Touken Ranbu Warriors – Review
Follow Genre: Hack 'n Slash, Musou
Developer: Ruby Party, Omega Force
Publisher: KOEI TECMO
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Touken Ranbu Warriors – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Fun new franchise to delve into, Light and colorful, Interesting characters
Bad: No multiplayer, Basic, Mostly appealing to fans of the source material, Could have used some more characters
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Over the course of the last decade, many franchises have received the ‘Warriors‘ treatment, ranging from Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors to more niche titles such as Berserk and the Band of the Hawk. Of course, many more franchises have received similar spin-off games, and it seems that TECMO KOEI isn’t planning on stopping just yet with these Musou titles. Now, we have a slightly more obscure entry in the genre with the release of Touken Ranbu Warriors. This franchise is known only to a certain audience, and it will also be the very first time that people around the world will see the Touken Danshi characters fully animated in 3D. While what we got ended up being a watered-down version of Dynasty Warriors, it was quite enjoyable nonetheless.

Story

Touken Ranbu Warriors’ story is a bit of an oddity. The game revolves around the Touken Danshi, who are in fact swords that have gained a human form. These Touken Danshi now fight the History Retrograde Army. The latter tries to alter the current timeline by altering key events from the past. The Touken Danshi will also have to travel to the past, to prevent the HRA from meddling with historic events.

As a whole, the story is a bit hard to get into if you’re not familiar with the Touken Ranbu franchise. Nonetheless, what is present is quite pleasant to wade through, and eventually, it’s all about strengthening the bonds between the fifteen available characters in the game.

Graphics

Graphically, Touken Ranbu Warriors is actually a very good-looking game for the Switch. The Touken Danshi character models are superbly handled, and so are the very odd-looking enemies. Sadly, of the latter, there is hardly any variety to be found. The backdrops in the game are also nicely done, but many assets get reused over and over again. Nonetheless, everything blends together nicely, resulting in a pretty colorful Warriors game. As the franchise still has more characters, we would have liked to see several more characters thrown in the mix.

Sound

The game contains loads of voiced dialogues, which immediately adds a lot of charm to the equation. The voice acting is great and every character has sufficient lines to make every single one of them feel important. Of course, with only a cast of fifteen main characters, this was easier to achieve compared to traditional Dynasty Warriors games where there are at least five times as many characters. We did regret that the short Japanese voiced lines at the start of a mission didn’t come with subtitles. Complementing the great voice acting is the adventurous soundtrack and the decent sound effects. The background music is likable, but it never truly steals the show. The sound effects suffice for the onscreen action.

Gameplay

Touken Ranbu Warriors belongs to the Musou genre, which is also often referred to as the 1 vs 1000 games. As the latter may imply, this means that you’ll be going up against a large number of enemy troops on your own, or only with a few characters as a backup. This is a staple for the Warriors games, and it works just as nicely for Touken Ranbu Warriors. Keep in mind that this game is a single-player-focused release, so you cannot play with friends locally or online. This is actually quite a shame, as these games are often the most fun when played with a friend locally. Nonetheless, the offset is once again very clear: you’ll be playing through short missions, often taking down the opposition, while also completing a few other objectives. The game tries to spice things up by letting you explore the small maps to perform an investigation, but sometimes you’ll also have to avoid enemies or escort allies.

The controls and the mechanics are very straightforward here, and you even have the option to play with simplified controls. You’ll be able to perform normal attacks, special attacks, and a dodge ability. After a few missions, you’ll also unlock skills you can perform with your partner, and the further you let certain characters bond, the more passive abilities they may get when working together. You won’t see that much character evolution in this game, as the only thing you can unlock are some new special attacks, which all tend to boil down to the same, albeit with a slightly higher damage rate, bigger range, and so on.

As a whole, you’re getting a solid Warriors game here, albeit a very casual entry in the genre. The game is very easy from start to finish, and the mechanics are quite basic compared to other titles. Character upgrades are done by investing some of your collected resources, and items also grant you small passive bonuses. You don’t really have a complex gear system in the game. The Touken Danshi can also gain experience by being assigned to different rooms in the Honmaru (your base), making sure you can also passively level up characters that you might not pick that often yourself. Other than that, you can also play a few mini-games in-between missions, but we found these to be a bit bland and often not worth the hassle to get negligible resource or experience bonuses.

Conclusion

Touken Ranbu Warriors is a fun Warriors game, albeit an easy one. Fans of these games will probably best stick with other entries in the franchise, as the source material here is not for everyone. While we enjoyed playing as the battle-hardened Touken Danshi in this adventure, we would have loved a more intriguing story for a single-player-focused title such as this. Don’t get us wrong, the story content, shallow as it may be, was quite fun to plow through, it just lacked a lot of background on the characters and what Touken Ranbu is actually all about. The combat, however, is easy to get into, and the short missions make this game an entertaining title to be played on the go. Touken Ranbu Warriors proves to be a great entry point to the Musou genre, and if you have an interest in the source material, Touken Ranbu Online, then this one will provide you with a fair few hours’ worth of fun.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Touken Ranbu Warriors - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

1 Comment

  1. […] for Switch•Pick up the full version of Keplerth today, with a launch discount!•Touken Ranbu Warriors – Review•LOST EPIC gears up for godslaying with their full release on July […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?
    Yes
    No

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.