Toki, the review for PlayStation 4

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
Author and references

It would be really hard to pick a better season than summer to write one review di Toki. Or rather, of the Toki remake: you know those old voluminous, noisy cabinets that probably consumed half the daily electricity of the bathing establishments in a few hours? We are talking about almost thirty years ago of course: it was the 90s, and a game of the arcade on duty immediately after lunch was practically a ritual. Alongside the most famous Metal Slug, Puzzle Bobble and company, it was not uncommon to find Toki too: at first disdained by arcade players, he soon achieved considerable success. It was fun, it was colorful, and it required you to learn very few game mechanics: jump, shoot, continue towards the end of the level by eliminating all the enemies along the way. In the time that has passed since 1989, the TAD Corporation has now gone bankrupt, but thank goodness Philippe Dessoly (art director) and Pierre Adane (programmer) are still alive, well and active in the sector. And here then we can provide you with Toki's review for PlayStation 4: let's try to understand how much and how the title has aged and above all if it still makes sense to dedicate your attention to it.

Plot and gameplay: Toki is back

The goal of Dessoly and Adane has been from the beginning to give the 1989 game back to the public, updating it only in terms of visual rendering: the purpose has been largely achieved, since Toki has really remained the same game as almost thirty years ago. Not that this is a problem, indeed probably the greatest merit of the production is precisely that of having re-emerged the gameplay that made the original title so famous and that has entertained players in arcades for years and years. Not even the narrative sector has been minimally altered: the player's aim is to take out the bad guy on duty, by controlling the movements and actions of Toki, the hero of the same name. The assault of the sorcerer Vookimedlo on the village of Toki is nothing more than a mere narrative pretext to set events in motion: not content with declaring war on the village, the sorcerer kidnaps Toki's girlfriend and transforms the latter into a grotesque (but to funny traits) ape. This of course is not enough to make the hero desist from his intent: Toki begins a long journey (to be exact along six worlds) in search of his girlfriend, during which he will have to contend with small and large henchmen of Vookimedlo.

The few narrative lines necessary to understand the unfolding of events are provided from time to time before the launch of the specific game world: they are also fairly detailed, although purely ancillary. After all, Toki was not played (and is not played) for sure plot. Fortunately, in addition to the narration also the gameplay it has remained the same as ever, which means that for most players today Toki will be a damn difficult title. One of those that from time to time will lead you to desire the complete and total destruction of the PlayStation 4, by means of gasoline or giant hammers. Toki can be sneaky and frustrating like few video games, and certainly it was one of the most infamous even in 1989: this is because beyond immediate and intuitive game mechanics, within the reach of all age groups, the difficulty level it was deliberately tuned upwards by the developers themselves. First of all, the protagonist is very fragile, and always in constant danger, as much as a crystal glass could be inside an active volcano.

It doesn't matter which enemy hits Toki, it doesn't matter if you accidentally bump into the spike of a parade that you didn't even notice at all: today as then the monkey will fly away towards the game over, in a funny leap to the underworld. There are also few credits available to the player: the "easy" game mode would actually be nothing more than the experience of the original arcade, which certainly wasn't easy at the time; gradually it is then possible to do even more harm by setting the direct permadeath or with other options that we strongly advise you not to even check. It should be noted, however, that the PlayStation 4 version can also count on a quick save system, which is certainly useful on more than one occasion. On the other hand Toki has at least a series of power-ups on his side that can be collected along the fairly long six levels of themain adventure: there is the breath of fire that invests everything it encounters, the charged energy spheres, the triple blow and some tricks up its sleeve that will either be picked up from the ground or obtained from the drop of the eliminated enemies.

From time to time there is no shortage of aids of various kinds, such as extra time to complete the levels (and yes, there is also the timer to press the player), or sneakers that allow you to jump higher. Don't even think about extra lives, since they generally require very high risks to be collected. The aids, however, in general are few, especially considering the amount of enemies that you will find yourself against at every corner of every single level; It should also be kept in mind that all are placed in never random positions, and that from time to time the approach, the inclination of the blows and the strategy must be very precise. If you do not pay attention to every single step it is likely that you will never be able to save your girlfriend and become human again; but the satisfaction that comes once the game is completed is difficult to express.

PlayStation 4 Trophies

The Toki remake on PlayStation 4 offers players the chance to unlock a certain number of Trophies: however, they are not many, and the Platinum Trophy is completely absent. A decision, the latter, decidedly questionable: it is very difficult, in fact, to be able to unlock all the game Trophies. Some require you to get very high scores in the main game mode, others even require you to finish the game without even using an extra dime. If it was impossible in itself in the arcade, imagine thirty years later.

The remake

The Toki remake was developed by Microids, as already mentioned in collaboration with the creators of the original game: from the point of view of the artistic direction, the graphic sector and the (rearranged) soundtrack, the difference is the same as between day and night. Indeed, it is likely that this is precisely one of the cases in which the remake factor gives its best results: nothing unchanged from the content point of view, all updated from the technical-visual one. Backdrops, characters, enemies, power ups: every single element of the game in every single situation, including the map between the worlds and menus, has been completely rethought and redesigned by hand, while maintaining total fidelity to the original essence. The feeling is precisely that of finding yourself in front of the original Toki, as if thirty years had never passed and it had actually arrived on the cabinet only yesterday, as beautiful as the current generation titles.

It is desirable that the graphic rendering tending to cartoonish will be able to attract even the youngest players, even if the latter will probably be traumatized by the level of considerable difficulty of the production. Few i problems to report in the PlayStation 4 version of the remake di Toki, mainly due to a definitely annoying factor: input lag, accompanied by short slowdowns. These are sporadic cases, never really invasive, but it is possible that they occur precisely in the most dramatic moments of the level, where they can then prove fatal and lead to game over, moreover within a game whose general difficulty is already spoken profusely. But they are certainly not defects that can distract from a hypothetical purchase, indeed probably one of the first patches arriving on PlayStation 4 will correct them in the sprint. And if the nostalgia factor alone is not enough to make you return to court the monkey Toki, the speedrun mode could certainly provide you with an extra incentive: of course, maybe some purely aesthetic contents, such as sketches and bonus images, would also have been appreciated, but you'll have to settle for the jukebox with all the audio tracks.


Tested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop Price 19,99 €


Readers (6)


Your vote

Thirty years later Toki continues to be a 2D platform shooter able to entertain like few competitors: the remake has updated the production from a technical, graphic and sound point of view, offering today's players a fresh, accessible, colorful title. and full of charisma. It is difficult to browse the digital library of PlayStation 4 without at least deigning a curious look to the monkey in the company of all his enemies and the sorcerer Vookimedlo. Remember, however, that this is a game with a decidedly upward level of difficulty, which makes few and occasional discounts to its fans. However, if you have time to devote to it, as well as a healthy dose of patience and willpower, you will eventually derive a sense of general fulfillment that the veteran of any soulslike might envy you.


  • Fun today as it was then
  • Very faithful to the original title
  • Graphically a gem
  • No new noteworthy content
  • The difficulty (sometimes excessive) is also the same
  • Some sporadic slowdown
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