April 27, 2011

Touhou: Just… What?

Yes­ter­day I… expe­ri­enced a few games in a series known as the Touhou Project. While admit­ted­ly it was a real­ly fun expe­ri­ence and the games were very enjoy­able, they just total­ly over­loaded my “lol­wut” capac­i­ty. Allow me to fur­ther explain.

^Go ahead and pre­pare your brain for the ensu­ing flood of “Wut.”
It’s easy to rec­og­nize a Touhou game when you see one. There are two defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics. One: These games are need­less­ly dif­fi­cult. They’re of a genre called “bul­let hell”, sim­i­lar to the retard­ed amount of sidescrolling/upscrolling space shoot­ers on old game con­soles, only with about a mil­lion more bul­lets per stage. Two: These games are obscene­ly Japan­ese. If some­one asked you, “Hey, I want to lose all faith in Japan­ese cul­ture, can you show me one sin­gle video game to do that?” this would be that game. If you have a friend who’s an ani­me mani­ac (and prob­a­bly creeps you out at times), you might want to show him or her these games.

^This was on page one of a Google Image Search for Touhou. Go fig­ure.
It’s pret­ty tough to explain the plot­line of this series. The first five games were released only in Japan for the PC-98 com­put­er series,  but the rest have been on Win­dows. Their sto­ry­lines seem pret­ty far apart, with the excep­tion of the con­sis­tent pres­ence of the pro­tag­o­nist Reimu Hakurei (The one at the bot­tom in the red in the pre­vi­ous image). I guess it’s sort of a Final Fan­ta­sy type deal, with con­sis­tent char­ac­ters but seem­ing­ly unre­lat­ed plot­lines. Many impor­tant boss­es return as playable char­ac­ters, and there’s a cast of about four or five that appear in most of the games on Win­dows. Usu­al­ly there is some sort of prob­lem (evil red mist, defiled shrine, SOMEONE REPLACED THE ENTIRE MOON)  that must be solved, but the plot real­ly does­n’t apply too much to the game­play.

^Wait, you mean this one was a fake?
Play­ing this game involves six keys. Z, your shoot key, might as well just be taped down. X fires a screen-clear­ing bomb for when you can’t take the heat. The arrow keys are by far the most impor­tant, and your mas­tery of dodg­ing bul­lets and hit­box mem­o­ri­sa­tion is the dif­fer­ence between life or death. The mechan­ics of the game are sim­ple, but it’s ridicu­lous­ly hard enough to make up for the sim­plic­i­ty. The amount of crap you’re expect­ed to dodge, even on medi­um dif­fi­cul­ty, is unholy. Boss­es attack with “spell cards”, pre­set attacks that you can prac­tice (like song sec­tions in Gui­tar Hero) in a prac­tice mode. Trust me, you’re going to want to prac­tice.

^Yes, I used a demo­ti­va­tion­al in my arti­cle. Bite me.
There’s an entire com­mu­ni­ty for these games, even though many of them are real­ly old. Sim­ply typ­ing “touhou” into your search bar will direct you to a num­ber of places with peo­ple who can help you get the games, patch them into Eng­lish, and weep bit­ter­ly as you get destroyed by a mil­lion bul­lets. The best place I’ve found for addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion is here, at the wikia page. If you want to try the games out, obtain a copy of Imper­ish­able Night, which is con­sid­ered the eas­i­est. Stay tuned, I’m going to LP this game and post a video up this after­noon. What do you think of hard games, Japan­ese games, or Touhou, specif­i­cal­ly? Let me know in the com­ments!

6 comments

  1. gamecultist - April 27, 2011 12:41 pm

    Wut fac­tor of this is indeed pret­ty high. Enjoy­able post though 😀

    Reply
  2. AiR - April 27, 2011 7:00 pm

    i used to play japan­ese games to laught at the way they spoke

    Reply
  3. CharcoalCoyote - April 27, 2011 10:59 pm

    Update! The upload of my video will have to wait until tomor­row night. I now have to cut it into pieces.

    Reply
  4. malferz - May 1, 2011 5:33 pm

    Nice heads up on a bul­let hell game, did­n’t know many japan­ese ones.

    Reply
  5. shapeoverlord - May 1, 2011 6:56 pm

    Hey you, (>_
    I like Touhou.

    Reply
  6. CharcoalCoyote - May 1, 2011 7:13 pm

    I hap­pen to enjoy it myself. But it’s hard and def­i­nite­ly con­fus­ing and rage-wor­thy.

    Reply

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