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‘Honkai Star Rail’ Review: A Gaming Masterpiece

Honkai: Star Rail, a game that has been out for less than a year, takes the trophy of the best game of the year in 2023.

Game Screen for Honkai: Star Rail
Credit: YouTube / [Honkai: Star Rail]

What do you call a mobile game that seduces you with stunning visuals and captivating characters, only to trap millions of players within its grasp within a mere month?

It’s Honkai: Star Rail, the latest game from miHoYo, released in April 2023 for both PC and mobile platforms. Surpassing all expectations, miHoYo launched “Honkai: Star Rail” for PC and mobile platforms. It quickly gained massive popularity, reaching 11 million downloads in its first month.

This highlights the growing trend of mobile gaming attracting a wide range of players. “Honkai: Star Rail” is revolutionizing the gaming scene, offering enjoyment and thrills to gamers of all types.

What exactly is Honkai Star Rail?

Honkai Star Rail: Based on the name, this is a turn-based role-playing game (RPG) that involves travelling across different universes. The game involves unique interactions between characters and their background history, corresponding to various countries and personalities. Turn-based games are often considered less attractive than other games due to their low interactive appeal. However, this is not the case for Star Rail.

In gaming, the complexity of turn-based games can intimidate newcomers, especially those unfamiliar with the genre. Yet, in today’s world, simplicity is prized, making finding the right game crucial. Star Rail offers accessible tutorials and AI control options, catering even to inexperienced players. This allows seamless multitasking, exemplifying the game’s ability to balance depth and accessibility.

As players dive into Star Rail, its initial appeal might seem puzzling. But soon, they discover what sets it apart: the interesting interactions between characters, whether they’re controlled by players or part of the game’s world. Each character has their own personality and story, making the game richer and more engaging. Curious about these details, players might check out social media to see what others are saying about Star Rail.

Fans unanimously praised the captivating videos and music crafted by miHoYo, the parent company of Star Rail. Upon watching these multimedia elements, one can’t help but be amazed. It’s clear that Star Rail has ties to miHoYo’s earlier game, Honkai Impact 3rd, which was released in 2016. Similar to the Marvel Universe, miHoYo employs the concept of parallel worlds, highlighting the unique differences between characters.

The pre-sequel of Honkai: Star Rail, Honkai Impact 3rd

The pre-sequel began with two characters from Honkai Impact 3rd, Welt Yang and Void Archives. (Clones of Otto Apocalypse, later known as Luocha in the Star Rail universe) They decided to save that universe, mainly because of that universe’s Himeko(a former pupil of Welt), and the people of the sky were very interested in her. This is where they began their journey in the Star Rail universe.

Star Rail’s storyline has many similarities with Honkai Impact 3rd as it is an extended universe from Impact 3rd; many characters have easter eggs and voice lines in Star Rail before their existence in Honkai: Impact 3rd. Creating mysterious but also reminiscent feelings for players supporting the Honkai series for a long time.

Student Professor Relationship between Welt and Himeko

Now that we’ve explained Star Rail’s prequel let’s examine what this game has achieved.

The fame of miHoYo, the Game Award’s regular guest

miHoYo, the renowned creator of Star Rail, is a highly acclaimed mobile games company celebrated for its stunning visuals.

Genshin Impact, a game that revolutionized the perception of mobile gaming as mundane, stands as one of the world’s most beloved titles. Its widespread popularity has even led to the creation of esports events and matches. Frankly, Genshin Impact’s success undoubtedly contributed to Star Rail’s growth and popularity.

From 2020 to 2023, miHoYo’s games consistently received nominations for the prestigious title of Best Mobile Game. Genshin Impact, their standout creation, clinched the victory in 2021, following nominations from 2020 to 2022. However, in 2023, the release year of Honkai: Star Rail, miHoYo achieved a remarkable feat by securing the award with 49.6% of the total votes, effectively capturing nearly half of the audience’s support.

The exquisite quality of trailers, visuals, and animation gameplay.

Considering the statistical data, let’s examine one of miHoYo’s character trailers, which stands out notably. This specific video serves as an introduction to a new character. Its exceptional blend of interactions and voice lines sets it apart, going beyond the typical confines of a trailer. Interestingly, the video also includes characters not commonly featured in promotional content.

One of the first character trailers released by miHoYo for Star Rail garnered considerable attention, accumulating a total of 7 million views. This trailer also stands as one of the earliest promotional videos created for Honkai: Star Rail. Notably, the choice of Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 4 in F minor Op as the background music for the character Kafka is significant.

Despite the piece’s age dating back to the 18th century, it seamlessly complements a game released just last year. miHoYo’s skillful incorporation of classical music into modern gaming illustrates their ability to blend historical and contemporary elements harmoniously.

Voice actors, the deciding factor for Honkai: Star Rail

The selection of music and the quality of animations in Star Rail are already remarkable achievements. However, miHoYo has gone above and beyond by investing heavily in securing talented voice actors and actresses to bring the characters to life. These voice talents are widely recognized, particularly among anime enthusiasts, where the genre has become immensely popular, especially among Generation Z viewers.

Voice actors for the corresponding Star Rail Characters.
The voice actors for the popular characters in Honkai: Star Rail, Credit: Youtube: /[KuriKara]
The voice actor for Jing Yuan, Ono Daisuke
Daisuke Ono, the voice actor for the character Jing Yuan and popular anime characters, including Erwin Smith from Attack of Titan.

The collaboration between the voice actors and the characters they portray has sparked a wave of creativity, giving rise to numerous memes and amusing videos that are captivating audiences. One noteworthy example is Herta, a character in Star Rail, whose signature phrase “kuru” (meaning “spinning around” in English) has become a widespread phenomenon. This catchphrase has transcended the game itself, inspiring the creation of music videos and other fan-generated content featuring the word “kuru.” Fans are showcasing their creativity by incorporating various elements from the game into their own imaginative works.

The slow rise of the miHoYo dynasty in mobile games

The instant bloom from HSR is competing with its brother game, Genshin Impact. Genshin Impact has always been on top of the ladder, with over 130 million accumulated downloads since its release. And Star Rail currently has over 100 million downloads across all available platforms within its 10-month release.

Honkai Star Rail seems primed to become the leading force in mobile gaming, enticing an expanding audience of miHoYo enthusiasts. Given its potential, exploring this game is a must, allowing one to delve into its mechanics and immerse oneself in its captivating universe.

Written By

Hello, I'm Michael, a Master's student at Hult International Business School. I have a strong passion for the gaming industry, particularly as esports continues to gain prominence, and my fascination with games remains unwavering.

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