Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom is indeed a hype title. Let's just hope he's talking about something actually interesting (see: Akashicverse, Final Boss, Blue Revolver)and not another convoluted scoring system. By the way, speaking of Akashicverse, you should all go play that game. Best shmup with fighting game motions for specials. Alright cool! I hope some people will actually respond, particularly Jutsei since he mentioned liking the setting/characters, and I'd be interested if he can agree with this analysis. Gameplay: Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler Touhou got a lot of flack for being over-rated from shmup fans a while back, due to "Ikaruga syndrome" where non shmup players wouldn't shut up about it till it pissed off actual genre fans. It's faded a bit over time though. Overall, while not perfect, I think Touhou is essential for stg fans and brings some necessary things to the table. Although deep and well designed, Touhou doesn't really have the same level of depth or polish that you'd find in near infinitely deep shooters like Cave games (Dodonpachi Doj, Ketsui, Mushihimesama Futari) or Crimzon Clover. They're also pretty much straight forward bullet hell shooters that don't bring anything particularly unique to the genre in terms of playstyle or mechanics (compare: Akashicverse, Eschatos, Battle Garegga, The Tales of Alltynex, R-Type, Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, Astebreed, Final Boss, etc.). What Touhou does bring to the table though, is a huge emphasis on reflexes. Other bullet hell shooters, Cave games, etc. tend to be a lot more static. Touhou on the other hand has a lot of random elements in boss and enemy patterns (except maybe Imperishable Night), so pretty much every run is going to involve a lot of intense, twitchy improvisation and reflex dodging. Strategy matters too, but there is a lot of chaos to contend with Touhou isn't the only shmup series that does this (Cho Ren Sha on hard, Eschatos, Biometal, some of Taito's shmups, etc.) but it's the best example of a fairly deep "traditional" bullet hell shooter that consistently has a strong reflex element throughout almost every game. So Touhou deserves a spot in every gamers library in my opinion. It may not have the depth or polish of say, Crimzon Clover, but it's a great go to game if you just want some non stop reflex driven action on top of some pretty nicely designed stages and boss fights. Setting: Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler This is where things get a little interesting. I personally think, if you go by just the games and official works at least, Touhou's story, characters, and setting is not all that interesting. I know it's not trying to be serious, but most of the humor is too bland and esoteric for me to really take seriously. I skip almost all the in-game dialogue because it just feels like a chore to read some of it. What I think really drives the popularity of Touhou setting wise, is that it's a fan fiction writers wet dream. You have a gigantic library of people and places to draw from that receive little or no canonical characterization or plot development. You can basically interpret any character any way you like, imagine or write any kind of story around them with any kind of plot or tone. Adding to this is how many fairly decent artists have drawn fan art and created fanworks for the game. It's kind of a snowball effect, because people tend to get interested in the characters/settings due to how good some of the fan art is, which in turn provokes more fan art and fanworks and spurs more interest in the characters and setting. Basically, people are handling Touhou's story, setting, and characters the way they should be for an oldschool 2d game: with their imaginations. I think shmups are very immersive but they're like the opposite of oldschool rpg's: instead of having an in detail story where you use your imagination for the simulated combat, you have in depth manual combat where you use your imagination for the story and setting. My biggest complaint, is that I feel that this is kind of wasted on a universe which isn't that interesting on its own. Touhou is basically interesting setting-wise entirely because of what fans have done with the universe over time, but there are shmups out there that have inherently cool settings and stories just begging to be explored in similar ways: -R-Type's bleak, Lovecraftian space biohorror story -Mahou Daisakusen's quirky sci-fantasy d&d world -Armed Police Batrider's colorful, sunny cyberpunk New York. -Blazing Star's Matrix-esque transformation-redemption and escape from a mad Ai. -Sengoku Ace and Gunbird's raunchy, politically incorrect sense of humor -Dragon's Saber's radioactive, post apocalyptic high fantasy -Dragon Breed's "Nausica meets Death Metal" aesthetic -etc. So I'm glad people have the right idea with Touhou's setting, I just wish they'd picked a better place to start! Music: Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler I like Touhou's earlier ost's. The problem with the music imo, and what makes it feel a bit over-rated for me, is that for a shooting game they don't sound like battle music. Eosd, PCB and IN are the pinnacle of the franchise musically imo, and they do a good job of setting the mood for a fantasy game. The stage themes have a nice melancholy, magical mood, and the boss themes are pretty diverse and have enough tension to actually sound like boss music. After that however, starting particularly with Mountain of Faith, there are too many slow, waltz-esque songs that neither set a particularly magical mood nor get the blood pumping for a battle. That and Zun started abusing the shit out of that awful (imo) farty sounding trumpet of his. Not to say that the later games don't have some amazing tracks (Fires of Hokkai, Suwa Foughten Field, Forgotten Hell, Nuclear Fusion, Heian Alien, etc.) but imo the soundtracks overall don't have the kind of perfect consistency and don't gell with the games as well as the first 3 windows games do.