There isn't much to talk about this Comiket for upcoming game releases. You can watch Edelweiss' trailer compilation here if you haven't seen what's popping out of the doujin scene this month. However, the small group of publishers who've been striving to get the scene more foreign exposure have cooked up a little Steam sale to acknowledge Comiket 86. Let's talk about the cool games you can get from it!
Here is what's on offer, for reference.
Exceed Trilogy (buy the bundle!)
Exceed: Gun Bullet Children is a perfectly acceptable scrolling shooter. It's very much your run-of-the-mill Touhou-inspired game, but works fine. It's a bit old and does have some compatability issues.
Exceed 2: Vampire REX is an Ikaruga-inspired Touhou-inspired game. While it doesn't have the terrain shenanigans or rigid yet elaborate enemy placements of Ikaruga, that game's mechanics get copied for a reason. It can lead to very fun patterns to navigate.
Exceed 3: Jade Penetrate Black Package is a solid runner for best title in some time. This is by far my favourite of the three. It opts for a much more generic system of "get power ups, don't get hit", but has great attack patterns to make you not care that there aren't a million systems to be aware of. It has auto bombing on death, which is always a handy feature when learning a new shooter. It has great music. It has little girls. Play it.
Edelweiss have been going nutso on their visuals for a while. Ether Vapour was a good example of that, but the game was somewhat weak mechancially. Astebreed is more fun to shoot things in, lets you slash stuff with a robot form and gives that cheesy action cartoon feeling that not enough games do. I'd be willing to call this the God of War of shooters; perhaps the Marlow Briggs of shooters since it's not 60-100 dollars.
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae
It's a good action game. So is
Though this one has some painfully Anime writing.
It's from the guy who made Syobon Action back in the day. Simple platformer built around learning what all the gimmicks are and how to resolve them. These things have a certain charm to them, and it's well designed if you're into that sort of thing.
La Mulana (Remake)
Intentionally obtuse exploration and puzzle game. The remake put a greater focus on combat and does some very fun manipulation of people who have played the original version. A memorable experience to say the least.
Fairy Bloom Freesia
2D Devil May Cry with a nature-loving theme. Badass.
Horizontal shooters are a bit of a rare breed these days. Particularly since Konami has no idea what to do with Gradius after Treasure beat them at their own game with Gradius V. This does what horis do best: obnoxious terrain movement and a slower pace to make you all the more miserable when you screw up.
So that's most of the list. The real question is: are there any games to not buy? The answer is yes. Two. Here they are:
Cherry Tree High Comedy Club
It's not very funny. Defeats the point of a comedy VN.
I should probably write a post going into greater detail here, but let's summarise it for simplicity's sake. It's a freeware game. Eigomanga are charging for it. We're not sure if they even have the rights to do so, let alone are actually giving any money to the dev. They keep trying to cover up that it's made in 2D Fighter Maker and is a standalone title made with tools that will totally support robust netplay down the line. Honest. Please give us money. Buy our DLC save file hack as well.
It's a shame, because Vanguard Princess is a great fighting game.