Toukiden mixes the best elements of Capcom’s own Monster Hunter franchise but also gives a few nods to Dragon’s Dogma.
The monstrous Oni are on a rampage and your team of demon hunters is all that stands in their way of conquering Yokohama. As war against the Oni rages across the globe your team holds the Oni off in Yokohama but the victory is short lived as a massive portal opens up and sucks in our created demon slayer. We are woken up in a land drastically different from Yokohama and discover that ten years has passed and the Oni for all intents and purposes rule the world. This sets up the premise of Toukiden 2s twenty five plus hour story.
The story itself isn’t anything amazing but it isn’t bad. Most of the story you’ve seen or played in other games and media, but what makes it standout somewhat is the colorful cast of characters that join your party. On your quest to retake the Earth from the Oni, you are accompanied by some fun characters who add good depth to the overall story and some great humor throughout Toukiden 2.
Each party member is also quite competent. There are orders that you can give your teammates but I never really saw a reason too as they were quite good at doing everything themselves — always attacking weak spots of enemies, and purifying the defeated enemies for crafting material. In fact I would say the teammate A.I. was a bit too good as I never really got a chance to fight any of the smaller Oni as they would kill them so fast I would barely get a hit in.
There is a lot to do in Toukiden 2 but the heart and soul of the game are the battles with giant Oni. These Oni appear as bosses at first but begin to populate the world as regular enemies as the story progresses. These battles are simply awesome. Tackling a giant Oni feels incredibly satisfying. What makes these fights so fun is the ability to select specific body parts and cut them off. Cutting off an Oni’s leg and watching it crumble in a heap is a special kind of awesome.
Although these fights are the best part of Toukiden 2 they are also kind of a cheap illusion. Every time you cut of a body part of the Oni all it means is that you destroyed its physical body part. In a way it acts like its armor. What this means is when you cut off an Oni’s legs it will simply grow out a magical new mystical leg. Once this mystical leg is revealed that’s the part of the Oni that will take the most amount of damage. These mystical parts can be destroyed as well but with most Oni they simply grow back. That’s not to say that you can’t permanently destroy a body part but it’s mostly a body part that the game will allow as to not handicap any of the Oni.
The other problem with the giant Oni is simply how long it takes to actually defeat them. This isn’t a problem if the Oni is a boss but when it appears in the field where you are being poisoned by miasma and trying to get to your story objective you don’t want to take fifteen to twenty minutes battling a single Oni. Some of these battles take so long I ended up running away from a lot of them simply because I didn’t want to fight an enemy for twenty minutes when I just killed one no more than five minutes ago.
The biggest addition to Toukiden 2 is the Demon Hand. This grapple arm is like Nero’s demon arm from Devil May Cry 4. The Demon Hand allows for faster transportation by swinging around trees and other objects but is mostly pushed as a tool for combat. The Demon Hand works well against giant Oni allowing you to reach but is all but useless against any enemy that doesn’t stand fifteen feet tall. When using the Demon Hand, it grabs an enemy and pulls you toward it; that would have been fine but instead of just stopping when you reached your destination, the Demon Hand instead throws you fifteen feet into the air which is pointless against smaller Oni as you can’t even damage them with most weapons when in the air. At first I thought I was doing something wrong when I used it but when I saw my teammates doing the exact same thing I knew it wasn’t just me. The tutorials also told me that I can use the Demon Hand to grab enemies and throw them to the ground, what it didn’t tell me was how or when to do it. After almost thirty hours with the title I still don’t really know how to do it.
Unlike the original Toukiden, Toukiden 2 takes place in a fairly large open landscape. The world itself is divided into many different regions from lush forests, snowy mountain tops, and deserts. Each location is unique and full of different Oni to hunt down and plenty of collectables and secrets to find. All the different areas are connected and can be visited at any time once they’re unlocked. The important thing to note is that each location is contaminated by what is known as Miasma: a poisonous toxin that the Oni feed off.
This toxin slowly kills humans who remain in a contaminated location for long periods of time. A meter will slowly fill up around the mini map indicating how far the contamination has progressed. You can clear parts of the contamination by killing enemies and purifying their corpses as well as finding purifying stones located throughout each location, or simply traveling back to the village and leaving the contaminated area.
The environments themselves are fairly large and although they look nice they don’t really push the PS4’s graphical prowess. The world itself is full of hidden collectables to find and plenty of hidden paths to discover. I found myself venturing away from my objectives plenty of times just to see what I can find.
The village of Mahoraba is one of the few remaining sanctuaries for humanity. Protected by the magic of the shrine maiden, Oni aren’t able to penetrate its. Mahoraba is the hub world of Toukiden 2. Mahoraba provides various activities from crafting new gear to selecting hunting quests.
Crafting is one of two ways to make your character stronger, the other being shopping. Buying and crafting new gear is something I had to do regularly to keep myself from getting annihilated by the next Oni. Almost every quest you complete, be it side quests or hunting quests, will reward you with crafting materials. These are used to either upgrade equipment you already have or craft new equipment. Thankfully crafting is simple and easy and shouldn’t be too difficult early on.
The other important aspect that can only be accessed in Mahoraba is the Mitama. The Mitama are souls of dead historical figures that present themselves as cards. You can equip up to three these Mitama and they provide a plethora of abilities for you to utilize. Some are simple stat boosts while others will give you abilities like increasing your attack damage, leaching health from Oni, and activating traps after performing specific tasks in combat.
Each Mitama will also level up the more its abilities are used. Leveling the Mitama will unlock new abilities and boost ones you are constantly using. Mitama can be acquired in various ways from completing side quest, killing certain Oni, or by simply playing through the story. There are well over a hundred Mitama to find and can drive completionists crazy trying to acquire them all.
For those looking for a lot of direction in their games won’t really find it here. Outside of the main story missions and a select few sidequests, you are left to figure out how to complete these on your own. Side Quests come in many different forms but in one way or another require you to fetch something or kill something. As I mentioned you will get almost no real direction outside of what items you need or what you need to kill you wont get anything else. Most of the time I ended up killing or finding the items I needed for a quest on accident. It may be a pain in the ass to complete these but outside of side quests that reward you with a new Mitama, the rest of them simply give you crafting materials most of which you can buy or find while exploring.
I enjoyed my time with Toukiden 2, it’s just a shame that all of its best mechanics are held back by some design decisions. There is so much content in Toukiden 2 that most of is hard to care about because the rewards you receive never seem worth it.