Title Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle
Developer Cubetype
Publisher NIS America
Release Date October 10, 2017
Genre 3D shoot ’em up
Platform PlayStation 4
Age Rating TEEN
Official Website

Over the past year I’ve really been getting into the Touhou fandom. There are way too many great works for me to go into, but needless to say I’ve found some amazing fan made Doujins, games, and some of the most amazing music ever created. I had played quite a bit of NIS America’s previous release of Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet so when they announced Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle I knew I wanted to check it out. This title was actually released prior to Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet so let’s see if the first title was as good as the later one.

Each character has their own unique story, but you will be forced to complete the game with a few characters before the rest of the stories are unlocked. They all basically follow the story of Remilia creating a Yukkuri of Reimu, which are giant malformed heads of the characters that appear in lots of fan works. Each of the nine playable characters has their own adventure (or misadventure), all leading up to the epic confrontation with the Yukkuri!

Meiling and Cirno | Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle

While I think the story is well written and full of the crazy antics you would expect from these characters, there is one glaring issue here. Rumia’s name was changed to Lumia. While some could argue for this changeit wasn’t accepted well when Play, Doujin! did this the first time and even Zun himself said the character’s name is Rumia. While I know this is a minor issue and really doesn’t affect anything, it grates on my nerves that an established character like this has a name change in localization for no reason at all. If you’re gonna insert a joke about ⑨ for Cirno, which only the fanbase would ever understand, the change seems even more pointless.

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle | Rumia

The graphics in the game are a mixed bag to say the least. The environments lack detail and while I can understand this to a point, since the focus is on the characters, I still feel a little more effort should’ve been put into them. A few of the arenas have walls you can get behind during battles but the rest are flat and very uninspired. The character models are done in a chibi style and they look pretty good for the most part. They are animated nicely for what type of game this is and it’s nice each character has a player one and player two costume to choose from. Flandre’s player two costume makes her even cuter! The game runs at a solid framerate and features a VR mode which is kinda neat, but honestly this game looks very dated. I’m not usually one to harp on about graphics but this one is really plain.

The music found here is pretty decent. You will find lots of new iterations of some of your favorite tunes in the Touhou series. These include Tomboyish Girl in Love, U.N. Owen Was Her, Locked Girl, Lunar Clock, and more. The sound effects themselves are a standard affair, and the game has a tiny bit of voice acting as the characters say lines before combat and voice their winning lines. These voices all fit the characters well and I thought most of them sounded adorable.

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle | Flandre Alt Costume

This title is a 3D shoot ’em up, with each of the nine characters having a variety of projectiles and spells at their disposal to defeat their foes. There are three main attacks for each character, and some have some hidden attacks that can be performed by holding the left or right bumpers and hitting a face button. Sometimes you can even find moves that require you to hold both the L and R bumpers on the controller. Some combatants like Marisa use straightforward power attacks to kill foes quickly, while players may choose to go with Cirno if they want to play more defensively, since she can make ice walls as a shield. No one here has a crazy amount of moves, but you combine the uniqueness of each and the variety in their spell card attacks, and there is a reasonable amount of depth here.

There are a few different modes found in the game. Arcade mode which is a survival mode, Score Attack mode which is the same as Arcade mode but with a focus on getting a crazy score, VS. com where you can set up your own match and fight the CPU on your terms, and Story Mode. There is an online mode were you can set up rooms and play with friends online, but as of writing this I’ve not found a single person playing this online on the PlayStation 4. Without there being a decent player base online for this one I have say it is pretty light on content since you can finish story mode for all the characters in three or four hours, and the other modes, while fun, are just not that rewarding.

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle | Combat

If you’re a die hard Touhou fan you will likely enjoy Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle. If nothing else the story mode is fun, and we all love seeing our favorites out on an adventure. If you aren’t a fan there is nothing here to bring you into the series, and the game is a little light on content for its $29.99 price tag. This one may not be the definitive 3D shoot ’em up we were all hoping for, but it’s not completely without merits either.

Review Score

Review copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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Steve Baltimore
Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.