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E3 2016 – Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity Preview (PS4)

June 17, 2016 Written by Cameron Teague

Touhou scarlet curiosity header

The Touhou series is finally making it’s way to Western audiences, with three games coming over. At XSEED Games, I was able to get my hands on the PlayStation 4 version of Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity. Check out my full hands-on preview below.

At the beginning of my demo, I was given the choice of playing as either Remilia Scarlet, a 500-year old vampire that looks 12, or her devoted maid Sakuya Izayoi. Each character presents a different take on the story itself, and there is also a third character coming that will unlock a short side story. Remilia is immortal and bored, so with Sakuya, she learns of a mysterious monster that’s terrorizing the countryside. Now, she has something of interest to check out and sets off to find this monster. I was told the game will take about 12 hours to play through for both characters and the side stories.

Curiousity Kills

The gameplay is a change from the usual shoot-’em-ups that the series has  become known for; instead opting for a more RPG approach to the game. Each character has a regular attack, along with two special attacks and an ultimate attack that builds up as you defeat enemies. Sakuya is your up close fighter, while Remilia is a bit more distance oriented. Battles happen in real-time, very much like old school Zelda games, as you need to study the patterns of your enemies attacks, dodge, and then strike. 

Though Scarlet Curiosity has strayed from it’s shoot-’em-up roots, it still has aspects you would find in such a game. Like having to dodge projectiles fired from enemies on the screen or during boss fights, as there are tons of thing flying at you, just like a really good shoot-’em-up. The boss battle I faced in one level was tough, as I really needed to pay attention to her attack patterns, and jump over all sorts of oncoming projectiles. It does a great job of being accessible, yet difficult. The characters are a bit hard to control at times, especially when trying to hit someone with a special move, but you kind of get used to it and adjust.

Touhou: Scarlet Curiosity will be releasing this year for the PlayStation 4, though no release date has been given.