Toukiden 2 - PlayStation 4 Review

Demon Hunting, Weapon Forging, Material Gathering, such is the life of a Slayer.

  • System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Steam, PlayStation 3 (JP Only)
  • Publisher: Koei Tecmo
  • Developer: Omega Force
  • Release Date: March 21, 2017

Toukiden 2 Promotional Trailer 1

Who it Caters to

Koei Tecmo really loves their history and you can see a lot of Japanese mythology blended with it in Toukiden 2. Those who’ve invested hours into the original along with Kiwami will be pleased to know that Toukiden 2 comes with various improvements pertaining to weapon upgrading, with an improved battle system that allows for a more seamless experience. Toukiden 2 much like its predecessor, focuses heavily on hunting down Oni to ensure that peace is finally restored to the land and no more threats are left in the way. A lot of people compare Toukiden 2 to Monster Hunter with regards to the hunting mechanics, but Toukiden 2 feels more simplified and focuses mainly on fighting Oni as opposed to an enormous array of monsters. The premise, however, remains the same where you’ll need a strong team to tackle the enemy while upgrading your weapons along with armor to ensure a consistent victory all the way through.

What to Expect

Toukiden 2 is all about hunting down ferocious Oni who are threatening to put an end to humanity, and so it’s your task to prevent that while coming to know the truths behind why the Oni have appeared in the first place. There’s a lot of action that unfolds throughout the game and the story is interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. The environment in which you play in is now this incredibly vast and beautiful open world, with all of the action beginning from the new hub of the game Mahoroba Village.

Compared to past titles where you had to race back to check up on inventory, in Toukiden 2 you can encounter chests that are dispersed all across the world map, and you can now access your spare inventory straight from these chests. You’re also able to raise multiple Tenko which will allow you to dispatch them out to collect specific items should you take care of them in the process. They can also tag along with you on your adventures should you need extra assistance. Hunting Grounds has also made its return which comes with new alterations to its overall system, while Automatons act as your item collectors when you’re too busy slaying Oni. They can take damage while they scavenge for items, so repairing them and making them stronger will be one of the objectives you’ll be focusing on as well.

Story

The story takes place two years after the events of Kiwami, and now demons have invaded the vast majority of Nakatsu Kuni using a special type of miasma. It’s now up to the Slayers to remove the threat, but little do they know there’s an ever bigger challenge lying ahead. You star as one of the Slayers who teleported 10 years into the future from Yokohama, and without any memory left from the deadly events that happened prior, you’ll need to somehow regain them through the help of other mitama who are able to assist you in battle. Your mission now is to uncover the truth behind the sudden influx of Oni who’ve invaded the land, while closing the portals to the Otherworld to prevent further harm and purify the world around you.

Gameplay

Plenty of Action with a Satisfying Story

As mentioned before, Toukiden 2 feels similar to that of Capcom’s famed Monster Hunter series but instead places its focus solely on battling demons as opposed to large creatures. There’s also a lot of historical references that have been thrown into the game which encourages players to learn about Japanese culture. There are so many new features that have been implemented into the game and we’ll go over them briefly, with one of them being the new Demon Hand feature. What this allows players to do is grip onto certain objects throughout the environment, but also Oni that you encounter as well. You can use it to quickly traverse through dangerous terrain, close the gap between you and the demons in battle, but also absorb powers from the demons and use it against them for massive damage. We loved this feature so much because it allowed for more versatility during battles such as being able to take to the air and snipe off certain body parts and avoid taking any damage since we’d be so high in the air for the demon to reach us.

Much of the battles you’ll encounter will take place mostly on the ground but the Demon Hand just allows you to approach the enemy in various ways, which only help to benefit the gameplay even further. Another awesome feature is using the Demon Eye which allows you to see the health of the enemy with the upper bar representing their light energy, and the bottom representing their overall health.

