I happened to find Kiai Resonance on sale during Steam’s last winter sale, and decided to buy it despite never having heard of it. Luckily my curiosity paid off, because it turned out to be a pretty fun game with a distinctive and memorable art style.
• Simple, straightforward core rule set.
• Three sword stances provide a loose RPS advantage framework with a few situational nuances, while smooth movement and fluid timing add analog granularity, uncertainty, and tension.
○ Starting from defensive stance (called Forward Position) with steady neutral auto-block and a slow attack …
○ Countered by aggressive stance (called Up Position) with quick blockable and slow unblockable attacks …
○ Countered by reversal stance (called Back Position) which can beat predictable attacks with a properly timed dodge/counter.
• Any successful attack or counter ends the round, so there’s no need/space for combos.
• Sword struggle/push interactions are left out of Tutorials and unexplained, despite being featured in a Challenge trial and being essential for dealing with overly passive Back stance.
○ Whoever presses Hit first during a Duel struggle gains frame advantage, but the loser is forced into Forward stance and can block any incoming attack simply by not attacking.
• Judging attack recovery is essential for weighing followup options, but feels a bit muddy due to smooth anims; could use sharper breakout.