Toukiden Kiwami is an enhanced port of Toukiden: The Age of Demons on Vita with added content, remastered visuals and more. With a scale so large, it fits right at home on PS4.
I’m not very fond of the Monster Hunter series and I’ve always preferred games inspired by it such as God Eater and the original Toukiden on Vita, which I bought shortly before this update was announced, due to a bigger emphasis on story, characters and beautiful artwork. Toukiden delivers in all of these aspects I enjoyed the journey that Toukiden took me on. Koei do enjoy mixing Japanese history and more outlandish aspects of fiction together, and they blend together very well here.
You’re a slayer fighting to protect one of the last safe havens for humanity from the monstrous Oni – terrifying beasts which can be multiple times bigger than you and are easily capable of destroying an entire village in a matter of minutes. You’re also fighting to free the souls of those who’ve fallen, dubbed Mitama, as their souls are eaten by the Oni and are released once you slaughter them, with the spirits helping you in battle by giving you their strength and access to new abilities. There’s even a bit of time travel with you visiting different eras and one character is from the past, giving us a variety of areas influenced by different eras and an enticing cast and characters with intriguing development to boot.
You’re wondering though, “but Mitch, how good is going all slayslay on the monsters?!”, and I can say that if ruining a monsters day is your thing then you’ll be pleased with what Toukiden has to offer. Some of the battles may feel like they drag on a little, especially when you’re forced to fight the same few monsters at the beginning of the game before more are introduced, but it’s good, addictive fun and you’ll find yourself button-mashing enemies limbs away for hours; my RSI (repetitive strain injury) bothered me a little, but that’s my fault for playing an incredible amount of games – and that’ll never change. Hacking away an enemies limbs is the best way to inflict damage, and the most satisfying, and you’ll be itching to delimb your foes and slash them whilst they’re down – or maybe I’m just a sadist.
It’s easy enough to play – you create a character, pick a weapon, and be on your way. You can buy a weapon at anytime from the store ranging from swords, daggers, spears and loads more, and although I opted for the sword, I also like daggers for the speed although they’re noticeably weaker. You have attacks ranging from normal, strong and special along with your trusty dodge, and the Mitama you find each have unique skills to help you in battle that can effect your health, strength, speed and other stats. I opted for strength as fighting the Oni is already a pretty lengthy process so every little helps!
If you don’t fancy slaying Oni then, well, tough. The main missions see you slaying Oni, the side-missions will have you collect materials that are surrounded by Oni or come directly via killing Oni, and even the Oni are Oni; there’re a lot of Oni. This isn’t in anyway a bad thing as the draw of the game is to mow down massive enemies and Toukiden delivers this in spades with a lengthy campaign and oodles of side-missions. The customisation mechanic is fun too and it’s easy to spend plenty of time creating characters, weaponry and armour – which changes visually, too – or boosting your current equipment and Mitama to learn new skills.
The visuals boast detail that the Vita version didn’t with characters, enemies and locations having all been touched up for the PS4 release, and now they’re capable of serving the beautiful 2D artwork better; the Vita version honestly looks great but having compared both side by side, the PS4 easily wins this battle – the grand scope of the game is present in both versions though and it’s exciting to see what new, gigantic Oni would make an appearance next. The environments can sometimes come across as a tad barren but all in all they’re fantastic homes to the Oni, and make for fitting battlefields.
As with the Vita version, Toukiden is incredibly smooth despite the explosive action on-screen although this is probably aided by the game focusing on size rather than numbers; you’ll never be swarmed by smaller Oni. There’s a bath house which is used to strength your Mitama and bond with teammates which was funny, and my first venture there had me walk in on a woman and she kicked me out; yes, I included this in the visuals section of the review because it’s visually pleasing for both men and women. After that I pretty much only ended up walking in on men who also seemed surprised at my being there – my pride has been wounded deeply.
Koei Tecmo don’t tend to dub most of their historically Japanese games and Toukiden is no different. I can’t say it effected my enjoyment and fans of the genre will be used to Japanese-only voices by this point, as I can’t recall Monster Hunter of God Eater, etc, having English dubs either. The OST does a good job reflecting the different eras found in-game and isn’t overshadowed by the looming Oni, holding its own in battle and relaxing alongside you in the village which also acts as your hub.
There’s loads to busy yourself with in Toukiden Kiwami and I’ll continue to enjoy my time with it. It’s one of the finest monster-slaying games around and if you’re looking for a bit of Monster Hunter-like goodness on your Sony systems, then Toukiden Kiwami is the game you want. I’ve not played the Vita version of Toukiden Kiwami which is releasing alongside the PS4 version but I imagine it’s just as good and great for on the go gaming like the original Vita game, Toukiden: The Age of Demons, proved to be.
But the game on our store here!
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