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Not at all ashamed to be a Monster Hunter clone the Vita desperately needed
on February 12, 2014
Monster Hunter was one of the main the system sellers for the PSP and now Nintendo has the rights to it. The Playstation Vita has been left to suffer without a good polished hunting ARPG.
Soul Sacrifice filled the void for some, but I wasn't convinced. I never felt attached to my character or his abilities because I didn't work to build each piece of armor or collect loot to craft my next weapon. It just feel way too "streamlined" and that's not always a good thing.
Toukiden thankfully plays very much like the Monster Hunter series. You live in a village, and you take hunting quests. You go on hunting quests with up to 3 NPC's or 3 players via AD-HOC or online play, you kill smaller monsters, kill big monsters, and you loot. Big monsters require you to scope out it's weak spots to cripple it before finishing it off (cut a leg off, cut a tail off, etc) and it prevents the monster from landing it's bigger attacks without limbs. The combat system overall is very similar to Monster Hunter. There is no item management during battle in Toukiden, and healing/power boosts are handled by equipping souls to your weapons with limited ability use in battle. This streamlines the process although my personal preference is the more complex item management system used in Monster Hunter.
The reason Monster Hunter has been so addicting in the past is the complexity of the loot and reward system. You are constantly enticed by the next piece of gear, and you must farm loot to craft/make it. Unfortunately, this is where Toukiden falls short by a bit. Monster Hunter's loot system involved everything from crafting (with crafting tools) to fishing to farming to looting during battles. Toukiden so far has looting from battles and monster kills, and nothing else. There could be potentially add-ons to the village that will include this in the future. This is a new IP after all.
Monsters (Oni) are very diverse and fun to fight. There's not as many as there are in recent Monster Hunter games, 18 boss monsters compared to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate's 43. However, many of Monster Hunter's boss monsters are recycled and reskinned. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate only has 29 distinct boss types. It is also a much older IP with many releases. Hopefully the planned future DLC for Toukiden will increase the number of bosses available.
Pros and Cons of Toukiden:
-Monster hunter clone for the vita
-Fun combat system with well designed bosses
-The same addictive loot/kill/loot gameplay
-Full online infrastructure play with proper lobby support
-Lacks monster variety compared to seasoned Monster Hunter series (although this is to be expected of a new IP)
-Loot system is limited to looting in battle. There is no outside crafting/farming to add to the players attachment to the loot progression as a whole
-Story feels tacked on (although more of a story than Monster Hunter ever had)
Overall, I would recommend this game. It's the closest the vita has to a proper Monster Hunter clone, and that in and of itself is worth the purchase if you have been desperately waiting for a proper hunting game on your vita. Despite it's shortcomings, Toukiden definitely scratches my hunting game itch on the PS Vita.