Just realized this probably should have gone under the game rating, oops.
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Hi! Evelyn here. I played this game a bit in browser and thought I'd give a little feedback. I haven't played much Touhou so please forgive my lack of knowledge on the series and it's characters.
I played the game mostly by playing each character and stage at least once on easy difficulty (didn't notice the difficulty setting at first). I did play a few games against harder opponents as well, but not with any other human player. Here's what I liked about the game first.
I really like the speed and chaos of the game. Speeding around the stage while frantically dodging incoming attacks can be really thrilling and recreates the feel of a bullet hell really nicely. This was especially good with two characters with some sort of spread pattern on a smaller stage. The aesthetic of the game is fun as well, with the diorama stage pieces and the cute doll-like characters.
My main criticisms of the game are the stages and the simplistic gameplay.
The one stage I did enjoy is Eientei. Its a small stage, open stage where it's possible to corner your opponent and there's plenty of opportunities to ricochet your shots. There could be one or two more obstacles to play around (in day mode) but having a really open stage is fine. The biggest strengths compared to other stages is that it is small and that there isn't a lot of variance with heights. Makai is pretty nice as well. It starts a bit congested with all the obstacles, but the ying yang stage gimmick opens the stage up more.
The rest of the stages suffer from one or both of two problems:
- The stage is simply way too large. It encourages the players to run away from each other, camp, and not engage (especially long vs short range characters.) This also stretches the camera an extreme amount, especially when the game already has small characters and attacks and requires close up vision to make sense of the action.
- The stage has way too much vertical movement to it. This is a problem since the camera is not angled to distinguish the vertical height of attacks, which makes an already chaotic game harder to keep track of. Complicating this further is the fact that some steps are bigger than others. Its a problem that as confusing to explain as it is to play through.
Basically, I think the rest of the stages could be more like Eientei and Makai in their small size and the low amount of varying heights to play around.
Now onto gameplay. The most noticeable problem is that my finger got tired of holding the shoot button, cause it feels like there's no reason not to. The game never punishes you for spamming bullets, and there isn't any other complimentary attack or offensive option to do instead. The only time you stop shooting is to shield, and even then you want to hold onto the shoot button to start your offensive again as soon as you let go of shield. Even while jumping you can shoot. I feel like there could either (1) some sort of limit on your shooting ability, (2) a different action/attack to compliment your normal shooting pattern, or both.
One thing that could definitely be added is a different way to play around shield that isn't just hitting it until it gives. Like maybe you could jump on it and break it or take the round as a reward for navigating your opponents pattern and getting in on them.
Jumping is an awkward part of the game. There's no aerial control while you're jumping, and no other action is restricted while you are jumping. Jumping while shielding seems like a ridiculously good defensive option.
Those are all my main thoughts on the game. I know it seems like I have a lot of negative things to say but I enjoyed playing the game and I'm excited to see it get improved! I think the idea of a touhou brawler like this, where you force your opponent to deal with shot patterns, is really compelling. Best of luck!
The rest is just small comments I have:
- I think making character balance comments this early can be misinformed, but I genuinely think Aya is busted and probably very unfun to play against, especially on bigger maps. Her gameplay is running away while leaving a whole bunch of bullets behind you, requiring no approach from you and allowing you to run away forever on bigger maps with her ridiculous movement speed.
- The zoom in on the camera sometimes gets caught on objects, especially the awnings on lunar capital.
- Nuclear Furnace is the only stage I truly despise. The verticality is not fun to play around.
- The transparent effect on blocks that get hit wit h ying yang on Makai is cluttering and confusing, they should probably just vanish for visual clarity.
- The stage select doesn't lock when you press a key to choose one, allowing you to scroll to another stage after "selecting" one and load that stage instead.
Finished reading in two sessions, but could have easily done it in one if I had the choice. The presentation was unique, the contemplation was uncomfortable in a good way, the soundtrack was very effective, and the story kept me hooked for the entire duration. Hope to see more from everyone who worked on this!