Can It be Touhou Time?
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Ever heard of Touhou? Don't feel like a failure of a gamer if you haven't. It's understandable. Touhou Project isn't exactly a household name. Well, in Japan it is. But in other regions? Not so much. Which is a shame, because it's a rather interesting series.

See, the Touhou Project is a doujin series. The games are mostly made by Team Shanghai Alice, which is really just one man named ZUN. They're quite well known in Japan and have a pretty huge following, but not just because the main series of shoot'em ups is that good. It's also because there so many non-canon, doujin games inspired by Touhou

This is important, because it is those non-canon, Touhou Project games playable on the PS4 and Vita. The announcement was made during Sony's Japan Asia 2014 conference, and it's quite a big deal. Three of the most popular offshoots will be coming to the PS4, and ZUN is involved. Plus, it's looking to pave the way for more Touhou games on the console.


Which means an opportunity for the rest of us. Touhou is popular in Japan for a reason. The official Team Shanghai Alice shoot'em ups are amazing games, and it's a shame they really haven't been available to the rest of the world. But with the news of the PS4 release of Fushigi no Gensokyo 3, The Genius of Sappheiros, and Touhou Sky Arena - Matsuri -, it's a great time to expose the rest of the world to the series.

After all, doujin games are getting pretty hot. Hatoful Boyfriend made a huge splash, despite being an otome game. Nyu Media and Carpe Fulgar got started localizing Japanese doujin titles. People are embracing indepedent games, and that includes ones made by developers from every country. Given the push to get content on the PS4 and tap into that audience, it's a good time to board the Touhou ship.

Though, there is one obstacle. Some of these games may not be too import friendly. The only games announced thus far for the PS4 Touhou Project are Fushigi no Gensokyo 3, The Genius of Sappheiros, and Touhou Sky Arena - Matsuri -. Fushigi no Gensokyo 3 and The Genius of Sappheiros are text heavy, due to the former being a RPG and the latter a roguelike. While they could have promise and potential, companies may not feel up to the risk.

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However, Touhou Sky Arena - Matsuri - is a fighting game. It features 18 characters from the Touhou Project canon, all battling it out in various levels inspired by stages and locations from the main series. Fighting games don't typically require the same translation and localization efforts as other games (so long as they aren't from Arc System Works and have visual novel-esque story modes). While a more traditional shoot'em up would be more appropriate and "true" to the series, this title could work as an introduction since it's now guaranteed a PS4 and Vita release.

Touhou Project games are popular for a reason. The series has quite an extensive lore surrounding it, thanks to 14 official games and 8 spin-offs where Team Shanghai Alice was involved. Fans had such love, that even more doujin games were developed. It seems only right that, after all these years and now PS4 and Vita ports, people in other regions get some official localizations. 

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada

Site Editor
Date: 09/02/2014

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