Touken Ranbu Warriors, review

Review of Touken Ranbu Warriors, a game that is a good compromise between the anime of the same name and the hack’n slash video game.

Sengoku era, samurai, time travel, monsters to annihilate: some strange ingredients actually, especially for a hack’n slash due out just in time for the summer. However, if Koei Tecmo has taught players something, precisely to rely on long-proven formulas, in addition to content and characters. So don’t be surprised if you pre-order a title like Touken Ranbu Warriors in major digital stores, the name of which may not be telling you anything and its pictures won’t prove to be clear.

Even the price seems justified by the precise multimedia context: Touken Ranbu Warriors is the second video game – this time entirely in 3D – of the niche anime, Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru. The first was the online card game Touken Ranbu -ONLINE-. Operation Koei Tecmo was to adapt to Touken Ranbu a genre he mastered perfectly: “1 in 1000” fighters, whom the writer himself can never distinguish so well from a real mousou.

Result? Instant, fun and discreetly selected action game. You don’t believe it? Read reviewed by Touken Ranbu Warriors.

Plot: samurai and historical revisionism

For the first time, the heroes of Touken Ranbu Warriors are shown in 3D

Loam narrative context Touken Ranbu Warriors is the same as the anime Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru proposes, but the vision of the second is not necessary to understand the first: the video game actually explains everything you need to know in the short introductory films. Thus we learn that in the year 2205, historical revisionists began, no one knows how, to attack the past in order to change human history to their advantage. The Sengoku period is especially oriented.

The Government of Time therefore decided to seek refuge using the power of Seniwa, individuals capable of reviving objects or bringing back to life historic swords from that time, giving them the bodies of young warriors. The real heroes of Touken Ranbu Warriors are just that Touken Danshi, the fifteen most powerful Senivas of all time, entrusted with the protection of Japan’s historic era. Everything is clear so far, despite the minimum production complexity that is not well known.

In this context, the production of Koei Tecmo adds “its” intrigue. The Tounken Danshi are enjoying spring, in a period of relative peace: but another attack by the demons of the Revisionist Army is coming. As they confront the monsters, a government messenger, the fox Konnosuke, explains to them that the best is yet to come. The main fortress, called Honmaru, is under siege, and another war with the enemy is looming on the horizon, in which the current Touken Danshi forces may not be enough this time …

Gameplay: un po ‘hack’n slash, un po’mousou

Hand-to-hand combat is at the heart of Touken Ranbu Warriors
Hand-to-hand combat is at the heart of Touken Ranbu Warriors

All the first missions by Touken Ranbu Warriors are designed to allow the player to get to know the basic (and advanced) mechanics of the game. Maybe someone came to the video game just because he is a fan of the anime in question: the creators of DMM Games also thought of them, because the “easy” mode allows you to automatically perform all the most complex and powerful activities, so as to progress without any minimal problem. The goal in this case is simply to enjoy a good story.

Loam game the title, on the other hand, constantly oscillates between pure hack’n slash and mousou. Before each mission, the player chooses which Tounek Danshi he wants to control (initially the choice is limited, then the entire squad will be at his disposal), each with different parameters, moves and moves. Mission objectives may vary, but it is roughly always a matter of eliminating every demon on the screen, starting from point A and reaching point B of the environment. Nothing original, but the immediacy of the whole and the combat system make Touken Ranbu Warriors a very rewarding experience.

Touken Ranbu Warriors characters can interact with each other if the player assigns them to the same rooms
Touken Ranbu Warriors characters can interact with each other if the player assigns them to the same rooms

Each character performs a basic attack with Y, with X powerful; only the first of the two can be put together in a series of combinations. Thus, pressing R with the addition of one of the four basic keys animates a special action that changes depending on the combination and, above all, on the characters present. In this way combat operations and the offensive itself is extremely varied; It takes boredom to master it for several hours, and the latter has always been the main threat to this species.

On the other hand, it is difficult to determine which of the two souls is dominant in Touken Ranbu Warriors: the action is always central, that is, fixed, but the ways of the enemy’s offensive are different. Sometimes they attack in small groups of more powerful than usual demons – even triggering interesting sword QTEs in which one of the two duelists has to win – other times it’s impossible to spot rivals on the screen as they soar up the order of the hundreds. Here the hack’n slash gives way mouse real, where the main goal is to destroy a row and row of enemies, all identical and equally insignificant. At the end of each level, the characters you use earn experience points by upgrading and unlocking new skills.

Honmaru: home, sweet home

Graphically speaking, there is nothing to complain about in Touken Ranbu Warriors
Graphically speaking, there is nothing to complain about in Touken Ranbu Warriors

Samurai, even those with magical powers, are not always at war: they need to rest. And when they rest, they go toHonmaruthat is, the personal fortress hosting the special forces of the Government of Time. In terms of game mechanics, Honmaru serves as the main hub, or home base. However, this is not a simple two-dimensional screen from which you can save your progress, access settings, view DLC, and of course repeat old missions and start new ones to continue the story. The fortress also allows access to a whole range of passive activities.

The individual Touken Danshi can actually be assigned to specific Honmaru rooms and environments: that is, it will allow them to increase their experience, unlock new skills, obtain useful materials at a later time for updates. Not only that: the fandom will be able to witness original and unexpected interactions between individual Tounek Danshi if the player is able to assign certain pairs to equally specific areas of the apartment. In short, it is to add variety to the constant flow of battles, partly to diversify the offer and partly to finally experience something new.

Action, style and a thousand thousand enemies await you in Touken Ranbu Warriors
Action, style and a thousand thousand enemies await you in Touken Ranbu Warriors

Incidentally, Touken Ranbu Warriors, in addition to having a good narrative rhythm, also shows in other aspects that it is not simply a product designed and sold “just because there is a reference anime.” Over there soundtrack it is excellent and combines pieces designed in a balanced way for the moments of action rather than; the overall appearance is more than pleased, even in handheld mode; minimal slowdowns. The environments will not be too extensive, but they make up for with care and diversity.


Tested version Nintendo Switch

Digital delivery

Nintendo Online Store

€ 59.99

Touken Ranbu Warriors comes as a surprise, with the exception of fans of the Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru anime who have probably followed its development very closely. On the other hand, it comes as no great surprise that it turns out to be very enjoyable both as a hack’n slash and as a mousou, proposing, among other things, two different difficulty levels, making it really suitable for any type of player. A good rhythmic and, above all, original narrative is accompanied by an excellent soundtrack, and above all, movies whose anime really has nothing to envy. Also with total hours calibrated up and towards full playability (good luck getting everyone present to the top level!), Touken Ranbu Warriors could be your next purchase. Of course, as long as you like the genre.


  • Loyal to the anime
  • Nice graphics and sound
  • Conservative but effective gameplay


  • It will take time for newcomers to learn about the 15 heroes
  • Quarrels in a pair leave the time they found
  • However, the level of challenge remains limited

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