Review: Toukiden: Kiwami – A Vast Improvement Over Its Predecessor
Toukiden Kiwami is the expansion to Toukiden: The Age of Demon, an action RPG released in 2014 for the PS Vita.
For those who didn’t have the chance to play Toukiden: The Age of Demon, you can still experience the story scenarios in this installment since Kiwami‘s new scenarios begin in chapter eight.
Like many other Koei Tecmo expansions, Kiwami brings new features to the gameplay. Using the “Carry Over Save Data” feature, you will be able to transfer your save data from Toukiden: The Age of Demon, as well as the save data from Kiwami’s demo.
Additionally, with the demo’s save data you will be able to score some extra features, as well as use cross-save functionality between the PS4 system and PS Vita versions of the title.
The game revolves a group of warriors called Slayers waging war against mysterious beings known as Oni. Slayers have fought against the evil Oni menace for more than 1,000 years, protecting mankind from its shadows.
Overall setting of the game is decent at best, includes its cast of characters; they’re likable but are quite forgettable in the long run due to to their less then memorable personalities.
When commencing the game, you’ll be prompted to create your own character and While the character creation isn’t too deep, you have a decent amount of options for hairstyles, face and voices; you will also be able to change the color of your skin and hair.
Players have the option to choose what weapon you want to use in battle, ranging from swords, gauntlets, bows, spears, knives and more. You can also buy more powerful weapons along the way as well as better armor.
After creating your character, a cutscene will emerge to provide a little background story. After the cutscene, you’ll be introduced to a tutorial in form of a “boss fight” (given the nature of the Oni you are facing) which teaches you about the controls such as attack moves, special attacks, and the Eye of Truth.
The customized character will have their own room to access weapons, armor, materials, and letters sent by other characters. They can equip any armor and weapons purchased as well as sell any material you’ve acquired while playing the game.
In addition to your character’s room, players can explore other parts of the hub to interact with other characters, visit a shop to buy stronger armor and equipment, or go to the blacksmith where you can upgrade your weapons and create new weapons using the material you gathered after each mission.
Like most titles in the genre, in Toukiden Kiwami you need to report to the Command Center to accept Missions and Quests.
Usually missions are story-driven and consist of clearing areas of Oni hordes, as well as the occasional boss battle. Quests are mostly favors that you must complete for the town folk, consisting of gathering items and such.
When on a mission, you can accept up to five quests to complete. Once you finish your mission and successfully gathered your items for your quest, you need to report back to the Command Center again to receive your reward.
Players will also be encouraged to add party members. Each one specializes in a unique battle style: Attack, Defense, Speed, Healing, Spirit, Deceit, Space, Luck, Support and Plunder. All of these are important roles when in combat — especially Healing.
When playing with AI partners, you will be able to send multiple commands including Attack, Free, Aid and Follow. Surprisingly, the AI in Kiwami can be pretty helpful as well — when you need to get revived and general healing, they will do so right away. Those who like to play solo will have a very satisfying experience.
Although the AI can be great, these types of games do require a lot of cooperation, which is something best executed when playing with human players.
To play online multiplayer, you must head to the boulders laying around the map and set up a game there. You can either create a room or join a lobby but sometimes it’s difficult to even find games, as it takes too long to connect to the servers at times.
Naturally, the type of weapon will affect the speed of your movement and attacks as well. When using heavy weapons like gauntlets or clubs, you will have slower movements but your attacks will have more power.
When using weapons like the knives or spear, you will be able to move faster but your attacks will have less power. You can use weapons like the longbow or the Tangegashima for long-ranged attacks.
Depending on the type of weapon that you choose, your character will have a different moveset and you will be able to perform unique combos for each one. Some weapons will even let you perform other combo strings. while jumping.
Unlike Monster Hunter, the title is smoother and faster paced, resulting in room for recovery should you make an error.
The game also has a system called the “Stance of Communion”: this contains four different skills that are given to you depending on the Mitama that you equip.
Mitama are the soul of heroes that have been devoured by the Oni. Some of these precious Mitama include skills like Recovery (which heals you mid-battle), as well as others that can boost your abilities.
Overall, combat is smooth, avoiding the more sluggish and sedate gameplay of some similar titles in the genre. The camera control is great and the use of lock on really helps when trying to take down the Oni with multiple combos and attacks. It’s honestly just plain fun to play.
The game graphically isn’t too spectacular which is to be expected since the game was originally released on PS Vita in Japan, with the PS4 version releasing later this month there.
Of course, North America received both versions at the same time and if you compare the two, you can still tell the PS4 version is easily superior graphics-wise.
Not only does the PS4 version look better, but playing the game with a DualShock 4 seems to be the better choice, as playing this kind of game with an actual controller versus the PS Vita set-up is a lot more comfortable.
Toukiden Kiwami is definitely a great action RPG; while it isn’t as polished as the Monster Hunter series, this clone is definitely one of the best.
If you’ve been missing your Monster Hunter fix in the recent Sony platforms, Toukiden Kiwami is the best substitute you’ll find around.