Get ready for more adventures with fan favourites Reimu and Marisa in the latest Touhou game to be translated to English. Touhou Mechanical Scrollery combines a few game styles with action scenes, RPG elements and visual novel storytelling.
The game will start you out playing as Reimu as you run through the tutorial. There are quite a few sequences here to go through as you learn the controls. You will absolutely need a controller for this game on your PC. The in-game prompts match the Xbox controls, so this is your best peripheral option. This is a flying game and I must admit the way it works does feel a little unnatural at first, but as you get used to it and start learning to dodge incoming bullets, it does make sense.
After getting used to the controls on some easy enemies, the difficulty ramps up and you will have to start dodging bullets while managing your weapon and laser attacks on the machines. Close range attacks charge up your long range attacks, so there is a balance to be struck between the two, keeping the battles challenging and interesting, instead of spamming one button.
The story is told through a visual novel style and it’s a nice touch as speaking characters are highlighted and have subtle breathing motions instead of a static sprite. After meeting a few characters that serve as your shop NPC’s, Reimu and Marisa will have to solve a mystery of transforming books and mecha spiders creeping around forests! As mentioned you will start out playing as Reimu but you will also be able to play as Marisa later on.
Once you reach the main story you can choose a difficulty for each level, but also go back to replay them at a harder setting, as you become more skilled. Harder difficulties will yield better rewards, allowing you to craft upgraded gear much faster. Some items may only drop from a particular enemy, so make sure to hunt down the right one.
The music is good and has that traditional Japanese sound, which suits its setting of magic and mystery. Touhou is one of those long running series that is quite special, as so many creators have envisioned it in different ways. Its humble beginnings were in the 90’s and a mainstay of the franchise is that it comes rich with Japanese folklore, cute character designs and catchy tunes, all of which you will find in this new game.
I’ll admit this is my first time playing one of the games, but the characters have a strong presence among anime internet culture, so they are quite familiar to me. Touhou Mechanical Scrollery has been made by Phoenixx Inc, a small indie studio of fans with a passion for Touhou Project. While you may not be getting the most polished game engine, there is still a lot to love, as the gameplay is quite fun and you can take on challenges at your own pace. I certainly was not disappointed and enjoyed this game quite a lot.