follow us:

Latest News

Halo 5 launches on October 27
Two trailers came out today revealing the release date of Halo 5 Guardian and giving two perspectives of the story. ... [read more]
Nintendo delays new Zelda game
If you were excited about the new Zelda game for the Wii U, well unfortunately you'll have to wait a little longer to play it.... [read more]
Cinder makes a cameo in Hisako trailer
Hisako is the newest edition to the Killer Instinct roster, but her trailer is all about the first look at Cinder. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

Evolve, day 1 DLC, and the entitlement of gamers
Evolve hasn’t been out for 72 hours yet and gamers have already decided to make it public enemy number 1. This is thanks to the umbrella claim of “2K charging full price for an incomplete game, as well as for DLC that should have been included with the original purchase.... [read more]
PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 3 - Quick Tips
So far we’ve told you what to do in San Antonio as well as where to eat and drink while at PAX South. Now we have a few quick tips for those traveling to our great city. ... [read more]
The OG Replay for Jan. 19
We're less than a week from PAX South and everyone here is excited. Not only is one of the biggest gaming events coming to our home city of San Antonio, but we're going to have our own panel. ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Sunset Overdrive Review: Grab an energy drink and grind some rails.
Insomniac Games heads to the Xbox One with their exclusive title, Sunset Overdrive.... [read more]
Dragon Age: Inquisition Review
Every time I tried to play either Dragon Age Origins or Dragon Age 2, I’d find myself playing for the first 10 or so hours before turning it off and playing a different game. I gave it one more chance with Dragon Age: Inquisition.... [read more]
Driveclub Review
Originally announced at the PS4 reveal event in Feb. 2013, Driveclub was due for release as a PS4 launch title. Development misfortunes led to an 11 month delay and the game was finally released in the first week of Oct. 2014. The game faced major challenges at launch as the... [read more]

Latest Videos

PAX South 2015: 8-Bit Eric does a Starr Mazer interview...kind of
On display at PAX South was a game called Starr Mazer, which mashes shmup gameplay with point-and-click adventure gameplay. 8-Bit Eric tried to do an interview with the developer, and well, you'll have to see what happens. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Shiny the Firefly Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at Shiny the Firefly on the Wii U. An indie game developed by Padaone games where you control a firefly on a rescue mission to protect its babies.... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Ping 1.5+ Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at the Wii U puzzle game Ping 1.5+ from Nami Tentou Mushi for the Wii U. ... [read more]
Toukiden: The Age of Demons Review
Posted on February 20, 2014 by

With the Monster Hunter series now on Nintendo consoles, there is a big hole for other hunter games to make their claim on Playstation console, namely the Vita. With several games/ports under their belt for the Vita, Tecmo Koei thought it was about time to develop an original IP as their next Vita game. Thus Toukiden:  The Age of Demons.

With Omega Force, the team behind Dynasty Warriors, and members of Team Ninja working on the game, will Toukiden be their answer to Monster Hunter or be another wannabe like Quantum Theory was like to Gears of War?

SHARP AS A SLAYER'S BLADE

Decent Story for a Hunter Game - A problem that I have with some hunter games (including Monster Hunter) is that they don't really flesh out the story much. We don’t get to know the village that is housing us or the people who live there. We don’t who our fellow hunters are or even learn as to why we are hunting monsters in the first place. Toukiden manages to flesh out a story about the game.

Eight years ago a great and powerful oni awoke and started to cause destruction across the land. You are Slayer from the east who has been sent to help the village of Utakata. Once in the village you learn from the head Slayer in charge that the village is not only at the frontlines of the war with the oni, but is also the last line of defense. We also learn that you have a special ability that lets you communicate with fallen warriors and harness their power against the oni. We get to know each of the Slayers, learn what makes them tick and even befriend them.

These things may sound like common place in RPGs, but to be in a hunter style game is a really nice change from “go find monster, attack, try not to die.”

