Toukiden: Kiwami for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita

Due to the popularity of Capcom’s Monster Hunter, we have recently been getting a slew of games that try to copy the gameplay seen in Capcom’s popular franchise. Two different series that come to mind are Soul Sacrifice and the recent Toukiden. Today, we are going to review the enhanced port of Toukiden called Toukiden: Kiwami. This was released on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita by the team at Omega Force, the same people behind the Dynasty Warriors series. If you were looking for a break from Monster Hunter or wanted to check out a game similar to Monster Hunter, but not a chore to get into, then Toukiden: Kiwami is the game for you. Just be aware that the game has some major problems.

The story is simplistic. You are dropped into this feudal era Japan-like setting, where demons have been crawling around. You play as a slayer, someone who specializes in taking out demons. Your job is to stop these demons from unleashing a huge invasion. Yeah, were you expecting a grand story from the developer that makes the same game over and over again with little to no variation? If you were, then get out of here. It’s basically any generic demon-destroying story you have seen in any forgettable anime.

Like it isn’t obvious by what I have said, Toukiden: Kiwami is an action game that has you going through large levels to take down giant demons. You have an array of weapons, including a large club, a rifle, gauntlets, spears, a sickle & chain, a large katana, and you get the idea. Each of the weapons do play differently, and you will need to know how to approach your enemy so you can gain the upper advantage. For example, the gauntlets do heavy damage, but they are only effective at close range, making you a dud on the ground. If you use the rifle, you will need to stay far away, and attack at long range with the different ammo type each new rifle will give you. As you fight the giant demons, you will gain the spirits of past warriors known as Mitamas. They will give you special boosts in your stats, like more attack and defense power. You can level up everything in this game, from your weapons to the Mitamas. However, you need to gather materials for better weapons and armor. You do this by scavenging items, getting the materials off the monsters, or sending your little two-tailed fox thing to go get some materials from different areas. Outside of the main story-driven quests, you will be tackling side-quests, like finding certain materials or taking down a specific number of monsters. At about the second half of the game, you will be able to send one of your companion slayers to tackle a past mission to get more materials. As a fun bonus, if you completed everything in the demo of Toukiden: Kiwami, you will be able to transfer some items that you earned in the demo to the main game.

Graphically, it isn’t anything special; it’s a port of a PlayStation Vita game, which looks like a basic PlayStation 3 game. It’s not terrible looking, but if you wanted something to show off the power of your PlayStation 4, you are better off playing The Order: 1886. However, I did like some of the boss designs. They were intimidating and creepy looking. I also didn’t find the music to be all that memorable. There were some catchy tunes when fighting certain bosses, but nothing that I can think of off the top of my head.

So, what is ‘oh so bad’ about Toukiden: Kiwami? Well, even though the overall game is fun to play with satisfying combat, it gets incredibly boring after investing double digit hours into the game. It wouldn’t be so boring, but they keep rehashing the same large oni bosses over and over. They even re-skin them, but add nothing new in terms of new moves for the large bosses. They do introduce new large bosses, but you know deep down, you will see them again. After a while, fighting the same giant bosses gets incredibly repetitive. Sure, you can go online to play with some friends, but even then, you are limited to past missions instead of having the simple drop-in-drop-out co-op, like in Monster Hunter. In fact, Toukiden could take some notes from Monster Hunter in terms of more dynamic monster fights. Instead of taking notes from the recent Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate or Dragon’s Dogma, the fights play out like any other action game or action-oriented RPG where you just hack at the legs of the monster. Why not add the ability to do jumping attacks? Why not add the ability to climb monsters? Why not increase the speed of the movements with the players, so running from place to place is less tedious? It seems like Omega Force didn’t expand enough on the overall design to make it feel different from its competitors. Also, why make an enhanced version of a game for the Vita? The PlayStation Vita is a flop console, so why invest a version of the game for a handheld basically no one owns? I always felt like these kinds of games work better on a home console, due to the bigger screen and, well, having a controller.

In the end, you have an action game that is really fun, easy to get into, and has some super satisfying combat. However, you also have an action game that gets boring and overstays its welcome, due to repeating boss fights and a mediocre story. It’s still a fun game, but I felt like they could have done better. Then again, this is by Omega Force, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. I would recommend waiting for a price drop at about $30 for the PlayStation 4 version and $20 for the PlayStation Vita version. If you don’t want to do that, just get Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for your Nintendo 3DS. I think Omega Force could do a lot with this new IP, but we will have to see if they can actually put in the effort to improve and expand on this game in the future.

This game gets a 6 out of 10.