Saturday, September 25, 2010

Touhou Fighting Games (Touhou 7.5, Touhou 10.5, Touhou 12.3)

                                          Touhou - Immaterial and Missing Power

Chronologically, it takes place between Perfect Cherry Blossom (TH07) and Imperishable Night (TH08). Henceforth it is referred to as TH07.5.
Immaterial and Missing Power differs from the other games in the Touhou Project series in that instead of being a Shoot-em-up, it is a fighting game with a heavy slant toward projectiles.

Immaterial and Missing Power plays like a fighting game in most respects. Two characters fight each other on screen with a variety of moves until one player runs out of health.
Besides a health bar, each player has a spirit bar, a spellcard counter, and a bomb counter. Each player also has a score.

While making preparations for the feast three days away, Reimu is distracted by a strange powerful mist that is covering Gensokyo. She and many other inhabitants of Gensokyo (such as Alice and Patchouli) go to investigate.
Suika Ibuki is an oni. Although legends say all the oni are gone, Suika has decided to reunite the humans and oni by attracting them through partying. Using her special ability to spread across the land, she causes the humans and youkai to have feasts and parties. The more drunk she gets, the stronger she becomes, and she carries a gourd treasured by the oni, which never empties of sake.

                                          Touhou - Scarlet Weather Rhapsody

As with Immaterial and Missing Power, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is a fighting game featuring a variety of Touhou Project characters. It appears to be similar in many ways to its predecessor, with many similar sprites and attacks. However, the inclusion of a new weather system that can affect the tides of battle, a 20 card deck system, and the implementation of flight marks a vast difference in gameplay between IaMP and its successor.

A bizarre phenomenon is occurring in Gensokyo. In the middle of summer, untimely rain and hail fall in the Forest of Magic, snow blankets Hakugyokurou, the Scarlet Devil Mansion is enveloped in a cloudy, dense haze, and the Hakurei Shrine is leveled by a sudden earthquake. Throughout the game, Reimu and the other protagonists set out to investigate the source of the strange occurrences.
Tenshi Hinanai is a celestial. Finding her newfound life in Heaven boring and monotonous, she enviously saw the youkai of Gensokyo stirring many incidents from above. Wielding the power to control the earth and the divine Sword of Hisou, the jaded celestial decides to instigate a catastrophe of her own.

                                          Touhuo - Hisoutensoku

Touhou Hisoutensoku retains the same mechanics of spell cards, spirit orbs, and weather as Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, but also introduces new playable Touhou characters, spell cards, and weather-types. Many existing spell cards, weather-types and graphics from Scarlet Weather Rhapsody have been altered and in addition to the new characters, existing characters all have new spell card moves. Additionally, each playable character now has a system card (e.g. healing, weather change, bombs, etc.) associated with her that's usable by any character once unlocked.

A mysterious giant is seen wandering around Gensokyo. It can suddenly appear and can just as suddenly vanish seemingly without a trace. Everyone who sees it becomes curious and wonders about the truth behind this strange sight. Sanae Kochiya, Cirno, and Hong Meiling each have their own fears and dreams about the giant, and each sets out in pursuit of this roaming behemoth.
Exploring the Forest of Magic, the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and other locations in Gensokyo, the heroines face many challenges and obstacles in their pursuit of a mystery that's far deeper than it first appears.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Touhou - Undefined Fantastic Object (Touhou 12)

Undefined Fantastic Object features three playable characters (Reimu, Marisa and Sanae), each with two weapon types. However, unlike Mountain of Faith and Subterranean Animism, the spell card (bombing) system from the older games (such as Perfect Cherry Blossom and Imperishable Night) has been reintroduced.

The gameplay system unique to Undefined Fantastic Object comes this time in the form of colored UFOs. Certain enemies will drop a UFO on destruction, which the player can collect for different effects. By utilizing this system, the player can receive more bombs, life pieces, or point bonuses.

Rumors have been spreading throughout Gensokyo since early spring about a strange flying treasure ship. Figuring there must be something up there regardless of the rumor itself, and aided by Sanae Kochiya, the girls take off into the air to find it and plunder its treasures.

During the high-speed chase of the "UFO", the player confronts Nazrin, who has come from the flying object and is looking for something in particular. She insists that there is no treasure ship at all. After that, the player runs into Kogasa Tatara, whose role is nothing else but to scare the girls.