Unique Take on Japanese Mythical Creatures as Enemies - As much as I like the monster design of Monster Hunter, I think it’s starting to get a bit repetitive to hunt dinosaur-like creatures, dragon-like creatures, mammal-like creatures and so on. When game devs turn to a culture’s mythology, it can result in some really cool looking enemy creatures. And lucky for Omega Force, Japan is filled to the brim with mythological creatures that span different eras of the country’s ancient/medieval history. If you thought a creature like the oni already look exaggerated enough, Omega Force takes those looks and pushes them further. This results in a hideous yet cool looking range of monsters to fight.

Character Models/Graphics Nicely Detailed - Both Team Ninja and Omega Force had plenty of the experience with the Vita since each team have released games for the system. Now with their combined forces, the characters models and graphics are very nicely detailed. From the detailed armors of the Slayers and the surrounding building to the skins of the monsters, everything in the game has been carefully designed and made to pop off the screen. Especially with the monsters. I’ve seen spider monsters, I’ve seen cat monsters, but put the two together and you have one really cool yet hideous creature.  

Mitama Adds Layer of Depth to Weapons/Gameplay - Instead of having traditional magic, Toukiden gives us Mitama. Mitama are the spirits of fallen warriors that have been captured by oni. Once they are free, these warriors stand with you to fight the oni by providing support magic for you to use. Each Mitama has a different attribute and gives different support magic which gives you different play styles.  This is feels almost a bit like an MMO with different Mitama giving different roles.

4-Player Co-Op Options - The most important part of a hunter game is the multiplayer. In most games, the co-op missions are separate from the main story missions. With Toukiden, you are able to complete both the story missions and a separate group of missions that were made with multiplayer in mind. The developers also threw in the options of infrastructure (i.e. online) and ad hoc multiplayer, unlike other hunter games.

Combat is Combo Based and Feels So Good - At first I thought the combat for Toukiden was going to be similar to Dynasty Warriors.  To my surprise it’s not the button mashfest that Dynasty Warriors. Instead of flailing around, attacks are combo based which mean you have to plan your button presses carefully in order to get the most out of the attack. This gives attacks more weight to them and make you feel like you’re the Slayer swinging around a giant pair of gauntlets.

Long Demo - It’s been a rising trend in hunter games for developers to give an extended demo to players. Omega Force raises the bar in what demos offer. If you are not sure if Toukiden isn’t the game for you but you still curious about the game, I recommend downloading the demo and be prepared for a big surprise. Instead of only giving players access to a section of the game or giving a time limited, the Toukiden demo gives players access to the entire first chapter of the game, the first six of twelve missions in chapter two, seven multiplayer missions and allows you to carry over your character to the full retail game. This totals to between seven and ten hours of content. And this is just a demo. More games, at least the hunter games, should follow this model as it could bring in more sales. 

AS UGLY AS AN TENGU'S NOSE

Borrows Too Much from Other Games  - While I understand that getting inspiration from other games is the norm, I feel that Toukiden borrows a bit too much from other games. One example of this is a function called the Eye of Truth. This is too similar to the function that Soul Sacrifice uses. That function is that it allows players to see monster’s health and other hidden items. I also think that Toukiden took their map structure from Monster Hunter or Ragnarok Odyssey. I’m not saying that taking inspiration from other games is bad, it just makes me think about those games and not Toukiden.





Toukiden:  The Age of Demons takes the hunter formula established from previous games makes it their own. By adding a story that fleshing out you as a Slayer, a unique take on Japanese mythological monsters, and Mitama adding to the combo filled combat really places you in the armor of a Slayer. Toukiden’s multiplayer offerings are some of the strongest that I’ve played for a hunter game, with the game actually given players a choice to either go online or play locally through ad hoc.

I just wished that it didn’t borrow so much from other hunter games. Despite that if you are looking for a substitute to Monster Hunter and uses Japanese mythological creatures, pick up Toukiden. Or at the very least download the demo that has 10 hours worth of content to play with.

*This review was based on the PS Vita version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.

What's your most anticipated game for April?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
Mortal Kombat X
State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Time to start 2015


Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Review

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Impact Review

Ragnarok Odyssey Review

Other Gaming News From The Web