Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate
Top Critic Average
This may be an entry in a highly specialized and generally unfriendly genre, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a better example of the type. Heartless, demanding, infuriating, yet seemingly boundless in the depth of its content and mechanics, the latest Shiren the Wanderer adventure wraps taxing game design in just-one-more replay appeal. Think of it as the Wolverine of console roguelikes: It's the best there is at what it does, and what it does isn't very nice.
Though I wouldn't consider it the best entry in the series, I absolutely enjoyed my time with Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate. It's a beautiful, challenging quest with a pleasing soundtrack I wouldn't mind having in my iTunes. With all the love I have for it in mind, I don’t know if I can recommend the game to anyone who isn’t already familiar with the series. Even if you’ve played the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spin-offs, this is another beast entirely. It’s a game you can play for 20 hours and feel like you didn’t make any progress at all. That’s a type of punishment some gamers just can’t handle. For me, it’s a type of punishment I can’t get enough of.
At its heart, this is a game for the masochist players who, like me, keep trying to reach just one level further. Sure, we’ll be slaughtered, and there’s little we can do to fully prepare for every enemy that finds our soon-to-be-rotting corpses on the battlefield. But there’s something still cute about how dangerous an overpowered shadowy beast can be. I literally cheered when I survived my first night cycle (and was immediately slain in the daytime), but then I started back up again from the beginning, no progress having been made. This genre is almost a fetish for certain players, and this game presents as fervent an example as any can be. And that’s honestly its downfall, because it’s otherwise a good kind of challenging. I just wish it could feel like there was no way to get “good” at the game itself. You know, make it more "fun" instead of an instrument of pain tolerance.
Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is one of the best roguelikes available on any platform and it happens to have some of the best pixel art I’ve seen in a long time.
Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is an old school roguelike JRPG with a ton of replayability and a great visual style. With its randomized levels, densely related mechanics, and deceptively simple combat, it’s a game that still manages to be fun even twenty hours in.
For those willing to put their life on the line and set foot in the mysterious dungeons, Shiren the Wanderer marks one of the finest entries to date.
Shiren wandered into my life ready to take me on a grand adventure, but instead all we did was go camping in his backyard.
What I was hoping for when I booted up Shiren the Wanderer was another anomaly – a title in the roguelike genre that I would enjoy, and that wasn’t what I found. Instead, what I got was a fairly standard entry in the genre- crafted well by a developer that’s been making these kinds of games for years, and even though I did not find the title to my tastes, I could easily see why someone else might.
“Shiren the Wanderer: Tower of Fortune and Dice of Fate,” is a classic either-or proposition. You either get it or you don’t, with rarely any middle ground in between. Folks who don’t like retro roguelike gameplay will find the dungeon crawling tedious, outdated and unforgiving. Gamers who appreciate old-school roguelikes, however, will love its sprite art and the diverse challenge the game provides. If you have a soft spot for classic dungeon crawling, you’ll be quite pleased after rolling the dice on Shiren.
Thanks to a dynamic and challenging play experience, there are plenty of reasons to get back up after you meet your untimely end in Shiren the Wanderer. Fans of this genre know exactly what they’re getting into and fans of RPGs in general may find the formula fresh, fast, easy to pick up and exciting to play. The lack of online support may render the co-op useless for many, but even without it the game’s rather enjoyable.