By Steve Baltimore / June 6th, 2022
|Title||Touken Ranbu Warriors|
|Developer||KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.|
|Publisher||DMM Games, KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD.|
|Release Date||May 23rd, 2022 (Steam)
May 24th, 2022 (Switch)
|Platform||PC, Nintendo Switch|
I never pass up an opportunity to check out any of Koei Tecmo’s fantastic Warriors titles. I’ve been a fan of this genre for a long time as many of you know, and when Touken Ranbu Warriors came up for review I jumped on the chance to take a look at it. I know nothing about the DMM / Nitro+ otome franchise this is based off of, but the action looked fun. Let’s see if I have newfound love for sword husbandos, or not.
The history revisionists of the History Retrograde Army (HRA) are attacking various eras of our timeline, trying to change the past. The only thing that can protect our past are the brave Touken Danshi. These are spiritual swords that have taken on a life of their own and enjoy a peaceful life with their master. After a fierce battle, their Honmaru was greatly damaged. This weakened their strength. Their master, who is vital to the Honmaru, disappeared during the battle. The Honmaru is adrift in time while the remaining blades keep their master in their hearts, and wait for the right opportunity to come. This arises when Konnosuke appears, appointed by the Government of the Time, to deliver a mission to these brave warriors. They will take place in some “Onslaught Missions” in order to restore their Honmaru, and with this last hope, the boys venture towards battle!
I actually quite enjoyed this story despite not knowing a thing about this franchise. I thought all of the different warriors had a lot of personality, and unlocking the bond conversations lead to some great interactions. That being said, the main storyline here almost wore out its welcome by the end of this 20 hour adventure. I felt like there was a lot of padding once you had done a set of missions with each of the teams, just to give players a chance to use different pairings during the main story. They should’ve just cut that shorter, and added some extra bonus side missions post game. This would’ve kept the story flow more consistent, and gave players just as much content.
Graphically, Touken Ranbu Warriors looks pretty good. All the character models look fantastic and have lot of detail. I feel like long time fans of this franchise will be pleased with just how much work went into these models. The enemy models look great as well, even if there aren’t a ton of them. I mean, I pretty much expected this for a game in this genre. I did, however, enjoy the variety in the boss monsters. They each have a unique look that works into the gimmick of their battles as well. The most shocking thing to me here, was the clothing damage. I know the mobile game had this, but this is rare thing to see in console gaming in 2022. But then again, these are all guys, so I guess that makes it OK.
The music is very fitting for the atmosphere of the game. I would guess some of these tracks are likely used in the mobile game as well, but I’ve never played it, so I cannot confirm this. The voice actors do an amazing job bringing these characters to life. Each one has a ton of personality that comes through in their performance. The game audio is in Japanese only with no English dub, which is not a big deal for me, but I know some will likely be turned off by this.
The gameplay in Touken Ranbu Warriors is what you would expect from a typical Musou style game. You will dispatch from your Honmaru, that serves as your home base, and complete various missions. The characters each have a few special moves that you can customize as you unlock them and one room clearing special move. You will always dispatch for missions in pairs. This will not only allow you to build a bond between the two men, but they can perform some powerful team up attacks as well. Partner follow up attacks and bond conversations will be unlocked as their affection for each other increases.
Most of the in-game missions are the standard slice down the 100’s of enemies on each level and reach the end goal, but there are some different objectives thrown in here to spice things up. Some battlefields will not have their historical value totally analyzed. On these maps, you will have to seek out certain event triggers in order to complete them. Konnosuke will get an exclamation point over his head when you are going in the right direction. Other maps may have you sneaking around instead of killing enemies. I thought this would be very annoying, but honestly, it wasn’t too bad.
At the Honmaru, in between missions, you can level up your characters, buy items and play various minigames with the boys. These range from harvesting materials, to playing match the pose. Each will give you a bonus in either EXP, cash, or maybe even build up the bond level of your characters. You will only be able to put so many characters in the various locations around the Honmaru to begin with, but more will unlock as you level it up by completing missions. Leveling up your base will also give you access to more items in the shop that will be very useful in the latter part of the game.
I didn’t really know what to expect out of Touken Ranbu Warriors, since I knew nothing about this franchise, but what I found here was a very competent Musou game. The missions are fun with just enough variety to keep things interesting. The characters are a lot of fun, and while the combat here is pretty basic, it felt great as fan of this genre. The game looks and runs great on PC, but I think this one might be a little on the easy side for seasoned Warriors players. Though I feel like most of them will enjoy it anyways, since the gameplay is so smooth. You get around 20 hours of story missions here for $59.99, and probably a dozen or so more hours if you want to unlock everything this one has to offer. If you are a fan of Touken Ranbu, then you should probably pick this one up ASAP. There is a lot of fanservice here for you to enjoy from one of your favorite franchises. Fans of Musou games in general should probably give this one a look as well. I know I certainly had a good time with it overall.
Game was provided by the publisher.
DMM GamesKoei TecmoMusounitro+PCReviewsSteamTouken Ranbu Warriors