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Posts with tag mystery-dungeon

Castlevania, Chocobo, and Valkyrie coming in October ... to Japan

The Japanese release date for Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia might not seem like useful information to you readers out west, but the desperate, Castlevania-starved gamers among you will at least now know the exact day their import copy will begin its trans-Pacific journey towards their hands -- October 23rd, 2008.

Furthermore, considering that the US release for Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin was only three weeks after Japan's, we also now have a general idea of when Order of Ecclesia will see its stateside release -- mid-November.

Square Enix also has two titles scheduled to hit Japan during the tenth month, Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One (October 2nd) and Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Labyrinth of Time DS+ (October 30th), the latter being a roguelike remake of Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon.

Perhaps the publisher will keep the promise it made back in March to aim for simultaneous worldwide releases with its new titles? It's unlikely, but we can dream ...


Gallery: Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+

Wark! Two Chocobo trailers waddle into view


Making sure that you get the message -- the message being "Chocobos are really cute; buy our Chocobo games" -- Square Enix has posted trailers for its two recently revealed fall-bound Chocobo titles, Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+ and Chocobo and the Magic Storybook: The Witch and the Girl and the Five Heroes.

As you might be able to tell in the promotional clip and the game's title, Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon is an enhanced port of Chocobo's Dungeon (released in the U.S. for the Wii this week) with more focus on Final Fantasy regular Cid. Given the nature of roguelikes, this DS release doesn't look like that much of a "downgraded" experience compared to the Wii version!

The Chocobo and the Magic Storybook clip isn't nearly as epic, but if you're enough of a Chocobo fan to have read this far into the post, you'll likely want to watch it anyway. Jump past the break for more of the flightless, chubby bird.

Gallery: Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: Maze of Time DS+

Continue reading Wark! Two Chocobo trailers waddle into view

New Shiren 2 screens are all that and a bag of Shiren chips



We couldn't decide which was more awesome -- these new screenshots for Shiren the Wanderer DS 2: Demon Castle in the Desert, or the fact that Chunsoft went out of its way in 2001 to promote the original Game Boy Color title, Shiren the Wanderer GB2, with bags of steak-flavored chips (In case you're late to the party, STW DS 2 is a roguelike remake of STW GB2).

So, we went ahead and featured both the crisps and an image of Shiren's long-lost and perpetually hungry brother, Pekeji, in our article image. Hopefuly, publisher Sega will have a similar potato chip promotion with STW DS 2! Even better, maybe they'll eventually localize the chips along with the game?

See also: Shiren GB2, Shiren DS 2 compared

Gallery: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer DS 2



[via Inside Games]

Price Drop: Shiren the Bargainer

If our constant championing of the genre has you ready and willing to try out a roguelike as soon as a cheap one comes along, then here's that discount dungeon crawl you've been waiting for!

In what looks to be a permanent price drop, retailers such as Amazon and GameStop have marked down their copies of Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer to $19.99, in-store and and online. Now you don't have to feel guilty about spending money on such a throwback game (with throwback graphics to match).

If you won't buy it for the fun of the game, buy it so that Sega will bring its sequel to the states!

Gallery: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer


[Via NeoGAF]

Shiren GB2, Shiren DS 2 compared



No more than a week after Shiren 3 for the Wii shipped in Japan, Chunsoft already has a teaser site and screenshots out for its next Shiren the Wanderer game for the Nintendo DS -- Fushigi no Dungeon: Furai no Shiren DS 2: Sabaku no Majou (Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer DS 2: Demon Castle in the Desert). It's a long title!

Seeing that this roguelike is a remake of a Game Boy Color title, we thought that this batch of new images would make for a great opportunity to compare the updated game's visuals to the original's. While we expected Shiren DS 2 to look pretty much exactly like the first Shiren DS game released in March, we're surprised by how similar Shiren DS 2 and Shiren GB2 (GBC) look based on the shots released so far.

Jump into our comparison gallery to see what we mean!

