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Dec 11 2008

Scarlet Meister

scarlet-meister-front

Starting playing a new doujin Touhou shooting game developed by “Hard-cover ha Donki” (ハードカバーは鈍器, Hard-cover is a Blunt Weapon) called Scarlet Meister. Unlike The official Touhou games, Scarlet Meister is a side-scrolling shooter instead of a top-down one. I haven’t really played these types of games too much so I really suck at SM but do enjoy the change of pace.

scarlet-meister-back

The entire game is rendered in 3D giving it a slightly different feel from the canon Touhou games. The player models are chibi versions of Remilia and Sakuya which look quite nice and cute although they can be initially distracting because of their fairly large size. Took me a while to get used to dodging because of the difference in size of the characters compared to the hitbox. Once you get used to it though it looks great although there seems to be some lag issues during times of high danmaku density. I’m not sure if this is intentional for dramatic effect or just a graphics issue. Won’t be able to test it until I have access to my much more powerful desktop next week. The illustrations of the characters shown during spell card activation also look nice.

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=ja-JP&#038;playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:236b5eb9-9218-4858-81e9-794030a68f2c&#038;from=msnvideo" target="_new" title="Scarlet Meister (demo 2)">ビデオ: Scarlet Meister (demo 2)</a>

Here’s some gameplay footage.

sm-shot

Although there is no player select option you get to play as both Remilia and Sakuya simultaneously which sort of reminds me of Imperishable Night. However unlike in IN which let you use 2 types of shots, unfocused (Sakuya) and focused (Remilia), SM gives you four options, unfocused and focused for both characters. Switching between characters comes in real handy when dealing with various shot patterns and enemies but when you switch, the character you were previously controlling moves in front of the character you switch to. This means that every time you switch you move forward a little bit and this can become very dangerous when you have no room to dodge so it is usually something you save for downtime between spell cards.

sm-combo

Another cool game play element is the combo meter which continuously goes up as you shoot enemies and goes down when you aren’t. The overall combo is displayed at the top-right and counts the total score achieved from all individual chains. However there is also a separate counter displayed above your character that only counts your current unbroken chain. If you achieve 500 or more and go into focused shooting mode, enemy danmaku in the immediate vicinity become point boxes and the counter switches to “Full” allowing you to temporarily use a special shot-type which is more powerful than even a focused shot with max power. Sakuya’s is great for it’s homing abilities while Remilia’s, although short ranged, decimates bosses.

Overall this is a fun game with solid game play which I would recommend to Touhou fans as well as shooting game fans in generall. You can buy a copy at Messe Sanoh Doujin Shop for a mere 750 yen although I don’t know if they ship outside of Japan.

PS: Loving WordPress 2.7

Permanent link to this article: http://honya-ch.com/2008/12/11/scarlet-meister/

10 comments

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  1. Zeroblade

    Unfortunately, most side-scrolling danmaku don’t work because you can’t really “see” if you’ll get hit or not.

    Zeroblade´s last blog post..Figure Review: Unison Vita

  2. Sax

    Looks great, pictures are awesome.

    Nice blog you have here, added to my blogroll at Touhou no Sekai.

    See you around!

  3. Honya

    @Zeroblade: Yeah I know what you mean. When it comes to side-scrolling, I prefer games like Contra anyways.

    @Sax: Thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I’m really glad you like my blog!

  4. Mihai

    What music is used in this game ?
    I’ve heard that is made by “kgz” , an artist that put his music on Newgrounds and music is used in the game without permission.

    The music on Newgrounds is put under CC license for non commercial products, if used in a game that sells for 750 yen it’s unfair to the author of music to use his music without paying some percents and without even noticing him.

  5. Obviously From Newgrounds

    This game is screwing an independant artist. Don’t indulge these corporate assholes and let that kid get stung by big buisness.

  6. Matvei

    The music in this game was used without permission. Please notice that commercial use of these songs is against CC licensing.

  7. Mihai

    Please notice that the author of the music is 17 years old.
    How is to steal from a 17 years old guy ? If he start his musical career by being abused this way, do you think is encouraging him to became a better musician ?

    Isn’t that a way to discourage a talented teenager to create original music ?

  8. axl

    is kgz even credited for his music you appearantly stole?

  9. Mihai

    Yes, KgZ is credited, I’ve seen a screenshot of the end credits of the game (someone posted it on Newgrounds).
    The real issue is that the author of the game didn’t ask the permission to use the music in a commercial product. I’m sure that KgZ would give it happily even if just to get more exposure.

  10. Mihai

    Hi again everyone
    Apparently it was just a misunderstanding regarding the CC license and KgZ and the creator of the game are sorting things out in a very friendly way.
    Big thanks to all the guys who helped with translating e-mails to Japanese.

    Hope that things will get ok from now.

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