As the player finally catches up to the ship, Ichirin Kumoi and her familiar Unzan appear, complaining that all sorts of fairies and humans have been pestering them. She explains that the ship isn't a "ship" at all, but rather some kind of remodeled building given the power of flight. She also mentions that she's trying to revive a certain someone. The fragments - the UFOs that the player has been collecting - are necessary for this purpose, but rather than handing them over, the player instead defeats the pair and enters the ship.

Inside, the player runs into a strange flying object that promptly attacks, then leaves items. Disregarding this, the player then finds Captain Murasa, the youkai ghost captain of the ship. She tells the player that the ship is headed for Hokkai, located on the outer edges of Makai, a world connected to Gensokyo. Since the player entered with enough fragments in their possession, the ship has already begun to enter Hokkai.

Before very long, just outside Hokkai, the player runs into Nazrin again, who has found what she was looking for - the Bishamonten pagoda. After defeating her a second time, Shou Toramaru appears. Now that both the pagoda and the fragments are together, the revival can begin. Shou tells the player that they are trying to revive a "saint" who has been sealed for many years - a person who helped both humans and youkai, and was punished because of it. After defeating Shou, the player opts to help revive this person, since they're already there and everything.

The final confrontation happens deep inside Hokkai, where Byakuren Hijiri has been unsealed. The player's job is to exterminate youkai(or, in Marisa's case, to prioritize protecting humans), so Byakuren disagrees - she is an ally to both, and treats both equally. The player defeats Byakuren in a long battle, and the story ends on peaceful terms, as she and Murasa cruise around Gensokyo in the ship for a while before settling down and rebuilding Byakuren's original temple.

However, the mystery of the UFOs hasn't yet been solved. Marisa discovers that upon opening one of them, a snake comes out and the UFO turns into a piece of wood. The girls take off once again into the night sky to figure out what's going on. Kogasa reappears in the process, again attempting to surprise the player. After that, the strange flying object appears again and transforms into a youkai named Nue Houjuu, who was the one that disguised the fragments. Apparently the player was the only one who saw the UFOs as UFOs - the enemies the player fought against knew that they were actually pieces of the ship. After defeating her, she explains that she was originally just trying to mess with Murasa's efforts to revive Byakuren, but the player caught her interest, so she ended up helping the player out too.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Touhou - Subterranean Animism (Touhou 11)

Subterranean Animism features two playable characters (Reimu and Marisa), each with three weapon types representing a youkai assisting them from above ground. Like Mountain of Faith, collecting power items adds up to four "option" satellites around the character (or eight for the Marisa/Alice combination), which behave differently according to the character and weapon type, and can be sacrificed for a bomb effect. However, unlike Mountain of Faith, each bomb has a different behavior, and some cause special gameplay effects to occur.

The scoring system is once again based on grazing, coupled with collection of two types of items dropped by enemies. Overall, the system resembles some of the core elements of Embodiment of Scarlet Devil fused together with the Tension Bonus System from Shikigami no Shiro series. As such, the player is urged to actively graze at every possible opportunity in order to increase the point item value. Grazing large amounts of bullets in little time is rewarded by the temporary effect of autocollecting all the freefalling items at their maximum value (identical to the POC effect, but without regard to the character's location on the screen), letting the player concentrate entirely on the act of dodging bullets.

This is the hardest Touhou game by far, and I mean really hard, I can't get through normal mode.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The witcher

Been playing The Witcher all day today and damn is it fun, probably no other updates today, as I probably won't stop playing until I pass out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Touhou - Mountain of Faith (Touhou 10)

Like all Shinto shrines, Gensokyo's decrepit Hakurei Shrine was originally created for the housing and worship of a patron god. However, because all sorts of youkai are known to hang about the shrine, the local humans have ceased to visit and their faith in the shrine's god is dwindling, diminishing its strength and influence. Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame begin an adventure to reach and ascend the mysterious Youkai Mountain with the hope of finding a solution to this problem.

