I have not updated this since June. Yep. Been awhile to put it lightly. I used to update this like monthly or bi-monthly at least lol. Whats new?
First off, I finally have a PS4! Next gen has begun!
Next, I have another game from the Hunting Genre to talk about for the Vita. Toukiden: Age of Demons .
Toukiden is a hunting game by one of the Dynasty Warriors teams (the good one apparently) by Tecmo-Koei. The game puts you in the role of a Slayer, who's task it is to defeat the oni emerging from the underworld, who have the intention of merging our world with theirs. These demons feast off human souls, and it is up to you and your fellow slayers to stem the tide of the invasion.
First off I love this game's art style and enemy design: img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20…
Somewhat making it a combination of Monster Hunter and Onimusha if you think about it (both owned by Capcom ironically enough lol). The weapon mechanics are very satisfying to use. Weapons include Swords, Dual Knives, Spears, Gauntlets, Bows, and Chain and Scythe (Kusarigama). The Knives for example can be used to juggle yourself on the Oni by pushing you upwards, they also have a spin move and another that allows you to run while slashing. The Chain and Scythe can be used to pull yourself onto an enemy and slash with the scythe end. Gauntlets have a fast punch combo, swords can gouge enemy wounds (you place your sword in it's sheath after striking an enemy and can do damage after the combo, little hard to explain, think something like the anime move where the cuts happen after the character puts his sword away). All are fun to use, I often find myself setting into one weapon, only to try another and then setting back into it immediately, and so on and so forth.
Toukiden has a new mechanic when it comes to taking down your prey. Unlike previous games in the genre, your can outright remove body parts from the Oni with enough damage. The kick being that they will quickly regenerate an energy replacement. This replacement is the Oni's life force, which then must be damaged to actually affect the creature's health. The physical piece removed must also be purified (carved in Monster Hunter terms) to prevent it from being regenerated later. So to put it bluntly, you have to actually destroy the Oni's soul in order to exercise it from your world completely. The majority of Oni also have second forms, changing up their tactics almost completely during combat. For example, the oni in the image above begins to crawl on all fours and acts somewhat like a scorpion, and a pheonix like oni becomes a stretchy armed therapod creature. Some will also create new body parts instead of automatically turning to energy formed limbs once removed the first time.
Another mechanic worth mentioning is that of Mitama. Much how Monster Hunter has gems and slots to give you skills in your armor, Toukiden only has slots in weapons (up to 3) that let you put in the souls of rescued heroes (found randomly within certain oni) that give you skills. An NPC in town allows you to upgrade these souls so they obtain new skills for you to use. Each Mitama can only hold 3 skills at a time, so when it levels up you have to pick and choose which you want to keep. Much like a Pokemon having a limited moveset. However, the NPC also offers a service that resets the Mitama's level, allowing you to build it back up and give it a new skill load out. Mitama also fall under several types which give you different stocks of spells while on a mission: pbs.twimg.com/media/BfzDuWUCEA…
Unlike Monster Hunter, weapons and armor are actually leveled up by using them. After enough quests are taken (usually the harder the better) you can visit the blacksmith to fortify your equipment to a higher level, giving it more defense for armor, or an attack, elemental, precision, or slots boost for weapon. In order to obtain a weapon from an Oni's "subspecies (recolor with new element) you must own the weapon and have it fortified high enough to make the transition, instead of just crafting it outright. Finally, armor also has a weight system that effects how much you are knocked back when hit by a large enemy.
Other Misc things:
You get a small twin tailed fox called a Tenko early on in the game. You can send it out to collect materials from different areas for you while you are out on a quest. It will change colors depending on how familiar it is with an area, giving it a higher chance of bringing in more items.
There is a hot spring pool that can be used before a quest. Checking the notice board in town will let you know if its time for male or females to use it. When you use it, you will either find no one and bathe alone, or you will awkwardly run into a random character. Depending on your status with them (bringing them on quests or doing quests for them, makes them like you more) they will either be happy to bathe with you and give you a temporary skill boost which is dependent on the character (for example the blacksmith helps the meter required to fortify your weapon rise more during a quest, the AI character who uses a bow will let the auto target function on your bow lock onto more enemies, etc etc) or forcibly remove you, and give you nothing.
This game's equivalent of Great Jaggi is a giant spider oni.
Toukiden is pretty enjoyable, and I look forward to playing more, the only reason I'm not playing it now is because my battery must recharge lol. Hopefully the west gets the neat cross over DLC with Soul Sacrifice now...