In 2013 Kill la Kill the anime opened to audiences and it was adored. It was called “uniquely fun, even gripping” series “a reminder of how fun and creative anime can be at its best”, despite the readily apparent budget constraints. I tried to watch it but could never get into it. This was mainly due to the awkwardness I felt when the characters “transformed” into their “armour”. Now 6 years later Studio Trigger with Arc System Works Co. have joined forces to bring a continuation of the story to PC and consoles with KILL la KIL-IF.
When I first started up KILL la KILL-IF I was impressed by the slick graphics that in my opinion replicates the kinetic style of the anime. The anime had such an interesting design to it and the game does a bang-up job trying to capture that energy in how the characters in the game move and look. We now live in an era where anime based videogames are capturing the essences of the properties they are derived from. The most captivating highlight are the cinematic attacks and finishers.
The roster is as scant as the outfits in KILL la KILL-IF
The 8 available characters, quite a small roster in my opinion, in the roster (with 2 additional DLC incoming) all have fascinating abilities. One highlight/weird character is Ira Gamagoori in his Scourge Regalia outfit. This character grows in strength by whipping himself so there are some “interesting” choices being made with how people wield their weapons and costumes. Look no further than the outfits Ryuko and Satsuki wear. Ryuko, in particular, has an outfit that will make you blush every time you see her in action.
Now the button input for all the characters is the same but how each character moves, their various abilities etc. is unique enough that it makes up for the simplistic gameplay mechanics. The team behind KILL la KILL-IF A+ Games even borrow a few mechanics from games like Injustice: Gods Among Us. If you’ve played the Injustice franchise there is a gameplay mechanic where you play a kind of rock, paper, scissors game to try and turn the battle in your favour or really hammer home your victory. This works in the Injustice franchise and it works here. It’s just not especially unique a mechanic.
I don’t know where to look!
Another issue with KILL la KILL-IF is the camera angles. There is no split-screen even when you are on the complete opposite side of the screen to your opponent. The best example of this is the Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi series from the PlayStation 3 era. The camera will choose to focus on one character and the player who isn’t being focused on is at somewhat of a disadvantage. This gets even worse when in the story mode you have to face a literal 100 opponents and the camera will not let you focus on the 1 enemy you want to focus on. This is further compounded on by a lack of a lock-on system.
The game though as a whole is still a lot of fun even with these issues. The story mode is a kind of expansion on the end of the anime and gives fans a story written by the original author Kazuki Nakashima. Even as a layman to the series I appreciated the narrative and the quirkiness of its characters. The villains were exceptionally over the top and engaging and were a treat to fight.
Ultimately though KILL la KILL-IF doesn’t have that killer edge for me to recommend it to people now. There are two major factors because of this 1. The length of the game is at most 4-6 hours. The narrative is 20 episodes and after you finish it all you have to show for it is two new characters and two variants for Ryuko and Satsuki. In my opinion, it’s a shame because the game then has to rely on the multiplayer and it too is limited due to the lack of a roster.
Then we come to 2. The cost of this game is €64.99 for the standard edition and it does not deserve to be that expensive. In my opinion, this is €30.00 and no more so I would say wait for a price drop and then pick up this quirky, over the top and fun beat’em up.
A final nail in the coffin is the online element is non-existent. I couldn’t find a a single match out there. It was a shame as I was interested in seeing who was out there playing KILL la KILL-IF.
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