I remembered today that the demo for the 12th game in the Touhou Project series, awkwardly named Undefined Fantastic Object, was released last week on the 8th during Reitaisai! So I quickly went to my favorite torrenting site(Demonoid) and began downloading the trial. Does Touhou 12 live up to past titles in the series? After some time with UFO, the reaction is a positive YES!
Just to get this out there, I'm a total Touhou fanboy. I worship Reimu in the morning and fap to Cirno by night, so expect these first impressions to be a little biased. Now the demo only lets you partake in the Story mode, but they do allow you to choose from the four different difficulty settings UFO has to offer; Easy, Normal, Hard and Lunatic. You can also choose between three characters, the first two being Touhou mainstays Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame. The third is playable newcomer Sanae Kochiya. Once you choose your difficulty and character, you are than prompted to choose between two different scenarios, or storylines. Also, the controls are pretty much what you would find in any standard vertical danmaku. Arrow keys to move, Z to fire your basic shot(hold it down for rapid fire), X sets off your characters personalized bomb, and Shift will slow down your characters movement allowing you to dodge those damn bullet curtains.
One new gameplay feature added to UFO, is in fact, the addition of UFOs. While making your way through a stage, some enemies will have a small UFO flying around their sprite. Once this enemy is defeated they drop the UFO they were holding, which allows you to pick it up! These UFOs come in three main colors; Red, Green and Blue. Gathering three UFOs of the same color simultaneously will summon one big UFO with the corresponding color you collected. Collecting one of each color will summon one big flashing UFO. Once these big UFOs are summoned, it's up to you to kill the UFO before the timer runs out, doing so will grant you a multiplier, and the effectiveness of this multiplier depends on which color UFO you just defeated. Red are best for life parts, green for bomb parts, blue for increasing your score, and flashing will change the power items for point items and vice versa. The UFO system isn't a terribly difficult one to remember, but it's important to learn if your looking to achieve a high score!
Another thing to mention is that the music is great. Team Shangai Alice never disappoint when it comes to a soundtrack for their games, and the one backing up UFO is, so far, sounding awesome. A Music Room option is available in the demo, where the songs you've unlocked during your time playing will be available for a listen!
After beating the demo thoroughly throughout the day with a blunt instrument, I can easily say I'm eagerly awaiting the full release of Undefined Flying Object from Team Shangai Alice. Shmup enthusiasts who hunger for something new being brought to the table in terms of gameplay mechanics will be disappointed, but those enthusiasts seeking a challenge sure won't be! One thing a Touhou game has never failed to do in the past was severely push its players skills to the limit. As for the die hard Touhou fans, like me, they will undoubtedly enjoy this game for everything it has to offer, even if you might get the feeling like you've already played this game so many times in the past. Some won't be able to get past the sense of deja vu, but it still holds a new Touhou experience to take part in! Are you new to the Touhou phenomenon? If so, then UFO is a great place to start off. Hell, it's even a great place to start off if your new to the bullet hell shmup genre! The no risk taking feeling present in UFO will make it very accessible to those gamers who are on the outside looking in, those who want to really try out a danmaku but might be a bit intimidated by it's hectic gameplay and pattern memorizing shenanigans. Anyone interested in the demo should just drop me a line and I'll provide a link!