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Author Topic: Touhou: Wandering Souls  (Read 5923 times)

Disch

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Touhou: Wandering Souls
« on: October 11, 2015, 01:36:26 pm »
So a long while ago (maybe 2 years ago?), someone on IRC turned me on to this game.  Going in I never played any Touhou games, and didn't know anything about them -- and apparently this game is nothing like any other games in the franchise -- but is like a fan-made spinoff.

Anyway, the game is incredible.  It's amazing just how many things they did exactly right.  I keep trying to get other people on IRC to try it, but nobody seems interested.  So I thought maybe I'd have more luck here?

The weird thing about this game is that if I were to explain what the game was like... it would make the game sound incredibly lame:

- It's an RPG Maker game (ew)
- It's a beat-em-up (snore) mixed with bullet hell (blech!)
- It's all cutesy anime girls (groan)


But somehow it isn't lame.  By some weird magic, it takes all those stupid elements and makes a ridiculously fun game.


There's a trailer on YouTube which shows off a bit of the gameplay, but it doesn't really do the game justice:
https://youtu.be/AvJMlDIvf_o


Download link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/5m925egubtbey04


If you've got a half hour or so, give it a shot.  At least try to get through the Forest of Magic, as those stages are largely introductory... where the game is ramping up introducing you to the mechanics.  The last stage in the forest is sort of like the first "real" level.



EDIT:  also, the only way to play this game is on "Lunatic" difficulty.  The easier modes let you rely way too much on blocking.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2015, 06:53:18 pm »
Looks awesome. I've been hankering for a good beat 'em up lately and for the longest time have been searching for one that isn't a sausage fest (like all of them). Can't wait to try it out. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Jorpho

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2015, 07:37:00 pm »
Are RPG Maker games of this nature common?  That is, is this a standard format from which you can select when creating a game?
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Disch

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2015, 08:03:06 pm »
@SGP:

You won't be disappointed.  If you try it, lemme know your thoughts afterwards  ^^


@Jorpho:

I have no idea.  I've never actually used RPG Maker  =x

magictrufflez

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2015, 09:26:53 pm »
I don't think games like Touhou are necessarily common RPGMaker games, but if you know how to write code, the option is always there for you to make them within the engine.  IMO RPG Maker gets a bad rap from all those people that use the generic resources the program comes with to make games they then turn around and sell--and are generally horrifically flawed in 1 way or another.  The program has a lot of versatility if you know what you're doing.

Although, if you know how to write code, you're probably using some other program to make your games anyways I guess.

On topic though, if I hadn't been Touhou-ed out before this, I'd probably give it a shot.  They definitely look like they toned down the bullet hell aspect of Touhou, but man, I just can't handle any level of bullet hell anymore.

Jorpho

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 12:48:22 pm »
The program has a lot of versatility if you know what you're doing.
That's what I was wondering – does making a 2D "Tales"-style RPG with RPG Maker require someone who really knows what he's doing and who can exploit the engine in ways its creators never thought of, or can anyone throw something like this together?
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magictrufflez

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 11:02:12 pm »
That's what I was wondering – does making a 2D "Tales"-style RPG with RPG Maker require someone who really knows what he's doing and who can exploit the engine in ways its creators never thought of, or can anyone throw something like this together?

The way the creators "intended" the program to work was to give old-school gamers a general DQ base to work with, but the flexibility to customize in the form of scripting capability.  That part will go as far as your skills (or your groups') can take you--as a veteran of a few horrifically failed RPGMaker projects, I can confirm you really do need to have some skills to make a game like this Touhou spin-off.  Anyone can toss together a general DQ clone with RPGMaker (just check out Steam for those--most of them are what give the program a bad name), but it's games like this and LISA and a few others that really show what you can do with the software if you put in some effort.

I didn't mean to sound critical, but i might have, sorry.  I just think RPGMaker is exactly what the creators intended the program to be--fun for scrubs, but a serious game-making program for people who shoot for a bit more

Bregalad

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2015, 01:05:42 pm »
- It's an RPG Maker game (ew)
- It's a beat-em-up (snore) mixed with bullet hell (blech!)
- It's all cutesy anime girls (groan)
I always liked mixes of beat-em-up and RPGs (River city ransdom for instance). I'm not into "makers", as those have both the disadvantage of making your own game (you don't have good levels ready for you) and of programming the game yourself (the game engine is not customised to your liking) - however since you say it is so awesome and I don't have anything particular better to do I'll give it a try.

Disch

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2015, 02:05:25 pm »
@ Bregalad

Weeeee!

Let me know what you think.  If you like beat-em-ups already, I think you'll enjoy it.  Like I say I typically don't even like beat-em-ups and I still liked this game.

tryphon

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2015, 02:21:07 pm »
The game indeed seems really good.

Bregalad

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2015, 02:59:52 pm »
So far (I did the first 2 stages) I'd say so far it is a good game, but nowhere near incredible as you described. I might be wrong though.

The weak point of the game is without any doubt the lack of variety in the backgrounds.

Disch

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2015, 03:14:41 pm »
So far (I did the first 2 stages) I'd say so far it is a good game, but nowhere near incredible as you described. I might be wrong though.

