Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle review for PS Vita, PS Vita, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, Switch
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Cubetype
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

When reviewing games, I prefer not to read other people’s reviews of the same game. I do this partly so that I don’t copy what other people have to say (either consciously or unconsciously), and partly because there’s just something fun about the joy of discovering a game entirely on your own.

In the case of Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle, however, I had to make an exception. Not because I was lacking in inspiration, but because my initial experience with the game was so terrible, I needed to make sure I wasn’t playing it wrong.

Turns out: no, I’m not, Touhou Kobuto V really is just a bad, bad game.

See, while it describes itself as a “bullet-hell battle game”, the more accurate description would be that it’s a 3D fighting game. Or, even more accurately, it’s a 3D fighting game that probably would’ve seemed dated and dull 20 years ago.

To put it simply, Touhou Kobuto V is a repetitive, simplistic snoozefest. Whether you’re playing the arcade mode or the story mode, things unfold in pretty much the same way: playing as one of nine pretty much interchangeable schoolgirls, you get plopped down in a generic arena, and you pick one of three basic attacks against the other character. Repeat that a bunch of times, and you have the game in a nutshell. I’d like to say that the story mode adds some depth, but really, it just adds a tiny bit of plot and some trash-talking, and that’s about it.

I wish I could add something nice about it, but I’m really at a loss to name anything it does that merits praise. Touhou Kobuto V is so boring that it makes me long for the days of the relatively stellar mediocrity of Touhou Double Focus and Touhou Genso Wanderer. Those games, at least, had some interesting ideas, whereas this…this is just about the least interesting game you could imagine.

Grade: B