Toukiden made a huge impact on the Vita community when it launched, as we didn’t have a Monster Hunter game directly from the actual franchise. We got Kiwami not much later, as well as Freedom Wars around the same time, and people never seem to get enough of slaying beasts and upgrading their gear. Toukiden 2 has come to Vita now, showing the continued commitment to supporting the handheld Koei Tecmo has followed through with for years. Is it any good, though? Let’s find out.
For a monster hunter type game, the story is actually fantastic. One could have done with some generic, amnesia-driven fare, but much like Ys VIII, Toukiden 2 has invested heavily on storytelling to go hand in hand with the gameplay. And it works like a charm. I won’t spoil much for you, but there’s some intricate traveling going on, as well as a post-apocalyptic setting, inter-clan dynamics and much, much more. Considering monster hunter-type games are gameplay-driven, it’s a treat to have a story this complex and this well-written for Toukiden 2.
Another thing that strikes a superb balance between the old and the new is the presentation: incredible draw distances show what the Vita can really do, even in 2017. Sure, it’s now in the twilight of its working life, but it’s so, so close to delivering Nintendo Switch quality visuals, it’s really rather impressive for a device this old. Toukiden 2 takes full advantage of every inch of computing power, including the extra RAM we got a few updates ago which closes system apps. Overall, the game looks and sounds fantastic, with only a few minor framedrops during in-game rendered cutscenes or busy combat.
Speaking of combat, you didn’t come here to read me wax lyrical about how pretty the game looks or how much the story has been improved. You came here to know if this is any good to play.
It’s good. It’s very good. Actually, for the kind of game that it is… it is perfect. The gaming is complex but not overwhelming, specially considering the staggered-but-not-boring tutorials, which allow you to get a grip on the control scheme and battle systems. Again, I don’t want to spoil too much as the writers have actually incorporated the combat mechanics into the story; this means you will get to know your character and their abilities slowly throughout the game, but it also means it will have an anchor on the storytelling. This makes for a very compelling package that brings dialog, plot and gameplay together wonderfully.
Not all is perfect. The framedrops can get a bit bothersome during some battle sequences, and they are somewhat unpredictable when it comes to figuring out what triggers them.
That, however, is the extent of my nags about Toukiden 2.
The latest entry into Koei Tecmo’s monster hunting franchise may not appeal to everyone (the genre itself is actually not my favorite), but a combination of great storytelling (including fun, deep and cohesive NPCs), a wonderful presentation (minor gripes about framedrops aside) and flawlessly executed combat mechanics make Toukiden 2 a late but very worthy contender for a spot on the “Best Vita games of all time” list.
At A Glance
- Title: Toukiden 2
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo
- Format: PSN Download
- Memory Card Space Required: 2.72gb
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- PlayStation TV Compatability: TBC