Toukiden: Kiwami

For those who don’t know, Toukiden tasks you with slaying evil creatures in a mythical world that’s heavily inspired by feudal Japan. We play as our own customized warrior, and it is up to our allies and us to to keep our village safe.

Toukiden: Kiwami

If you’ve already sunk dozens of hours into Toukiden: The Age of Demons (released on 2013), you’ll probably be glad to know that you can transfer your save data over to Kiwami. Yes, you can begin exactly where you left off.

New players, on the other hand, will have to start everything from scratch. Slaying beast after beast through the entire original release before moving on to the expanded plot that Kiwami features. And, if you are a newcomer, know now that it’ll take you over 35 hours to get there. Yes, this game is packed with tons of content.

The formula

Toukiden follows a Monster Hunter-style formula, but it does just enough to make it its own. The campaign is divided in different missions that you can select from a list, and they are split up between chapters. You’ll be tasked with slaying a particular beast, or a number of beasts, or interact with different objects across several different maps. While you battle on the field you can also complete different quests, that usually have a common goal: to pick up many elements from the world. It’s a pretty game, with an attractive art style and some really cool monster designs, and each area is amazing -and different- from each other.

The combat

Weaker, small Oni can be killed in just a few hits. But you don’t play a monster hunter game to kill minions, you play it for the big bosses, and Toukiden is all about big bad beasts. Some of these colossal creatures will challenge you in fights that can last over 30 minutes to an hour as you slowly drain down their health. Worry not though, the title’s satisfyingly weighty combat will make it fun and not a slog. Larger Oni are resilient because they’ll only reveal their true forms after they take a beating. If you last long enough while doing damage, they become engulfed in a shadowy second skin. In this form, you’ll finally be able to deal damage to their actual health bar.

Why is it hard to last long enough? well, big creatures tend to hit hard. Fighting these beasts revolves around knowing attack patterns, and moving in to do some damage only when you know you can. Fights are pretty dynamic, too, as you can lop the limbs off your aggressors, which may weaken certain moves. Yes, this is something really fun: you can focus all of your attention on an Oni’s left left, eventually cutting it off, which might stop it from dealing out such devastating kicks. Your foes will also try to regenerate their missing parts if you leave them lying on the battlefield for long enough. To stop this, you and your allies will need to purify the pieces by standing near and performing a purification ritual. The more of you that gather around, the faster it’ll be purified, but it’s usually a good idea for at least one person to try and keep your enemy busy as the others stand there, almost defenseless.

The teamwork

Yes, the game requires a team effort, especially when you have to deal with more than one giant demon. The AI is more than competent and will help you as much as they can, even try to defend you, heal you, and wake you up before you take a fatal blow. Also, there are missions that require you to work solo, but I didn’t find them fun. They tend to to drag on for an eternity, and it is really easy to make a mistake, take a deadly hit and restart the battle all over.

A whole separate mission list exists if you want to join up with others online. They’re not really any different to the single player campaign, but teaming up with human beings allows for much more tactical experimentation when it comes to Mitama types and weapon combos.

There are also emergency missions that will pop up and task you with putting down a giant Oni, while countless missions are randomly generated. This offers increasingly difficult battles that will reward you with rare Mitamas.

The weapons

We have up to 9 weapons to have fun with and fully master. We have swords, knives, spears, chain & sickles, bows, clubs, naginatas, rifles, and we can even use our own fists. The playstyle of each weapon is pretty much what you can expect: a quick move-set with the knives, a jack of all trades sword, spears and naginatas for when we want to fight melee but from a certain distance, or bows and rifles if we like ranged combat. Each weapon can be upgraded when we have enough compatibility and resources, and this means you will need to grind tons of hours if you fall in love with more than one weapon.

The Mitamas

Mitamas are souls of historical warriors that were devoured by Oni. You can release them by slaying powerful demons and you can attach them to your weapons and level them up to further customize your play style. Some Mitamas will boost your attack, others your defense, and between all the roles Toukiden features, Kiwami throws in two additional categories: support and plunder. The former will focus on buffing allies with boosts to attack, defense, and health regeneration, while the later makes it much easier to purify and destroy giant Oni’s body parts. Collecting them all can be rewarding, and there isn’t a short list. There 300 Mitamas. 300.

The Tenko

Your pet now carries a Mitama with it on its quests. This is a really cool new feature that will allow you to not only gather materials sending your pet away, but also level up that Mitama that you don’t really want to use, but still want to level up. As an added bonus, you can also send an ally away on another mission if he is not in your active party to collect some resources, enabling you to craft more powerful weapons or armors faster.

The story

The Age of Demons introduced you the world. Kiwami will introduce you the world, the current situation, and the new post-game narrative expands it further with new characters, themes and scenarios. You are the center of the story now. You will grow from an unknown nobody to a respected Slayer.

Toukiden: Kiwami shouldn’t be avoided. The lengthy story line and the massive amount is a perfect mix that suits perfectly the addictive gameplay loop. The addition of new content over the original Toukiden: The Age of Demons, coupled with some enhancements and additional features, gives returning players more than enough reasons to become Slayers again.

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