Topic: Touhou 13.5 東方心綺楼 Hopeless Masquerade - I'm hopelessly in love  (Read 273422 times)

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Helepolis

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Spoiler warning detected for game discussion and other things. Read and reply in this thread at own risk

Someone help this poor fella, as my heart got stolen by the amazing work from Tasofro and ZUN. Oh dear sweet Byakuren, I would convert to Buddhism if it wasn't for your psycho appearance.

Introduction
Hear hear, sinners and believers. The road to cleansing and salvation can take many forms and lead to many events in your life. So which one shall it be? Which god or goddess or divine faith will you follow? This is the 13.5 instalment of the Touhou series. Hopeless Masquerade the name of the holy "book". And it is being sold now at Reitaisai 10 as we speak. If you wish to purchase your copy, maybe drop a visit at Kourindou. Due to heavy load of faith, stocks may run low.

Welcome to the fighting game where our girls will defend their religion and conqueror the world! At least, that is how it looks like.


First impression
We already had a good look at the spriting work and stage design in the demo. How ever let me just say: Wow. Compared to the older fighting games such as 7.5, 10.5 and 12.5 this is a major and I mean major new look. Tasofro seems to be pushing the graphics to their limits and improving the overall general look of the games. Everything also looks to me more mature and less chibi. Enough about my opinions, now then, NAMUSAN!


We're having a different opening screen compared to the demo if I am not mistaking. Here we can most likely take a good glance of the human village where in the trial version we saw a shrine which looked very much like Reimu's stage. Important things to note is the Netplay. Now you can enforce your faith onto your friends, or perhaps beat up a friend to pulp to prove which religion is more supreme. Great isn't it? So who are these girls who are ready for a brawl?


It seems that from each "household" / "team" there are two girls representing them. Miko & Futo from the Taioist household, Byakuren & Ichirin from the Myoren household, Reimu & Marisa from the humans/shinto I guess? Nitori & Koishi from interestingly the Chireiden household. Although it could be implied here that everything below the centre (Random character pick) is a neutral / non religious girl. So Reimu is here solo representing Shinto. ZUN had already hinted us the religious warfare exploding in this game, so it would make sense to put them above the centre and the others below. Though who knows what their motivation is to join these fights. Maybe they are here just for the spell card battles! Then there are also the two mysterious girls. While a lot of people have seen their true identity, I will not spoil them here. You just have to go fight for yourself.


Gameplay
While I am not really an expert on the fighters, I'll just explain what I have seen and compared at basic level. I'll leave the in-depth mechanics and other things to the experts. Most of this was already discussed in the trial, but a quick cover up here is required for the newcomers. First of all it seems that the classic "your feet on the ground" is ignored here. You're flying or using your ability to hover above the ground. This gives the game itself a full 360-ish feeling. You dash/attack from all directions and blocking/attacking from below is no longer only optional when for example your opponent was jumping. The card system seems to be completely eliminated (at least the deck building) and you're now using pre-defined spell cards which need to be set before you actually start the game. There is some customization available which can be stored in profiles. Using attacks and other special abilities drains your mana/spirit/magic bar.

Spell cards and "super moves" are used after you have filled your HP bar with the blue colour. When full, you activate your powers which makes the screen turn fancy, blurry and filled with textures. During this mode you seem to gain some abilities and declaration of a spell card as well.

Did I explain that well? Not sure. Argh. N-na--NAMUSAN!


Looks, feel and hear
We already have mentioned this in our introduction. The graphical update on this game is major and the characters are no longer in their chibi forms.


Girls are showing off with their fancy clothes and poses. Looking fancy there Futo!

Mature. That is the first word that came into my mind when I spotted the girls like Byakuren, Miko and Reimu. Compared to the other ones in the games, they have a mature feeling to them. The way they move, act and pose. Or could it be because Hijiri Byakuren has been gifted with nice pair of assets? I am sorry for spotting the details, but that is my job after all as bunbunmaru reporter. Get in all the juicy details. Ayayayayaya. (I'll be killed for this.)

