Touhou many bullets

Touhou: New World is the latest edition of the Touhou project series of games known for their bullet hell shoot-em up style of gameplay.

At the beginning of Touhou: New World you pick one of two characters, Reimu or Marisa, both important reoccurring characters in the Touhou universe. During the opening of the game strange happenings within Gensokyo cause either Reimu or Marisa to get transported outside of their world and into that of humans. Anyone familiar with the series will know that Gensokyo is a land sealed away from the outside world and that the characters themselves are not human (even though they have human like appearances)

As you arrive in the human world you find a human by the name of Sumireko who is shocked to be in the presence of an Gensokyo inhabitant as they are highly interested in the world themselves and after a small debate, the human joins the main character back in Gensokyo. The story although basic it is told through a quite diverse cast of characters that Touhou is well established for.

Touhou: New World is a hybrid JRPG adventure mixed with bullet hell gameplay. You begin by getting to know the basics of combat which it does well. The game teaches you how to attack, defend and do specials whilst fighting a boss, the game also has different battle and gameplay perspectives. The first boss battle for example has you battle on a ring platform whilst the camera pans around you. Overall exploration is very basic and consists of maps with several paths to reach the same destination. Fighting basic enemies early on is very easy and requires little thought process, you can smash through most of them with ease with your basic weapon and abilities and if you don’t think too much about it you will take a few hits at most but you won’t die, if you find yourself close you can also run past everything. The main challenge is in the bosses themselves and you definitely should not judge the rest of the games bosses by the first few and the enemies you face. Bosses require more dodging healing and chaining abilities together to get through them. Enemy groups also become increasingly harder as rooms will lock you in and you will need to fend off a variety of enemies all with their own abilities.

On top of exploring are destructible objects that you can get new items from and money to buy new equipment however I never really found this as engaging as I thought, most drops you find are sufficient enough to go through the game. Enemies do reward EXP and being stronger and it is something you will want so it’s always a good idea to explore, however it’s not difficult to miss anything. The gameplay is very simple as you can attack, defend and use one of the abilities which are tied to 4 buttons and can be switched out. With the challenges some later bosses possess it is a good idea to make the most out of upgrading your characters abilities. The gameplay loop consists of story based sections and gameplay and while there is enough to keep you entertained, the game itself might not be for you if you’re not a fan of the Touhou series as it is a game generally catered to fans of the series itself.

Graphically Touhou: New World is hit and miss, whilst some areas looks bland, others will look really vibrant, the character portraits are highly detailed. Overall I feel the game lacks care in certain areas, I liked the game but I did not love it, there is a good foundation to be built up on with Touhou: New World, unfortunately it isn’t quite built as it should be. I enjoy the challenge of dodging enemy attacks and unleashing all my attacks in succession, the gameplay experience is also incredibly smooth with no slowdown at all. The music of the game is great and is what you would expect from the Touhou series and being a fan of Japanese games I can appreciate the game for what it is.

A PlayStation 5 Review code was provided by XSeed Games