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Joystiq presents

Metareview: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer

Blame Shiren the Wanderer's old-school presentation and difficulty for its inconsistent scores -- some critics were able to overlook Shiren's frustrations in favor of its refined mechanics while others found the roguelike remake much too challenging and full of anachronistic elements.

1UP -- 83% (B+): Though Jeremy Parish saw Shiren as a humbling experience, he praised its rewarding depth: "The secret of victory in Shiren isn't brute force but rather a deep understanding of the game's possibilities ... The amount of depth to be extracted from the interaction possible among tools, foes, and random factors makes for one of the deepest portable RPGs you'll ever play."

IGN -- 65%: IGN seems to miss the point of the game's randomized dungeons among other features: "Far too often the dungeon's exit would appear in the same room we started, thus negating any need to explore that floor, unless we wanted some items that may or may not be there. It doesn't seem like it'd be hard to program the exit to not be in the room Shiren starts in ..." This is intentional, forcing adventurers to choose whether advancing to the next floor without risk is worth skipping potential treasures and experience points.

GameSpy -- 70%: GameSpy recognizes the roguelike's appeal while simultaneously noting the harsh limit of that appeal: "Shiren the Wanderer offers a lot of quality gameplay to a very small audience. What it does, it does very well. We're sure there's a small audience that will adore the game. We're also sure the majority of today's gamers will find it nasty, plodding, and archaic."

Our opinion of Shiren the Wanderer? Let's just say that we've barely put any hours into Super Smash Bros Brawl because of our quest to reach the Lair of the Golden Condor.

See also: DS Fanboy interview: Shiren the Wanderer

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)


3-12-2008 @ 7:14PM

Skavie said...

This game just made me lost my sleeping time in the night after a hard day works.


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3-12-2008 @ 7:20PM

LordGek said...

Heck yeah!

Let Mario and Sonic fight it out amongst themselves, there are dungeons to be unlocked and cleared!


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Very Metal3

3-12-2008 @ 10:28PM

Very Metal said...

Yeah, I took a brief break from Shiren on sunday, to Brawl with my family, but this little game is always on my mind & is already one of my favorites.


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3-13-2008 @ 1:13AM

Dayv said...

I rescued the Golden Condor tonight, after about 16 hours of play.  I'm glad that there's apparently a lot more to unlock and beat after that, because I'd feel a bit cheated if not.


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3-13-2008 @ 4:14AM

Saphion said...

I was playing this until about 3:30am last night. It's probably now my favourite DS game of all time!


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3-13-2008 @ 7:45AM

Covarr said...

Meh. As far as roguelikes go, I'd rather play Izuna, or even Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I simply don't have the free time to start over from the very beginning every time I don't do perfectly. If this were a shorter game like Super Mario Bros, maybe, but not for one this long.


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imaginary thomas7

3-13-2008 @ 9:13AM

imaginary thomas said...

I understand the bad reviews. Roguelikes are not for everyone. I even have a few issues with it but they're by no means a reason to put it down

1. No "bad" items: Where's the unidentified potion of poison I drink when in a pinch then swear out loud?

2. No Self revival (Like Diablo): The fact that if i die and want a resurrection I have to stop playing until someone with too much time on their hands comes to save me? Let me start at the last town with no gear but my level so i can run headlong into the forrest in an attempt to loot my own corpse.


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3-14-2008 @ 8:31PM

chispito said...

Yeah, they're kind of robbing you of a little bit of Nethack's humor by only having good items. I have been extremely impressed with the variety of monsters and their attacks.

And I agree that not being able to do anything while a random person rescues you is kind of... lame.

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3-16-2008 @ 9:09PM

James said...

It's not just lame, it's a bad idea from their perspective too -- I put that game away and play something else. Keep me playing *your* game, Sega! At least let me run multiple characters in parallel without buying more than one copy of the game! Hell, I'd love to be able to rescue my own character that died last week. I started playing something else while I'm waiting for my rescue.

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3-13-2008 @ 4:29PM

Saphion said...

Out of curiosity, has any of the DSF staffers actually gotten to the lair of the Golden Condor yet? I got past the village in Table Mountain today but starved to death shortly after. Damned Polygon Jive!


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John H.11

3-15-2008 @ 8:05AM

John H. said...

It is shocking how some people, whose jobs it is to review games, know so little about them. I've played this game for nearly every waking moment of the past two days (and got up to 41st place on the internet ranking for Table Mountain). It is just awesome. It is challenging, intelligent and engaging, all in ways that nearly all other RPGs are not.


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John H.12

3-15-2008 @ 8:07AM

John H. said...

(Oh, and to respond to imaginary thomas' statement, although I haven't yet gotten to it in the DS version, if it's like the SNES game there ARE random herbs and scrolls, including bad ones, in Fei's Final Problem, the final "super dungeon.")


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3-15-2008 @ 9:39AM

Saphion said...

I'm not kidding, I've been playing games since the NES and this is by far one of the greatest games of all time.

I'm really good at rescuing people on this. :P


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John H.14

3-15-2008 @ 9:14PM

John H. said...

Rescuing people is surprisingly fun, yes. It seems to give you a guaranteed monster house on a rescue....


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