Toukiden 2 is the second instalment of the series and is a monster/demon hunter game. I haven’t played the first game nor have I actually played any of the Monster Hunter series, which seem to be very similar so this is a whole new experience for me. It’s an open-world RPG, which is a genre that I am very used to and often have very high expectations, so Toukiden 2 had a lot to live up to.
I always find it interesting when I review a game that has been out in Japan for a while (in this case, since July 28th). Personally, I feel that if the game takes a while to come out in the EU (for how much longer) market then it probably must be worthwhile.
The game is about based around the main character – who I kept named as Slayer – who is/was a slayer in the city of Yokohoma. Instead of animals, you have been slaying demons called Oni. Sadly, you got caught in an Oni gate and have woken up in a new village of Mahoroba. After meeting two of the main characters: Tokitsugu (a little robotic mage like creature which has the soul of a human) and Professor (a young-looking lady who has all sorts of skills up her sleeves) you establish that you were part of the fight called The Awakening which actually happened ten years ago. So the gate you were caught up in has transported you ten years into the future.
Will you get back? Will you be able to stay in the future? Only time will tell.
Starting this game became a bit of an annoyance to me as I was getting deeply engrossed in Nioh (turns out they are both published by Noei Tecmo). However, 25 minutes into the game and I knew I was going to really enjoy the story. It just has something about it that reminds me of times I spent getting completely immersed in a story and dreaming about this new world. Reading up about previous Monster Hunter games, it seems like this story is easily the most enjoyable and interesting of any previous style game. I suppose this is expected as the industry should always make advancements on a genre, but saying that, it isn’t always the case.
One thing I must mention is how this game is far from simple to understand. I could have easily given up, early doors, if this wasn’t a game I was reviewing. You find yourself bombarded with a range of new things to learn like Mitama. However, because of the enjoyable story, I found myself wanting to find out more. There is a place where you can access the Encyclopaedia and read about all the vocabulary etc. I found myself reading this for a fair amount of time which, if you know me, is pretty shocking because I normally get quite bored with said things. The way you can control your other characters throughout fights can also get quite confusing. However, I’m sure for some people they will enjoy the challenge of it all. Even for people who don’t enjoy the challenge, it doesn’t make the game unplayable – you just don’t feel as much of a skilled practitioner. On a more positive note, the controls are relatively simple but you will get frustrated with the occasional camera angle twist.
One flaw for this game is the graphics. They’re the most confusing I’ve ever encountered on the PS4. What must be understood is that this game was also released on PS3 in Japan, meaning that there probably were limitations with what they could actually offer. They definitely didn’t need my PS4 Pro and 4K TV. The best way to describe them is “basic”; they offer nothing particularly pleasing and nothing incredibly shocking. Saying all this, the game it reminded me most is the remake of Final Fantasy X. All of the faces are very simple and don’t show any evidence of emotion (saying this, they use these funny kind of emoticons that pop up every now and again to portray a character’s emotions). Your surroundings look very basic, similar to the characters, while the enemies are dark and dreary (well they are demons). The only aspects of the graphics I really like are the cartoon drawings of the characters which pop up every now and again. These offer the most detail and colours on display throughout this journey. If you do decide to buy this game, then don’t judge a book by its cover.
With any good RPG, you always need a good soundtrack and Toukiden 2 definitely offers you this, although I wish I knew who the composer was so I could give them their due credit. It certainly helps subside the graphics issues, and does exactly what you expect a good RPG soundtrack to do; controls with your emotions. It enhances the experience of the game and sets the mood throughout.
As I continued to play the game, I started to realise just how much I was enjoying it. Although the genre was new to me I noticed a number of similarities with mainly the RPG genre. The game offers a fairly long story mode which will offer you around 30 hours of gameplay. Completing the side missions will be hit and miss at times, but you can expect to play this game for close to 40 hours. There is a multiplayer mode but that is incredibly basic and only gives you the opportunity to revisit simple missions. Annoyingly, you can’t play open-world online with a friend because you have to fight Oni within a sealed-off area. Saying that, this game doesn’t need a strong multiplayer mode because it offers you such a great story.
Overall, what we have here is a complex game which is extremely rewarding and has encouraged me to finally play Monster Hunter 3, which I’ve had for years but not even opened. If only the graphics were better than they are, we would have an absolutely unreal experience on our hands. They’re not the only aspect which creates a good game, though, and that IS proved by Toukiden 2.
- Publisher: Koei
- Players: single-player, multiplayer
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.