Toukiden , a new IP for Koei that originally was a vita release as a competitor to monster hunter. Toukiden has done incredibly well overseas as well as Japan so much so that koei decided to create a sequel, which we are reviewing today.
This 3rd person Monster Hunting game was a reason to get a vita for. However it was very limited, because it was specifically designed for portables (p.s.p and vita)
Toukiden 2 seems to fix majority of the problems from the first toukiden , while not loosing its initial charm or identity. It still feels like you're playing a toukiden game.
Characters are beautifully designed not only in 2D but in 3D as well. Which is surprising especially in hack n slash games where the character models aren't the best.
The scenery is absolutely beautiful, and expansive. Koei has decided to go for an "open world" style of gameplay where you can travel from city to city fighting monsters on your way. Alternatively you can quick travel if you'd like, but I find it a waste if you haven't explored much outside of the cities. Not to say that the old mission system hasn't returned. It's still there and serves a minor role in the game , you no longer need to select a mission to advance story , instead you can simply walk out of the town's gates. Because of this, story missions, no longer have a time limit, meaning that the side missions at the town , are similar to time trials. Which is fun especially when you are waiting for the game to install on PS4.
There is actually a lot of content to play through during the install, and I think it's one of the best implementations of this PS4 play while installing feature.
That aside let's talk gameplay , the game still relies on a mitama system , a system where you use the souls of historical figures to help you in battle. Each mitama have different strengths and weaknesses , with some being attack based etc. Multiple mitama equipping is very streamlined this time around, as their passive effects are not only clearly explained to you but actually work really well if you know which mitama to use in conjunction with each other.
A third mitama is added for the "Demon Hand" feature , which is basically a grappling hook that allows you to grab on to enemies at a distance , launch forward and attack. As well as that the demon hand allows you to grab smaller enemies and throw them or you can climb certain walls or trees or certain oni body parts making them easier to obtain.
As well as demon hand , new weapons are available including the sword and shield , guan dao , rifle as well as many others. Older weapons also return. The new weapons are incredibly fun to use and I can see the variety doing well in online play.
Although I do have a few problems with the rifle, it's very complex and even more difficult to use when you can't inverse the aiming camera (I say this because I play shooters with inverse camera , it's become second nature to me.) reloading is also a pain, but I understand why it's there for balancing reasons , however I feel that the speed of the reload should be dependent on how fast you press the buttons, it would make the experience more thrilling as opposed to leaving your friends cause you need to reload.Also one last thing about the rifle, why make 2 buttons the fire button, on many occasion I've found myself trying performing a Purification ritual, only to find out that I am
firing the rifle.
Online multiplayer is great as always. This was one of the strengths of the first game. And honestly it doesn't disappoint.
This time around there is cross play with vita, ps tv , PS4 and PS3. (Ps3 ver only released in Asia)
Meaning more friends being able to play together even if they don't have the console. Also unlike every other Koei game. you can play with people in Japan, if you find any.
However it's unfortunate that there is no cross play between the PS4 and PC (it's possible we've seen street fighter 5 do it) , this means PC players who are paying £50 for the game are limited only to whoever is playing on that platform and of course it's safe to assume that there will be less players on pc compared to the whole PlayStation ecosystem.
The Game's story is great, although at times can be a bit predictable (for example you know that main characters can't be killed off , as you can still select them for missions etc). the missions honestly are a bit repetitive but I can't complain because Koei has spent a lot of time into character development, creating characters who are frankly very lovable and each character gets some story arc within the single player campaign.
All in all , I give this game an 9 out of 10. I feel that if you own a PS4, or VIta you should do your self a favour and buy this game. Toukiden 2 is out world wide on the PlayStation Store , Steam and at Major Video Game Retailers.