‘Toukiden 2’ Review: The Oni Never Had A Chance

Toukiden 2 Review
4.5
out of 5

I make it no secret that I absolutely loved the original Toukiden: Age of Demons on the PS Vita. It took the “Monster Hunter” game mechanic and evolved it in some very new and interesting ways, hunting demons, or Oni, instead of monsters. It worked well on the powerful Vita, and now the long-awaited sequel, Toukiden 2, is here for the PS Vita and the PS4. With even more features and gameplay mechanics, does the sequel elevate the budding franchise to new levels?

Toukiden 2 adds so much more to an already stout, fun game and expands on it in such a way that it’s almost the perfect sequel. If developer Omega Force raided Monster Hunter’s cabinets for the original concept, here they take a few pages out of the Pokemon playbook to give players special souls to collect and train to help in fight called Mitama. Mitama are drained from Oni and can then be equipped to aid the Slayers is their quests. The Mitama offer 10 different battle styles and level up and become decidedly stronger, and can be switched out to maximize strengths/weaknesses with enemies. It’s a welcome addition and makes an already stellar game that much better.


Toukiden 2 Review

The story of Toukiden 2 revolves around a player-created Slayer who, during a major battle in the city of Yokohama, is sucked into the sky and awakens 10 years later in the countryside. The fall of Yokohama was known as the Awakening, and now the world is covered in darkness and Oni. The Slayer finds refuge in the small village of Maharoba, and they meet a fun cast of characters, including the Professor and her automaton/machina, Tokitsugu, who will aid in the constant hunting and slaying of Oni. The Slayer is also equipped with a brand new tool, the Demon Hand, which can latch onto Oni like a grappling hook, allowing gaps to close in lightning fast ways and help set up some epic combo and weapon skill attacks. The Demon Hand can also target specific body parts of larger Oni, making it easier to dismantle and absorb them.

Toukiden 2 Review

Throughout the open-world adventure, the slayer will meet other luminaries of Maharoba Village, which serves as the hub for all activities, and even take sides in a growing inter-village conflict. But politics aside, what really matters is the Oni slaying, and the story puts a hard emphasis on killing the demons. The world and maps are so much larger in Toukiden 2 that it shames the first game in comparison. The slayer can hunt treasure, slay random Oni, solve simple puzzles, and explore to their heart’s content. Or they can choose to complete quests handed out by the Slayers Guild. Everything you do here awards gold and items that can be used to craft or synthesize bigger and better weapons and armor, which in turn, makes hunting bigger Oni easier. And there are some big Oni in this game.

Toukiden 2 Review

The online component returns, with Slayers able to team up for some multiplayer hunts. Toukiden 2 allows for cross-system play, so Slayers on the Vita and can team up with Slayers on a PS4 and hunt together. This opens up so many possibilities for getting groups of people together, friends or strangers, to go out and knock out some of the bigger Oni for some of the game’s best rewards. I applaud KOEI Tecmo for including cross-system play here, and I wish more games did it, as the Vita is such a great handheld gaming system. The only draw back here is the communication system, or lack thereof. You can chat with other slayers via a chat box, but in the heat of battle, stopping to type out a message is not advised. Cross-system voice chat would have been wonderful here.

Toukiden 2 Review

Graphically, Toukiden 2 looks amazing on the big screen. Omega Force did a great job expanding the art direction from the first game. Some Oni are monstrous, hulking behemoths, and seeing them fill up a 55″ screen has more effect than seeing in on a 5″ screen. The speed of the battles is also worth mentioning, as the Demon Hand makes everything so must faster. I felt like I was zipping around, slashing and punishing with my weapons, and the Oni never stood a chance. Playing in a group, either AI or online, is that much more impressive, and the game can handle so much action with little to no lag or slow down.

The music and sound effects, and the Japanese voice acting really help give Toukiden 2 an Eastern feel — which is something that Omega Force does better than most. The Slayer can also choose from between 11 different weapons, including two new sets: sword and shield and chain whip. Experimenting with various weapons to find what works best for a Slayer’s particular fighting style is part of the fun here. I’m a simple sword guy, but the Chain Whip is admittedly kinda badass. The customization of armor, each with its bonuses and drawbacks, mixed with various weapons gives the player a lot to play with to find the perfect combination of Oni-slaying tools.

Toukiden 2 Review

Toukiden 2 is the perfect sequel to an already stellar first Toukiden: Age of Demons. While it can easily be dismissed as a Monster Hunter clone, it is truly much more than that. A solid story wraps around the fun and insanity of Oni slaying, and the deep customization of the character and the addition of Mitama and the Demon Hand elevates the whole franchise to a new level. Alone or in a group, Toukiden 2 is a great game and one of most fun times I’ve had playing games this year. Like the first game, I know that I will come back to it over and over, as there are always bigger Oni to slay and better armor and weapons to craft, and a game with that kind of perpetual draw is one worthy playing now and in the future.

Toukiden 2 is available now for the PS Vita and PS4 systems. This review is based off a PS4 review code provided by the publisher.

 

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