Mountain of Faith features two playable characters, each with three weapon types (but no personalized Spell Card bombs). In a break from previous games, collecting power items results in an increase in "option" satellites around the character (for a total of four), which behave differently according to the character and weapon type. Each characters' options also fire bullets, and either shift position or freeze in place in focus fire mode.
The scoring system is based on the Faith meter, which has a refillable gauge and a numeric value (minimum 50,000). As long as the gauge is partially full, the player's Faith value doesn't decrease, but the gauge is always emptying unless the player is killing enemies or collecting point items. Point items also partially refill the gauge, and Faith items increase the numeric Faith value. The Faith value directly affects the point value of point items and Spell Card bonuses.


Autumn has come to Gensokyo, and to its only shrine, the Hakurei Shrine, a common meeting place for its youkai that was seldom visited by its humans. As a result, faith in the Hakurei Shrine's deity began to fall like the leaves from the trees. It's in such a season that Reimu Hakurei, the shrine maiden of the Hakurei shrine, is visited by a mysterious stranger who claims to represent a god of mountains and orders her to shut the shrine's doors for good. Reimu is deeply troubled by this state of affairs, as she knows the shrine can't be allowed to close down due to the role it plays in watching over the Great Hakurei Border. Marisa Kirisame, her ordinary magician friend, is suspicious and also suitably bored. Depending on who you choose, one of these girls finally decides to ascend the Youkai Mountain to confront the mysterious deity behind the threats.
En route to the mountain, the heroine encounters several of Gensokyo's myriad gods, including two spirits of autumn, Shizuha Aki and Minoriko Aki, and a curse god, Hina Kagiyama, who tries to chase her away from the dangers of the mountain (unsuccessfully). As our heroine reaches the foot of the mountain and begins to climb it, another youkai appears to try to convince her to leave - Nitori Kawashiro, the valley kappa. After Nitori's equally unsuccessful bid to get her to go away, she mentions that a god has recently appeared on the mountain, causing some trouble for the tengu and kappa that live there.
Ascending the waterfall that fed the rivers Nitori swam in, the heroine faces the forces that guard the mountain from outside influence, including Momiji Inubashiri and the traditional tengu reporter, Aya Shameimaru, who was sent to investigate by the leaders of the tengu society due to her familiarity with outsiders. Aya puts up a token fight, but eventually allows the human interloper to pass on to the lake where a new shrine, the Moriya Shrine, has appeared. As she enters the grounds, she is confronted by a new shrine maiden - Sanae Kochiya. Sanae says that the lake and the Moriya Shrine were both recently moved to Gensokyo, and that she intends to collect all of Gensokyo's faith for "Lady Yasaka". Naturally, to do that would mean the end of the Hakurei Shrine, to which our heroine objects, leading to a battle where Sanae is ultimately defeated. At the top of the mountain, our heroine finds a lake surrounded by pillars, and Kanako Yasaka. Kanako, a goddess of the wind and rain, seeks to gain all of Gensokyo's faith in order to prevent the declining level of faith in Gensokyo to reach the point where its gods lose their power. Were such a thing to happen, she believes, Gensokyo would fall into a state of chaos. After a protracted battle, however, Kanako is convinced to make peace with the tengu and kappa, who are also convinced to accept her as the goddess of the Youkai Mountain.
Once the issue is resolved, Reimu resumes her normal life of cleaning and whiling away the time with Gensokyo's youkai, and Marisa turns to sneaking into the mountain for chestnuts. While pilfering snacks from a monstrous chestnut tree, it seems she'd heard a rumour that there was another god at the Moriya shrine. This, and the observation that Kanako had taken residence at the lake, and not at the shrine, the two set out for the mountain again. Kanako attempts to chase them off, but they eventually reach the inner sanctuary and discover Suwako Moriya, the shrine's true god, who tells them that Kanako defeated her in battle long ago, thereby winning use of the shrine in the public eye, though it was mostly left as Suwako's demesne - though it was by Kanako's hand that the Moriya shrine moved to Gensokyo. As our heroines make ready to leave, Suwako demands they play with her, just like they've played with Sanae and Kanako - with beautiful danmaku barrages.

Did you read all of that? Yeah, I doubt that, but it's actually the first Touhou storyline with any depth.
My favorite touhou game so far.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lord of the Rings Online.

