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Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer


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Do you like RPGs with meat? Then get this game

posted by XiedoXiedo (STRATFORD, CT) Aug 14, 2009

Member since Aug 2009

4 out of 4 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer is not your typical RPG by any stretch. Most RPGs are more about the story than the challenge. I like those games a lot. Shiren was a big change from that, but I must say I came away absolutely loving the game for entirely different reasons.

"Shiren" is a grid-oriented, turn-based RPG that plays like a one-unit strategy game with minimal story. You venture deep into a variety of dungeons, trying your best to survive against the randomness that is thrown at you. The dungeons DO have an end floor (30, 50 or 100), but they are extremely difficult to reach.

Now I'm sure you see "randomness" and immediately think "unfairness". I'll be honest, you are correct. YES, every now and then I do hit some situation that seemed impossible to avoid or survive. But the vast majority of situations are simply a matter of playing smart. See tough monsters? Don't fight. Run or paralyze them. Use good items to soften them up. Cripple their movement or fight them at range. There are MANY strategies to employ and the game strongly rewards a high level of game knowledge and creativity. Usually, you can survive. But even when you die, your death is often a memorable catastrophe.

Now, randomness is nothing with a lot of content. Shiren has that in spades.

You've got TONS of different monsters. Strong, weak, fast, slow, item-stealers, item-destroyers, item-cursers, Shiren-cursers, Shiren-throwers, decoy-monsters, enemy-healers, it just goes ON and ON. Combine all those different monster-types with dozens of weapons/items, dozens of floor layouts... the sheer craziness that emerges is insanely enjoyable and replayable.

And after you beat the main dungeon, the fun REALLY begins! New dungeons unlock with game-changing gimmicks added to them. One dungeon makes you CHANGE into enemies and use their abilities. Perhaps the toughest dungeon has ONLY unidentified items, essentially you play semi-blind.

Its a tough game, but it never gets old.

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