Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: Toukiden 2

In an effort to fill the gap left by Monster Hunter on the Vita, we've had Freedom Wars, Soul Sacrifice (and Delta), many God Eaters, and the Toukiden series to keep us blatting away at increasingly chunky demons with an ever-widening range of weapons.

Given we're approaching the end of the Vita's life as a mainstream device, perhaps Toukiden 2 will be the final hurrah for those who love partying hard and slaying into the night. The game sold around physical copies 125,000 in Japan and comes west this week.
You only real notice the neat effects in still screenshots, rarely when in the thick of the action
You play another hapless mortal plucked from fighting demons in olde Yokohama and sent through a portal some new mountain/woodland/otherworldly patch of turf spreading around Mahoroba Village, on which to fight the pesky Oni and their demonic overlords.

As with any other hunting game, you are soon assigned missions to prove your worth and to sort out some of the town's dire needs. Outside, the world quick-loads between areas, creating that almost open world feel, and there is a lot more to see and do in the countryside, with ad hoc missions, plenty of hidden goodies and a biblical number of trophies to earn.

Gladiators, Ready

As a warrior, you can specialise in traditional weapons like double blades, swords and poles, or go modern with ranged muskets. Stick with one and become a master or pick and choose depending on what type of beast you end up fighting. New entrants the sword and shield will tempt those who give a damn about defensive skills, while the chain whip is a good mid-range attack platform.

Another new feature is the Demon Hand that allows for big jumps over some terrain (Bionic Commando-style) and for grabbing Oni and dealing more damage, or allowing your Matami spirits to perform even more effects. Fully charged, it can even help rip the bigger monsters to pieces!
Claptrap? Never heard of him!
Character customisation allows you to have fun with your hero, while most of the natives are so desperately earnest or hard-bitten you just want to end their suffering! One sparkling piece of light in this dross is Tokitsugu (who starred in the Studio 4C anime), while he's not a patch on Claptrap from Borderlands 2, he does at least add some edge.

As the out-of-towner, suspicion is poured upon you, but you soon start to earn people's trust, although a power struggle between the town's samurai and local guards, which adds a little spice, but basically your life's work is to run around, kill things and find the clues as to your mysterious predicament.

For Battles Ahead

Whenever you head back to town, the new portals speed this up immensely, you can use the spoils of war and loot from the land to increase your armour and weaponry. You can fortify your gear, reforge it or create new items. Boost defence, elemental defence or increase Aegis.

When not battling Oni, you can also learn new skills, splash about in the pool, or explore the town. Conversations have no impact on the direction of the story, but help to nudge the plot along - nice character art by the way. Whatever you're doing, there is usually a pointer on the mini-map or a "!" to indicate where to go.
Decent draw distance, but the usual drab textures
Whatever you do, the early battles are generally weak, in that you can sit back and watch your allies take down the monsters. Things get more challenging later on, but the story and characters that appear deeper into the game are interesting enough to make progress worth while. If you're new to Toukiden 2's world, then taking on a few solo battles helps you learn the many skills faster.

Yes, this is a little less shiny and fluid than the PS4 version, but plays perfectly well on the Vita and has just enough plot depth and challenge to keep playing. What is annoying, is that most of the games neat effects are missed in the heat of battle. Also, lot of features like bonds are just fluff, but playing with and mastering the Demon Hand is worth the price of admission.

Score: 8/10
More reviews
Price: £29.99 (Amazon)
Size: 2.7GB
Dev: Tecmo Koei
Progress: Out there, somewhere

No comments:

Post a Comment