Toukiden returns! This time with this ultimate edition. Should you be hunting monsters with this game? Is this different than Toukiden: Age of Demons? Read on for our review:
|My character, Ash, in some fancy new armor.|
|Take that, slug creature!|
I really enjoyed this as I had originally expected the weapons to be generic. Really take some time to make a weapon "yours." I settled on the gauntlets - sacrificing reach for some some serious pummeling action.
|Sorry for punching you there, lady.|
And don't be afraid to change weapon types after a while. It isn't impossible to shift to a new type, in fact you may want to keep those options open for dispatching different type enemies. You can buy/create a high level weapon with monster parts and start the fortification process all over again. This leads to unlockable weapons after you upgrade/fortify enough. You are always balancing that "upgrade old weapons" vs "get a new one," and that makes for an engaging portion of the game.
Another aspect of "leveling" comes from the souls you free from the Oni, called "Mitama." You link these souls to your gear and call upon their skills in battle. These can be both destructive, restorative, or curative types. The mitama also give perks to boost defense or attack or speed.
These also "level up" with use. As they grow, they learn new boosts, but after three you have to remove one to gain them. You can't get these back, so you have to choose wisely. You can't "grind" the mitama too quickly, the trainer that moves them up can only reach a certain level then as the game progresses her level cap increases. It is kind of annoying, but they make it make sense why you can't progress at a faster rate.
Okay, now to the fighting aspect of the game. Weapon choice was covered earlier, but what about the enemy types? What about fighting control? What about those massive boss fights?
The missions you get from the HQ are standard fare: clear three zones in this level, defeat X amount of enemies, beat X boss. The maps look pretty nice, nothing too spectacular, but some backgrounds showcase some detailed images such as massive statues and sunken ships. This makes the game have a believable environment. They are not all free-roaming environments, though. A level has different portions to it, like rooms almost (although areas are outside). There is a minimal load time between these areas which breaks you out of the action a bit.
|Each weapon has its own control set|
These are some pretty fun battles that involve you slowly hacking away at the enemy limbs and weakening the boss. Limbs pop off and you rush to absorb them so you can haul them back to town to upgrade. Boss fights require you to use a variety of attacks and you'll spend time studying attack patterns so you can know when to block or dodge or have time to unleash a flurry attack. Most missions you can choose your partners and these can make a difference. Some bosses need a good healing support team while others you want the heavy hitters on board.
|A monster glossary for all those dispatched Oni|
Some other interesting fighting techniques/strategies are available: for instance, you want to work with your partners to hack at the same body parts on bosses. This builds up a teammate meter that, when full, allows you to access a focused smash hit, often capable of immediately dismembering an opponent. You can also build up this same move by yourself, so at times you might get two of these mega powerful moves simultaneously.
|Some nice movie sequences telling stories or just to see that beast go down...|
There is also a little fox character you have that can go on missions for you and collect materials. You feed it, care for it, and upgrade it's abilities. Just another way to collect stuff for your to use.
|You can enter a demon vision mode to see weak points on your enemy|
An addictive monster hunting game for the Vita that is quick to get to the action. Easy to access online gameplay opens this up to more than just you on the couch. Upgrading weapons is entertaining and rewarding in the game, and there are many ways to get stuff. Find parts, pick up hidden treasures, send your companions on extra missions, send out that fox creature to do the same...
I found myself always drawn back into this game. If you liked: Freedom Wars or Soul Sacrifice, you'll find yourself enjoying this game, too.
Thanks, Koei-Tecmo for the review copy of the game.
Readers! Let us know what you think of this game. Did you try it out yet?