The game was provided by Bandai Namco for review. Thank you!
While I didn't expect it to happen, Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash was announced around the same time I started watching the show. I loved the premise and was captivated way more than I initially expected, which made the game's timing so wonderful. And, while there are some weird quirks about the game, especially in the UI elements, I had a lot of fun playing it and would recommend it to fans of the series, especially on the Steam Deck.
The game reminds me a lot of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series, but it seems to expand on those concepts in different ways. Like the Naruto games, it is a 3D anime fighter where you will run around a stage and attack the enemy. You can use four different attacks to take down the enemy and build up your Cursed Energy, which will allow you to utilize more powerful moves. However, that's where the similarities end, and I kind of like the direction they went with it.
Jujutsu Kaisen's maps are a bit larger, with some destructible elements like buildings and bridges. Along with the faster movement, this combines very nicely to create a more energetic and engaging fight. Then, we have the attacks. There are normal attacks that don't do damage but increase your cursed energy bar, and the cursed attacks actually damage the enemy's health. You can also use combination attacks and awakening moves to take down health further in cinematic ways. The movement system can feel a little stiff at times, but I felt it worked really well the majority of the time.
There is also a fair amount of customization with battle poses, costumes, and voice lines. This can translate over to free battle, where you can fight against local opponents or CPUs, and online PvP or Co-op battles. Since you can fight with a teammate in 2v2 battles, it is cool to have a co-op component that you can do locally or online.
The story mode in Jujutsu Kaisen is a little lackluster, which mostly consists of text-based intros and then battles, recapping the events of the first season of the anime. It does the job, and it isn't bad at describing the events transpiring, but it didn't feel unique.
The biggest weird issue for me, however, is the UI. When it comes to selecting a character or stage in Free Battle, you have to do it through a text table. I am used to seeing characters and stages with images and a neat customizing menu, so seeing a selection screen like this feels a little weird. Not to mention, those who don't know of the series won't see who they are choosing and need to learn the names. There are also the attack options that stick out during the battle, which is weird to see.
Otherwise, I feel like this is a solid battler overall, and playing it on the Steam Deck is near perfect.
While Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash itself has some weird quirks, the performance on the Steam Deck is fantastic. Regardless of the arena and how big the battle is, the game can hold a wonderful 60 FPS and keep a battery drain below 15W, with an average of 11W - 13W overall. Everything just works, and it works very well, which makes me extremely happy. This is great since there are no graphical or video options in-game.
As for settings, Jujutsu Kaisen can toggle the brightness, mini-map rotation, vibration, and camera shake and can change different sliders for the audio. You can also change the spoken language to English or Japanese, which I found was a nice touch as I am a fan of the Japanese dub.
The game does support 16:10 resolutions, so the entire Steam Deck screen will be covered, and it has cloud saves and controller support.
Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash is a game that feels weird in the beginning but really grows on you the more you play. The expanded maps and unique combat systems feel much better once you understand them, and they can be extremely fun as you get used to them. The story mode and weird UI choices can be a bit weird and disappointing, but the gameplay loop is still a lot of fun. And on the Steam Deck, it runs significantly better than I expected. It is a competent 3D anime fighter that runs like a charm on Deck without needing to change a thing.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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Jujutsu Kaisen: Cursed Clash is an enjoyable 3D fighter that runs near flawlessly on the Steam Deck.