Clothes Make The Player, But Not Necessarily The Game In Kill la Kill: IF

Clothes Make The Player, But Not Necessarily The Game In Kill la Kill: IF
Credit: Arc System Works by YouTube

Anime fighters are seeing more and more presence in the world of gaming. Dragon Ball FighterZ dazzled players with explosive and fluid animation so true to the series of origin one would thing you could reach into the screen and fire a ki blast yourself. My Hero: One’s Justice allowed fans of the outrageously popular superhero shounen to play as their favorite characters in Quirk-tastic battles that had the screen shaking and eyes watering.

The latest joining gamer’s libraries was a new take on an old favorite. Kill la Kill might be six years old at the time of this writing, but it’s still enjoyed by many the world over, and for good reason. With stellar animation courtesy of Studio Trigger, a ‘killer’ soundtrack, and a story as insane as it is inventive, it caught the eyes and hearts of many, and when a game was announced, to say people were excited, was an understatement.

Supervised by the very anime’s own Kazuki Nakashima, the game tells a ‘what-if’ story if certain aspects of the game changed. Regrettably, much can’t be told without ruining the story. But although they get points for changing things up, and even having the original writer overlooking the project, Kill la Kill – IF lacks in a few noteworthy areas.

The game is flashy, to be true. Movements are as stylish and bombastic as the anime proper, and if you’re looking for a feast for the eyes, this game makes sure you won’t have to travel far. But style doesn’t always equal substance, sadly, and the game seems to be lacking a considerable amount.

Combat is more simplistic than the wonky menu would have you believe, but button-mashing can carry you just as far as attempting a ground-to-air combo and following up with it. For people who don’t want to memorize pages and pages of specific inputs that’s fine, but there’s little middle ground for people who want some more presence and involvement in their movesets.

Even more glaring is the inability to work your way out of a combo string from your opponent, who is more than able to wail on you with impunity while you watch helplessly. Unnless you filled out over 50% of your special meter to dish out a counterattack and try and return the favor.

Fights against multiple opponents are where a major issue of the game presents itself; the camera. With no lock-on, you’re stuck having to manually change targets by getting close to them. Not so easy considering the AI seems to have you permanently set into GPS navigation.

A key example is the second chapter of the story, which pits you against Satsuki’s own Elite Four, members cycling out upon each KO. While the three male members are no major threat, it’s Jakazure, the Non-Athletic Chair, who gives the most trouble, mercilessly spamming you from afar with long-distance attacks you can’t even see unless you’re locked onto her–which will be very, very hard to do.

The roster is also rather small, sitting at ten characters (not counting alternate forms). Granted, that’s more or less the amount of prominent fighting characters that were in the show, but it needs to be said; pickings are slim.

Fighting game fans might find the game lacking compared to what they’re used to, and fans of the show are sure to be impressed by the visuals, but as for the actual ‘meat’ of the game, suffice to say it needs some seasoning. Kill la Kill – IF is currently out for PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4. Until next time, stay and play savvy, gamers!