So I've started playing the Touhou games after a long time of telling myself they're not as good as other danmakus. They're not bad as it seems and I would like to get involved more in the story of the games universe, which mangas/light novels or whatever should I read and should I complete the games from 6 to 15 before reading anything that has something to do with the franchise?
>they're not as good as other danmakus
They aren't. They have boring stages and little replay value for most. ZUN really needs to liven his stages up or just make all games like the photography games. They're actually pretty average for doujin STG, but at least they're usually more unique.
If you can finds interviews and other stuff that involves Zun you get even more lore. Also some of the text files that come with the games for more info on story.
As to playing before reading - do whatever you want - touhou is not very restricitve in that matter.
The interviews and music/spell card comments also have some info you'll never see otherwise.
He makes them for the whole sake of making them for himself, otherwise he'd just make music CDs like he does from time to time.
>should I complete the games from 6 to 15 before reading anything that has something to do with the franchise?
Nah, you can for the most part just dive into the universe, to be honest the actual appeal of Touhou is ZUN's design and the music. The games themselves are merely a vehicle for that. In actual fact ZUN's side printworks are the best part of the series they let him really expand on the world and it really is kind of engrossing. Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Bohemian in Archive Red and Symposium of Post Mysticism are all good starts to introducing all the characters and world since they were meant to be supplementary to the games to flesh everything out.
If you just want to get the gist of the story from the official games you can always use the game skip patch from the Touhou patch.
Or see if there are any summaries of the endings lying around on youtube or other places but they're harder to find. I know the wiki tends to document the scripts for the games minus endings anyway so that is also worth some time.
Yeah, you should at least get a feel for the gameplay and what characters are like in-game. If you can't get very far, then watch videos of the later stages - the static images on the wiki never really do them justice.
>They have boring stages and little replay value for most.
The stages become a lot more interesting when you play for score. Of course the stages are boring if you're playing the games for survival, since you can memorize the easiest route. And can you actually back up your 'little replay value for most' claim? It's pretty easy to find people still playing these games at a high level.
Playing for score is like speedrunning other games. You're just making a challenge for yourself and your challenge is the real game. They aren't -fun- to play over and over and that's the point. It's only fun when you get your high score. How often do you go "Well, I really want to play Alice's level again so I'll boot up PCB"?
The picture games and fighting games are different, because fighting game's fun is in fighting people so they have inherent play value, and the photography games you can try to take nicer images if you want, although calling that replay over playing for score is arguable. I don't think you'd ever want to wipe your data and play from scratch. (As a side, I actually do enjoy playing GFW just for the sake of playing it, due to the unique mechanics and short length.)
>Of course the stages are boring
>They have boring stages and little replay value for most [of his games]
Didn't you just support my claim yourself? You yourself said the stages are inherently boring. If they're boring, they don't have much replay value on their own, do they? You have to find reasons within yourself to play them over.
>Playing for score is like speedrunning other games
How is a scoring system, intentionally developed and supported by the developer, equivalent to speedrunning which is virtually never intended and typically makes use of game breaking exploits? And what about the fact that the stages have the benefit of being synced with the music?