There's no shortage of Pokemon hacks out there, Touhoumon or otherwise. Naturally, with so many hacks, there's more than a few duds. Some end up So Bad, It's Good like Pokemon Quartz. And some end up just plain bad, like Touhoumon Insane.
The problem is that a lot of hackers go into hacking a pokemon game without any real ideas. New region, new pokemon, likely a new plot that generally remains confined to the events from the game they're actually hacking, but not much else aside from that. With that kind of a formula, the best you could hope for is either a mediocre game or, as mentioned, a So Bad, It's Good game. Maybe if there were some interesting new Pokemon it'd be a different story but... well...
Let's just say I haven't seen any do much better than Quartz in the art department.
Touhoumon hacks are pretty much the same way. There's a fair number of them, but most of them are fairly mediocre. The ones that try to turn the game region into Gensokyo especially have an uphill battle since the regions are still obviously Kanto/Hoenn only with the names changed. And then there's trying to squeeze Touhou characters into the Hoenn plot...
But enough about that. Let's talk about a good hack that's actually FUN to play. Touhoumon Blue. Compared to other Touhoumon hacks, that custom title screen is already a good sign.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. You're probably more interested in knowing just what Touhoumon Blue is, right?
Touhoumon Blue is a Touhoumon hack made by... well... Blue. That link goes to his blog which, sadly, has not been updated in a while.
Touhoumon Blue is a hack that was made ground up from one of the Pokemon games - I believe most use an existing Touhoumon hack as the base - and as such it IS missing a few features. In particular, the music is the regular Pokemon music instead of the Touhoumon remixes. Personally, I don't begrudge it any and the hacker does plan to add that in eventually... assuming he's still working on any of this.
So what does this hack do differently? For the most part, I'll be showing that off as I go along. The best way I could describe this hack, though, is that it's kinda to Touhoumon what Pokemon Emerald/Platinum were to the 3rd/4th gen games respectively. They just have so many good ideas that some of them leave you wondering why they didn't put them in the first time around.
Starting up the game we see Professor Oak as usual, and get a glimpse at one of the changes this hack made. New sprites. For the most part, the sprites are actually taken from Touhoumon 1.8, the latest and final version of Fire Red based Touhoumon hacks from Japan. The dialogue is pretty much the standard Pokemon fare, only now the creatures are referred to as Touhou.
Another change, though not a particularly big one, is the gender selection. In many hacks, this is still "Boy" or "Girl" even though our choice is between Renko or Maribel. Since I went with Renko last time, I'll go with Maribel this time. I don't have any plans for putting in my own plot this time, though. You'll see why later.
In most Touhoumon hacks these days, the rival will be the character you didn't pick. That's something else that has yet to be added to this version, though, as our rival is still Gary. Or Green, if you prefer. I go with Gary.
With that all out of the way, we get to start the game proper now and I get to show off one of the things changed in this hack. I don't know if you can tell in [[ this screenshot]], but my character is running. In her room. Yep. Not only do you START with the shoes, but you can run anywhere. Awesome.
It's amazing how much of a comfort the typical, largely unchanged Pokemon spiel is after the last hack I played...
Anyway, Oak takes us back to the lab and offers us our first Touhou. As usual, we have three choices.
First there's Reimu, who really has an unfair advantage over the other two at this early stage of the game. She's normal-type. That means her weak starting move gets a STAB bonus. Her stats are balanced all-around and she gains the Flying type as she evolves. Her stats remain fairly balanced, though her Attack score is her highest stat. Her ability changes to Hakurei Miko when she evolves to EX, which prevents stat loss. In fact, I believe it even prevents the speed drop from this game's version of Curse.
Next we have Sakuya, whose EX form we saw on the title screen. She's ice-type with a defensive focus. Both her defensive stats are equal and her speed doesn't suck, though her attack and special attack are pretty much below average. She gets a very useful signature technique later in the game, though, and gains the steel-type as she evolves. Her ability, Concentrate, is very useful as many of her attacks have between 80 and 95% accuracy. The boost from Concentrate is enough to remove any chance of missing from those techniques.
Finally, Marisa. She's electric-type now, but gains the fire type when she evolves. Ability starts off as Pick Up but eventually changes to Speed Boost in her final form. Good speed and special attack, but she suffers on the physical side. That factor actually applies even in her chibi form, which makes it hard to win the first rival fight with her as you're going up against the more defensive Sakuya. She makes up for it late game by being able to oneshot Sakuya with Flamethrower. She learns a few signature techniques, including Master Spark.
Since this hack, unlike the last one I played, doesn't pit you against incredibly unfair odds, I'll gladly take feedback on what Touhous to use and what nicknames to give them.
So, to start this hack off, who should our starter be?