In past Toukiden titles running around felt somewhat cumbersome, but in Toukiden 2 you can now perform a running ability by simply holding down L3 which makes getting from point A to point B much easier and of course relatively faster. While the story isn’t very new when you look at Koei Tecmo’s history of games, it still provided a nice segway between gameplay which gave you a good chunk of information pertaining to the misama and what motives the Oni have. As you race through each part of the world in search for threats, a new feature has been implemented where hazard levels determine whether an area is safe or extremely dangerous to embark on, with colors determining the strength of the hazard.

For example on the map icon to the right of the screen, certain colors will show up once you enter specific areas. Blue represents an area where the hazard level is slightly higher than normal, while purple indicates an area that’s heavily populated with Oni and the difficulty is much higher. The purple areas are where you’ll usually come across a lot of big demon battles, where you’ll have to rely on your team to successfully take out whatever threat remains before that area returns back to its normal state.

This can at times be relatively easy depending on your party’s level along with your own, but if you don’t upgrade your tools consistently it can certainly be an uphill battle since the demons don’t fool around. While their movements can easily be memorized at times, the enemy can also throw you off by summoning other smaller demons and their own attacks can sometimes surprise you by knocking off more than half of your health. There was one scenario where we were up against an ice type Oni and suddenly out of nowhere, our health started to deplete without warning and we died on the spot. We didn’t realize that the Oni shot out an ice attack that spreads across the ground, and if you’re within that area of effect you take a great deal of ice damage. So it becomes even more imperative to make sure that when you’re upgrading armor, that you also pay close attention to the elements side of things to further avoid issues like this.

While there are small and large demons, Toukiden 2 introduces medium sized ones to help balance out the enemy roster making encounters feel more diverse. New weapons have also been introduced to the game such as the defensive sword and shield, along with the trick whip which does a ton of damage if used correctly. There are just so many great customization options available which provide a fresh experience every time you turn on the game.

You don’t like those glasses you had on earlier? No problem, just take them off and try on something more fashionable. Getting tired of close range combat with the knives? Then simply go into your home and equip a new weapon to test out on the battlefield. Toukiden 2 encourages the player to be creative and find new ways of making the game feel invigorating every time they play. Not to mention there’s the online feature which allows you to team up with others online to duke it out against demons, which is a huge plus. With so many items to forge, Golden Slayer seals to collect along with a plethora of other intriguing features pertaining to material crafting, Toukiden 2 feels very fleshed out despite there being some issues pertaining to repetitive Oni you encounter throughout the game.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

As aforementioned, the only issue that seemed to spark our attention was that while the size of the enemies is now more diverse, the types of demons you see are generally the same. We would’ve liked to encounter more enemies on the fly, as opposed to running into the same ones every time. This didn’t, of course, destroy the overall gameplay experience, but it certainly would’ve made things a little more interesting. We also felt at times that the normal enemies just were too easy to beat, while the boss battles took a lot out of us. Considering Koei Tecmo’s good track record of implementing a good balance of ease and difficulty, we just thought more could have been thrown into really challenge players over time. Other than this, Toukiden 2 is certainly an action-packed thrill ride that will have you coming back for more even after you complete the main campaign since the online will always be there waiting for you.

Honey's Pros:

  • Great new features that add more depth and flow to the game.
  • New weapon additions provide more diversity.
  • New running ability allows for faster travel.
  • Demon Hand has various uses which come in handy a lot of the time.
  • Every weapon has updated actions added to movesets.
  • Making great use of your Mitama will greatly affect the outcome of a battle, so use them well.

Honey's Cons:

  • Would’ve liked a bit more challenge.
  • More diversity in demon encounters would be so much better.

Honey's Final Verdict:

Overall we certainly loved Toukiden 2 and can’t stop playing it even after the review. There’s so much replay value that you’ll always want to come back and try out new weapons to see which one suits you best, along with the great online features. It’s certainly leaps and bounds better than the original and Kiwami, which perhaps was the worry for most players who were on the fence about picking this one up. You’ll certainly find more enjoyment out of Toukiden 2 since there’s just so much to see and do, and the story is satisfying enough to keep you engaged for hours on end. When the game releases March 21st, let us know what you think of Toukiden 2 in the comments below and be sure to share our articles on social media to keep the community buzzing!

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Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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