Toukiden 2 review for PS Vita, PS4, PC

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Medium: Digital/Disc/Vita Card
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes

As much as I enjoyed Toukiden Kiwami, I never really got the point of it. It was, for all intents and purposes, a remake of the original Toukiden, with the only real difference that the game was released on both the PS4 and the Vita, rather than just the Vita. While I can’t/couldn’t begrudge a great game for making an effort to reach a wider audience, it still made that sort-of sequel feel a little insubstantial.

Consequently, you can imagine how happy it makes me to report that Toukiden 2 suffers from no such problems. It’s bigger than the first Toukiden — and, not coincidentally, also a whole lot better.

See, Toukiden 2 gives you a nice, big open world to play in. Where the first game was based in a hub world and sent you off to various locations to kill X number of monsters, this time out the game gives you freedom to explore. Rather than forcing you to play the game in a fairly linear fashion, Toukiden 2 sets the scene — as before, you’re stopping a monster invasion — and then sets you loose to play however you wish. There are still quests and missions, but now the game feels a lot freer.

And as open worlds go, this one is pretty well done. The monster population is manageable while still being plentiful, and there are enough side quests and secrets to discover that it feels fairly lived-in. It also performs pretty well on the Vita: while the landscape is apparently a little sparser than it is in the console version, it never feels like you’re just running around a big, empty space.

Toukiden 2 is also helped by the fact its combat is so free-flowing. Omega Force know how to do hack & slash action well thanks to their handling of the various Warriors franchises, and that experience comes shining through here. Attacking giant monsters is a breeze, and with the addition of Demon Hand (where touching a monster on the screen propels you towards them), it’s even easier than it was the first time around.

I know that a lot of people have already written off the Toukiden series as little more than a Monster Hunter clone. And I get it: you are, after all, hunting monsters. But Toukiden 2 shows that just because the formula may be similar, the execution is on a whole other level. It’s a fantastic game, and if you want to hunt monsters in an open world, you don’t need to wait around for Monster Hunter World — Toukiden 2 is already here.

Grade: A