- System: PC
- Publisher: XSEED Games
- Developer: Mediascape
- Release Date: July 11, 2018
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action, RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://www.scarletcuriosity.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity has players taking on one of two characters in this 10 to 15-hour adventure. Players can assume the role of either Sakuya or Remilia with the only difference being some areas explored and how the story goes. Sakuya might use daggers while Remilia uses her vampire fangs/hands but both can balance between close and distance in equal measure. Either character you choose though plays the same ultimately with each having several special attacks—more of which unlock as you level up—, a normal attack and ex-like moves. This is where the issues of Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity begin though as you begin to realize quickly that Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity doesn’t change the formula of other titles like it. While Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity goes against the mainstays of the series usual shooter format, it ends up becoming a rather ho hum action RPG in the process.
As players explore this very simple world, they will quickly notice how simple everything really is within in Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. Not only is the combat never beyond 4 or 5 buttons, but the linear paths, the range of enemies to fight—with the exception of bosses—and the overall feel of Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity never changes from the first minute you play to the later several hours. Players will always fight the same types of enemies, use the same attack combos and even pick up loot that changes nothing in-game. The one good element to combat is trying to keep your combo going to do more damage against enemies and trying to survive their sheer numbers at times. Bosses as well provide some challenge with their bullet hell feel that harkens to the mainstay of the Touhou franchise.
Speaking of the loot we mentioned above, the loot system in Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity reminds us of the older action RPG days with drops coming in the hundreds and typically most items just being a slight upgrade to prior equipment with no stand out items ever really appearing. Though this also helps you realize what Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity is missing. The biggest weakness of Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity is that everything just screams simple and while that does have some enjoyment to those who don’t want overly complicated action RPG titles, it leads to Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity being a repetitive title. More often than not, there are only a small amount of areas that shine—mostly during bosses or some locations—with the rest just feeling mediocre and uninteresting. You will learn to quickly fly through areas—while leveling up in the process—to reach the end boss and finally find some enjoyment to be had defeating them and trying to keep alive during the process.
Graphically and sound wise, Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity ranges from beautiful to mediocre. The CGI scenes that show up occasionally in Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity look incredible with some amazing art and designs. Likewise, the water design and some environments really impressed us here at Honey’s Anime. Unfortunately, everything else in Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity was mediocre visually with enemies never wowing us—most are just common creatures found in other titles—and most environments being bland. The biggest offense is that while the music for Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity is awesome—we loved some of the boss music and area soundtracks—there is literally almost an absence of sound. There is no voice acting and enemies rarely, if ever, make noise. You will only hear your enemies attack or your own attack noises which creates a rather strange effect while playing Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Impressive CGI scenes
- Solid music
- Gameplay works well with simplicity and ease of controls
- Still retains the bullet hell themes with sometimes difficult areas and numbers of enemies to fight
- No voice acting or almost no noise outside of attacks makes for an odd ambiance
- Weak plot that will only appeal to Touhou fans
- Loot system feels like it’s from the 90s
- Gameplay gets very repetitive
- Enemy designs are lacking