Style. That is the second word that came to my mind. It seems that ZUN and Tasofro have taken the presentation of the religions to a different level. No boring preaches or endless jibbeh jabbah about which religion is better. No, it had to be shown. In style and flashy. And what a flashy effects exist in this game. From flying kicks into master sparks into large fists into... road signs.


'No religion parking here!!' said the Kappa girl with a firm voice. Also, Gaijin4koma detected.

The music it self is a very pleasant and classic treat. All girl's original themes have been remixed into stage songs. We can start an endless discussion about this but taste is for everybody subjective. Let me just tell you that I felt a strong flashback of 10.5 where the trumpets and instruments were grand and glorious. You won't be disappointed at all.

Stage designs are also done very nicely. I cannot seem to figure out whether it is true 3D or smart usage of 2D sprites. You can set your quarrels with the girls at Reimu's shrine, while her friends and youkais are sipping tea and cheering for you. Or would you rather take it in front of the public at the human village? Be careful that a certain Hakutaku doesn't mess you up. Well, the doctor will be close by to treat your wounds for a cheap price.


The human villagers and touhou girls seem to be very excited about this fight. "Reimu, You came to the wrong neighbourhood da ze!"


Conclusion
So there you have it ladies and gentleyoukais. A full fetched fighting game, bringing you the pleasure of Touhou in higher definition and controls. I've so far never been much into fighting games in general. Not just Touhou, but the other famous ones as well. Perhaps Hopeless Masquerade will pursue me to play it more often. Even if you're tuning into Touhou as new comer, this game won't be punishing you for the lack of knowledge based on the previous fighting games. There are training modes available and plenty of explanation and customization to get you going.

The netplay is as usual becoming a very important thing in gaming. Glad to see that Tasofro and ZUN don't cling to lame methods such as accounts or other platforms. Although judging this is a Peer2Peer connection, you might want to consider your opponents to avoid lag. Not quite sure how multiplayer experience is in 13.5 compared to the previous games.

Final words, the whole story behind the game I intentionally left out to avoid spoilers. All I can say is: Surely no one should be able to complain now about their religion being ignored. Right?



"Ah-hah. Haha...... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA."


Y-You're scaring me, Hijiri-sama!

--Helepolis


Known issues and other useful info
- 1.01 patch available from Tasofro. download from official website.
- 1.02 patch available from Tasofro.
- 1.03 patch available from Tasofro.

- Apparently, the game seems to be suffering slowdown/frame lag from time to time. (confirmed)
- Several graphical bugs and glitches seem to exist. (confirmed)
- People reported crashing, such as with the final boss. The final boss crash can be avoided by running the game in Japanese Local (confirmed)
- Using some characters and using certain attacks leads to crashes (confirmed)

- Glitches/bugs other abuses have been noted which may result in unfair gameplay (semi confirmed)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 05:10:34 pm by Helepolis »
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Roster's too small, roster's chosen on some weird and possibly arbitrary/nonsensical criteria, and the holy war arc that was being foreshadowed since MoF got sidetracked by an (admittedly cool) only-vaguely-related final boss.

Tasofro did some things well, and some other things...Poorly. I'm less than impressed.

I should be happy. My favorite character is finally playable and so are a bunch of my other favorites. But there's just so many out-of-left-field design, story, and general decisions that just seem off, and lastly it lacks much of the silly charm of the earlier Tasofro fighting games.

Had potential, decent as it is, really needed work.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 09:46:53 am by Miffed Myouren Magician »

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...but they already released one patch before the game came out. If that patch isn't fixing everything, then they'll have to send another...

TASOFRO AM CODE GUD so this is fairly standard. :V

DSveno

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I think that's the usual amount of character for a fighting game with new engine.

