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Shiren the Wanderer

Platform(s): Wii
Genre: Role-Playing
Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Chunsoft
Release Date: Feb. 9, 2010

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Wii Preview - 'Shiren the Wanderer'

by Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen on June 14, 2009 @ 9:56 a.m. PDT

The grandfather of the rogue-like RPG, the legendary Shiren series (also known as Mystery Dungeon) is all about tough-as-nails battles, thrilling exploration, finding tons of items, growing in strength, and most important of all: staying alive!

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren The Wanderer was a roguelike for the Nintendo DS, with most of the trappings thereof (when a character dies, all items are lost, etc.) The game has had several console releases in Japan, and now the third is coming to the U.S. for the Wii. At E3, they were showing attendees a demo of the Japanese game and explaining everything to those who were interested.

The basics of Shiren the Wanderer are your standard roguelike.  The game even features two difficulty levels, with a hardcore mode that, like Ninja Studio's Izuna series (also released by Atlus), punishes failure greatly by stripping you of all items. There's also a friendlier mode that removes this penalty.

What I managed to see presented one very interesting twist mechanic:  You have a party of three in this game. Most of the time, your two allies are controlled by the AI, but at any time, you may switch gameplay to control every character individually in a strategy RPG style, to allow for setting of advanced tactics, or just preventing the AI from doing stupid things.

The title's graphical style is fairly simplistic, applied 3-D, with only hints of flair. The music, similarly, wasn't very memorable, with basic slashes. Shiren, however, apparently has always been more about the roguelike gameplay, with features such as overlaying the full map over the player view. Animations, at least, were very fast.

Shiren The Wanderer for the Wii is currently in deep progress; we were shown the untranslated Japanese version to explain the game. It's pretty much made as the kind of niche game on which Atlus has grown its reputation, and it looks to be working out for them.

 


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