Well like I say... The Forest of Magic is largely introductory... slowly ramping up and gradually introducing you to game mechanics.  You barely got introduced weapon-associated skills and switching between characters.

You didn't get introduced to charged spells yet.  Or equipment balancing.  Or really elemental exploitation.  Or finding additional souls in the level and/or meeting special gameplay requirements for extra souls.  That stuff doesn't really come into play until later.

Plus you've only run into like 3 different varieties of enemies (and one mini boss).

The game just gets bigger and bigger, and better and better the longer you play.

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The weak point of the game is without any doubt the lack of variety in the backgrounds.

That gets a little better later, but not much.  So yeah that's a legitimate complaint.

On the other hand, every boss and most levels have unique music -- and the music kicks all sorts of ass.  It's almost like a "best of" of the various Touhou soundtracks.



Are you playing on "Lunatic" mode?  Or did you go with one of the easier modes?  The game will seem a lot more bland on the easier modes.  Lunatic really is the only way to play this game.

Bregalad

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 04:21:37 pm »
I play the normal mode. I don't like game with difficulty select, as it is a sign the developers were too lazy to balance the difficulty by themselves - however when there is a difficulty select I always pick "normal".

Disch

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 04:40:55 pm »
I play the normal mode. I don't like game with difficulty select, as it is a sign the developers were too lazy to balance the difficulty by themselves

To be honest I'm not entirely sure why there are multiple modes.

'Lunatic' is actually balanced extremely well.  Other modes keep kid gloves on pretty much the whole way through the game.  Honestly I played "Hard" through the Forest of Magic on my very first playthrough and thought it was boringly easy so I switched to Lunatic and the game got immediately better.

Instead of the modes being "Normal / Hard / Lunatic" -- think of them as "Infantile / Easy / Normal"

Bregalad

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 05:02:11 pm »
OK; I played some more and honestly it's pretty boring. Most of the time I have no clue what's going on and just button mash. I should try an harder mode like you say, but then the difference is that probably I'll have no clue what's going on and see the game over screen ;)

I know you're in bullet hell (you were fan of Recca Carnival or something if I remember well) but honestly I'm not too much into that.

Disch

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 05:24:04 pm »
OK; I played some more and honestly it's pretty boring. Most of the time I have no clue what's going on and just button mash.

Button mashing will not cut it in this game.  You definitely need to know what's going on.  Which is one of the reasons I love it.

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I should try an harder mode like you say, but then the difference is that probably I'll have no clue what's going on and see the game over screen ;)

Hah.  Fair enough.  I guess it's not for everyone.


If interested, I'll probably be streaming it for a bit... as I started a new game of it recently.  Maybe seeing someone else play it will give you an idea of what's expected?

http://www.hitbox.tv/disch



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I know you're in bullet hell (you were fan of Recca Carnival or something if I remember well) but honestly I'm not too much into that.

I'm not into bullet hell at all.  I've played a few and the only one I had any interest in was Recca -- but that was mostly because I was fascinated with it on a technical level.

Bregalad

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2015, 04:45:11 am »
Quote
Button mashing will not cut it in this game.  You definitely need to know what's going on
Oh really ? I don't see much alternatives, of course I try to protect (with DOWN) when a wave of bullets is coming at me, and button mash otherwise. With all those stuff all over the screen it's really hard to have a clue what's going on.

I'll try to restart a game with a harder difficulty setting to see how that makes a difference.

EDIT : Oh I picked the "lunatic" mode and my prediction was exact, I just get game over again and again on stage 1.... at least I could beat the tutorial. I'll try "hard" just to see...

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I'm not into bullet hell at all.  I've played a few and the only one I had any interest in was Recca -- but that was mostly because I was fascinated with it on a technical level.
OK, point taken. It's true that bullet hell on NES where normally drawing sprites is the slowest part of the game is technically impressive.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 05:05:13 am by Bregalad »

Disch

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Re: Touhou: Wandering Souls
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2015, 01:45:45 pm »
Oh really ? I don't see much alternatives, of course I try to protect (with DOWN) when a wave of bullets is coming at me, and button mash otherwise.

The game is largely about dodging and getting quick jabs in when you can.  It's not unlike Punchout in that regard ... it's more about reading the enemies and responding to them, rather than just trying to mash buttons to kill them quickly.

All enemy attacks are telegraphed, giving you the opportunity to respond.  Heavier attacks typically give you more time before firing, and are often accompanied with audio warnings as well as visual ones.


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With all those stuff all over the screen it's really hard to have a clue what's going on.

Have you ever played Geometry Wars?  It's kind of bullet hell, but not really -- it's more like enemy hell.  There aren't really projectiles so much as there are just bad guys everywhere:

https://youtu.be/pLFeQl2RY1I?t=9m

I bring it up because it demands the same kind of thing that this game demands -- you can't possibly know where every guy on the screen is, so you can never really have a complete grasp of what's going on... but through peripheral vision and audio clues you can have a 'good enough' idea of what's going on -- enough to where you can effectively maneuver.


EDIT:


@ Bregalad (or anyone really)

To see what I mean about stick-and-move and not straight up button mashing, here's a video I made of me playing one of the midway levels:

https://youtu.be/WY5SqgHVb2M

Forgive the poor video quality, I was using my streaming quality when recording (which isn't great)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 02:48:14 pm by Disch »