After playing for a while, I can say I'm pleased with it since it's fun to play. Now until I could find a decent opponent I will comment about the game's system and balancing. It's not Hisoutensoku (duh, obviously), so it's silly to compare this game to it anyway.

babalenong

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my god the game is awesome, but getting a lot of fps drops and crash at final boss :/ cant wait for another patch
but so far the game is great even though i cant read anything  :justasplanned:

Helepolis

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Apparently it is due to JP Localisation, people say. Cannot confirm.
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I wasn't comparing this to Hisoutensouku in terms of gameplay---the gameplay is one of the things I find solid enough about 13.5, aside from where Tasofro's coding glitches are involved.

My problem---or one of them---is that for example the aesthetics try to be more adult in both good and bad ways. I'm not particularly fond of Futo's somewhat more risque look or Byakuren's...Um...Idle stance.

I don't completely and utterly hate the game, oh no---there's things I do like about it. It's just that the things I DON'T like leave me wondering what the Hell everyone was doing during planning.

DSveno

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Goddamn I love this game. I can feel the elegance and strength in just one shot.

DSveno

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I don't really know what's wrong with Byakuren's idle stance. Isn't it one of the usual stance in Hokuto no Ken?

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I don't really know what's wrong with Byakuren's idle stance. Isn't it one of the usual stance in Hokuto no Ken?

Check your PMs for the explanation.
I don't really know what's wrong with Byakuren's idle stance. Isn't it one of the usual stance in Hokuto no Ken?

2 words. Jiggle physics

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2 words. Jiggle physics

Yeah, this.

I'm no *definitely* no prude, but given the sprite author's (not Alphes! he just did the portraits) Pixiv gallery, it raises eyebrows.

Also, they built up the plot from TH10 to TH13 and then it turned out to be a red herring. The final boss should have had her own game---as it is, it seems like she felt kinda thrown in, which is a shame as she's memorably creepy.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:15:22 am by Miffed Myouren Magician »

Limian

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Koishi's and Nitori's themes on Youtube now.
edit: Futo's is up as well, although I'm not sure whether people will see this considering this is the last post of the page. I guess someone can just repost her theme anyway.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:44:06 am by Limian »
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Amraphenson

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As usual, a pretty game. But not a well coded one.

Byakuren breakdown:
byakuren must activate her specials before using them. activating is a fairly vulnerable action but it has a fast startup. the process goes like this:
set special to any direction>use special to gain 'charges' of it by displaying Byakuren's scroll>you may now use that special for however many charges you want, regardless of the original direction input. if you access her kick special for example with a left+ab, you can use any other direction if you have the kick special set to them.


projectile differences:
Shinto
normal projectile is a medium speed, aimed at where the opponent is but does not home
heavy projectile can be aimed and is multi hit
Tao:
normal projectile becomes much faster at the cost of a much smaller hitbox, to the point where it cannot be used in corner combos save for as a cancel
heavy projectile becomes a flying disc that only goes straight, again with a much smaller hitbox
Buddhist:
normal projectile becomes fairly high speed but has a maximum range; if it reaches this range, it stays in place with a persistent hitbox for about a second.
heavy projectile becomes a point blank orb that is multi-hitting

super1:
throws a projectile very quickly directly forwards. if it hits, does a followup THEN multi-hit combo thing with a kick ender. if you hit this in the corner the opponent is pulled out of it. if something hits the enemy inbetween the projectile and the followup, then the entire things whiffs because they get pushed out of the hitbox for the followup.
super2:
melee counter super, does lots of damage.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 01:01:58 am by Amra »
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I think we can all agree, boobs on Touhous is wrong wrong wrong.

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I think we can all agree, boobs on Touhous is wrong wrong wrong.

Having a figure is one thing, the artist shamelessly trying to use it to draw attention is another thing.

Given the sprite author's other Pixiv artwork I really doubt he's doing these things for the sake of women's lib.

