Back in April, Touhou Project head ZUN announced a new title, Impossible Spell Card, as the 14.3rd project. The game was released today at the 11th Reitaisai festival, and sold out withing the hour. The game will be available at stores in Japan for purchase on the eighteenth. We managed to get our hands on this game, and decided to see what the big deal was.
The official title for the game is "弾幕アマノジャ ~ Impossible Spell Card. The game features Seija Kijin as the protagonist, and is a spinoff game that consists of spell cards that are impossible to beat. It is a danmaku, or "bullet hell" game and on first glance is definitely intimidating to newcomers. An interesting thing to note here is that despite it being a Touhou Project title, it is the first game in the series to not include "Touhou" in its title.
As the player, you control Seija Kijin, who uses nine various cheat items to survive. A maximum of two items can be selected, and has a finite amount of uses during the spell card. These items allow Seija to clear bullets, teleport around the screen, become invincible, etc. Each item also has a passive effect when equipped as a sub-item.
For those wondering if the game is incredibly difficult, the answer is no; spell cards can be cleared without the use of items, and there is no Extra Mode in this installment. At the same time, beginners to the danmaku genre will have a hard time. Players will have to face barrages of bullets, curved lasers, exploding bosses and all other forms of insanity ZUN was willing to throw at Seija.
As usual, the soundtrack was beautiful, featuring arrangements from previous games as older installment bosses make an appearance, such as Mokou from Imperishable Night and Cirno from other titles. Overall, the game was rather enjoyable, but also rage inducing as it could take up to forty attempts to clear a card for the first time. Once you know which gimmick to use, you can clear the game in no time.
I'm going to give Impossible Spell Card a 5. Despite the lack of Extra Mode being the only downside, it's a really fun game and I will reccomend it to those who are looking for a bullet hell that isn't traditionally done.