So it's free to play now.
It's similar to the DDO free to play, as in not all content is available for free users, but the content that is available is so massive, it doesn't really matter.
I definitely recommend this game to any MMO fans.
Only download this if interested, though, as the standard graphics version is a 7gb download and the high res one was about 3gb more.
I'm playing on the world Brandywine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Touhou - Shoot the Bullet (Touhou 9.5)

In Shoot the Bullet, you play as Aya Shameimaru as she photographs the bosses from various Touhou games. However, no one ever reveals the reason for these, and in fact at one point it is pointed out that "No one knows the purpose of the photos, except Aya," and the only reason she does not shoot the opponents is "not to be nice, but because she doesn't want her bullets in the picture."

Many aspects of Shoot the Bullet are similar to more traditional shmups, so the skills learned by playing other Touhou games do transfer to a certain extent. However, game elements like the use of film-reloading and defensive shots require some technique over and above standard dodging and streaming skills.

It's a damn fun game, especially if you need some variation from the other touhou games.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Touhou - Phantasmagoria of Flower View (Touhou 9)

It is rather unlike most of the previous Touhou games released so far in that it's a VS type game, where two equally matched characters fight head to head. In this regard, the game most resembles the Touhou game Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream for the PC-98, and Twinkle Star Sprites for the Neo Geo/Dreamcast/PS2.

This game takes place in the mystical oriental land of Gensokyo. Spring has arrived, but something seems to be wrong. Flowers are blooming and the fairies are becoming active as usual, but the sheer number of flowers and fairies are completely unnatural; even non-spring flowers are blooming. Playing as one of 16 characters, you must battle your way through 9 difficult encounters to reach Muendzuka and uncover the truth behind this abnormal spring.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View is considered to be a competitive vertical danmaku shooting game, in which two characters engage in moderate-to-heavy danmaku gameplay within individual and separate play areas (aka. split-screen). Upon meeting certain conditions, players are able to unleash a variety of character-specific Spell Attacks upon their opponents in an attempt to whittle down their remaining health points

In Story Mode, the player will face 9 increasingly intelligent AI opponents, each more capable than the last. Phantasmagoria of Flower View also features a Match Play Mode in which the player may face off against individual AI opponents or compete against other human players, as well as observe AI vs. AI matches. With the netplay patch, multiplayer is also possible through LAN or over the Internet, although it has proven to be unstable, at best.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Time killers

Some links now that I like to kill time with and check frequently, check them out.

Home of the Angry video Game Nerd, everyone should know him by now, really good bad game reviews.

Videogame reviews, movie reviews and vblogs, this is a great site, one of the first I ever started checking out often.

All sorts of game/movie/anime/comic book reviewers in one place, this site is good for killing days and days.
I usually check out Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, Until We Win, Ask That Guy and The Cinema Snob

DBZ Abridged, really well done and I definitely suggest it if you've ever seen Dragonball Z.

Yu-Gi-Oh abridged series, really funny stuff, recommended viewing for anyone who has seen Yu-Gi-Oh

There are a bunch of Webcomics I visit daily too, I suggest checking them all out.

Questionable Content is a slice-of-life webcomic.
The plot centers on Marten Reed, an indie rock aficionado; his roommate, Faye Whitaker; and Faye's boss, Dora Bianchi. Supporting characters include employees of the local coffee shop, neighbours and anthropomorphized personal computers. QC's storytelling style combines romantic melodrama, sitcom, humor about indie rock music, and sexual or scatological humor.
I've been following this since pretty much it's beginning, I strongly suggest checking it out.

Home of Cyanide and Happiness. There's no plot here, they're pretty good comics, though, they also have short flash animations of the comic, check it out.

Looking for Group is a fantasy-themed webcomic.
The Comic follows the adventures of Cale'Anon (an elven hunter) and Richard (an undead warlock), as well as their companions.
This isn't a funny webcomic, but I recommend it anyways, it's pretty good.

Who doesn't know this webcomic? It's one of the oldest around and one of the best.
Penny Arcade is a webcomic focused on video games and video gaming culture.

No comment, you need to see this for yourself, I was laughing myself mad the first time I saw it, not recommended for everyone, though.

Basic instructions for everyday life in webcomic form, many laughs are to be had.

It's a WoW based webcomic, playing the game is not required to understand any of the jokes, though, as I've never played WoW.
I find this stuff pretty funny.

And these are the links I kill most of my time with, I hope you enjoy at least some of them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Nothing today.