Gallery: Shiren GB2 vs Shiren DS 2

LogosPrincess AtekaPekejiZaganLord

[Via Famitsu]

Promotional Consideration: Fushigi no Commercials, revisited

We're aware that we write about the Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer games much too much, especially considering that it's a niche series representing such a hardcore genre. But after playing Shiren the Wanderer DS, Chunsoft's remake of the original Super Famicom game and the first Shiren game brought stateside, it's hard for us to think of anything else but the other five Shiren titles that've yet to touch soil outside of Japan.

Chunsoft's recent announcement for Shiren the Wanderer DS 2, another remake, this time porting Furai no Shiren GB2: Sabaku no Majou (Shiren the Wanderer GB2: Demon Castle in the Desert), originally a Game Boy Color title, has only stoked the flames of our yearning. Though it's reckless to assume Sega will eventually localize the game as it did with the SFC remake, we've thrown caution to the wind, blinded by our optimistic heart's promises.

With that explained, hopefully you'll forgive us for featuring another piece on roguelike commercials less than two months after our installment on Pokemon Mystery Dungeon ads. Bring your talking weasel past the post break for two Japanese commercials from Shiren the Wanderer GB2's original 2005 release.

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: Fushigi no Commercials, revisited

Shiren the Wanderer DS 2 no longer a mystery


The latest issue of Famitsu confirms the rumored DS sequel to Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer. Shiren the Wanderer DS 2 is actually based on the second Game Boy game, Sabaku no Majou (Magic Castle of the Desert). It appears to be built on the same engine as the first DS game. The scans don't disappoint, featuring a ton of screens and character art of the new roguelike.

This new DS game will interact with the Wii Shiren the Wanderer 3 in some way, allowing players to "lend a hand." We believe this means that Shiren DS 2 players will be able to "rescue" Shiren 3 players over Wi-Fi, much like Shiren DS players can rescue each other.

DS Daily: Mystery Genre


Roguelikes, specifically the Mystery Dungeon variety of the kind made by Chunsoft (and roguelikes made in the style of Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon game), are booming. The list currently includes three DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, two Izunas, Shiren the Wanderer, Tao's Adventure, and homebrew games including Powder and Nethack. That's a lot of random dungeons.

Roguelikes are a very strange genre: death as an essential part of gameplay, and extreme difficulty in general, are unusual for the DS, and things like random dungeons seem archaic at first. If you've gotten into one of these, were you always a Mystery Dungeon fan? Or did the explosion of Mystery Dungeon games on the DS get you interested?

European dates for Etrian Odyssey, LOL, Pokemon Explorers

News of a European release date for Super Smash Bros. Brawl has dominated coverage of Nintendo's latest European release schedule, but there are a number of tasty morsels on the list for DS owners.

For a start, the continent will finally be getting Atlus roguelike Etrian Odyssey, and it's about time -- lest we forget, the title made its U.S. debut last May! Notably, there are also dates (of varying specificity) for Race Driver: GRID (May), the new Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games (July 4th), New International Track & Field (Q2 2008), and Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? (June), the European version of Cooking Navi. "ArchimDS" appears on the list as well, though we presume this refers to LOL, or Bakushow as it'll be known in Euroland.

Add all of those to this morning's Final Fantasy IV announcement, and Europe has quite the line-up of games to look forward to. Check past the break for the full list!

Continue reading European dates for Etrian Odyssey, LOL, Pokemon Explorers

Promotional Consideration: Fushigi no Commercials



Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

In advance of this coming week's Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2 releases, Nintendo has commissioned two commercials to herald the dungeon crawlers, one for each edition, Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness.

Once again, this sequel adopts Chunsoft's Fushigi no Dungeon (Mystery Dungeon) design to allow gamers to play as a Pokemon. It's a solid set of titles, by most reports, but many genre veterans consider them inferior to games like The Nightmare of Druaga and Shiren the Wanderer.

Nevertheless, kids are crazy for the Pokemon branding, and the original GBA/DS Pokemon Mystery Dungeon releases went on to sell over 5.5 million copies worldwide. And that's why we now have a major publisher supporting an extremely niche genre with two separate commercials.