At any rate, the issue I have with it is that ZUN tolerates but does not particularly like porn of the series from what I'm told, so I'm wondering if one or both parties were out to lunch when some of these design/staff decisions were greenlighted.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:32:34 am by Miffed Myouren Magician »

Amraphenson

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koishi basic description:
I was high when I said it was just hold and release on irc

press heavy melee or heavy projectile. in the corner, the corresponding icon will begin to flash. once it stops flashing and has lit up constantly, the move is primed; whatever move you inputted+direction you inputted it with will come out the next time you are in a position it would hit the enemy or after enough time passes (about 5 seconds)
Example: I unput up+heavymelee. the next time I am directly below the enemy, Koishi automatically lightbulbs them.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:36:21 am by Amra »
Sugoiiii~
[23:02] <~Iced> You have sown the seeds of your own destruction Amra.
[23:20] <Stuffman> enjoy your personally crafted hell Amra

Frog

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Can I just say mamizou's stage is the best.
Bunch of drunk tanuki sitting around watching you fight.

Edit: woops forgot not to spoil everything
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:30:39 pm by Frog »

Tengukami

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At any rate, the issue I have with it is that ZUN tolerates but does not particularly like porn of the series from what I'm told, so I'm wondering if one or both parties were out to lunch when some of these design/staff decisions were greenlighted.
I'm ... really not seeing how anything in this game even remotely approaches porn.

I don't really go for fighting games all that much myself, and think it would've been nice to see a larger roster. But considering that many older 2hus already had their chance to shine in IaMP, it makes total sense that this time around there'd be a greater emphasis on UFO and TD characters, so I don't think there was anything arbitrary about the choices made.

Visually and musically, this game is very impressive - some of these combos are jaw-dropping - and it's clear the team put a lot of time and effort into making this game blaze a new trail here.

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"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

DSveno

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I'm not going to lie. If you guys didn't point it out, I wouldn't have noticed it. That's the last thing I pay attention to when I'm playing the game.

I guess it's different strokes for different folks. Some people just pay way too much attention to those detail. Given that I'm an illustration artist, so such thing just naturally came out of my work, but I think you guys just make a big deal out of it =/.

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Goddamn, just when I was about to lament the lack of Tenshi, Kokoro fired a laser beam equally huge into my face :getdown:
Btw the game runs smoother than butter on my noti7.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 11:08:58 am by tfwnoform »

fondue

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I'm ... really not seeing how anything in this game even remotely approaches porn.

A lot of the spriter's Pixiv is most definitely lolicon porn. Admittedly not of Touhou characters but I'm still wondering on what grounds the parties involved decided to work with each other.

Quote
I don't really go for fighting games all that much myself, and think it would've been nice to see a larger roster. But considering that many older 2hus already had their chance to shine in IaMP, it makes total sense that this time around there'd be a greater emphasis on UFO and TD characters, so I don't think there was anything arbitrary about the choices made.

I was expecting Moriyas vs Reimu vs Buddhists vs Taoists vs some misc. outsiders, and instead we wound up with Koishi fighting on behalf of the Buddhists for reasons listed in SoPM that I have trouble imagining anyone could have thought of as a serious alliance, and Nitori as a raging atheist, and the Moriyas sitting on the sidelines at the exact precise time you'd expect them to be in the thick of it.

It felt like they were trying to shoehorn crowd favorites into the game to some extent---Ichirin was a good fit for the game because she already belonged to a faction and wasn't as developed as a character as some of the others, so putting her in was a good choice. Koishi's appearance was explainable but unexpected, and Nitori's appearance...Bleh, I don't even want to go there.

And at any rate the arc wound up concluding with the masked girl who, while unintentionally responsible for the village falling into a fugue in the first place, had no vested interest in the faction war.

The game has a lot of good elements that feel too scattered all over the place and fit unevenly with each other.

Quote
Visually and musically, this game is very impressive - some of these combos are jaw-dropping - and it's clear the team put a lot of time and effort into making this game blaze a new trail here.

Yeah, production values are good.

