Koei Tecmo’s Toukiden Kiwami from developer Omega Force aims to provide gamers with an action adventure game filled with demon slaying and team based play which comes as a complete contrast to their other games such as Dynasty Warriors. With lots of demons to kill and many hours of investment is the PS4 exclusive game worthy of your time and money? Take a look at our Toukiden Kiwami review for the full picture.
Toukiden Kiwami Review:
Toukiden Kiwami which roughly translates to “Legend of the Demon Slayers Extreme” comes from developers Omega Force who are well known for their Dynasty Warriors franchise and is the sequel to the PS Vita/ PSP exclusive Toukiden: The Age of Demons. The premise is fairly simple when breaking down what’s involved and that is gather at the hub village to upgrade weapons and armour, talk to the locals and then undertake various missions against the “Oni” or demons who are parading the lands without a care in the world. Players begin the game by selecting a male or female character who can be edited with a number of hairstyles, faces and skin tones. It’s pretty basic stuff here but better than being stuck with a default skin and adds some minor personality to proceedings. Once selected the character becomes a member of the Slayers who are the driving force opposing the demon threat. There’s quite a story for those who are interested with a number of AI characters to fight alongside and interact with outside of missions. It’s possible to pretty much skip the story and just focus on fighting if that’s your calling, but in reality you’ll miss out on some of the nuances of the AI characters you fight alongside during the missions.
The game offers a number of layers to think about most notably the starting weapon which can be swapped for another at any time if you fancy a change. There are a number to choose from ranging from quick blades, swords, spears, ranged bow or rifle and heavy fists to name but a few. Each weapon performs differently to accommodate various play styles, so on one hand the twin blades are fast and weak whereas the fists are slow but powerful. Once a preferred weapon is chosen it can be levelled up through usage and equipped with Mitamas who are the souls of fallen warriors. These act as modifiers which enabled the use of special boost skills during combat such as extra attack power, health replenishing and such like.There are many to collect through battling with the demons as you release them and when three can be attached to an upgraded weapon means you’ll be granted additional boosts if unique pairing is done correctly.
Between each mission players can wander the village to speak with the NPCs but more importantly purchase new items and upgrade or create weapons and armour. Again, this is an additional layer to think about as collecting body parts from the boss characters during combat is key to creating new gear. The village serves as a hub for undertaking missions and progressing the story and it’s here where there’s a seamless interaction with playing online with three other players.
The actual missions themselves come in a variety of forms where you’re tasked with taking down the demons under a number of conditions. Some require hunting down a specific number of a particular demon type, others require clearing them from Red Zones and the most progressing has you taking down giant boss characters – sometimes two at once. There’s a lot to do here and during missions players can move freely around numbered zones which sadly have some slight loading between areas which is a shame. There’s a number of optional side quests which have you collecting items from your battles which can be offered for additional rewards but these seem to be completed quite naturally for the most part. As an aside, players can send a secondary team and pet fox (tenkos) out on their own missions to gather more items which helps in gaining valuable resources for said quests and upgrades.
The combat is quite simple yet satisfying relying on standard to heavy attacks, charge up moves and such like, there’s an element of building up a meter for a more powerful attack and when combined with the AI a team attack can be performed. The three AI companions do a great job of fulfilling their roles, even reviving your character should you go down and collecting body parts and what’s also neat is being able to order them with simple commands on the fly. Boss fights in particular are dramatic affairs where players chop off body parts to break down the defences before taking chunks off their health. These encounters can be over fairly quickly or last over 10 minutes depending. Once the main story missions have been completed after several chapters, the game opens up offering more dangerous opponents, infinite battle modes and a greater choice of weapons to craft, forge or purchase. Although this does take quite a bit of time to reach.
In terms of visuals the game’s looks are pretty good although not as detailed as one might expect on the PS4. There’s decent visual variety across the themed zones and the AI character models are well designed, looking good for the most part despite some enemies being a little generic. During furious combat there are a lot of flashy effects used which fill the screen against the hulking bosses but the game handles this well with no slow downs or hits on performance which is grand.
Audio is in Japanese with English subtitles and can’t be localized unfortunately but keeps the game authentic and charming all the same. There’s little dialogue outside of the story and is something players can easily get used to. The music works well with a classic score underlying the dramatic scenes although after many hours play can start to feel a bit familiar.
As a massive role playing action game there’s countless hours of entertainment to be had here despite the game becoming repetitive after so many hours. The premise then becomes a quest to obtain the best weapons and armour which in itself is quite a challenge. The game doesn’t provide much useful information about the more intricate details though, leaving players having to visit external sources for information which isn’t ideal. As mentioned, there’s an online component where players can team up with three human companions to tackle the story or any of the other missions in succession. It’s separate from the single player campaign but luckily allows many missions to be skipped to reach the desired levels quickly. The online community is a mixed bag with limited numbers of players around at any given time. Whilst it’s easy to create a lobby and get into games, as always this isn’t always feasible given the differences in player levels where often being a noob means getting booted. Sadly, you’re unable to visit the village to upgrade and such like whilst connected to a lobby which means being coordinated with friends to regain the same party. In all, the online works very well, although realistically the lack of in-game communications means you’ll get similar experience merely playing with the AI characters offline as they do a great job anyway.
Toukiden Kiwami serves as one of Omega Force’s best games to date, it’s easy to get into, fun to play and has enough to strive for to keep dedicated players hooked for many hours weeks and months. The game does degenerate into quite a simple formula after so many hours of play but still retains its cool factor taking down the boss characters one after the other especially in the more challenging modes on offer later in the game. There’s little to dislike about the overall experience other than there could have been more variety with the missions, but if you’re a fan of relentless attacking using a good selection of tools, collecting stuff and the odd bit of online camaraderie then this game has your name on it.