Just last Saturday, the North American branch of video game and anime developer and publisher Nippon Ichi Software announced via press release that they would be releasing the Sony PlayStation 4 updated version of Touhou Genso Rondo – localized as Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet – by CUBETYPE in both physical and digital form in North America and Europe on the 6th September and 9th September respectively! Considering the niche yet wildly popular nature of the Touhou Project series in the West, this is a pleasant surprise!
Originally released for Windows PCs in late 2012 during Comiket 82 and having had received a PS4 updated version in 2015 for Play, Dojin! (a dojin game distribution platform for the PlayStation Network service) as its first title, Touhou Genso Rondo was developed by CUBETYPE as an interesting hybrid of danmaku (a specific term for shoot ’em up games where there are hundreds of bullets to avoid on screen at once) and 3D arena fighter gameplay where players control their chosen character from a top-down perspective to avoid bullets fired by their opponent while attempting to shoot their opponent down themselves (or smack them down physically).
While this is largely similar to the original Touhou Project danmaku games by Team Shanghai Alice in gameplay, this dojin (a term for a self-published product which may or may not be based off existing content) game offers much more flexibility in players’ movements and options for attacking their opponent, allowing players to create their own distinct danmaku patterns with customizable bullets or simply get up in their opponent’s face and whack them. Unlike the original series where the player is unfortunately left to fend for themselves against bosses with little else but straight-firing bullets and the resilience of a fly, (one hit and you lose a life!) Touhou Genso Rondo also gives players power comparable to those bosses.
The playable characters for this title are the series’ main protagonists shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei and ‘ordinary’ magician Marisa Kirisame, the knife-wielding maid Sakuya Izayoi, her mistress the affable vampiress Remilia Scarlet, rival shrine maiden Sanae Kochiya, half-ghostly swordswoman (and gardener) Youmu Konpaku, her employer the cheerful ghost Yuyuko Saigyouji, reclusive doll maker Alice Margatroid, not-too-smart nuclear Hell Raven Utsuho Reiuji and ultra-fast tengu reporter Aya Shameimaru. In addition, the characters have received re-balances to their gameplay for the PS4 release, the user interface and graphics in general have received a complete makeover, single player mode as well as story mode have been expanded, online play on the PlayStation Network (with score rankings and trophy/achievement support, of course!) has been implemented and a brand-new Boss Rush mode has also been rolled out.
Nippon Ichi Software America is currently offering a limited edition box set for the upcoming release, which includes a physical copy of the game (1), a full-color, hardcover artbook (2), a set of five 6” x 5” art prints (3), a jewel case containing the original soundtrack for the game (4), a set of 12 pin badges featuring the playable characters as well as two surprise illustrations (5) and a collector’s box to store everything (6), as well as a downloadable content bundle with as-of-yet unknown contents. (do note however that the artwork shown in the image above is subject to change) Pre-orders for the game are now open as well on its official product page on the Nippon Ichi Software America website, going at USD 49.99 for the limited edition box set and USD 29.99 for the game on its own. What are you waiting for? Reserve your copy now!
Images and video ©Nippon Ichi Software America
Featured image ©CUBETYPE