I’ve played a lot of Musou games – some good, some bad, most mediocre, but this one might just be the worst yet.
It’s called Touken Ranbu Warriors and if you’re unfamiliar, this is another one of those spin-off Musou games like Persona 5 Strikers, Hyrule Warriors, etc. This time though, it’s based on the Touken Ranbu series, a free to play browser game VERY popular with the female demographic. I mean, the entire cast is pretty boys so that’s a given.
I have never played the original game, but I have seen both anime adaptations, so I was already familiar going into this one. Unfortunately, that didn’t help. What I was met is the worst Musou experience I have had yet and I had originally planned to give this game a full review, but honestly, it was a struggle to even play as far as I did, so I gave up on that idea.
It’s not even like the combat was that bad. I mean, Musou games aren’t known for their revolutionary combat, but the combat here is at least par for the course. It’s more so the egregious level design, mission structure, and repetition that brought this one down.
For example, the first handful of missions – you’re just fighting skeletons. An hour later? More skeletons. A few hours later? Skeletons, but with some humanoid ones too. What makes this worse is that each level is the most small and linear thing ever. Gone are the usual large, open, or interconnected environments of most Musou games and here we get maybe a few open areas connected by short paths. You can walk across most levels in seconds and this extends into the actual playtime of those missions as well.
As in, I was literally completing most of these missions in just two minutes or less. The vast majority of the missions have you go to an area, take down a strong enemy, go to the next area, take down the same enemy, and repeat until it is over. It takes maybe a few minutes max to do this, but sometimes the game purposefully blocks you from completing the missions that fast and forces you to use your animal sidekick to “analyze” the environment. This usually requires you to wait around for that to complete or to plow through another ten or so waves of identical enemy types before the analysis reaches 100% and you can finally finish the mission.
The entire thing just lacks substance, more so than the usual for this series and it’s not helped here by the fact that you spend more time looking at menus and loading animations than actual gameplay. In-between missions you get the boring, lengthy dialogue scenes too, not helped by how “samey” a lot of the Touken Ranbu characters come off as here (the anime did a much better job in that regard).
So I can’t say I had a good time with this one. Granted, maybe it improves later on, but I am hours into it and it’s hardly done anything at all to hold my interest enough to finish it for a review. Maybe if you’re a diehard Touken Ranbu fan, but even then, this is a tough one to recommend at all.
Touken Ranbu Warriors retails for $60 USD on Steam. It is also available on Switch.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.