Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash Review – It’s Not Great, But It’s a Bit of Fun

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Thomas Richards
| March 9, 2024
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Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the biggest anime around. The story, the characters, the animation, and even the soundtrack have all received praise from critics and fans. And like most successful series, a spin-off game is inevitable. Now we have Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash, a fighting game based on the popular franchise. Being a big fan of the anime, since the first trailer dropped, I was excited to play this game. But, as time passed and more trailers were revealed, it didn’t look like anything special. Sure, the two-on-two battles seemed fun, but the game looked like an early PS3 game. Regardless of preconceived notions, I still decided to pick up the game on release and find out for myself if this game is any good.

Left, Right, Goodnight

Time to catch these hands. (Bandai Namco)

Cursed Clash is a 2-on-2 arena fighter developed by Byking (My Hero One’s Justice series), which means that this game is all about fighting. You can choose from characters introduced in Season 1 and the film (such as Yuji, Yuta, and Maki) to fight it out against other players and/or the AI. You have the usual actions you can take in a fighting game: You have your standard attacks, special attacks, and spectacular ultimate moves. Each type of move is relatively easy to use, with regular and special attacks mapped to one button each. While this limits creativity in terms of combo potential, it makes the game easy to pick up and play. The ultimate moves are also quite easy to use, only having to press two buttons to execute. You can also dash and double jump, which allows you to zip around the decently large but empty maps.

Cursed Clash does include some unique features that set it apart from other arena fighters. The two biggest additions are the 2-on-2 fights and the cursed energy meter. Having two people (or you and an AI partner) fighting together makes for some hectic moments when you both jump one opponent (living up to the Jump Kaisen meme). You can also use a team attack by launching an opponent into the air and having your partner hit them. This leads to a cutscene, which does get a tad repetitive after a while (it would’ve been nice to get more than one per character). The cursed energy gauge allows you to use your special moves and deal damage to your opponent. You can only damage your opponent with these moves or a combo finisher. This does add a neat level of strategy, but most of the time, it just drags out the matches a bit. Overall, the combat is easy to pick up and play, but there is a lack of depth that I wish was present.

A Few Ways to Fight

The duo that will always be together, and nothing bad will ever happen. (Bandai Namco)

There are a handful of modes in Cursed Clash that cover the basics of what you need in a fighting game. In terms of offline modes, there’s a story mode that covers Season 1 and Jujutsu Kaisen 0, a free battle mode, and a survival mode. The story mode is serviceable and nothing special. Most of the story events are conveyed through text boxes and screenshots from the show, with a few proper cutscenes sprinkled throughout. If you haven’t watched the series, the game does a decent enough job of ensuring you get the important story beats. But, if you have seen the series, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. I did like the addition of a relationship chart that updates as you progress through the story. It was cool to see how the characters’ relationships evolve, even if you know where they end up. The free battle mode is bare bones, though, with all selections being made through a text menu. It gets you into the fight, but they could’ve at least added some flare. Survival mode pits you against an endless onslaught of AI opponents, which is fun if you want to see how far you can go.

The online and co-op modes include ‘online matches’ and ‘rush battle’. Online matches are a staple of any fighting game, so it’s no surprise these modes are also here. You can choose between ranked matches for that competitive experience and exhibition matches if you just want to mess around. The few matches I played were alright, but it did take me a while to find people to fight against. The mode I had the most fun with, though, was rush battle, where I spent a decent amount of my time with the game. This is a wave-based mode that you can tackle solo or with a friend, where you go through a set number of opponents without losing (like a survival mode). Unlike the survival mode, you can buy bonuses between each round using currency earned from playing this mode. You can also level up your characters and equip them with various items to boost their stats. Rush battle feels like the more fleshed-out mode, and I can see myself returning just to play more.

Visually Dated?

Now that’s a big blast. (Bandai Namco)

In terms of graphics, Cursed Clash looks like an early PS3 game. It doesn’t look horrible, but it would’ve been nice if it at least looked as good as the Demon Slayer game that came out a few years ago. The character models look decent, even if the mouths don’t match up with either the Japanese or English dubs most of the time. The animations are snappy and have a sense of impact, but I wish each character had more variations. The arenas are big and reference the series, but they feel so empty and bland that they left me disappointed. What didn’t disappoint was the ultimate attacks for each character. They are all well-animated, and some look great each time you use them. My personal favourites would have to be Nanami’s and Yuta’s, both of which look stunning. It also runs decently well, with little to no frame drops or stuttering when playing offline. I did get a little lag when playing online, but that might’ve just been my internet. The game also has multiple voice languages, meaning I can hear my bois Kaiji Tang as Gojo and David Vincent as Nanami whenever I want.

Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash isn’t what I’d call a great game. The gameplay, while easy and fun on a basic level, lacks any real depth to keep you coming back. The limited modes do the job, but it would’ve been nice to have one or two more to give you more bang for your buck. The visuals are dated, but there are some bright spots with the ultimate attacks. The game runs decently and at the end of the day, it’s a bit of fun. I don’t think I can recommend this game to someone who isn’t a fan of the series, but if you are, I think you can have some fun playing as your favourite characters while beating up Mahito. Keep it locked to Couch Soup for more Jujutsu Kaisen content to feed your hungry nerd soul.

BLACK FLASH! (Bandai Namco)

Have you played Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash? What did you think? Who’s your favourite character? Let us know in the comments where we can agree that Mahito sucks.

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