By Steve Baltimore / April 13th, 2017
|Release Date||March 24th, 2017|
|Platform||PlayStation 4, Steam, Vita|
I got into monster hunting style games when I first played Ragnarok Odyssey on the Vita. Since then I’ve played many other similar titles and found that I seem to like the more story based ones with fast paced action. When I played the first Toukiden I fell in love with it for those very reasons. It was fast paced and I loved learning about the lore of that world and the characters that lived there. When Koei Tecmo announced that Toukiden 2 would be coming West, I was overjoyed to have another Oni hunting adventure. Did this one live up the expectations I set for it? Let’s find out!
The story begins in the Meiji era. The Awakening is upon us and the Oni have begun attacking. History itself is changing as this terror unfolds. The Oni that have appeared in the far north are making their way south. A group of slayers are set to meet these Oni head on in the city of Yokohama, and things here do not go as planned. A giant Oni appears from a huge gate that swallows one of the slayers. The slayer awakens 10 years later in village called Mahoroba. Having no memory of their past and in a village on the brink of civil war, the slayer meets up with an odd professor who takes them under her wing. Figuring out how this slayer arrived 10 years in the future could hold the key to defeating the Oni once and for all.
While the main plot of this story is pretty basic, I fell in love with several of the characters. The professor’s quirky nature was great and the rest of the cast played off her very well. Tokitsugu, a warrior who lost his physical body fighting Oni, now resides in a mecha body thanks to the professor. He may look cute, but looks are deceiving as he is a bad ass with a rifle and a mentor to other slayers. Benizuki is as deadly as she is beautiful. She is one of the strongest warriors in the village, but demons from her past haunt her and hold her back. These are but a few examples of the interesting characters found throughout the story. They kept me interested in pushing the story forward just to find out more about them.
Toukiden 2‘s graphics may not push the PlayStation 4 to its limits, but they look really nice. The amazing environments range from snow covered fields to ancient battle fields, and everything is nicely detailed which really makes you feel like you are in an alternate history Japan. The character models are equally as impressive and I love that each weapon and armor in the game has its own unique design. There are no framerate issues to report on this one, even running on a vanilla PlayStation 4. This makes the intense combat feel slick and natural, which is a great.
I really fell in love with soundtrack in this game. It has a very Eastern feel to it, with lots strings and flutes. Each piece of music only immerses you that much more into this world. From the somber laid back tunes of daily life in the village to the faster paced, drum filled battle themes, the music here is a total win. The voice acting in the game is all in Japanese and is nicely done. You can feel the emotions coming from the characters as the actors put passion into every line. Though I have one major complaint in this department. Temco Koei didn’t subtitle the dialogue when the characters exchange banter in the open world. This is either a huge oversight, or just kinda lazy on their part and I feel it does take away from the experience a bit.
In terms of gameplay, combat remains mostly unchanged, but there have been some upgrades and new additions. First off there are two new weapon types, a chain whip and sword and shield. The chain whip reminds me of Ivy’s sword from Soul Calibur, it has quick attacks and can inflict some serious damage quickly. The sword and shield, which was my personal favorite, is much more balanced between attack and defense than the other types.
The other major addition to combat is The Demon Hand. This will allow you to lock onto the the larger Oni body parts so you can target an specific area. It can also permanently destroy parts of an Oni when fully charged up. This makes things very interesting as some Oni will change forms after losing their arms or legs. Outside of combat, The Demon hand can be used to scale up cliff sides or latch on to trees in the open world.
Speaking of open world, that is the biggest change made to the game. The first game was mission based like a lot of other Monster Hunter clones, but Toukiden 2 is a fully open world game. The full map will not be open at the start of the game however. You will have to explore it and complete storyline missions to open it up fully. I had a ton of fun just exploring this world and taking on the various side quests given to you by the NPCs. Some of them have very interesting stories behind them, and this is a great diversion from the main quest if you want to try something different.
Overall I really enjoyed my time with Toukiden 2. The open world design makes this a much better game than the first one. The characters are amazing and you will want to complete the story just to know more about them, and combat being top notch makes this a complete package. I spent around 35 hours to complete the main quest and there is a ton of post game content to do. It is well worth the $59.99 price tag. If you are into monster hunting type games, this one is a no brainer. Despite a few technical issues and the lack of subtitles for the banter, this one is a must own.
Game provided by publisher for review purposes.
Koei TecmoMonster HunterOpen worldToukiden