Platform reviewed: PS4

Toukiden Kiwami is a remake of the original PlayStation Vita classic, Toukiden, which itself started life as a PlayStation Portable/Vita title in Japan back in 2013. The game eventually made the transition to U.S. shores the following year as a Vita-exclusive, and now in 2015 has arrived on PS4 complete with a current-generation makeover and a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure.

Toukiden Kiwami

First and foremost, Toukiden Kiwami’s main story is the same as the original version. This PS4 release also has a character creation tool present (which doesn’t seem to have been expanded, however) but with the addition of several new classes. I played through with the newly-added Rifle, which despite taking sometime to get used to, feels very smooth once you have given it some time, largely thanks to the loading mechanic. The guns you upgrade or purchase from the store can also utilize different bullet types, such as the ability to slow down the enemies’ movements to inflicting piercing damage on a single-target. This means you have to make sure you are ready for the quest ahead as sometimes a certain weapon type, even if it has less damage, may be better for a particular situation. Meanwhile, the other new classes use Naginata and Kanabo weapon styles, though I didn’t try these out much.

Toukiden Kiwami is set in a fictional settlement named Ukataka, where you have become the resident slayer for the town; that is, an individual who embarks on missions to kill the Oni that threaten your home land. There are multiple types of Oni, though you will still fight the same type of foes quite often. The game feels a lot like Monster Hunter, with your character going off to get resources and farming quests so they can improve their weapons and armour. Your character gains Mitama from defeating the Oni; these are spirits that have been trapped and can be equipped to your character, unlocking special abilities that can be used in battle.

Toukiden Kiwami has also added several new Mitama, which are a big help with the new classes. Early on in the story you gain a Tenko, which will live inside your house, and you’ll be able to send it off to collect items from chapters while your character is off on a quest. You can also buy items to change its fur pattern, and also increase its loyalty with food packages. Furthermore, if your quest is in the same age as the Tenko, you will also have a chance to see it wandering about collecting items. I also saw it attack during boss fights—a nice feature in itself—though it seemed to reduce its loyalty quite a bit.

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The game has three AI team mates that will provide support, though this depends on the story chapter or if there is a certain block in your current section of the storyline. The AI seems to have been improved since the Vita version, too. You can also send orders to the AI, and while the choices are limited, it’s still a handy feature to use. There’s online play support too, where you can join with up to three other players. This is where the game becomes even more enjoyable as co-op can always enrich an experience, and this is certainly the case here. Still, it would be nice in the future to have your friends able to visit your town, which would be a great feature for a potential Toukiden 2. The game also features Cross-Play with the Vita version of Kiwami, allowing you to experience Toukiden with your friends anywhere, while Cross-Save is support too; if you transfer your saves across each version, you’ll unlock bonus outfits. Finally, those of you who downloaded the demo from the PS Store can transfer the unlocks from the demo to the retail copy—this will also unlock bonus items.

In terms of looks the PS4 version has improved graphics compared to the original Vita version. The environments are much more detailed and feel alive, while the water effects are splendid and a real highlight of the game’s visual overhaul. Toukiden Kiwami also runs really smooth, with the frame rate keeping a steady pace even with hordes of Oni or even giant Oni are on the screen simultaneously. Having said that, it doesn’t push the PS4’s raw horse power by any stretch of the imagination, although it’s clear a lot of work went into polishing up the game for its console debut.

Overall, Toukiden Kiwami is easily worth your hard-earned cash, with the game feeling much more improved with the new Oni and the extended storyline, while the extra mitama and classes help flesh out the value. For fans of the Monster Hunter genre this is definitely worth recommending, although if you aren’t a fan of grinding, you’ll probably be a little put off. If you’re still on the fence after reading this review (you did read it, right!?), then I recommend you pick up the demo on the PS Store and give the game a spin for yourself.

Toukiden: Kiwami is a great port of an already solid game and shines on PS4 with enhanced visuals and all-new content.