While primarily a shoot ‘em up franchise, the Touhou series has never been shy about dipping its feet into the fighting genre. Titles such as Immaterial and Missing Power, Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and Touhou Hisotensoku have combined bullet hell and fighting mechanics to create some of the most unique fighting game experiences on the market.
This is also the case with the latest title, Touhou 13.5 Hopeless Masquerade. Released in Japan just this past weekend, Hopeless Masquerade is unique even among its fellow Touhou fighters in that it purely focuses on mid-air combat, lacking any sort ground game whatsoever.
In addition, the game introduces unique elements such as three faiths (Shinto, specializing in shooting range; Taoism, concentrating on fast shots; Buddhism, focusing on melee combat) as well as the popularity system, which awards timeout wins based on a popularity meter. Said meter is filled up by using certain attacks and spells and decreases when a character is hit.
If you’re still confused by all this, feel free to check out the gameplay videos below.
You can also read up more on Hopeless Masquerade in its Touhou Wiki entry. The game’s publisher, Twilight Frontier, lists a variety of online Japanese retailers who offer the game on their websites, so be sure to follow the link below if you are interested in purchasing a copy.