Would it be terribly wrong of me if I were to describe this game as being Monster Hunter but with demons? Not really, no! Hailing from developers ‘Omega Force’, Toukiden is uncanny in its resemblance to Monster Hunter, ignoring inspiration and going straight for imitation. This is a copycat game in every sense of the word and does very little to differentiate itself from its competition, seeming to care very little about being anything more than a mediocre hack and slash experience.
Playing as a powerful ‘slayer’ that is capable of fighting against the ‘oni’, you fight alongside other warriors as they do battle against the demons plaguing the land and threatening all life. It’s all very generic, and as such it doesn’t interest at all. To make things worse, it’s all over-complicated with characters saying too much and ‘waffling’ on and on unnecessarily. As such it feels long-winded and as much as I tried to strike an interest in the game world or plot, I found myself skipping through all lines of dialogue from very early on.
Like Monster Hunter, you spend the game going from mission to mission fighting off countless amounts of enemies across a handful of different open areas. Unfortunately the game areas feel very uninspired and aside from being visually unappealing, they are lacking in creative design, with most places feeling exactly the same as each other and offering no tactics or challenges. This lack of inspiration also carries over to the creature designs, of which are boring and fail to inject any real excitement or interest into the battles, a feat so well carried out in the Monster Hunter franchise that Toukiden tries so ‘hard’ to ape.
The missions you have to complete start off as rather simple affairs that do well to ease you into the games combat system, but before you know it the monster count and size is increased early on leading to some large-scale battles. It’s a shame then that the mission structures fail to become more interesting as the game progresses, and though the missions are bite-size enough for the game to be played in small doses and still be fun, even then the game will still become boring if players are unwilling to experiment with the games varied combat system.
There are many different types of weapons that can be swapped in and out at will, and surprisingly they do well to spice up the gameplay and offer different play-styles and combos for the player to get accommodated with. While you do begin the game by selecting a weapon, you are in no way bound to using only that type for the rest of the game, and comprehensive weapon training is available for those willing to experiment. The combat system built around each weapon is well implemented, and while it largely fails to do anything new, it is fairly tight despite some awkward controls that can hamper your performance in the heat of battle.
The one fresh idea that the game is able to bring further adds to the combat system and allows the player to use Mitama – effectively the soul of a dead warrior to provide special abilities. Much like with the weapons, when combat starts to feel boring you can swap out the Mitama and for a brief moment the combat feels fresh again. This feature certainly isn’t ground-breaking, but it does well to break up the monotony of the missions and quests.
Annoyingly for a hack and slash game, Toukiden really does lack in a considerable amount of challenge for the player, and you will not often find yourself in any great amount of danger. In fact, the only time the player might struggle is at the beginning of the game where they are unfamiliar with the combat. Once you have gained familiarity with the combos and abilities at your disposal the game is a walk in the park. This matter is definitely not helped by the inclusion of AI controlled partners who are powerful and can withstand large amounts of damage. It is also possible to team up with other player online, further making the game easier.
Toukiden: The Age Of Demons is a game that is let-down by its utter lack of ambition in striving to be any more than its competition, instead sticking to the crowd and delivering a run-of-the-mill hack and slash RPG experience that has been done better countless times before. Omega Force has played it really safe and appears almost too scared to throw any new major ideas into the mix, with the game coming out as very stale and uninspired. While it may fill the grey void in the Vita’s game library where a Monster Hunter game has yet to appear; only massive fans of this genre are likely to enjoy it, while other gamers are better off waiting for a similar experience that challenges genre expectations and strives to break the mould.
- Combat is fun, though feels no different to other hack and slash games.
- Each weapon type is satisfying to use and offers plenty of variety.
- Totally uninspired and devoid of anything particularly new.
- The story is incredibly boring and over-complicates itself.
- The quests and missions fail to offer much variety.
- Uninspired levels and creature designs.
- Somewhat awkward controls.
- Lack of a real challenge.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.