The Monster Hunter craze is very hard to replicate. The Nintendo exclusive games have been nothing short of massive in Japan as well as a growing following in the US. That does mean there’s no Monster Hunter on the PlayStation Vita, despite it being a better fit possibly on Sony’s handheld. There have been some games on PlayStation Vita that aimed to be system’s Monster Hunter including Ragnarok Odyssey and Sony’s own Souls Sacrifice even though it changed some things up a bit. Toukiden: The Age of Demons is more traditional in terms of comparisons to Monster Hunter but with a nice art-style and ancient Japanese lore and music, Toukiden is one you should definitely keep your eye on.
In Toukiden: The Age of Demons, you visit a village which has been battling evil creatures that have been attacking the area for the last eight years since they made their way through a portal in an event known as “The Awakening.” The story is interesting to say the least and are sometimes advanced through great looking CG cut-scenes.
But it’s not in the premise and story that will keep you interested. The gameplay of Toukiden is what will keep you invested. In the game, you will choose your weapons from swords, knives, spears, gauntlets, chain and sickle, and a bow. Not only can you upgrade them, you can also create new ones with the materials you pick up in the battleground. This isn’t anything new to those who play much of the genre but it has an accessible but deep feeling to the mechanic.
While there is nothing massively different about the game that makes instantly unique, it’s actually in the execution of everything together that keeps you going back and playing the same missions over and over again. There is a lengthy demo available to download for everyone and it’ll last a few hours. When I reached the end of the demo, I just kept going, replaying the missions and completing the questions.
The jobs you must do is broken into two: missions and quests. Missions are your standard quests that send you to do tasks in each map. Quests mostly require you to collect a certain number of materials. While they may sound like a grind, it’s the type of game that is all about the slow progression; although don’t take that as a negative.
Battling is fast and responsive. Depending on the mission, you can either take three AI controlled companions or go online and play with up to three other players online. Combat is fast and rather simple with each face button being all you really need. Should you want to pull of special abilities, you can hold the R button to unleash your mitama abilities.
Mitama are cards you will find on the battlefield by defeating enemies. They are as a buffer to help boost your stats as well as allow you to unleash four separate abilities. Each Mitama can be levelled up by using them on the battlefield or by spending your currency. As your mitama levels up, it will give you other boosts to help you when in combat.
Toukiden: The Age of Demons is coming to PlayStation Vita on February 14th.