People tend to look towards the Greeks for their rich and extensive mythology. A movie centered around the life and times of Herculese is actually quite common nowadays, but I really do think their are better mythological sources one can draw from. Whether or not people agree with me is something else entirely. I happen to be a huge fan of Japanese lore and legend. As a huge fan it’s obvious that I consider it to be more interesting and ultimately more exciting than than that of any other culture’s.
Why is that though? This I can’t explain. All I can say for certain is that whenever I get a chance to experience something to do with it, I take it and I do my very best to absorb as much as I can from it. This is why when our friends at Mindscape Australia offered us a review copy of the new game “Toukiden: Kiwami”, I had to take it.
“Toukiden: Kiwami” follows a very basic story with many character interactions that surprisingly result in a great deal of growth. Essentially; you’re a trained “Slayer” tasked with defending your village from the onslaught of Demons, or “Oni”, that are almost always just about to hit the homefront. As I said…pretty simple. The good thing about a game like this is that, well, there’s no need for a complex story. So long as the gameplay keeps you going, the story is up to you to create.
Even in saying that, each character has their own tale to tell and, whether you like it or not, you WILL be told that story. It does make sense for a story to be forced upon you as the main Character because what results is a continuous sense of actual bond-forming. It’s too bad the interactions seem flat and mostly boring. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t mind talking to the NPCs but unfortunately it is often intolerable even though I know that what will come from a conversation is a better understanding of my comrades.
“Toukiden: Kiwami” and its predecessor are a pair of games constantly compared to that of “Monster Hunter”, and rightfully so! Both games are very much the same despite a few glaring differences: One is that it’s much easier than “Monster Hunter” and the other is that it doesn’t inspire you to continue playing like “Monster Hunter”. These are two points that cannot be overlooked no matter how hard you try.
The gameplay mechanics are a mix between a “Dynasty Warriors” game and, once again, of Capcom’s “Monster Hunter”. There are hundreds of equipable items to loot for and create, and the entire game is played out through missions making it easily digestable. Despite long mission time allowances you’ll never find yourself in a rush, which is great for those gamers who like to do a quick couple missions at a time and that’s it. For the more hardcore gamers, it seems as though “Toukiden: Kiwami” simply has something missing.
What “Kiwami” has in spades is that of fantastic visuals. Picture any game made by Omega Force for the new generation of consoles…that’s what “Toukiden: Kiwami”. Most of what we see throughout the game is incredibly detailed and smoothly animated but as far as actual environments go; it’s nothing we havn’t seen before.
In fact, I’m also certain some design assets were taken straight from other Omega Force titles. As far as “Oni” designs go; they mostly look pretty good. Some Yokai designed as “Oni” from the game don’t entirely match how they’re explained in lore but that’s really only a problem if you’re as big a fan of it as I am.
Backing up the visuals is that of the traditional Japanese soundtrack which fits in wonderfully with not only the overall vibe of the game but of the setting. As you’d expect, the games vocals are entirely in thir original Japanese which I think is something necessary seeing as it is a Japanese video game based IN anceint Japan. It helps a great deal when voices are provided by actors and actresses who clearly know what they’re doing.
“Toukiden: Kiwami” is actually a pretty fun game to play despite all my complaints about it. I enjoyed it a great deal and I do think it was because of its simplicity. Unfortunately, like most Omega Force games, it doesn’t always grip you and as easy as it is to pick up and play…it’s just as easy to put down to instead play something else. While playing I couldn’t help but want to play the latest “Monster Hunter” and that’s because of just how similar they are.
“Toukiden: Kiwami” truly is a video game for those who cannot stand the harsh realm of “Monster Hunter” but it would be incorrect to label it as a terrible game simply because of that. It’s a good game that sticks to the basics of what it knows. Even though it doesn’t venture out much to soar to new heights, it knows what it does and it does it well. “Toukiden: Kiwami” doesn’t break the mold but it also doesn’t make for a terrible game.