The Hololive fan project Holocure is what finally made me try a Vampire Survivors–type game. That’s not to say anything is wrong with Vampire Survivors—I had no particular qualms based on what I knew of the genre, but also no particular motivation to check it out. But now I’ve devoted more hours to Holocure than many games in recent memory, so I figured I should jot down my thoughts on it, no matter how disorganized.
I can see why this game type has become such a hit. There’s something simultaneously relaxing and stressful about the format. The whole automatic-firing thing exemplifies this, as it means you don’t have to worry about constantly mashing on a button or timing hits, but it also means you have less control in dire situations where you really wish you could be more precise. My only complaint is that collision with stage elements sometimes happens unexpectedly, and I feel like certain graphics such as fences and potted plants are kind of iffy in terms of how they interact with the playable characters. Either that, or my partial color blindness makes them hard to notice.
Wikipedia calls Vampire Survivor a “timed survival” game, and I don’t know how common or accepted that is as a term. I feel like it’s treated as a genre or subgenre of its own, though I can’t help but compare it to the 1980s arcade game Robotron 2084, which also features an overhead view plus dual sticks for movement and aiming respectively. There are differences but also a clear conceptual lineage, and it’s fascinating to see people try to coin a term to describe this game type. The term “Roguelite” is funny for all the reasons Metroidvania and Roguelike are.
Specifically regarding Holocure, the roster is an obvious point in its favor. Getting to use Hololive members is ultimately what pushed me to try it in the first place, especially after hearing that Haachama would get added to the game. Even if I weren’t already a Haachama fan, she’d probably still end up being my favorite in Holocure. The fact that she has a “stance change” mechanic (based on the #coexist arc that implied Haachama has two warring personalities inside her) just makes her fun to play and strategize with.
I’ve now had the chance to use every character available in Version 0.5, and I just love the way that the girls’ lore, personality, and memes all get rolled into gameplay elements. It’s the advantage of being a fan game based on an existing property. I’m eager to see how future characters turn out. The entirety of Hololive Indonesia has already been announced for 0.6, and I want to try them all, especially Kureiji Ollie, Airani Iofifteen, Kobo Kanaeru, and Kaela Kovalskia—the last of whom has herself become addicted to playing Holocure for hours end while blaring an in-game trumpet for maximum cacophony.
And of course, I can’t wait to see the eventual arrival of La+ Darknesss. Given that Gura has the power of Smolness that allows her to dodge attacks more easily, I wonder if La+ will have a similar ability, given that she is literally the shortest member of Hololive. Or will it be the case that her massive horns neutralize the advantage of short stature? What will her super be—a reference to her original song Dark Breath, perhaps?
Fun times ahead.