Review: Pony Touhou

Download Link:

As the title suggests, this game is heavily influenced by the Touhou series: A long-running “bullet hell” shmup franchise with a cult following. However, the title has a bit of an identity crisis- the in-game title is actually My Little Pony vs. Starcraft II, as the enemies seem to be inspired by that game. Personally, I think putting the two titles together with a colon in between would have made more sense. Odd title aside, does the game live up to its legendary inspiration? Hit the jump to find out.

The story is rather simple: Aliens from the Starcraft universe are invading Equestria, and it’s up to the Mane 6 to stop them. You can play as any of the Mane 6, each with their own unique weapons and abilities. For example, Pinkie Pie fires cupcakes that act as a weak spreader gun, while Applejack launches large apples that shoot out one at a time but are more powerful. They also each have a magic meter that builds up as the player collects power ups, which allows them to either use a focus move or super technique. The former is a faster, more powerful version of their original weapon that does not require much magic to use. The latter is where things get interesting- super moves vary from Rarity’s barrier made out of dresses to Twilight Sparkle’s burst of magic that attacks every onscreen enemy.
While this wide variety of attacks sounds like an awesome arsenal, your enemies still have quite the upper hand. Be warned: This game is HARD! The alien starships attack you en masse. Flurries of tiny bullets literally cover the screen, forcing you to squint at enemy fire in order to dodge it. And the bosses? They’re even more ridiculous, with exorbitantly long health bars and giant lasers.
Makes the Parasprite swarm look like an ant colony.
To be fair, this is typical of the Touhou series, so the game does live up to its name. However, the thing that irritates me most about the gameplay isn’t found in Touhou: You’re only given one life, and no continues! With such a punishing difficulty, you’d think developer huod umop apisdn would at least be generous enough to give the player extra tries. That said, the game does show some mercy in the form of difficulty settings, though even on the easiest setting it’s no walk in the park.

Yeah, you’ll be seeing this screen a lot.

The game’s presentation is a mixed bag. The music is great, remixing MLP songs in a frantic, electronic style that fits the chaotic gameplay to a tee. The sound effects are also well-done, including voice clips straight from the show. The visuals are simplistic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Touhou’s graphics aren’t exactly elaborate themselves. The ponies look exactly as they should, and weapons are animated well. I’ve never played Starcraft, so I can’t say how accurate the enemies are to those in the game. The backgrounds feel really out of place, though. They’re just pictures of realistic environments that don’t fit in well at all with the motif of either franchise (okay, outside of the final level).
Pony Touhou is on the short side, with a mere three stages to venture through. The high difficulty does add a lot of (arguably cheap) length to this, though, and there’s some good replay value in the form of different characters and difficulty levels.
Overall, Pony Touhou is a decent game that’s very faithful to its tough-as-nails inspiration. It falls flat in some areas, but with extra lives and other touches, it could be a winner. If you’re a fan of the Touhou series, it’s certainly worth checking out. For everypony else, though, I’d say it’s only worth a try if you’re looking for a challenge.

Rating: 6/10
- Sapphire Feather

No comments :

Post a Comment