If there’s one thing I like playing a lot, it’s fighting games. Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is no exception. Based off the Touhou Project series and sequel to the Immaterial and Missing Power, there’s a lot to look forward to in this installment.
Name : Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Language : Japanese
Type : Doujin Game (PC)
Genre : Fighting
Players : 1-2 Players
Netplay : O
The Touhou Project series has a loyal following and tons of fans, mainly due to it’s gigantic cast of characters, music and gameplay. It has been a well known fact that ZUN, the mastermind behind the series has worked solo for Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (Touhou 6) to Mountain of Faith (Touhou 10). This means that the programming, art and sound are all done by him.
This game was done by another group, called Twilight Frontier / Tasofro (http://www.tasofro.net/). They made Immaterial and Missing Power as well, which was the first fighting game of the Touhou series. Previously, it was all vertical shooters.
That’s all about the history. In terms of gameplay, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody is quite fun to play. There are two key features of this game, the weather system and the spell cards.
The Weather changes very often throughout the entire game due to the plot. As such, during fights the weather will change from snow to typhoon to fog and so on. This isn’t just for comestic reasons though, it actually affects gameplay. For example, when the weather is a typhoon, players gain superarmor status, and don’t flinch from taking hits but cannot block. This constantly forces players to change their strategies according to what’s happening with the weather. However, there have been complaints that in high level play and tournaments, the Weather system is too random and people actually prefer to have an option to turn it on or off. There is a 3rd party patch which removes weather effects.
As for the spell cards, it is a common theme in the Touhou series. When a spell card is declared or use, a variety of things can happen. For example, you can heal yourself, use a super move (aka Shinku Hadoken), power up your skills or replace some of the moves in your moveset entirely. As you fight, your cards slowly appear and you can use them according to what you see fit. You can have a maximum of 20 cards per deck.
Speaking of the deck, the game allows you to customize it to your liking, as long as you follow a few certain unwritten rules. The variety of different cards available per fighter helps to make every battle different and challenging.
The music, like any Touhou game out there is fantastic. I won’t go too indepth about it, but anyone who have played a Touhou game before would agree the music is awesome.
Marisa Kirisame vs Tenshi Hinanai
The graphics are nice, but there have been some issues such as the projectile colours blending into the background, making it practically invisible. As such, some stages have been banned from high level/tournament play to allow for fairness.
By far the best improvement from the previous game is the netplay feature. Without having a need for a third party patch, you can challenge your friends to a netplay battle, using the decks you have customized and fight to your heart’s content.
In summary, the game is awesome and will keep you occupied for a long time.
Pros : Addictive Fighter, music, gameplay.
Cons : A few glitches here and there, lack of weather toggle.
Rating : 9/10 – It’s interesting, but the weather system could use an option to enable/disable it during fights. Perhaps future patches might fix this.