Review: Toukiden: The Age of Demons

Review: Toukiden: The Age of Demons

TOUKIDEN-THE-AGE-OF-DEMONS

It’s hard to talk about this game without mentioning the obvious comparison so I will get it out of the way: Toukiden: The Age of Demons is a quite a bit like Capcom’s Monster Hunter series. The question though shouldn’t be whether it’s any good when its stacked against Monster Hunter but rather if the game itself differentiates itself enough from its competitor to stand up on its own? Thankfully, I can tell you that it does, despite a few stumbles along the way.

Toukiden: The Age of Demons is covered is ancient Japanese lore and style. It honestly wouldn’t be too much to say that this game could be seen as an off-series to the developers big franchise Dynasty Warrior. Still, the aesthetic is definitely appealing and the music is honestly rather great.

As this is a monster hunting game, you will be fighting a lot of enemies again and again. There are three main factors then to consider when playing through this game: Is the gameplay any good, are the enemies fun to fight against, and are the areas any fun to be in? Thankfully, a yes can be attributed to all of those questions, with a couple of reservations of course.

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The gameplay in Toukiden: The Age of Demons is slower paced than its contemporaries. The slower pace adopts a more risk-reward scenario that requires strategy. You can dodge, use a light attack, or a heavy attack. Once you choose  command, you must commit to it meaning that if you press the heavy attack button, an enemy can sometimes easily attack and hit you before your character can pull off the animation. This frustration may be further enhanced by the fact that you cannot cancel any enemy’s attack.

That frustration though is mitigated when you realise that Toukiden isn’t actually that hard at all. Most games in its genre are known to offer quite the challenge and Toukiden does not meet that standard. This doesn’t mean that death is implausible but rather it may never be as much of an issue as it should be. In a game like Soul Sacrifice, the difficulty adds intensity to battling the monstrosities.

The enemies in Toukiden are rather fun to fight with varied design and traits. However, it’s downfall is in the variety. Unfortunately, when it comes to the number of different enemies you will face, Toukiden falls on the short side. It’s not utterly disappointing but you do wish for more all the same.

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As with other games in the genre, Toukiden is better played with more people. You can take Toukiden online and works rather well. Unfortunate, due to the lack of a challenge, other real players are not needed to be recruited to overcome certain tasks like in other games. As always though, co-op adds a lot of fun to the game, especially when grinding for a certain number of materials in order to complete a quest.

Visually, Toukiden gets the job done. Some areas look great with impressive art direction while other areas just look empty and bland. Some offer nice vistas to look at while moving from area to area while others just feel uninspired. Still, it may not be a big factor but it is something that came ot my attention on my playthrough.

Toukiden: The Age of Demons has been very successful in Japan and will hopefully mark the beginning of something great on PlayStation Vita. As for now, it has some great mechanics and gameplay, even if they do remind you of its more popular contemporary but it must be said that if you were to look at it as a Monster Hunter clone then it’s safe to say that this is possibly the best one to date. As it stands on its own though, it is an enjoyable game that is only bested by Soul Sacrifice in the genre on the system, although both games have their differences. If you are even slightly intrigued by this game, then I think it’s a safe assumption that you won’t be disappointed should you decide to take the plunge.

Toukiden score

Owner of Game-Smack, Jason plays everything that's possible. Goal of Game-Smack: Overhearing a stranger "Game-Smack? I've heard of that. It sucks!"

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