Shiren the Wanderer

Shiren the Wanderer is a game good enough to satisfy both hardcore roguelike fans and RPG-lovers alike with perhaps the deepest turn-based Wii game to date

Atlus Shiren the Wanderer
  • Atlus Shiren the Wanderer
  • Atlus Shiren the Wanderer
  • Atlus Shiren the Wanderer
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Great dungeon crawling, full control over your allies, lots of bosses

Cons

  • No online component; very similar to other Mystery Dungeon games.

Bottom Line

Shiren the Wanderer is an addictive and well-constructed roguelike from Atlus with a plethora of dungeons to conquer and a wide assortment of bosses.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

Atlus has strictly avoided using the term "roguelike" in its marketing for Shiren the Wanderer, instead trying to push it as more of an RPG. Perhaps it's trying to avoid poor sales that all roguelikes besides the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games succumbed to in the US, or maybe it's banking on how starved Wii owners are for RPGs of any type. Who knows? Fortunately, Shiren the Wanderer is a game good enough to satisfy both hardcore roguelike fans and RPG-lovers alike with perhaps the deepest turn-based Wii game to date.

Before I get to the actual game, here's a history lesson for you: Shiren the Wanderer is actually a localised version of Shiren the Wanderer 3, which came out in Japan in 2008; it's also the first true sequel in over ten years to the seminal Shiren the Wanderer 2 for the Super Famicom (which Sega released in the US as Mysterious Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer for DS).

Shiren Wii's story concerns the titular hero's attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the Karakuri Mansion, rumoured to be full of fabulous treasures. The game splits its dungeon crawl up into several different locations, making the experience a bit easier to digest. Enormous bosses of the sort that were few and far between in earlier Shiren titles are plentiful here.

While Shiren Wii's presentation is gussied up with FMVs and cutscenes, the gameplay is fundamentally similar to the Mystery Dungeon series: Dungeons are randomly generated, challenging players to survive unpredictable gauntlets of monsters and traps using whatever they can find. The action is turn-based, which means monsters won't move until you do. Players can now carry their experience levels with them between most of the dungeons in story mode, but more difficult postgame dungeons still bust you back to level 1. On normal mode you lose all of your equipment as punishment when you die, but the new Easy Mode option lets you just revert to your last savegame instead.

There are some new game features that make Shiren Wii considerably more player-friendly than other Mystery Dungeon titles, though. You can now travel more easily between towns and dungeons segments you wish to replay through a simple world map. Storage houses have more room and you can bank your extra money, too, similar to the Izuna series. There are more item shops that sell random assortments of items between dungeons, as well as a few bonus dungeons that help you level up or trawl for better equipment.

Probably the biggest upgrade is to the companions that can help Shiren on his journey. In the DS Shiren, companions were helpful but totally unpredictable AI assistants. In this Shiren, you can completely control your allies through both a customisable AI panel and a "complete control" option that lets you micromanage every single move your entire party makes. While the AI settings are usually good enough for an average dungeon crawl, controlling your party's every move is a lifesaver in nasty boss fights and the high-level dungeons.

But even on Easy Mode, you'll still find yourself dying in wonderful and ridiculous ways. Monsters can still damage your equipment, sap your strength, and torment you with debuffs. You can starve to death, get blown up, or find your most useful items suddenly stolen by thieving monsters. Shiren Wii lacks the online aspects of Shiren DS, so there will be no player rescues to save you from a boneheaded mistake here. It's simple enough to pick up at first but grows challenging enough over time to be completely absorbing. At high levels, playing Shiren is a bit like Demon's Souls -- impossible tasks slowly become manageable and then trivial as your skill increases. Shiren the Wanderer is a hard game to put down once you've gotten into its one-more-turn rhythm, which is exactly as it should be.

Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: games, wii
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?