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Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash (PS5) review: Strictly for the diehard fans only

By Zelda Lee - 19 Feb 2024

Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash (PS5) review: Strictly for the diehard fans only

In Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash for the PlayStation 5, curses are spawned from the darkest corners of human emotion, and the latest offering from developers Byking and Gemdrops (and published by Bandai Namco) steps into the ring with a mix of anticipation and trepidation. For every fleeting moment of exhilaration, there's a shadow of frustration lurking closely behind, threatening to conjure a formidable foe from the game's own shortcomings.

The meteoric rise of the Jujutsu Kaisen series, marked by the gripping conclusion of its second anime season and the manga's current final arcs, sets a high bar that this first video game endeavor, centered around the anime's introductory saga, struggles to reach. It's an unfortunate misstep in a series otherwise celebrated for its enthralling narrative and dynamic character arcs.

The battleground of 3D anime-based fighters is notorious for its pitfalls, often criticised for cumbersome mechanics that leave players wanting. Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash aims to break the mold with innovative gameplay elements – such as up building cursed energy through basic attacks to unleash more devastating moves and encouraging strategic team play in 2v2 matchups. Yet, the execution falters, delivering a mix of engaging strategies marred by awkward and unbalanced gameplay moments.

With a lineup of 16 characters drawn from the series' early chapters, the game offers a rich tapestry of combat styles, from Gojo's devastating Hollow Purple to Maki's masterful cursed weapon techniques. The thrill of accumulating cursed energy for powerful attacks adds a layer of strategy, but the game's cramped arenas often devolve into chaos, particularly with four players vying for supremacy in an unbalanced roster.

The strategic depth of selecting a duo that combines long-range prowess with close-quarters dominance reveals a complex tactical layer. However, long-range based characters seem to be a tad overpowered and their dominance can tilt the scales too heavily, overshadowing the potential for nuanced team dynamics and the satisfaction of executing the series' iconic Domain Expansion techniques.

Domain Expansions, while visually stunning and are faithful adaptation of the source material, suffer from practical limitations. Their effectiveness is hampered by a lengthy charge time and vulnerability during activation, diluting their impact and contributing to the sense that Cursed Clash might have shone brighter as a more focused 1v1 experience.

The single-player mode, surely the game’s most interesting and key highlight especially for fans seeking immersion in the world of Jujutsu Kaisen, falls remarkably short of expectations. Predominantly relayed through static images and lacklustre voice work, it misses the mark in delivering a compelling storytelling experience. Yet, within this underwhelming presentation, there are glimmers of fan engagements through unlockable content that expands on the lore and relationships between characters, offering fans snippets of life beyond the manga and anime.

Online and versus modes stand as the game's redeeming features however, providing the most enjoyment when matched with or against players of similar skill levels. However, the absence of local multiplayer (same screen) options and the reliance on a stable and populated online environment underscore the game's limitations in delivering consistently enjoyable experiences.

Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash emerges as a mixed bag, primarily appealing to die-hard fans of the franchise. Despite its authentic visual flair and moments of genuine fun, the game struggles to maintain the addictive gameplay loop necessary to keep players engaged. In a series ripe for adaptation into a groundbreaking fighting game, Cursed Clash feels like a missed opportunity to capture the essence and excitement of Jujutsu Kaisen's spellbinding universe.

For the diehard fans who still want to forge ahead, you can get the game on the PlayStaion storeLazada and Shopee.

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5.0
  • Playability 6.5
  • Graphics 8
  • Sound 7
  • Value 5
The Good
Stylish visuals and fighting scenes
Hardcore fans will enjoy the unlockable items that adds to the universe's lore
The Bad
Unbalanced gameplay
Character roster needs to be more finetuned
No local multiplayer feature (Why?)
Mediocre story mode
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