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: Fushigi no Commercials

Big in Japan: DS coasts to fiscal 2007 victory



Been keeping up with sales figures from Japan recently? If so, you'll have noticed something unusual: for the first time in years, the DS isn't absolutely creaming the competition. Whether the PSP's resurgence will last is another debate for another post, but it hasn't been able to prevent Nintendo's handheld from taking top spot in fiscal year 2007.

The DS won in style as well, selling 6.34 million units (that's one DS sold every five seconds, FYI) and comfortably beating the Wii (3.74m sales) into second place. In case you're wondering, that sound you can hear is Iwata, Reggie, and Shiggy clinking champagne glasses on board their yacht of solid gold.

The gap between the Wii and PSP is considerably smaller, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 occupy fourth and fifth place respectively (mystifyingly, the PlayStation 2 wasn't counted). And it wasn't only hardware sales that Nintendo dominated -- the five best-selling games were all from the Nintendo stable, with Wii Fit, Mario Party DS, Wii Sports, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon doing the business. Make like Godzilla and stomp past the break for the charts.

Continue reading Big in Japan: DS coasts to fiscal 2007 victory

Shiren's dungeon delights and dangers


Despite middling reviews and a limited audience due to its hardcore nature, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer has established an impressive following, mini-communities of masochists spread about the internet's gaming districts. Of course, the dedicated GameFAQs forum is bustling with dungeon-crawling discussions, but NeoGAF and the Penny Arcade Forums are also fine venues for settling your roguelike affairs.

These communities are valuable hubs for not only finding a hero to rescue your felled wanderer, but also for trading stories of Shiren's grand escapes and even grander deaths. It was these sort of tales for the original Super Famicom release that impelled @Play's (a regular column on the roguelike genre) John Harris to seek the game and write up his own playthrough narratives. His accounts in turn inspired many other gamers -- including us -- to try out the Shiren, so you can imagine our anticipation to hear his impressions of Chunsoft's DS port.

John's latest @Play article is a must-read for any Shiren fan; he defends the title against misinformed reviewers, provides an introduction for those of you who haven't decided if Shiren is for you, and shares a huge list of tips for surviving your dungeon trip -- like how to decrease your chances of starving to death! Even if you aren't a Shiren fan yet, here's an opportunity for you to become one! Hit the "Read" link below for John's in-depth piece.

Gallery: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer

Mystery Dungeon solved with Pokemon preorder



As excited as we always are when it comes to free stuff, we're ten times more thrilled with this excuse to reuse our Unsolved Dungeon Mysteries image. What better way to introduce a paranomal Pokémon preorder?

To promote the April 20th release of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, Nintendo is offering a free strategy book to anyone who reserves either edition of the roguelike. The Explorer's Guide will contain game tips, interviews, and an original manga from Ken Sugimori, likely similar to (if not the same as) Ginji's Rescue Team.

For the uninitiated, the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, like Shiren the Wanderer, are all entries in Chunsoft's Fushigi no Dungeon series. Catering to the license's audience, Explorers will be significantly less difficult and punishing than its peers. Having a strategy guide on hand should increase your survivability chances even more! If you're looking to ease yourself into the dungeon-crawl genre, this is the game you'll want to try out.

[Via press release]

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.

Gallery: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer


See also: DS Fanboy interview: Shiren the Wanderer

DS Fanboy interview: Shiren the Wanderer



With Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer shipping out to stores tomorrow (March 31st for Europe), we called up Sega of America to chat with producer Keith Dwyer about the roguelike. We spent a good half-hour exchanging thoughts on the genre's appeal and the game's pitiless difficulty before we both wondered out loud, "Wouldn't it be cool if we posted our conversation on DS Fanboy?"

Rather than spend the rest of our lives asking ourselves what might have been, we decided to post the Q & A session for you to enjoy, dear reader. After all, this will be the first time the Shiren series sees an official release outside of Japan, and the game is considered by many to be the finest console roguelike in existence, putting all other challengers and clones to shame. Pack a rice ball in your lunch box and venture past the break for our Shiren the Wanderer interview!

Gallery: Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer

Continue reading DS Fanboy interview: Shiren the Wanderer

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