Studio Tsukiware busts out ecchi bullet hell game “Fox Fire”

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foxfire

Studio Tsukiware has previously made “Critical Hit!” homosexual mini visual novel. The studio is spearheaded by my good friend Mark Jackson. We met in Doxy’s art chat early 2016. Fox Fire is a bullet hell spinoff game currently in development, based on their upcoming crowdfunded visual novel “Tower of Five Hearts”.

For any serious gamer, the hentai game scene offers little engaging content. Most games are made even more pandering to no-skill casuals, than mainstream releases. Much of the time you are rewarded with tits for doing nothing more than a little clicking.

This game, reinvogerates my faith in the potential that ecchi and hentai games hold for gamers. A game where I actually have to die a few times, to learn which enemy targets to prioritize? I have to dodge a couple of bullets, or over the span of five minutes of taking full loads in the face, I may actually die? It’s like we entered a parallel universe where every game studio isn’t sucking off to hordes of man babies, splurging their middle-class mommy’s life’s savings on masturbation fodder.

The object of Fox Fire, is to shoot green squares that appear periodically on screen. Shooting them down will reduce clothing on the sexy girl that’s acting as the consenting background.

Screenshot (5821)
The music and sound design hit the nail in the head for me. I asked Mark Jackson who made it. He named Seakul Audio as the composer of the music. Just listening to the smooth loop of energetic electric beats makes my forehead throb, like someone drove a battering ram in the foodgates of my brain. A rush of dopamine in my blood vessels, I feel ready to commit mass murder of enemy flying bunnies and carrots on a transnational level.

The flaw I see in this game, is a lack of difficulty. After 10 minutes you already figure out the set patterns that every enemy repeats on a playthrough. Nothing kills you on one hit, so you’re never at the edge of your seat, adrenaline pumping your fingertips numb. When you survive the first onslaught of enemies, which is only “difficult” due to the green objectives acting as “shields”, the pressure lets up. Enemies spawn so sluggishly, and attack with a massive delay, that you have ample time to nuke the most dangerous foes, and keep the screen void of bullets (which barely scathe your health bar to begin with). You will breeze through the rest of the level with your eyes half closed.

There is a pacing problem in this demo that will be useful for the developer to take into account in future level design: At the very end of the level, when the enemies are barely spawning anymore, some green objectives are stationed so low, that you most likely missed them while fighting to survive in the beginning. The camera will move the player around a full circle, wasting several minutes, until the objectives finally become available to fire.

Screenshot (5820)

But the most grievous problem, that sinks the whole experience for me, are the carrots. By picking carrots as dangerous enemies, studio Tsukiware is sending dangerous subliminal signals to young people, that eating vegetables is a danger to one’s mental health. This is serious, because vitamin D deficiencies in children are an escalating problem in our society. We need to do away from villifying media stereotypes, and consider more carefully the messages we convey to our children. After all, they are the ones who will be taking care of us, stealing our pensions when we’re demented 60-year olds, our brains rotten from eating BSE-infected hamburgers at McDonalds.

In summary: shame on studio Tsukiware. Shame on all of us, for condoning immorality in indie videogame subtexts. You can support the development of Fox Fire and other Tsukiware titles in their official Patreon. Click the link on the right to play the game on Newgrounds.

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OtakuApologist

Admin of VGhustler. I did not choose the otakulife, the otakulife chose me. Email: otakuapologist@gmail.com

2 comments

  1. MiNT 14 May, 2017 at 23:57 Reply

    I wrote a long response to your message on the game page and I will paste it here.

    “Programmer: mintymiyazaki

    Thank you for your review.

    We sat down one day, and were trying to figure out what kind of project that we were going to do next or if we could make something to promote the other games.

    This was a solution we came up with homage to Sentimental Graffiti/Shooting.

    The difficulty was a major complaint for people that just wanted to see the content however a lot of them came out less than 24 hours of release for this preview version. A little over 24 hours later I made some changes including a difficulty selection. Some features such as the player’s homing bullet was going to be introduced as something else later on but I figured “why not”.

    The balancing of the waves on bullet hell mode didn’t take account of the player’s homing bullet in mind and was meant to be challenging in a sense to make the player feel a sense of accomplishment as it wasn’t impossible, but really difficult to survive… but then again some games were meant to cater to a larger audience so the difficulty was sectioned off into two modes.

    There is absolutely a pacing problem!
    I kind of just vomited characters on screen. Once the artist gives me more enemy art assets, I will completely go over pacing. I’m going to do some waypoints for “places of interest” later to alleviate wasted time as well.

    The enemies are carrots in this stage because I believe the character on that stage is a bunny and her defenses are well… carrots..

    In Summary: I feel great shame and dishonor in my immoral life choices. ”

    This game has already had some changes in under 48 hours of release.
    I’m planning to resolve the some of the concerns and designs.

    Allowing people to change the difficulty was an unexpected design change for this phase so it was slightly rushed to let those that just were in that group to just want to see “the goods”.

    I’ve posted a trello to show what we plan for the future of this game and current suggestions the community is making.
    In my responses to the reviews, I take them very seriously and will attempt to improve current and future projects based on the input.

    Again, thank you for the review of the game and hopefully in the near future, this will become a much better game!

    Love,
    乙女の敵 ~ MiNT

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