Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Webnesday Games - Phantasmagoria of Flower View

Going back to the games that you can download for free, this week's Webnesday game is one that I feel a little guilty about posting. Not because of content or difficulty, but because it's one I haven't played in a while and it's from a long series of games I haven't tried outside of this one title. Regardless, I'm here tonight to mention a shmup unlike most other shmups out there. A shmup that's two player, competitive, plays a little like a puzzle or fighting game, is split-screen, and, of course, is free. Touhou Project's 9th title: Phantasmagoria of Flower View.

Phantasmagoria of Flower View (PoFV from here on out) is a shmup that differs from most others in that it drops the usual routine of flying forward, killing a bunch of stuff, fighting a boss, and going on to the next stage. Instead, you only get half the screen, with the other half going to your opponent, and you're killing things and dodging bullets while trying to send attacks at the other player. It's a puzzle game that plays like a shmup, much like Neo Geo shooter Twinkle Star Sprites.

Even though I haven't touched this game in nearly half a decade outside of firing it up recently for a little refresher course, the game still looks decent if a little dated. I also realized I could have cared less once the game starts as I'm too busy trying to dodge and intercept a bazillion bullets. That's what the Touhou series is famous for: its bullet hell gameplay that focuses on dodging ammo and recognizing patterns. On the downside, I do remember this game being a lot more fun when playing against someone else, and my experience this time was limited to playing the computer. If you get a chance or download the netplay patch, try this game out against someone else. It's an interesting experience, if not at least a unique one, and a great combination of two of my personal favorite gaming genres.

Anyone looking to download PoFV can hit up this link full of Japanese. Luckily, it's a bunch of mirrors for the download, so I'm pretty sure clicking any of them outside of the only one that's in English will find a download. If you actually want to learn more about the game or about patching the game for internet play, you can visit the Touhou wiki for PoFV at this clickable link here.

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