I recently picked up a PS Vita and I gotta say that it’s fantastic. I already have a decent sized library of great games to fit any gaming situation I should find myself in. One such situation I find myself in is wanting to play Monster Hunter on the thing. I could download the PSP version and play that or I could play Toukiden: Age of Demons, which is Tecmo Koei’s attempt at a “Monster Hunting Action game.”
Toukiden is set in an Asian themed world almost similar to that of Dynasty Warriors, except a ton more demons, or Oni as they are called. Your character is the chosen one (of course) to help this village from the constant Oni attacks. When you create your character you get to pick hairstyle, sex, voice, and the first weapon you will be using. The weapons you can choose from include Long Sword, Twin Blades, Spear, Gauntlets, Kusarigama, and Bow. Each of these play differently and after the first quest you can do training missions for each weapon to get used to their play styles. For me I played mostly Gauntlets and Spear finding them both fun and very different. The weapons can do different types of damage like Crush, Thrust, and Slash.
Once you have created your character you will begin doing missions. They start of easy with you simply having to kill a certain number of low level beasties like imps or floating fire head things. From there you start fighting tougher enemies until you start fighting the BIG oni. Chances are you will be doing a lot of these missions over and over again. It’s the nature of the genre. Aside from the missions you can complete quests that usually involve you turning in a certain number of things you find on these missions. The rewards are money, materials, and sometimes the abilities to access new things in the hub town. The other big reason to do these missions over is to get more materials for weapon and armor creation/upgrades. Besides the usual bones, shells, essence of life, and what not obtained from demons, you can also find demon souls. These souls are used to equip to your weapons to give them special boosts. As you fight with these demon souls they can level up and unlock new boosts for your weapon. There are a ton of demon souls too. The tougher the Oni, the better and more rare the materials usually. There is a lot of repetition and grinding in this game. That’s mainly due to the genre, so if you’re already a fan of this style of game it shouldn’t be too annoying.
One neat thing is you don’t have to face these enemies alone. For the most part you get a couple NPCs to run quests with you. While they aren’t as clever as a human player, they do their job and it makes the odds seem a little less overwhelming when facing the big baddies. This is a really nice feature because the multiplayer from my experience is abysmal. I have only actually found one game to play in with other people. While it was fun, I stumbled upon a weird glitch where I had to leave the game. I was unable to accept missions and start games with people. I could only join missions started by another players. This was pretty annoying. I kept getting a message saying the other people weren’t ready for the mission, but they were. Also you can only communicate with pre-generated messages which meant i couldn’t say “Sorry guys, the game is being real stupid right now, so I have to leave.” Speaking of multiplayer, for whatever reason, finding games is really screwy. Either no one is playing, or there is some strange reason the games don’t show up when you search for them. A fellow MaroonersRock writer and I tried our hardest to play together but despite our efforts we were never able to find each other’s game we were hosting. Even when typing in the name of the room specifically in the room search, nothing would come up. Obviously something is very wrong with it.
The game looks fantastic on the vita and controls very well. The weapons and armor look great. The monsters look great and do a good job resembling ancient Asian demons. Fighting them is fun and challenging. The best part is breaking parts off of the oni. It has a very visceral feeling when this happens. Unfortunately since they are demons, they regenerate the limbs and can’t be broken off again. You can also activate a special vision mode that allows you to see the weak points on a demon. It’s very helpful, but it drains your endurance so use sparingly. The music does the job and the “story” just sort of gets in the way of demon hunting.
Toukiden: Age of Demons is a pretty fun game especially if you’re a Monster Hunter fan looking for a different coat of paint. Its fun to play on the Vita. The biggest issue is the multiplayer, which sucks because these types of games are wonderful when played with friends. If you are more of a loner and still want to hunt giant things to make cool weapons for fighting bigger things, Toukiden is definitely for you.
- It looks great.
- Neat Weapons
- The multiplayer is almost non existent
- Lot’s of Grinding
- Story doesn’t feel important