Shiren has been around for quite a bit on Nintendo Advance/DS systems and to me, it inspired the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. Everything you know about the genre is here plus more and Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate doesn’t kick in until you’re well into the game.
You play as Shiren The Wanderer who is aided by his pet/narrator Koppa in search of three dice needed to change the fate. Lets begin with what you can do outside the main dungeons. Mini games are a plenty with cave puzzles, explosion rock puzzles, challenge dungeons and creating items. Even doing the training missions feel like a mini game, with first time completion earning you items.
Dungeons are random and you get a variety of items and weapons on each floor as well as traps and even a shop if you’re lucky. Traps come in all unwanted flavors like stripped equipment, sleep and a lot more so scrolls to see them or equipped items will help you a lot.
There is a fullness system that is used up with just about every command but sitting still and it’s filled up by eating certain items. You can even throw items at monsters but some throw as well or worse they steal an item and warp around the dungeon. You can earn auras which makes you stronger and guess what, so can enemies.
You can’t cheat the system which I found out the hard way. If you die or better yet when you die, you can’t just turn the game off and redo it. It treats it like you died anyway and leaves you with nothing so good luck. Mystery dungeons are rogue like in gameplay which is why you can never be bored of the game or the genre and this game proves it.
There are hundreds of items to find and log in as also enemies and it always feels like a new experience either way. The bad thing is the item management which you will love/hate very quick. When you are full you can store some items in pots that you get or item storage in town. Easy to remember but a pain to deal with.
Lastly, there is a day and night cycle. Later on, the cycles happen and enemies can only be hurt by skills. It gets challenging but you earn skills rather quickly based on luck. Weapons and armor you have equipped can level up like you and get stronger or even change what they are as well. Also of note, monsters can as well. A helpful trait is you can have NPCs as party members and if they are down just throw a healing herb on them and they are back.
Shiren The Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is the best mystery dungeon game I played so far on the PS Vita with nice 2D graphics, nice music and challenging gameplay. If you like mystery dungeon games, go get it!
The review was written and provided by Chris. All screenshots are from the PS Vita version.