Omega-Force's Toukiden is Monster Hunter meets Onimusha

The big news coming out of this week's issue of Japan's Famitsu mainly involves Toukiden, the next big release from the Dynasty Warriors developers at Omega-Force.

Toukiden was originally announced way back at last year's Tokyo Game Show but this is first time publisher Tecmo Koei Games has divulged gameplay details. The verdict so far: In short, it's Monster Hunter with some very pretty Onimusha-style ancient-Japan wallpaper attached to it.

Due out for both the PSP and PS Vita this year in Japan, Toukiden is set in an alternate-reality Far East marauded upon by oni, the wealth of demons and ogres that frequently show up in Japanese folklore. A group called the Mononofu has long fought against the oni in order to protect the human race, but the balance of power changed dramatically one day when a huge army of oni popped in from another world. The game begins eight years after this catastrophe, with your character becoming the latest Mononofu recruit as the fight grows more and more desperate.

Player characters will be fully customizable in Toukiden, with Famitsu's preview showing off two example male and female characters wearing fancy headdresses and wielding enormously long samurai swords. Up to four players can bring characters into the same game at once via local or wide-based Internet, and PSP users can co-op alongside PS Vita owners without a problem. (If you have less than four friends around, you can bring NPCs along with you to battle-such as Ohka, the fetching lady featured in the teaser trailer released a while back. That, or you can just challenge the oni by yourself.)

Gameplay is extremely Monster Hunter-like, with Mononofu members using a variety of weapons (longswords and bows were detailed in the preview) against hideous demons on a variety of game maps. The game seems to depict the action mostly from a diagonal viewpoint behind your character, although it's hard to tell since none of the screens had any interfaces pasted onto them. Your foes are slated to run the gamut of Asian mythology, including everything from the stupid, orc-like gaki to the gouenma, a huge, devil-like beast with a barbed, scorpion-ish tail.

Famitsu promised to reveal more info in next week's issue, including an interview with producers Kenichi Ogasawara and Hisashi Koinuma-both longtime Warriors series veterans.

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