Koumajou Remilia: Scarlet Symphony (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Eric Ace 11.10.2022

Review for Koumajou Remilia: Scarlet Symphony  on Nintendo Switch

Touhou is a very strange fandom and phenomenon. While its popularity is waning compared to its height, its humble backgrounds still bear mentioning. Once a series of games on older PC systems, following various young girls as they battle spirits in bullet hell type experiences, the fandom exploded into music, anime, and tons of video games. Originally made by a fan in 2009, this was essentially a clone of early Castlevania games, with some outright rip offs of enemies. In this the shrine maiden must battle her way through the castle to defeat the vampire Remilia.

Touhou music likely numbers in the thousands of fan remixes, some of which are highly skilled; impressive given that many of the original songs started over 20 years ago on simple computer sound boards. If there are three things Touhou is known for it would be its music, its fandom and its… well, "fan" art. Given the insane amount of people that have made things for the series, it's only natural that some of them are good. Flash back to 2009, when the original Scarlet Symphony was created as a fan game.

For the time it would have been impressive to play. Sure, there were a slew of problems present - meaning still present in this re-release - but given it was fan made things like ripping off Castlevania sprites was par for the course. Players would not think twice about playing such a game and seeing assets "borrowed"' from other more well-known titles. Even the difficulty and the absolute bare-bones experience of just jumping and whipping could have held some degree of charm.

Flash back to the present, and many of these things come off as lazy, and are possibly copyright violations. This controls the same as the original Simon's Quest on the NES. Jump and whip, whipping and jumping. Even some of the worst modern platformers control better than this. While there was some degree of finesse and skilful challenge in Simon's Quest due to the very careful layout of the levels, here its mostly just frustrating. This dumps tons of enemies on the player at random, all of them hitting for huge fractions of life and the poor shrine maiden is still whipping and jumping.

Screenshot for Koumajou Remilia: Scarlet Symphony  on Nintendo Switch

There are some other things players can do, like you can actually fly, but outside of the first open level (where coincidentally sometimes one can fly past entire screens due to the way enemies spawn) it soon goes away as ever being used due to the tight corridors the rest this takes place in. The other moves are some limited numbers of short-range projectiles, or the summon of a friend for very minor damage. Really, these feel more like insults for being added as they contribute so little to the experience.

Unfortunately, the cool artwork of the characters might lure some people in with its very dark/edgy style to them. They, like many of the other things listed above, are out of place. The tale, like most games in the series are light-hearted and nonsensical. Further, promise of good music never delivers. The songs might be fan-made, and might have been decent for 2009, but they pale in anything someone could easily find today online.

This is largely a let-down. As soon as it starts, the cool portraits greet the player, and the adventure looms before you - and this is the high point of the game. It goes down very rapidly with the abysmal controls, getting spammed by killer frogs, and the repetition of running through the same rooms over and over. There is little to recommend in here, except as mentioned the portraits are pretty cool and the voice acting is decent.

Screenshot for Koumajou Remilia: Scarlet Symphony  on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

If this was a fan game you were showing to your friends (like it originally was) it would be much easier to recommend. Given that this is a full release and at almost full price it simply does not stack up to the plethora of other better titles. The music is weak, the difficulty annoying, and the platforming so badly controlled there is little to talk up - even to fans of Touhou.

Developer

Frontier Aja, CFK Co., Ltd.

Publisher

CFK Co., Ltd.

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Ofisil

There are 1 members online at the moment.