Toukiden 2 takes most of its core mechanics from Toukiden Kiwami, but adds in a few new wrinkles.
Understanding those new pieces, and perfecting the old, will make you a better slayer. Below, you'll find a few tidbits about how to attack the game, and understand some of its deeper mechanics.
Get Comfortable With At Least Three Weapon Types
There is a healthy amount of weapon variation within Toukiden 2. Swords, dual daggers, spears, bows, rifles, etc. Each one has a varied move set and list of abilities. Run through the (excellent) tutorials and get a feel for each. Having the ability to deftly handle a heavy weapon, a ranged weapon, and a balanced weapon helps a bunch. That way, when selecting a mission, you can choose your weapon based on what sort of enemies you're dealing with. Don't forget to also find some of your favorite weapon types with some elemental improvements, which means you should befriend your local blacksmith.
Blacksmith, Materials, and Farming
The blacksmith will expand and strengthen his inventory the further you progress into the game, and the more you aid him. Not only can he craft weapons and armor for you, he can also fortify your current gear. The materials you need for fortification, and crafting, are listed when viewing each item. By pressing Square (on PS4), you can examine each component needed and it will inform you as to where the material can be farmed. Farming is easy and simple, as any mission can be repeated as needed to gather the materials you need. You will also befriend Machina and Tenko, who you can send out to farm for resources. Getting the right armor and weapons early on is a huge benefit.
It might seem confusing early on, but the Otherworld (aka the open world part of Toukiden 2), is divided into Ages. Each 'Age' is built to represent a certain time period, and functions like an area. So, age=area. The Otherworld is accessible at all times, and you can use stones to teleport throughout. One important aspect of the Otherworld is the miasma gauge. A circular gauge in the upper right hand corner will track your miasma exposure. Cleansing areas and finding shrines will lower miasma exposure, and if the meter fills, it's game over. You'll spend the majority of your time here, so get used to understanding this mechanic.
Arguably the biggest addition found in Toukiden 2 is the Demon Hand. This wonderful tool has a vast array of uses. You can grapple enemies, parry attacks, harness elemental power and even imbue your weapon with it. One use of it, that the game doesn't directly tell you, is that you can scale terrain with it. You can climb walls, latch onto tress, and cross large gaps if there's something to grab. It also has a separate meter you can charge, and when it's full you can release it to remove the body part of an Oni and deal serious damage. It's a really cool piece of equipment, and extremely useful.
Mitama and Combat
The double bar mechanism of combat is still present in Toukiden 2. When looking at an Oni through the Eye of Truth, you'll see two bars. The top bar represents its shield, so to speak, and the bottom bar is its health. Removing a limb, or doing enough consistent damage, removes the 'shield' which is accompanied by a color shift in the Oni. That's your sign to attack. Your play-style comes from your Mitama, or chosen spirit. In Toukiden 2, you can attach a Mitama to your weapon, armor, and Demon Hand. There are various types of Mitama, ten in all, like Attack, Deceit, Spirit, Defense, Speed, etc. Each one slowly levels up, and you can select upgrades for each, but one thing is important: if all your Mitama don't match in type, some upgrades will be inactive. Find what style, and abilities, suit you most.
Building Your Team
With each mission you set out on, you can bring three friends with you. Each one you bring along has a certain play-style and set of abilities. Keep an eye on this, and don't overflow your team with just one Mitama. An all attack team will struggle without healing and defense. Balance your team, especially against higher level Oni, so you have people supporting you and defending, while you attack or cast debilitating abilities. Don't forget to also use the command wheel. Generally, setting your team to 'Free' mode is best. They'll cleanse areas, heal themselves, and fight freely. If you're low, and need help, switch them to 'Aid'. Pay attention to that, it pays off.
Anything we forgot? Leave it down below, and keep your eyes on GameSpew for the full review of Toukiden 2 coming later this week!