Through the 2010s it became trendy in anime games to have inanimate objects turn into people. For a while everything was getting turned into people, from warships to soda cans there was something out there for everybody. Unfortunately a lot of these didn’t stand the test of time; however, one series that did succeed is Touken Ranbu, which involves men being personified as historical Japanese weaponry. Made by Nitroplus, Touken Ranbu, or sword boys as fans would like to call them, is pretty unique because it is aimed at a female audience. Other than a browser-based game, it also has anime manga and other media based on it.
Recently it has gotten the Dynasty Warriors treatment with Touken Ranbu Warriors. Before I had a chance to pick up this release, I’d always known of Touken Ranbu but I’ve never had a chance to play it. During that time I was knee-deep into a similar game called Kantai Collection. Being a fan of Dynasty Warriors I was excited to pick up this game and what I found was an enjoyable experience that pretty much follows the Dynasty Warriors formula with some of Touken Ranbu thrown in.
Touken Ranbu Warriors opens up in the year 2205. The past is in danger of being changed so the government of time has appointed the “Saniwa” to protect the past while preserving the future. Do you have a special power you can awaken and watch over the Touken Dashi? They will then travel through time to defeat the History Retrograde Army (or HRA for short) who seeks to change history.
After many battles, a moment of peace has come over your base, the Honmaru, but that peace would not last. Suddenly after a long time, the Honmaru is attacked and the Touken Dashi defends it…but in the aftermath the Saniwa goes missing! Before anybody can look for the Saniwa, a small but magical fox named Konnosuke appears ready to deliver another mission to the Touken Dashi! Honestly, the story starts and just doesn’t stop. It constantly throws you into different parts of Japanese history that make you fix whatever is wrong with it. I wasn’t sure what Touken Ranbu’s story was before coming into this but I enjoyed seeing these historical figures in a different light.
Like traditional Dynasty Warriors games Touken Ranbu Warriors has a pretty simplistic control scheme. You have one main attack button, a special attack that can be used quickly, or if you hold down a shoulder button it pops open a menu with four different other special attacks. This leads to some pretty deep gameplay as you can chain combos together and two other moves. It keeps the game from getting stale in my eyes because each of the playable characters (and there are a lot of them) all play somewhat differently. My only real complaint that I have with the missions is that a lot of the battlefields are small in comparison to other Dynasty Warriors games. They do get bigger as I progressed through the game, but I would still say that there are small and pretty linear.
Outside of combat there is also the responsibility of taking care of the Honmaru when you’re back in 2205. The Honmaru serves as the main hub for Touken Ranbu Warriors. When at the Honmaru you can place your Touken Dashi in different parts of the base to have them appear on the menu. While slotted at the Honmaru they can bond with other Touken Dashi members that are in the same area as well as earn experience even if they are not in battle. There are also mini games that you can play that will earn you extra materials and gold. They are a fun little diversion from the main game.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Touken Ranbu Warriors. It doesn’t fall into the old formula like other Dynasty Warriors style games. I believe anybody who is a fan of either one of these series would enjoy this game greatly. I hope that with the next iteration of this game they increase the size of the battlefields to something closer to other Dynasty Warriors titles. Touken Ranbu Warriors is available on PC via Steam and the Nintendo Switch!
Touken Ranbu Warriors Review
Touken Ranbu Warriors Review
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Touken Ranbu Warriors. It doesn't fall into the old formula like other Dynasty Warriors style games. I believe anybody who is a fan of either one of these series will enjoy this game greatly.