Sorry for the lack of updates, but my girlfriend has a day off today, so I'm spending all my free time with her.
More updates tomorrow, though.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Touhou 12.8 (Fairy Wars)

I might be a bit late, but Touhou 12.8 is out.

The game plays somewhat like a fusion of the Shoot the Bullet series and the Phantasmagoria series, combined with "standard" Touhou gameplay. Cirno is able to shoot regularly, but also possesses a new "freezing" technique that adds a new twist to the game. Similar to Aya's camera, Cirno has a counter that fills up during gameplay. To activate this technique, hold and release the shot button. When activated, Cirno's freeze attack will attack the immediate area directly in front of her, and freeze any bullets it comes in contact with for a duration proportionate to the level of charge % before vanishing afterward. When other bullets come into contact with frozen bullets, they too will freeze, allowing for large chains to be frozen in this way. Points and bombs are awarded for freezing large numbers of bullets.
Like the main-series games, Fairy Wars contains full stages each home to their own specific midboss and boss. However, Cirno is the only playable character, and there are only three stages during a playthrough instead of six. On the other hand, though, there are six different "routes" the player may choose to take, depending on which order they choose to play the three stages in. There is also a seventh extra route which must be unlocked before being playable.

Pretty difficult game, can't get to the last stage without using continues yet, oh well, I'll keep trying.

Extra stage part 1

Part 2

Shoot the bullet(Touhou 9.5), Double Spoiler(Touhou 12.5) and Phantasmagoria of Flower View(Touhou 9) will also get their separate blog posts eventually.


Been busy with school, even though it's the first week.
Will probably take some getting used to waking up early, I've been exhausted after school right now.
Currently playing Saints Row 2, it's a really fun game, too bad it runs like crap on the PC, oh well, it's mostly playable.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Some updates

Was supposed to update yesterday, but apparently I was too busy then too.
Mostly because my brother called and asked me to go drinking outside, which I did, cause I haven't really seen much of him or my friends since moving out. Lot's of vodka, beer and shenanigans were involved
Slight hangover now too, today I'm going to take it easy, drink some beers and watch Dragonball Z all day. The show is quite ridiculous, but I have a soft spot for it.
I actually might make a bigger post about it too.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Been busy

Been busy these last few days, probably updating my blog a bit more tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Touhou - Imperishable Night (AKA Touhou 8)

The game takes place in the mystic oriental land of Gensokyo. Someone has replaced the real moon with a fake moon that can never become full. Playing as one of 4 human/youkai teams, you must battle your way through 6 difficult stages in search of the full moon and face the one responsible for its disappearance.

Touhou 8 is considered the easiest in the series and is recommended for beginners, there are also several characters to choose from and that makes for some interesting gameplay.

Imperishable Night features a total of eight playable characters, in pre-set pairs (and later, individually). The pairs work in tandem: one person fires when unfocused, while the other pops in and fires when focused, with a reduction in movement speed. The two attacks can be drastically different. The individual characters do not have an attack change when focused, with the exception of Remilia.

Quite a few smaller details are unique to this game, including Last Spells - for an enemy, a Last Spell is a bonus Spell Card which the player can tackle without fear of losing lives/bombs. On the player side, Last Spells are secondary "bomb" Spell Cards, which last longer/do much more damage at the expense of two bomb stocks. There is a gauge which tracks how human/youkai (normal/focused) you are, as well as a new "Time" system, which affects gameplay.

Extra clear

Lunatic Stage 6B no deaths.

As I thought.

Well, the opening ceremony was a complete waste of time, no new info either, that's one and a half hours I won't get back.
Playing Vice City at the moment and it's kind of pissing me off, every jackoff has a goddamn ak-47 in this game, and 3 shots of that kill me, otherwise it's a fine game.
Should go and get some beers from the shop now, that'd probably make my day a bit better.
How has your day been?

First day of school

Just the opening ceremony today, I wouldn't even attend, but there's an info lesson right after, want to know whether there's any changes this year.

Damn this thing

My computer seems to be dying on me more recently as of late, should really look into fixing it, and probably upgrading it too.
Right now my video card is giving up, so I can't even use hardware acceleration on full and my ventilator seems to be broken and makes ungodly noises sometimes.
Right now the only remedy for this I've found is beating the crap out of it, fortunately new ventilators don't cost much.