PS4 demon slaying at its finest.
I seem to review a decent amount of games that originally started on the PS Vita and were then ported over to the PlayStation consoles. Every time I do, I usually start the review off by saying “I have never owned a Vita, but after playing this port, I think I should check one out.” Well, after playing Toukiden: Kiwami, maybe I should check out a PS Vita.
Toukiden is a mission based demon slaying game much like the mission based monster hunting game of Monster Hunter. In fact, playing this right after playing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, I started to analyze each one in different ways to compare what I liked and disliked about each since they really are so similar.
Platforms: PS Vita, PS4
MSRP: $59.99 PS4/ $39.99 PS Vita
Price I’d pay: $59.99/$39.99
Multiplayer: 4 player online co-op
Players take on the role of a new slayer set to defeat the demons that have traveled to their plane as well as different periods of time. The demons have destroyed most civilizations as well as devoured many of history’s greatest heroes. Now it is up to the last remaining slayers to protect their village and free the souls of past warriors from the clutches of the Oni.
Small and boring or giant and epic.
Players are tasked with missions that may have them killing a certain number of smaller demons, killing all demons in an entire area, or taking on the giant Oni that takes time, skill, and finesse to take down. While the missions are varied in nature, there really are only about four or five different types throughout and many of them aside from the boss monster fights feel almost like busy work.
The giant Oni fights are where the game really shines. These fights revolve around targeting the demon’s body parts and breaking them off. Once I had broken off a body part, I could then purify it by standing next to it and hold R1. Purify is essentially craving in Toukiden; it allowed me to absorb the part and get a material that I could use to create new armor or weapons. During the fight, purifying body parts will weaken the Oni and allow me to do more damage to them. Mixing that with special attacks depending on the weapon I had equipped, super attacks that are devastating to an Oni’s health bar and team up attacks with party members on the hunt makes for a rather epic and fun hunting experience.
Something separating itself from other hunting games is the Mitama mechanic. Mitama are the spirits of the fallen warriors that can be found by killing demons. These offer special stat bonuses when equipped to weapons. They can also be leveled up to offer even more abilities and buffs. They also serve as in battle buffs and healing. So instead of me having to constantly gather materials to make healing potions, I just use the recover ability that comes with my Mitama. It takes away from some of the more monotonous things that are found the other hunting games. Finding the right combo for Mitama to equip and the right armor set for the best result can become complex even when material gathering is set to a minimum.
Co-op demon exorcism.
The online co-op is where the fun really is. Separate from the single player campaign, players can team up with three other slayers and take on new missions together. The missions here are much more difficult and really ask the players to work together to succeed. It is really a great time taking on a giant Oni while players are hacking off body parts while some work on purifying them. There is one misstep to the online multiplayer – I can’t actually go to the blacksmith while in a lobby. Meaning, if I want to create a new weapon or piece of armor, I have to leave the lobby, go into town, and then re-enter the lobby. That is rather annoying since this game revolves around getting materials to make new armor and weapons.
Both in the story and in the online multiplayer, players can choose to bring numerous AI controlled party members with them on missions. While not having a full party for the boss Oni fights, they can be a tremendous help, bringing them on the small missions make the missions feel even more trivial. Since they are so helpful, they take away much need to even attack enemies in the “gathering” missions because they seem to do all the work. It’s crazy to even say this but, the AI partners are almost too helpful.
The “Super” version of Toukiden.
Players that played the original Vita version can transfer their saves over to the newer version as well as play with others that are on PS4 just like Ragnarok Odyssey: ACE on PS3 which I enjoyed as well. Additionally, there are new things to see and do as well as things to try out in the new Kiwami version – new weapon types, new Oni to fight, and more story mode to try out. While Monster Hunter is a more methodical game, Toukiden is a nice blend of strategy and full on action-based button mashing. It is, after all, made by Omega Force – the same team that brings us the button masher Dynasty Warriors.
The action, the weapons, the monsters, and the skills are all exciting and fun to experiment with and having some friends to go along with you is really what makes Toukiden fun. Sure there are small setbacks here and there but most of them are minor to the grand scheme of things. It is more simplistic in nature than Monster Hunter proper, but is still varied in its content. The PS4 version is very serviceable and really makes me wish we saw other games in the genre actually hit consoles. Until then, Toukiden is a fine game that monster hunting game fans will enjoy even without the depth they may be used to. This is also a great introduction to the genre for players not familiar with Monster Hunter. I say give this a shot, it’s pretty great especially with some friends.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.