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Still playing SAO:Hollow Fragment, but took a break for Touhou Double Focus which I bought with the last flash sale on PSN.

The game is one of those many fan/doujin games based on Touhou that are starting to get released on the PS4. This one here has the player controlling Aya and Momiji as they try to navigate and escape a magical book world. Ultimately it's a relatively short Metroidvania type game.

There are a total of 5 bosses - 6 if you include the final form of the last boss as separate, but back down to 5 when you realize the third boss is actually more of a race with a fairy instead of something to beat up.

If you don't know all the controls, this game can have some seriously messed up difficulty. I only played on Normal and there were some places that at first felt like a death trap. One thing you really have to do is observe the enemies you see and get familiar with their AI. Some of the later fairies you'll have to fight are pretty tough to beat due to their ranged attacks, but in most cases it seems if they're not looking at you, you can just walk up behind them and club them with Momiji's sword. Otherwise you'll want to stand back and use Aya's ranged attacks.

I almost rage quit the entire thing on the first boss given the amount of damage it was doing and how little life you start off with. Then I realized, accidentally, that Momiji can block projectiles with a shield.

During the 3rd boss (that race) I found out that Aya's back-dash actually made her invincible for about a second afterwards. (So just turn around and backdash... forward... through a few enemies that were trying to block your way. Much faster than trying to fight them!)

Took a while before I figured out exactly how the Portal system worked - for a while it seemed bugged and kept transporting me to a particular portal. Apparently you have to select the portal you want to go to from the map. But when you place a new portal prior to doing that, it would auto-select that last placed portal. Which worked fine for me for a good long time.

It took a bit over 6 hours to complete on Normal. I'm not sure if that was counting all the retries at the bosses or not. Now that I know where everything is, I could probably go for a full run with much better time. On the plus side with the exception of finding one hidden photo shot (Aya is a reporter with a camera after all!) I can say I found all the items without help from a faq. Some of them quite accidentally - and I won't kid you when I say some of the secrets are damned cheap. Fake walls, fake floors, and for ONE place in the game (At the start of the game no less) there's just one place where there are invisible platforms to reach one of the powerup items that increase your max life.

I'm kind of afraid to try the harder difficulties. I might later on, but for now I think I can call it good. I'm glad I picked this up on on the last flash sale on PSN though all the same. Like Shantae, it was fairly short.

I'd recommend people that play it to save often however. I did have one game crash while playing as I was heading back up to Patchouli. Luckily for me I had saved it only a minute before.

I suppose I'll give a few tips for the bosses. :p

Boss 1: Momiji's shield is important against the energy attack. Be ready to switch for that. Otherwise you can stay with Aya and used ranged attacks. When the boss is against the wall it will probably cause boulders to fall (just dodge them.) or will do a sword dash across the floor. There's enough of an animation to tell which one she'll do. If she tries to dash, use Aya to hover with her wings until they're safely gone past. This is one of the reasons to use Aya's ranged attacks though as otherwise you won't have enough time to dodge the sword!

Boss 2: Other than using Aya to snap a picture of the boss, I just used Momiji. All of the attacks are energy projectile based, so Momiji's shield is vital. Otherwise you can just jump up to the boss (one of 4 corners) and use her sword. Do NOT stand right of a portal before the boss comes out of it. As sometimes the boss will shoot projectiles from inside.

Boss 3: This is the race I was talking about. Momiji learns to crawl and you'll need that during the race. Aya will need to summon the zombie in a place or two for you stand on it's head as it walks over spikes. Aya will also be useful for backdashing through the few fairies that will try to stop you. Don't try to fight them, just dash and keep going. It IS a race after all!

Boss 4: I used mostly Aya on this one. Several different projectile attacks that Momiji could defend against, but at this point you should have a lot of health and a stockpile of cure scrolls. I found it easier to just keep using Aya. Learn how to dodge the various attacks. There's only 3-4 I believe. One thing I will recommend however is to have the Treatment skill equipped when you're using cure scrolls. It drastically increases their effectiveness! You should have it by now.

Boss 5: Final boss. A monsterous looking Reimu. Blame Aya. There are two forms. I didn't use Momiji at all on this boss. On the first form, the boss will teleport to one of 4 locations. There are 4 attack patterns. She'll either fire a big blast of energy at you, which will then split into 4 smaller energy balls after hitting a wall. (And bounce around a bit), or summon 3 bolts of lightning, one after the other, each of them will home in on where you are.

For the energy balls, just be ready to dodge the big one and keep attacking. You may need to hover to avoid the reflected smaller shots. With the lightning just keep walking a bit and all 3 will miss you. However don't wander too close to any of the 4 locations where the boss may appear because it will try to teleport during the lightning blasts. These two attacks are normally triggered when the boss is in the 2 upper locations. But they can be used at any 4 locations.

Next two attacks only happen when the boss is on the ground. First one is 3 floor-crawling blasts of energy. Like powered up slashes from Momiji's distance attacks. Just don't be on the floor with it and you'll avoid it. Even the central middle platform will be safe although it might look like it should hit you.

The final attack is most deadly and can hit you on the central platform or on the ground. It'll be a big ass long-lasting laser beam! This is why I always take to the upper platforms whenever the boss is on the ground, until I see what attack it's going to pull off.

The final form of the boss has several attacks. Not going to get into all of them! :) Instead, just note that at first when you're attacking there will be almost no damage done to the boss. 1hp per hit. Don't let this worry you, just keep hitting it and avoiding the attacks as best as you can. The only one you really need to worry about is the lazer attack on this one. Whenever you see the boss's extra eye open up RUN TO THE FAR END OF THE SCREEN AND MAKE SURE YOU'RE HEALED UP! The further away you are the less damage you'll likely take. If you're right next to the boss during the laser attack, it's pretty much game over. ;)

After a while, assuming you have your powers back (I think you have to chat with patchouli for that. It was the last thing I did so I'm not 100% sure.) then after a little while of fighting a cutscene shows up and then Aya powers up and the goal changes a bit. Now you'll do significant damage to the boss, and you'll be regenerating. But the boss will also be regenerating. So in this case you have to try to minimize damage still, but keep up a consistent offensive or it'll just heal all it's hp back.

July 2017


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