Toukiden: Kiwami review (PS4)

Toukiden kiwami

In Omega Studios Toukiden: Kiwami you play the role of a young monster hunter in ancient times. In prior years the world was at risk of being overrun by creatures from another world, known as Oni. Their defence? Various monster slayers would team up and tackle these mystical creatures. They would become known as The Slayers.

Eight years on, your character is recruited into this elite group of Slayers as one of their final warriors. They’re now the sole line of defence between the demons and their base in the rural Utakata village.

A Japanese role playing game, the gameplay in Toukiden: Kiwami is like many others, with your character given free range of the Utakata village. You’re allowed to run freely through the temple and the market, each filled with a selection of non-playable characters. Amongst the market there are the standard RPG troupes; blacksmith for weapons and armour, stalls for supplies and mystic enchanters who can level up your guardian spirits, at the cost of a pretty penny.

When you’re in battle you’re out on the open planes with the map dissected into nine areas. When you partake in missions you’re given the goal of either slaying X amount of Oni, clearing and defending certain areas of the map, and when it’s boss time you need reach a certain location and hack and slash your way to victory.

The battle mechanics are nice and traditional; if you’re a fan of the Dynasty Warriors, it will feel familiar. Be warned though, it will come across a little slower paced, you character will seem slow and clumsy compared to the veteran slayers that run past you and tackle the Oni before you can launch your first strike.

You’re given a weapon selection of over a dozen traditional Japanese weapons. The best selection I found when playing is the twin blades, they have short animations which leads to quick attacks! They have introduced rifles and bow and arrows to the game, but I found myself fumbling with the controls when it came to the aiming, reloading and firing – they’re not worth the effort.

Whilst on the battlefield you’re given an x-ray vision! It comes in handy to detect the hidden treasures as well as highlighting larger enemies’ weaknesses. Also whilst you’re in teams you have the ability to direct the teams’ actions; the other players run freely to begin with, but you can command them to focus on the attack, supply aid and fall back etc.

Outside of the battle missions, you are given side quests! We all know the standard gist of these – accept mission from Mr. A, run to location, collect item and return it to Mr. A for a reward of money or XP. Toukiden: Kiwami has tweaked it and made it quite simple thankfully! The items you need to collect on your side quests are item drops you collect when you’re on the battlefield! So when you return from your mission it’s nice to see that you’ve completed two or three side quests on your travels.

Overall my progress in the game has remained fairly straightforward. Accept mission, kill creatures, return, story progresses, accept next mission. Originally released last year in Japan on the PlayStation Portable (as Toukiden: The Age of Demons) and this would be an excellent commute game if you’ve got an hour on the bus. But this is a full PlayStation 4 port, with a lot of extra content so it is a fairly fun game. I’m still digging my first play through. Recommended!

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