Jujutsu Kaisen is an anime that peaked at heights some franchises can only dream of in 2023, and it only made sense for Cursed Clash to carry that momentum forward in 2024, but sadly, that won’t be the case. Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash is the worst way you can experience the manga’s incredible story, and the sad part is that it could have been great.
Anime fighting games have historically been hit or miss with the highest of highs and the absolute lowest of lows, so you’ll be happy to hear that Cursed Clash lands somewhere in the middle. It has some interesting ideas, a solid combat foundation, and complete access to the Jujutsu Kaisen universe, but lacks the effort to become something great, and you’ll notice that right from the jump.
A story to forget
The Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash story takes you through the adventures of season one before recapping the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie with a final story chapter, but it isn’t going to convince any newcomers to check out the anime. I can count all of the animated cutscenes this game has on one hand, the rest reduced to text alongside a still from the anime, which screams laziness.
In one of the few animated scenes modeled after the anime, there is a moment where a character is riding in the back of a vehicle, but instead of animating the vehicle, in Cursed Clash, clever camerawork is used to avoid showing the car until, eventually, the character falls from an invisible object. Yes, it looks bad, and it could have been resolved by simply adding in the car. If that doesn’t showcase how little care seemingly went into this project, you just need to take a look at the menu screens.
In free battle mode, you’re forced to navigate a barebone text-based menu to pick your characters instead of the beloved tile-based character selection screens from other fighters. While this style of character selection does appear in online battles, it doesn’t appear here for whatever reason. Fortunately, once you’re outside the game’s attempt at telling the Jujutsu Kaisen story, things get much better, but they aren’t perfect.
Fighting with your friends
Cursed Clash is built on a 2v2 combat system where players can team up to execute combos and deal massive damage to their enemies. This system works exceptionally well when playing with a friend and makes the multiplayer portion surprisingly fun. But, when you’re paired up with a CPU-controlled ally, this collaborative fighting style doesn’t reach the same heights.
There are a variety of playstyles to enjoy among the Jujutsu Kaisen cast here, and balancing is done reasonably well, with some exceptions—we’re looking at you, Nobara. Each of these characters has unique finishing moves, but there is a variety of effort put into each. Some, like Gojo and Mahito’s, domain expansions are great and pay homage to the character’s origins, while others, like Maki’s, could have used a lot of work.
Given its 2v2 emphasis, you’d think the partner attack animations would be an important factor, but no, there are very few that use both characters. Instead, you’ll probably see a solo animation for the character who initiated the partner attack. Simply adding unique animations for every pairing could have made this mechanic feel much more rewarding and provided an extra incentive to try new moves outside of button mashing, but this just wasn’t done.
This is the Cursed Clash’s biggest problem: it does the bare minimum and stops at that. Where other fighters resort to flashy visuals and incredible animations to spice up gameplay, this game settles for simply having your favorite characters on screen.
Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash is made for Jujutsu Kaisen fans, and if you are one of those people, there is fun to have here, but this game is not going to bring in any new fans.
I wanted to love Cursed Clash as a big fan of the franchise, but it feels rushed, like something to capitalize on the Jujutsu Kaisen hype rather than making a gaming debut that the franchise deserved and something to stand the test of time. It’s not a bad game, but it could use work.
Unless you’re a diehard Jujutsu Kaisen fan, you won’t be satisfied paying full price for Cursed Clash, so for many, this might be one to revisit when it appears on sale down the line.
Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash
- Fun to play with friends
- Serviceable combat system
- Barebones story mode
- Lack of animated cutscenes
- Unfinished features
Our review copy of Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash was provided by Bandai Namco. Reviewed on PlayStation 5.