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  #1    
Old January 14th, 2014 (05:38 AM). Edited March 5th, 2014 by Homura Akemi.
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Homura Akemi Homura Akemi is offline
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Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night
The 8th in the Touhou Project series of "danmaku" (bullet curtain) shoot em' up games for the PC.




Introduction/Story

Gensokyo. The mystical land of illusions and dreams, is having a Harvest Moon Festival the next day. All is going well, until some of the youkai notice something's up. They look into the night sky.

What's this...? An endless night....? The moon's been replaced by a fake one..and we've only got till 5am to fix that? Time to see who the culprit is. 4 youkai/human teams set off to find out who froze the night, and go on an adventure!

Gameplay and Mechanics

The main gimmick of danmaku shooters is this: shoot everything down while they shoot at you. The English meaning of danmaku, "bullet curtain", or more appropriately, "bullet hell", is usually a pattern of bullets showering over you, while you move yourself around them. The patterns are usually both beautiful and deadly, so keep an eye open.

IN has a different type of gameplay to the other shooters in the Touhou Project series; you take control of not 1, but 2 characters at any time, a human and a youkai. You have the power to change your shot type by switching to your human or youkai, and they have different uses. For one, a youkai can shoot through familiars, and is capable of focus, while humans have faster movement capabilities, and can earn extra points by simply shooting at enemies. We'll go more into that further. Your type of bomb (screen-clearing attacks) will vary between who you use: as each character has their own bomb. Every character also has a "Last Spell" variant: these are generally much stronger or longer-lasting attacks, activated if you press the bomb button as you die. You also have a time limit of sorts in this game: you have until 5am to defeat the final boss, and end the night. If not, game over. It takes time to learn patterns, so replay is usually necessary in Touhou.

Difficulties are as is.
- Easy: Generally for those new to danmaku shooters. As the name implies, it's easy. Good for learning controls.

- Normal: A bit harder~! For those well used to Touhou and other danmaku shmups. Not really a challenge, but not far off of one, either.

- Hard: For the seasoned player. Complex patterns and faster/more bullets to be expected here.

- Lunatic: Do I even have to explain this? It's what the name says!! Massive numbers of bullets, whizzing past everywhere. You have to have a fly's eyes to be able to weave through all of that.

You can level up through red power squares; collected from defeated foes. You can also get blue point squares, adding to your bonus points level. Collect these to gain new lives. A new collectable item to this game is the Time Orb, which will allow you to clear stages in half the time it would normally take; that's 30 whole minutes off, instead of an hour. Collecting enough of the time orbs in a level will allow you to face a boss' Final Spell: advanced danmaku patterns, not normally found in the battle.



Here's a Lunatic difficulty gameplay from Stage 3 of the game.


The teams are as is:
The Illusionary Border Team is generally the team for the new players. Featuring the main character of the series, Reimu Hakurei, and her youkai assistant, the controller of boundaries, Yukari Yakumo, this team has a small hitbox, and a longer activation time for Last Spells, allowing you more time to activate them. The two combine widespread attack with homing capabilities, allowing them to beat enemies faster, as they'll nearly always be hitting them.

Meanwhile, the Aria of Forbidden Magic team, magician Marisa Kirisame and puppeteer Alice Margatroid, are a lot faster and a bit harder to use than the Border team; focusing more on firepower than homing abilities. Marisa has an item auto-collection ability, going to the top of the screen allows you to collect every item on screen instantly. This team is generally for gaining bonus points quickly, and will allow you to stock up on power and points really quickly.

The Visionary Scarlet Devil team, from the Scarlet Devil Mansion, is the group of the maid Sakuya Izayoi, and her mistress, the Scarlet Devil herself, Remilia Scarlet. This team is generally well-rounded, with both power and range to boot. Sakuya's special ability allows items to slow down mid air, so you can collect easier. This team allows you to collect graze points (what you collect if you get close to a bullet) a lot easier, as their hitbox is larger for them.

Last but not least, the Netherworld Dwellers' team, consisting of the two ghosts, the half-ghost gardener Youmu Konpaku, and the ghost princess of Hakugyokurou, Yuyuko Saigyouji. This team plays a little differently, as Youmu being a half-ghost, has her ghost on the outside, as a spirit. This means she can shoot in multiple directions, the direction being decided as the opposite direction to you e.g. if you go left, the ghost will shoot right. Youmu is also the equal first fastest character in game, tied with Remilia.

Graphics


While this game may not be a 1080p High Definition PC game, it's still pretty good for its time and genre. The game's "graphics" consist of dynamic backgrounds, describing location/mood. A dark bg for a forest in the night, showing a bit of gloom, maybe a bright light for desperation. It's nothing much, but it's a small touch in an otherwise big game.

Music


Easily one of the Touhou Project's strong points. The music in this game is phenomenal, whether it be slightly creepy, cheerful, or something totally fitting of who you're battling, it's just fantastic. Listening in on it makes you think that the whole series being made by 1 man is a conspiracy theory, right? The music in the Touhou series is just amazing...whether it be, say, Flandre Scarlet's theme, or maybe Nitori Kawashiro's? But we're talking Imperishable Night. Wanna see what it has? Check the videos below and let's see. Don't break that replay button.


Stage 5 theme: Cinderella Cage ~ Kagome Kagome

Stage 4B Boss Theme: Love-Coloured Master Spark

Extra Boss Theme: Reach for the Moon ~ Immortal Smoke

Stage 3 Boss Theme: Plain Asia

Take a listen if you wish. The Touhou series' music mostly been praised, usually for its boss themes. Something about how the music captures a character's emotion...Check the vids if you wanna listen.

Final Notes/Ratings


Considering I've mapped this game out for this review, let's just do pros/cons. + and -s, if you may :]

+ Story
+ Characters; diverse and sporting unique personalities
+ Music; absolutely amazing (you can find out what they sound like in the Music section~)
+ The challenge: difficulties are as they say on the difficulty selection page. No added tidbits.
- Bullets can be both dazzling and eye hurtingly confusing. The game takes a lot of time to learn.
- Random difficulty spikes can end in your demise.
- The game's patterns take multiple replays to get right.

So, this game's been dissected and assessed. Time to put down a final verdict.

I'm gonna give this game 8 Cirnos out of 9 10! The Touhou series is well known for providing a fun challenge, a great way to pass time. If you wanna learn what a danmaku shooter is, the Touhou series is your best bet in playing one.
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  #2    
Old March 5th, 2014 (01:20 AM).
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«Chuckles» «Chuckles» is offline
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Worlds best review. I woul've given it 9/10 but still good review. Now im in the feel for some touhou!
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