Touhou 12 – Undefined Fantastic Object Demo
Well, the day has finally come. The demo has been delivered and the scramble has started. I’ve found it to be quite an enjoyable experience so far, the art is pretty, the graphics are beautiful, and the bombs…oh…the bombs. They’re lovely! They’re so lovely! Character designs look a bit boring to be honest but these are only the first three bosses and as such, they’re not related to the main plot anyway so no discernable theme has emerged yet. The music is alright, I like the Stage 1 theme and Stage 2 Boss theme but the rest of it is forgettable in my mind. Actually Nazrin’s theme really gets on my nerves but I’m slowly becoming accustomed to it so I’m sure that everything will be fine after a few thousand playthroughs. The shot types are pretty standard, Reimu gets needles and homing amulets, Marisa gets lasers and some kind of multi-directional shot that I can’t see anyone using as the damage is a little awful. Newcomer Sanae gets an interesting toolbox in the form of her frog bullets, which function as a spread type attack, and a weird little trick where the bullets go straight, but then shoot sideways at any nearby enemies. I quite like it, it’s not innovative but it IS useful. The more times I played, the more SanaeA became my favorite character. SanaeB’s bomb is cooler though, it’s like a massive explosion of white.
As far as the levels go, the first one is alright. The second level onwards, however, hate you and will do everything in their power to crush your spirit. That is, unless you decide to start exploiting the UFO collection system. As I’ve discussed in the Shrinemaiden thread, there are four possible combinations of UFO – all of one colour and one of each. The UFOs siphon in power and point items to fill a gauge that appears around them and if it is filled, you get bonuses depending on the colour of the UFO as well as a hefty point multiplier. Red gives you Extends, Blue gives you points and Green gives you bombs. I think it’s a pretty fun system and I can easily see this becoming one of my favorite games, if the full version holds up.
The bullet patterns for the first couple of stages aren’t too hellish, though Kogasa has two cards in particular (her last two) that I don’t enjoy dealing with, I can’t figure them out, and they keep killing me. Ichirin and Unzan have some pretty neat attacks but they are quite hard for me; it was after fighting them that I decided UFO hates me more than any other past Touhou game. So much so that her attacks are loaded with lasers. Lasers of HATRED! I can figure out none of her cards and have been trying to accumulate enough resources to just bomb/outlast her until I can figure out some of the patterns. Hopefully they’ll come to me in time. This game’s got potential, I think.
Well, back to tackling the lasers of hatred. Incidentally, it seems ZUN’s art has improved even more than we could have hoped for. Sanae actually has a chest.