Based on the Touhou Project anime Gensokyo Defenders is an action, strategy and tower defense game. Full disclosure I’m an anime novice with not much under my belt. Gensokyo Defenders was developed by Neetpia and published by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. Yes that’s right Sony.
Gensokyo Defenders uses an interesting spin on the regular tower defense genre. You start with a build phase in which you build traps to slow down enemies from reaching their target and then once you have spent all your coins build your traps, this starts the battle phase. The battle phase is where you use a twin stick mechanic to move your fairy around and blast it using your magic projectiles.
Your magic powers include a basic projectile attack and a range of specials that you can activate at the expense of some MP. The game throws wave after wave of enemies at you during the battle phase which then allows you to build up coins for the next build phase. Now that you have a brief understanding of how the game works lets get into the nitty-gritty details of it.
A Story So Convoluted They Should Have Put It In Kingdom Hearts
Gensokyo Defenders drops you straight into the story, so if you don’t have any previous knowledge of the games or anime you will definitely be lost. Lost among the fairies that are good and bad, lost among the plot and definitely lost as to what is happening. It’s like it belongs in a Kingdom Hearts game. If you find out please do let me know what it’s all about. With no real reason to keep progressing through the levels it can become very tiresome to continue on. So Neeptia could really do with some improvement here.
I Do Believe In Fairies, Just Not In This Game Play
Gensokyo Defenders delivers exciting gameplay which quickly becomes underwhelming with no major mechanics or game changes as you progress. The game does allow you to unlock almost 20 characters from the Touhou Project anime. Each possess their own unique skills. As you play through each level you unlock more and more traps which enable you top fight off the horde of enemies. Unfortunately the traps aren’t that exciting.
In my playthrough there was only 2 or 3 that I liked using and thought were helpful. The rest felt like gimmicks just to be put into the game for content. Over the course of the game you do encounter some new enemies, however the enemies are just so mundane. Some of them were as basic as just being a sphere! There was a grey sphere, a black sphere and wait for it, a purple sphere.
Definitely a lack of resources in the creative department. The one thing that majorly bugged me was the projectiles from enemies were so hard to see. They would fire out a projectile that would either blend in with the environment or would blend in with my powers and projectiles. So after laying through a couple of rounds I would look at my health and wonder why I was done to 50% health when I haven’t been hit?
Was The Graphics Budget a Tenner?
The graphics in Gensokyo Defenders are a crazy mismatch of so many different art styles. The level backgrounds generally looked like a page ripped out of a colouring book. The UI had an incredibly lazy design, I struggled to get to what I want and it was not very clear. The full screen option had to be selected before you even ran the game! Overall the UI needs plenty of work as I found it way too clunky.
The Sum Up
Overall the first few hours I spent in the game were quite enjoyable, so Neeptia does have something good on their hands here. Fixing the things I mentioned above would bring the game to a whole new level in my opinion. The multiplayer was actually a solid experience. Playing with someone else to get past a level that you may be stuck on was enjoyable. This is dulled by the fact that in my experience you never will get stuck on a level unless you’re playing on the hard difficulty.