Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Touhou Review: TH 13.5 Hopeless Masquerade

TH 13.5 Hopeless Masquerade

Hopeless Masquerade is another Touhou project title. This time it is a fighting game, but don't expect it to be the same as the ones before. It uses a whole new fighting style with a bit resemblance from its predecessors. It also has better graphics from the older games.

The story is about  3 religious  leaders; Reimu (Shinto), Byakuren (Buddhism), Toyosatomimi (Taoism) are doing their best to expand each of their religion to the human village because there are some issues happened in the human village. In the meantime, there is a youkai (Hata no Kokoro) absorbing the hope from people in the human village due her mask of hope is missing (more stories explain throughout the game). She is a youkai that can only shows expression with her masks. Her face however, remains expressionless regardless of what she feels.. There are 10 total characters in the game (Reimu, Marisa, Toyosatomimi, Byakuren, Ichirin, Mononobe, Nitori, Koishi, Mamizou and Kokoro)

The gameplay has changed very much such that the fight itself happens on the air. Thus, all characters will be floating midair throughout the fight. Using spellcards will also be different from hisoutensoku where the spellcard can only be used if the health bar (white) is filled with spirit energy and it turns blue. Meaning, the lower the health, the faster the bar charges. Note that there are 2 spirit gauge in this game. One is for spellcard and one is for regular spirit attack. Spirit attack however, uses different gauge so it will not affect on reducing the spirit gauge for spellcard. Dashing through bullets will still graze the bullets but there are some exception for certain characters such as Koishi where her dash will change to an attack if she dashes for a few seconds. Lastly is the popularity system where it will be displayed as a circular gauge. The more popularity, the better because the battle happens in a limited time and when the time is up, winner will be determined by who has higher popularity. Once the popularity gauge is maxxed, the player can use their last word spellcard, dealing very high damage but remember, same thing can be done by the enemy if they have maxed popularity.

Top shows the spirit bar for spellcard is full and the bottom shows empty.

The character designs and their sprites in battle  looks amazing. Examples shown below

All of them also looks so smooth

Victory pose with a poker face

Koishi's story battles. She also plays big role on why the situation on the human village in the beginning of the story happens

I got to say, this game is so well made. Improved graphics (even the background is moving as well), nice arranged OST, good story and great and also has the online multiplayer functions.The only problem that I noticed is that the game demands a rather high computer specifications or else it will suffer frame drops when using spellcards but what do you expect? It supports full wide screen display with 720p resolution. I'd say it is a must-play game for people who want to get to know what touhou is and....  want the "easier" version of touhou since it has very simple button commands for skills and also declaring spellcards.

Here is the link to the game (Moriya Shrine)

That is it for this game. Stay tuned for the next post about Touhou for beginners. See ya!

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