Before I begin, let me state that I heavily dislike the Monster Hunter series and games like it. However, I am still willing to give them a shot. I've tried Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate, and now I've tried Toukiden: Kiwami. Sadly though, my favorite giant monster killing game is still the Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe series.
The game is a sequel to Toukiden: Age of Demons (though it does not really matter) and you play as a "Slayer." A Slayer is someone who basically fights against the army of invading Oni (Japanese demons). As you progress, you meet new NPCs that you can add to your group and each chapter of the game ends with a confrontation against one of the giant ones.
There's nothing really impressive about the graphics. They look at about the level of any Playstation 3 game or an equivalent of. Monster models are fairly detailed. The thing that stands out to me the most is the character art and they are by far the most impressive. The cutscenes and appearance of the large monsters feel fairly lackluster to me though. Enemy and area diversity definitely needs improvement as you are basically in the same map every single time ntil you clear the chapter assuming they don't make you go back. At least minor changes would at least make the area feel different. Instead, they just have you run through a different combination of sections on the map.
The beginning of the game is long and dull. You have a starter weapon and you are basically taught the basics of combat along with how to use special abilities during your fist battle against a fairly annoying boss monster if you are not familiar with the game. They later on teach you to absorb demons that you kill so that you can use their parts to upgrade your equipment and about mitama (spirits captured by the demons) that buff your stats. There's really no customization until you make progress in the game and gain access to the new equipment and mitama. Once you get a few chapters into the story, then you will have enough items to actually start upgrading your equipment and begin a little customization. However, it feels like a long journey just to get to that point.
Combat in this game feels clunky and poorly executed. With characters weilding such large and unrealistic weapons, they are very slow and feel unresponsive at times. When you fight small generic enemies, I actually have a hard time estimating the distance between me and the enemy because of how awkward the combat feels. The lock on feature helps to address this a little, but I still found it difficult to use. It is also highly repetitive due to the lack of combos. There were times where I felt like they should have just taken some moves from their Dynasty Warriors series in order to add some speed and variety for each weapon. You can use special abilities to see monster weak points, find hidden things on the map, or power up your attacks, but I found some of these features to be more annoying than useful, especially when looking for hidden things on the map.
Missions in the game are highly repetitive and basically amount to Kill X or destroy a certain number of Y. This is expected of these games, but you will find yourself frequently repeating missions in order to get items that you need to upgrade your gear or enough points to upgrade your mitama. Most of the items that you actually find on your missions are junk, with only a handful of items being useful because you need them to actually upgrade your gear. The rest are meant to be scrapped for money at the end of the mission. The only missions I found enjoyable were the ones that featured boss battles. There are strategies and you have to learn the boss' attacks, but once you do, it gets repetitve as I found that enemies had quite a lot of health. It is less of a problem if you are playing co-operatively, but slashing and doding the same weak spots for like 2 minutes to get a boss to fall over so you can actually deal any significant damage is just tedious. This often repeats a few times before the boss is killed.
Toukiden: Kiwami is a decent game that introduces the lock on feature to a series that traditionally does not have it and it does work, but it does nothing to fix its initial problems. If you are a fan of the giant monster killing series, then Toukiden: Kiwami is something you will enjoy. If you do not like this, then there's nothing really here for you. Much like the rest of the giant monster killing series, it feels awfully slow and the combat is based on what the monster can do rather than what the player can do. They need to start shifting focus to enhance the abilities of the player rather than show a giant monster that you can only swing a giant weapon at.