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Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash Review

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The old adage “Every day’s a school day” kept popping into my mind when I took on Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash for review. 

Coming from Byking and Bandai Namco this is a game based on an anime that I had never heard of. I am clearly way out of touch with what the kids watch today, as my son, who has never seen it to my knowledge, seemed to be a veritable fount of knowledge about the series, and by extension the game. 

Doing my research, the series is written and drawn by Gege Akutami, and was first published back in 2018. Since then, it appears to have grown almost exponentially, with anime, lots more books and even theatre productions being made with this story at its heart. So, are we ready for the first foray onto the Xbox? Well, there’s only one way to find out, and that’s by heading to the world of Sorcerer School. 

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Know the tale of Jujutsu Kaisen?

I’ll attempt to cover the story first, but bear in mind it’ll be a bit tricky to explain six years of manga in a paragraph, so apologies to any Jujutsu Kaisen fans I may inadvertently offend!

Yuji Itadori is a high school kid who promises his grandfather on his deathbed that he will help people and also die surrounded by people. Bit of an odd promise, but there you go! Yuji’s friends bring Curses down on the school when they unseal a finger that belonged to Ryomen Sukuna, and in an attempt to save the life of a young man called Megumi Fushiguro, Yuji swallows the finger. He thus becomes the host to the curse of Sukuna. While this is usually enough to have him sentenced to death, he manages to suppress Sukuna and regain control of his body. This impresses a Sorcerer by the name of Satoru Gojo, who then enrols him in the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School. And from there, it gets really confusing. 

Presentation of the game is pretty interesting, at least if you consider the single player side. Playing story mode takes us through Yuji’s journey. This plays out in a couple of ways. Firstly there are episodes that are seemingly lifted straight from the anime, with great visuals and voice acting all present and correct. The second bit of presentation is in the battles that we fight, which all take place in a variety of different arenas, all of which look good. Every character we play as has a different fighting style, and a very different look and moveset, so the way the game looks is very good indeed. 

Voice acting is bang in touch with (I assume) the original voice cast giving their voices to the game, and the crunching impacts and swooshing of magic attacks all sound great. Even the menus are well designed, which isn’t always a given. All in all I have nothing to complain about. Whether watching a story chapter or fighting some Cursed Spirits, it all is rosy in this particular garden. 

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Get ready to fight

Now, the gameplay is the next on my list of things that a good reviewer must cover, and here the news is mixed. The main basis of Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash is that of a 2v2 fighting game, be that in the single player campaign or online, and this is certainly action packed, with a variety of characters to learn to use and moves to master. 

However, the vast majority of the chapters of the story can be cleared, and cleared well (the lowest mark I have gotten is an A, with most chapters being S ranked) by repeatedly pressing the X button. And that is the big problem with Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash – it is just too damn simple. While there are other moves to pull off, and there’s no doubt that there are missions to be achieved in each chapter, just pressing X seems to be a winning shortcut. 

Playing offline is all well and good, but obviously after the story is done, there is a whole world of online gaming to explore. There are two distinct paths to go down here – there is Online Co-op, where you and another player can take waves of Ai controlled characters, and of course Online Vs, in either Ranked or Casual flavours. 

Weirdly, I’ve not been able to get into a Casual match for love nor money, while the Ranked battles appear to be populated with a good number of players. However, the netcode is either a bit janky, or my opponents have all been playing while plugged into potatoes. That is especially true in the opening stages of a match; there is a lot of slowdown and lag to deal with. Having enemies suddenly appear next to you, ready to batter you despite your best efforts, is annoying. And of course, that lag never seems to play in my favour! The story is better in co-op mode, with the game seeming to run much more smoothly. 

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Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash is an easy sell – to fans of the series

It means that if you are a fan of the series, Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash is an easy sell. Being able to actually take part in pivotal battles from the manga and anime is good fun, and the story appears to be gripping and easy to follow. Keeping track of the vast range of characters is a different matter, mind! But for the good, there’s some bad and the online side of things needs some attention – the lag is a real issue in a fast paced fighting game. Thank god for the co-op which works well, then. 

For those of you who aren’t fans, then I would suggest that NARUTO X BORUTO Ultimate Ninja STORM CONNECTIONS may be a better bet.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Good story
  • Looks decent, especially the story chapters
  • Lots of characters
Cons:
  • Win by pressing X gets old
  • Online lag is an issue
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Bandai Namco
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 2 February 2024 | £20.99
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Good story</li> <li>Looks decent, especially the story chapters</li> <li>Lots of characters</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Win by pressing X gets old</li> <li>Online lag is an issue</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Bandai Namco</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 2 February 2024 | £20.99</li> </ul>Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash Review
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