I'm not going to lie. If you guys didn't point it out, I wouldn't have noticed it. That's the last thing I pay attention to when I'm playing the game.

Blame people in the various IRC channels for making a big deal out of it. :V

Limian

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I don't really go for fighting games all that much myself, and think it would've been nice to see a larger roster. But considering that many older 2hus already had their chance to shine in IaMP, it makes total sense that this time around there'd be a greater emphasis on UFO and TD characters, so I don't think there was anything arbitrary about the choices made.
It's not so much about the IaMP roster (who expected Alice/Yuyuko/Suika anyway), but about all the missed opportunities from the games you mentioned (and oh lord MoF). Sanae/Kanako/Shou/Seiga all would have made great fits, but instead we got demi-semi-related characters like Nitori, Koishi and Mamizou (which are admittedly awesome, though). On the bright side, we can always hope for a sequel that adds new (or old) characters to the list la SWR, so maybe the situation is not as hopeless (ha).
Lunatic 1ccs: MoF (ReimuB)

Tengukami

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A lot of the spriter's Pixiv is most definitely lolicon porn. Admittedly not of Touhou characters but I'm still wondering on what grounds the parties involved decided to work with each other.
Probably on their artistic ability. I mean, I expect that in the doujin community, the fact that artists can and will draw porn is something ZUN has probably made his peace with. And again, I'm not seeing anything in the game that approaches porn.

It's not so much about the IaMP roster (who expected Alice/Yuyuko/Suika anyway), but about all the missed opportunities from the games you mentioned (and oh lord MoF). Sanae/Kanako/Shou/Seiga all would have made great fits, but instead we got demi-semi-related characters like Nitori, Koishi and Mamizou (which are admittedly awesome, though). On the bright side, we can always hope for a sequel that adds new (or old) characters to the list la SWR, so maybe the situation is not as hopeless (ha).
Yeah, I think that's a fair point, although some of the stuff Nitori does in this game is WOW. Go Team Atheist!

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"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

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Probably on their artistic ability. I mean, I expect that in the doujin community, the fact that artists can and will draw porn is something ZUN has probably made his peace with. And again, I'm not seeing anything in the game that approaches porn.

I suppose I can live with that much, even if I don't like it---I think it's related on some level to how in the indie comics market over here in the U.S. there's too many zombie-themed publications. :V

Quote
Yeah, I think that's a fair point, although some of the stuff Nitori does in this game is WOW. Go Team Atheist!

I'm not sure whether to find her presence in this game infuriating, amusing, or just confusing.

Infuriating because she's going Dawkins on people and militant atheism is one of my pet peeves, doubly so since I'm a nonbeliever myself.

Amusing because when you think about it her doing so in the presence of actual physical gods is kinda amusingly thick-skulled.

Confusing because her slot is not taken up by the Moriyas or Okuu instead. :V
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 11:33:21 am by Miffed Myouren Magician »
Eager to see some Koishi combo vids.  Her quirk seems so... odd to be well used in a real match.  I don't even know if comboing with her would be much possible.  I just hope Tasofro releases a patch already so I can see how the final boss' battle looks like. 

P.S.: To whoever is using Kokoro in their sign/avatars, please consider waiting a few hours (at least) for the people who want to see how the game's final boss looks like for themselves.  It really spoils the surprise for some people.  I'd be pretty annoyed if it happened with me.

Tengukami

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Well, I'm a sucker for kappas, so that might shade my opinion a bit.

Also finding it somehow fitting that Koishi continues to crash the game.

Fan Fiction
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"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

fondue

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How the hell does Koishi work? What are the keys to do whatever/blah? If anything I'm kinda disappointed with her...

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Well, I'm a sucker for kappas, so that might shade my opinion a bit.

Give me playable kappa mob and then we'll talk again.

Quote
Also finding it somehow fitting that Koishi continues to crash the game.

BSOD Sign - Egregious Typo :getdown:
 

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