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With the globalization of the video game business, just about every successful series sees a worldwide release. Sure, niche titles here and there might remain exclusive to Japan, but when you think about long-running franchises, like Nintendo’s Mario, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy, or Konami’s Metal Gear, it’s pretty much a given that each and every installment will make its way to the rest of the world sooner or later.

However, it’s taken almost two decades for one of Japan’s most beloved video game series to secure a release in English-speaking territories. The wait is just about over, though, as the phenomenally popular shooter series Touhou Project is finally making its official overseas debut.

As times and tastes change, so do the meanings of commonly used bits of video game jargon. Nowadays, “shooter” is often used as shorthand for “first-person shooter,” the sort of game in which some manner of giant rifle fills the bottom right corner of your TV as the action is portrayed from the character’s point-of-view. This marks a shift from the early days of gaming, when shooters were titles in which the character was visible and the screen automatically scrolled as the player dodged enemy attacks and fired back.

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As such, the genre that used to be called “shooters” needed a new name. Basic entries are often now referred to as “shoot ‘em ups” (which sounds like what your grandpa would call them) or “shumps” (which sounds like what your grandpa would call them after three beers).

Particularly over-the-top shoot ‘em ups, though, earn the title “bullet hell shooters,” also called danmaku (“bullet carpet”) in Japanese.

▼ It’s like a weaponized Persian rug.

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The longest-running bullet hell franchise is the Touhou Project family of games, the majority of which are single-handedly produced by creator ZUN. Also working under the name Team Shanghai Alice, ZUN designs and programs, as well as creating most of the series’ art and music. Since the mid 1990s, more than a dozen games have been released as part of the Touhou Project, and its popularity has led to the release of novels, soundtracks, and countless fan-produced dojinshi manga.

Despite all of that, however, Tuohou Project titles haven’t been officially available in the West, meaning that English-speaking gamers looking to play them had to go to the trouble of personally importing their copies. That situation is about to change, though, thanks to indie distributor Playism.

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Playism has announced that it will be distributing Double Dealing Character, the 14th Touhou Project title, to English-speaking territories.

Double Dealing Character’s promotional video

Double Dealing Character isn’t actually the newest Touhou Project installment. The game initially came out in Japan in 2013, and two follow-ups have been released since then. However, seeing as how Double Dealing Character was the first title in the series sold through download, and also that its plot is independent of the rest of the complex Touhou Project story arcs (which involve dozens of characters), Playism decided it would be the ideal starting point for the franchise’s Western debut.

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Double Dealing Character is compatible with Windows 8, 7, and Vista PCs. Playism has yet to set pricing or an exact release date, but for now, the announcement should have bullet hell fans in heaven.

Related: Playism
Source: via Jin, Playism
Top image: YouTube
Insert images: Arcade Gear, Hatena, YouTube