Toukiden: Kiwami (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 06.09.2015

Review for Toukiden: Kiwami on PC

Released in 2013 in Japan, portable action-RPG Toukiden: The Age of Demons was a small success for Koei Tecmo, as well as Sony, who saw sales of the PlayStation Vita receive a much-needed boost at the time of the game's release. Now, it's heading to PC and new-gen consoles in updated iteration Toukiden: Kiwami, boasting more characters, monsters, and collectables, as well as an enhanced interface. Having already given the verdict on the PS4 version, has the move paid off? Cubed3 investigates on PC.

Toukiden: Kiwami is set in an feudal Japanese universe, where oni are destroying humanity. The miasma in which they dwell is spreading, forcing the humans to form guilds of Slayers (warriors specialised in oni combat) and fight back. The main character (who can be customised to the player's own design) travels to a small, remote village to help the Slayers that work there, and is soon initiated into the guild after a surprise attack from the demons.

A tutorial, taking place in a dream sequence, introduces the battle gameplay. It's a fairly simple hack and slash affair, with two buttons assigned to light attack and heavy attack respectively. Outside of the controls, nobody would be questioned for bringing up comparisons to the Monster Hunter franchise while playing Toukiden, as it's essentially the same setup: the player takes on quests for either fetching resources or killing oni in order to earn money so that they can create and upgrade weapons and armour.

The character creation offers a fair set of choices, ranging from Tecmo's standard height adjuster to gender and voices. It's possible to choose from a range of fighting styles including a katana and a sickle and chain, making for an impressive variety of gameplay styles which all play differently, adding depth to the otherwise rather simple mechanics. The game also throws in some magic with the addition of Mitama, spirits of deceased slayers that were consumed by oni, which are gained by defeating bosses, or as rare drops from regular enemies. These act as weapon upgrades, offering various statistical buffs as well as elemental powers, offering another layer of customisation.

Screenshot for Toukiden: Kiwami on PC

The characters in the game are also fairly well designed. Each fits their own anime trope; from the super serious to the cutesy and fun, Toukiden covers all avenues. That said, there isn't really any character development present, bar the most basic examples. For example, one character goes out to fight some small monsters in an attempt to prove herself - however, after the mission, a large oni is drawn to the village and she is soon forced to accept that she was naïve. It really is a simple - and clichéd - device, but there is at least enough development in the game that the interactions between characters are kept interesting.

Toukiden is also very nice to look at - it nails the Japanese historical look, with the old fashioned temples, shrines and talismans making the town feel genuine. However, the areas in which missions take place all eventually blend into a mass of similar, unmemorable paths dotted with low level oni and the occasional piece of scenery. None of the battlefields are presented badly, but they do became bland after just a few missions.

The game's soundtrack, meanwhile, is excellent. During fights with larger oni in particular, it is orchestrated in such a way that it gets the player's heart pumping and helps reinforce the difficulty of each fight. Incidentally, during these boss fights, the game introduces yet another Monster Hunter-esque gameplay element: each big oni can be dismembered by attacking its weak points. The tactical element that this adds to the combat means that the boss fights are undoubtedly the best parts of the game, as they really showcase Toukiden's full potential.

As Kiwami on PC is a port of the console game, it is not free from technical hitches - such as the occasional button prompt being for a controller while playing with a mouse and keyboard - but it does appear to run stably and without frequent crashes or glitches. It also supports 1080p and is not locked to 30fps, meaning that from a technological perspective, it's a successful port, especially in light of other more disappointing PC releases.

Screenshot for Toukiden: Kiwami on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Toukiden: Kiwami is a great example of how the hunting sub-genre can be reworked into a different style. It has a very well-crafted setting, story and atmosphere, which are combined to create an above-par adventure. The price is right for the amount of content and, as long as the PC it's played on is up to date, the game will run perfectly well at the right resolution. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite do enough to challenge its competition, landing it only just above the average. Still, if only for the potential amount of gameplay hours in it, Toukiden deserves whatever support it can garner.

Developer

Koei Tecmo

Publisher

Koei Tecmo

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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