By: Uma Smith
If you enjoyed the hacking and slashing affairs from either the Ninja Gaiden or Dynasty Warriors series, you’re in luck. Courtesy of Tecmo Koei, another title is being released for the PlayStation Vita called Toukiden: The Age of Demons. In addition to the Dynasty Warriors influence, expect some elements of Monster Hunter to be thrown into the mix this time.
Toukiden plays out pretty well because of the effective controls. Moving your character doesn’t get more fluid as this. On top of that, the ability to lock onto a specific target with a simple press of a button makes the hacking and slashing an enjoyable event. There are plenty of commands to keep track of though, thereby requiring some time to get used to. Nonetheless, the degree of intuitiveness is pretty high in the world of Toukiden.
Graphically, this particular PlayStation Vita title appears to have a lot of detail when you look closely at the character designs. Even the monsters and bosses themselves are presented quite well with their overall appearance. It’s unfortunate, however, that the game does not populate the environments with enough of these characters, thus making the world feel empty. Still, the color scheme and animations go a long way in providing a visually pleasing experience.
Interestingly enough, Toukiden: The Age of Demons really brings you into the game’s Japanese setting, especially with its traditional approach in music. Furthermore, the tempo actually changes according to what happens on screen. For instance, when enemies appear, expect the music to bring up the tension in a subtle manner. Additionally, the voices themselves are exclusively provided in the Japanese language, but with English subtitles shown of course.
Your objective in Toukiden: The Age of Demons is to hunt down and kill the various… well, demons, which lurk within a village called Utakata. Specifically, there are missions that you take on that include venturing off and collecting diversity of random items. You won’t be doing this alone, however, as accompanying you are three additional AI-controlled characters if you play this in single player mode.
As you slash at the demons, you’ll get opportunities to upgrade your equipment so as to take on further missions with even more strength and power. Considering that there are six arenas, each of which are divided into smaller areas (much like Monster Hunter) it can potentially feel repetitive with the limited environments you are exposed to, even with the various weather effects that take place.
That being said, The Age of Demons is best enjoyed during casual play sessions. And since you’ll be playing this on a portable console like the PlayStation Vita, this title is even more appropriate and suitable, especially when mission’s time limits don’t exceed one hour. Further to that, running into even larger demons would also add to the gameplay as it may even more time on account of both their size as well as the extended difficulty level.
What really gives Toukiden its replay value is the multiplayer feature, which is accessed via the shiny blue stones. These are located either inside your house or near the headquarters. During this mode, you and a friend can get access to more than 100 missions that you would have to complete from the main single-player mode. Whether via ad-hoc or online multiplayer, hacking and slashing in a co-op fashion always adds to the fun.
Toukiden: The Age of Demons does have quite a bit of similarities to Capcom’s Monster Hunter when it comes to gameplay. While this may be unappealing to those who already own the latter, players who are looking for such a game for the PlayStation Vita would be delighted on account of its graphical detail and multiplayer capabilities.