Touhou Double Focus is a game that tries to be like other Metroidvania titles… but fails. The first flaw is in the opening of the game. Other than the fact that the characters become trapped in a book, its hard to get a grasp on the story. For new players there is no introduction to the main cast of characters so it becomes hard to relate to them. It’s hard to get invested in a story, especially one as out-landish such as this, if you don’t know the characters. One of the major parts of story telling is, and will always be the character depth and growth of cast. That’s why you hear such praise for popular characters such as Big Boss from Metal Gear or Goku from Dragon ball. The characters from those series are well-rounded and help further enhance their respected series. The characters in this game feel cliché and kinda flat, making the whole experience uninteresting.
The graphics in this game are hit and miss. The artwork in the game such as the environments and the characters look fantastic. Each character is detailed and the anime style translates really well. The issue I ran into was mostly in the animations. The animations are often stiff and don’t flow naturally at times, resulting in awkward looking movements/attacks. At times the frame rate will drop, further hindering the visuals. The cut scenes graphics is where the artwork really shines. The drawings for the still images are all well done and show off a great deal of emotion, unfortunately it is still hard to grasp on to the story that these images are trying to convey.
The control often feels floaty and not as tight as I would like. This is most apparent in the jumps. Some of the platforming feels like it could have used some more work, like for instance the “elevators” are soooo slow. In games like Castlevania and Metroid, the platforming is much tighter, These game series that came out almost 30 years ago. Touhou Double Focus just came out yet it can’t replicate the tight controls of the games it’s based on. That is probably the most disappointing part of the gameplay. Some of the mechanics you will notice right away when playing are the character swap and the ability/attacks you can find. First off, when it comes to the character swap, you will have two characters, both of which have different abilities. One has a gliding ability that you can use when you hit the up button and jump. The other has a wall climbing ability. While the wall climbing power is great, the gliding feels broken. When you try to jump the gliding actually hinders your jump making the platforming unnecessarily hard at times.Over the course of the game you will have the opportunity to obtain new powers for both characters. These new abilities will require you equip them before they can be used.
The music and sound effects in the game are not bad at all. First on to the voice acting, the voice acting isn’t too bad, it fits the characters and is what you would expect from an anime. The music is also pretty good. It’s upbeat and flows really well. The sound effects from things in the environment are also great as well. Like for example you will hear the rattling chains of a chandelier before it crashes to the ground or the swift swipe of an ax. This kind of design is fantastic and some of the best of the game.
If you’re looking for a game with replay value this one may or may not before you. If you are not looking for much depth in character or design and just want a game to burn some time on this might be a good choice to go with. If you’re looking for an engrossing story then there is little reason to come back, although it does require a fair amount of skill at time as this game can get difficult which, if you’re looking for a challenge this is your game.
Touhou Double Focus will not be everyone, It attempts to be like the great games of the past but fails to achieve the same greatness. While the music and the artwork are great, the animation hiccups and the poor gameplay hold this game back. The poor story telling is also a huge setback to the game, this, as mentioned before, is especially true if you don’t know who the characters are. I can only recommend this game if you are huge into anime and if you enjoy metroidvania games. I would also say this is a budget title, wait for it to go on sale. Touhou Double Focus gets a 6/10.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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