I recently got my hands on the demo for Touhou Shinkirou ~ Hopeless Masquerade, and I'd thought I'd talk about it a little. The game is still in development, but the demo was released at Comiket 83. I've been a fan of the Touhou Project ever since I played Touhou Hisouten ~Scarlet Weather Rhapsody~ (10.5), and I've played every other official game in the series as well as a few unofficial games. I love the characters and the setting of the series. If you want to learn more about the series in general, I suggest you visit the Touhou Wiki.
13.5 is the fourth fighting game in the series, following 7.5, 10.5 and 12.3, but this game is a dramatic departure from those. In this game there are no more land battles, the game is entirely in the air, which is appropriate since in the main games, the characters are always flying. This game uses a created from scratch engine and runs much smoother than the previous fighting games. It is also the first game in the series to be at native 720p, so it looks beautiful.
In the demo, there are three characters to choose from: The series mainstay and Shrine Maiden of Paradise Reimu Hakurei, The "Ordinary" Magician Marisa Kirisame; and joining a fighting game for the first time: Ichirin Kumoi from Touhou Seirensen (12). The story isn't present in this demo as you can only face off against the CPU or another player. Still, the story follows from Ten Desires (13) and deals with the clash between the three major religions of Gensokyo: Buddhism, Taoism and Shintoism, for the humans in the village due to the current state of pessimism surrounding all the recent events in the series.
I was very impressed with what I've played so far, and I wonder how many more characters are they going to add. (Hopefully my favorite Yukari Yakumo.) The game play reminds me of a combination of Street Fighter and Blazblue, in that while it is largely based on pulling off combos, it isn't as easy as SF, but not as difficult as Blazblue. Also the flying only system ensures that you will need to think of how you are going to attack, because a straight line won't work well in this game.
I can't wait for the full game to arrive!!