hips and different styles of school girl outfits with different color panties. These outfits are nice and target a specific niche but are hardly explicit.

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So while the girls are both gorgeous and well realized the fanservice is practically incidental.

Hotness 2/5

– Sullivan O. Bradley

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2 Responses to “NSFW Gamer Review: Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae”

  1. Shinigami says:

    I saw this game on Steam, I was wondering if it’s worth it. Doesn’t seem to be the case.

  2. Geist01 says:

    @Shinigami – Glad we could save you $$