Shiren the Wanderer – Review su Nintendo Switch

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Who I am
Kyle Orland

Author and references

Spike Chunsoft is a software house and publisher that young people will surely know thanks to the series Mystery Dungeon linked to the brand of Pokémon, the older ones will remember it for the various chapters of Dragon Quest released on NES and recently also on Nintendo Switch.

You should know that in reality the Mystery Dungeon series was not really born with Pokémon, but much earlier in 1993 on the Super Famicom with the game Torneko's Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon.

Title in which he impersonated a merchant who had to make his way through various dungeons in search of rare materials, objects and weapons that he could then resell at a good price.

The game has found great success in the homeland, so the company returns after two years with a second chapter, entitled Mistery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer always on Super Famicom which will see light in the rest of the world in 2008 with a reissue for the Nintendo DS.

Second chapter of the Mystery Dungeon saga not directly linked to the first as we will no longer have to deal with a merchant but rather with Shiren, a vagabond ronin, who travels through the lands of Golden Condor.

The vagabond ronin will accompany us for five chapters, or up to Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer 5: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate, known to us as Shiren the Wanderer 5: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate.

This latest chapter was released in 2016 on PlayStation Vita and on December 2, 2020 saw light on Nintendo Switch and PC.

Thanks to a code provided to us by Spike Chunsoft, today we at are here to tell you the deeds of the latest adventure of Shiren, the vagabond ronin.

Home Sweet Home

The story takes place after the events of Shiren the Wanderer DS2 and Shiren the Wanderer 3, we will see the silent wandering ronin accompanied by faithful companion Koppa.

There is a tower that according to local legends offers those who reach the top the opportunity to meet a god capable of changing the fate of anyone who succeeds in the enterprise.

Arriving in the village and going to a house, Jirokichi, a local young man, learns that his beloved Oyu has been afflicted by an incurable disease since birth.

With this premise, the silent Shiren together with Koopa set out to search for the Dice of the past, present and future with which they can then reach the top of the mystical tower, which once climbed will allow them to change the fate of the poor girl.

Here begins the adventure of the two heroes who will have to face dungeons and labyrinths capable of changing their appearance with each visit, all full of monsters and rare loot.

A trademark

I start by telling you that I have never touched the series linked to Shiren, this was the very first chapter for me, and as a connoisseur of the Mystery Dungeon series linked to the Pokémon brand as soon as I entered the fantastic game world I immediately felt at home, you want for the graphics, you want for the controls and the general setting of the title and you want for the gameplay that is almost similar to that seen with the various Pokémon spin-offs.

Once you enter the first dungeon I immediately understood what I had to do, thanks to the many hours spent on the Mystery Dungeon Pokémon, or the recent Void Terrarium, thanks to the fact that both titles maintain the same setting of buttons, menus and interface.

All the action is concentrated inside the various dungeons and labyrinths in which you will have to make your way between enemies, traps present on a map that hides an invisible grid. Every single box marks the passage of the various turns, so think about it before taking a step, the game at the most advanced levels is very punishing.

Even just standing still to recharge your life could cost you the game. You can bring allies with you, but they will not always be granted and they will be really useful to you as you will not be able to change their behavior.

Weapons, magic sticks, enchanted scrolls and consumables will be of fundamental importance to you in order to survive the toughest dungeons. Always remember to collect them during the various explorations and pay attention to the equipment and objects you decide to bring due to a rather limited inventory.

The enemies will always be displayed on the screen, you just need to enter the room to be able to have a complete view, unless you press certain traps that disable it.

The fight will start automatically as soon as you enter the enemy's range of action and you just need to press a button or activate an object or ability in the menu to try to get the better of the enemies.

If by chance you perish during the exploration you will lose everything you have earned both money and items, so manage each exploration well and stop when you think you cannot go further.

A monster for a friend

During the course of the adventure you can make friends with some types of monsters through "friendship pacts". For example, if you have made one with the Flamebirds, a race of creature present in the game, all the monsters belonging to that race will not attack you but will instead help you in battle.

These "pacts" can be bought in the various villages, like other items such as weapons and skills or can be collected by exploring the dungeons.

The night brings no advice

The game has integrated a day-night cycle that changes the gameplay. In fact, during the day we will be able to explore the various areas and advance from area to area with more tranquility than at night.

Once dark has fallen your worst nightmares resurface showing the cruel side of the game, the monsters will become tremendously strong, even too much sometimes, you will not be able to read parchments or stow food in the inventory as this will rot, also becoming a rarity in terms of availability.

You will hate the night sections and will be looking forward to the sunrise, in some cases through objects you will be able to enhance the attack and defense statistics, allowing us to resist as long as possible.

Even monsters will be able to receive these bonuses, just throw the wrong object and hit them to immediately see your bonus transformed into a malus.

The title presents as the original a local and online multiplayer sector in which a friend can come to our rescue and vice versa, you can also challenge him in a 1v1 clash thus obtaining his items as a reward.

In addition, the postgame content is expanded with three new very difficult dungeons as they have very precise rules to be respected, for example in one you will have a maximum number of turns to complete it, thus increasing the generous longevity proposed by the base title.

The splendid pixelart

The title runs on a 2D graphics engine (like the aforementioned Mystery Dungeon of the Pokémon brand and the nostalgic titles of the Super Nintendo) that on the Nintendo Switch screen manages to really render well, especially if played in portable mode, thanks also to a really excellent artistic sector and capable of carving out an atmosphere of its own.

No improvements are introduced due to the greater power of the hardware, remaining identical to the counterpart on PlayStation Vita.

To accompany the fantastic graphics there is the soundtrack that features 16-bit songs, some too repetitive and others that manage to stand out while being very catchy.

Let's save Oyu!

Have the exploits of Shiren and Koppa convinced us? Absolutely yes, if you are a lover of the genre or have played the aforementioned Mystery Dungeons and the like, we highly recommend Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate, which in 2020 still remains a very valid title with a high degree of difficulty. and with a price that is all in all valid given the amount of content present.

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