Toukiden: Kiwami Review

By Darryl Kaye on March 26, 2015

Back in 2013, Toukiden: The Age of Demons arrived as a first unique foray onto the PlayStation Vita by Omega Force. It also made a name for itself as another successful endeavour for the developer outside of the standard Warriors franchise. Toukiden: Kiwami looks to extend that experience by adding to an already well balanced formula, offering up new enemies, mitama and of course, new weapon types.

Kicking off where the last game finished, the inhabitants of Utakata Village are shocked to learn that a new demon invasion is occurring. Not only does this pose a grave threat to their immediate surroundings, but it also has far reaching implications for much wider territories. In their quest to hunt this new demon threat, the third squad of the Hundred Demon Corps ends up at Utakata Village and they decide to stay and take the fight to the demons from this location.

With a whole new level of slayer therefore in the village, it creates some interesting dynamics. We are introduced to some new characters, such as Soma (an old friend of Yamato) and Horo, a slayer who has lost her memory. Together with the existing cast, they look to rid the land of this new demon threat, all while further delving into the personal relations and nuances of what makes each individual character tick.

These new characters not only introduce some differing personalities to the mix, but they also introduce some new weapon types. These come in the form of the spiked club (Soma), rifle (Horo) and naginata (Reki), a traditional Japanese spear with a blade on the end. Each of these weapons adds something new to the mix, but the old gameplay styles will still perform exactly as you remember them. It means that if you had a particular affinity to a particular weapon before (i.e. Gauntlets) you may want to experiment, but will probably find yourself reverting back to the one you are most comfortable with. Perhaps the one that may lead to the most experimentation is the rifle, which allows players to use different bullet types.

In addition to the new weapons, the game has added a whole host of new models for existing types. Tons of new armour has also been added to ensure your slayer looks suitably ridiculous and is very well protected against those evil Oni.

While the core gameplay may not have changed, Omega Force has spent a lot of time refining other aspects of the gameplay. One key part of this is the AI. When you are playing team-based games, AI is a crucial part of the experience and in the original game you have very limited control. You could choose the people who would follow you into battle and therefore attempt to influence the types of moves you would inadvertently have access to, but they pretty much had a mind of their own. With Kiwami, Omega Force has attempted to give more control to the player, while also improving their decision making - it's a double boost.

You can now direct the AI to go full attack, be more balance and go on the defensive and when they are performing these different mindsets, they have clear changes in their decision making. It means that if you break off an Oni part, you won't be left there desperately trying to gather it up by yourself or if you are injured, you can suggest that they heal you, as opposed to praying they will.

The other new main addition comes in the form of team attacks. Aside from your focus gauge, there is now a separate gauge that, when filled, can cause considerable damage to enemies. Oh, and the developers have added a whole host of new giant Oni to keep things interesting. This is perhaps the most expansive part of Kiwami, with each giant new Oni representing a unique challenge.

To reflect the time that has passed in the story, Utakata Village has received something of a face lift. It also has some new music as well, which is a nice touch. However, it's the added extras offered up by NPCs that make it a very different place. Yuu will sometimes offer emergency missions, where you will be tasked with taking on a more difficult foe with greater rewards, and Shuusui allows you to undertake infinite battles. These additions help to give Kiwami a bit more substance compared to The Age of Demons. It also helps to break up the flow too, as you will be drawn to these different options as opposed to grinding through the chapters with no distractions.

Final Thoughts

Toukiden: Kiwami is competent expansion to the original game, which in itself offered a considerable amount of content to begin with. By adding Kiwami into the mix, you have new story-based missions, a new game mode which is ripe for farming and some new weapon types that help to expand the available play styles. Alongside the improved AI, it means that Kiwami offers some welcome additions that, while not all that expansive, help to prolong what was already a good package.

The new weapon styles feel unique enough.
Infinite Battles are perfect for grinding.
New wave of giant Oni Freshens up the original game.
Would have been nice to see more core additions outside of Infinite Battles.
No real improvements to presentation.
Still a few minor gripes with the mission padding.
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