Toukiden: Kiwami Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Toukiden: Kiwami Review



Never has a game annoyed me quite as much as Toukiden: Kiwami has. The initial startup went alright, so to say. Let’s ignore the fact that it completely ignored my laptop’s native resolution and forced me to run it at 1280×720. Let’s ignore the fact that the game crashed twice before I finally managed to claw my way to the main menu. Let’s also completely forget how my character got rendered only half-way through in the admittedly limited, character creator. No, what killed me is the fact that the machine I played Dying Light and GTA V on froze after I finally attempted to load the bloody game. Being away from my home rig at the moment, I had to visit a friend and install the game on his computer, only to be able to spend some time with one of the very worst console ports I’ve seen in my entire gaming career. But we’ll get to that a tad bit later, eh.


This is what my first run-in with the game looked like.

Toukiden: Kiwami is a game in which you hunt giant monsters, in essence. A third-person action adventure where up to four people can gang up to take down some pretty large and imposing beasties, collect their leftovers and use them to upgrade their vast arrays of armaments so as to keep doing the same thing over and over again, albeit with increasingly stronger monsters to boot. Yes, Toukiden IS taking quite a lot of inspiration from Capcom’s successful handheld franchise, but if there’s ever been a game one should attempt to copy, then it’s Monster Hunter.

Most of the game consists of the player character hunting down the gargantuan monstrosities going by the name of ‘Oni’, and is thus essentially a rather lengthy boss fight combo that keeps you coming for more. Naturally, the game is filled with all kinds of weapons. One can employ a giant katana in an effort to slice away at One’s legs while staying firmly rooted in the ground, or pack some nifty daggers instead and try to chop away the demons’ dangly bits while clinging to their hides. Perhaps you’d prefer to carry a massive handheld cannon instead? No problem. The bolt-action rifles can even deploy shotgun blasts and come with some cool techniques that differentiate it very much from their melee counterparts. Honestly, half of the game’s fun comes from playing with whatever scythe, mace or lance you feel like using at the given moment. The other half comes from facing the large selection of Oni on offer. Each type of monster has different movement and attack patterns you’ll have to master, and even though these are overly erratic in most cases, toying with the monsters is almost always fun. Of course, this being a Koei Tecmo game, button-mashing is a genuine strategy you’ll eventually start employing in every combat situation, but strategizing is somewhat viable also. Gameplay depth is added through the usage of fallen warrior spirits that, once your weapon is imbued with their power, allow you to use special attacks, defense techniques, taunts, and whatnot. These are oftentimes especially cool, but don’t expect to be able to gasp at the game’s coolness due to the overwhelming amount of special effects exploding across your screen at any given moment. One thing I dislike about the core gameplay mechanics is how repetitive they become after a while, with the same Oni getting taken down one after another, only for you to find the sixteenth giant bearded goblin-like creeper now being given a pallete swap and a larger pool of health points to swipe at. Granted, it’s not all about the building-sized creeps, as you’ll sometimes encounter waves of small monsters whose onslaught you’ll have to survive. These sections offer a breadth of fresh air and make a nice change of pace from all the “boss-fights” you’ll be seeing in Toukiden: Kiwami.


Yes, the PC version does have the console-styled button prompts. Lovely.

Now, gameplay aside, let’s speak of the issues I’ve mentioned at the beginning of the feature. It’d be a massive understatement to say that this is a poor console port. Not only is the ever-so-hated 30 FPS lock in place, but its removal through fiddling with the configuration files will horrifically speed up the game since it’s actually been hard locked this time around. Then again, I could definitely live with that. I’ve owned a PC that couldn’t run games at higher than 30 FPS reliably and am thus somewhat used to that, but the performance displayed by Toukiden: Kiwami is absolutely positively horrendous. Remember me mentioning GTA V and Dying Light? Both titles are rather hefty pieces of software with large, sprawling sandboxes in which the player is free to do as they wish. Well, Toukiden’s maps are oftentimes little more than glorified arenas with no more than five dynamic mobs displayed on-screen. The framerate sucks all the same; even though I can reliably run both AAA titles on medium to high settings with 45-60 FPS, my machine struggles at keeping Koei Tecmo’s software at a steady 30 in the game’s hub areas. And that’s after I reinstalled the game since it didn’t even run the first time around. Then there are the numerous crashes I’ve experienced both on my laptop and on my friend’s desktop with an R7 260x inside. Some lucky bastards have managed to avoid all of these problems and are free to enjoy the game as much as they can, but since I’ve experienced these issues I’ve got to report them all the same. And for the love of all that is holy, when can we have mouse support already? One would imagine this to be one of the basic features for a game that’s coming to PC, yet the developers seem to be oblivious of the tool’s existence.

When all is said and done, I cannot in good heart recommend you to invest in Toukiden: Kiwami on PC. Koei Tecmo’s lack of interest in this market feels insulting at this point and seeing most of their titles gathering virtually the same critiques with no change in sight tells us all we need to know. Make no mistake, Toukiden: Kiwami is objectively a good game, and if you’re lucky to run it without a hitch you’re in for a lengthy romp with lots of content.