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Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island on the Switch

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09/24/23, 22:33  
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It's happening!

Shiren the Wanderer V is one of the most complex, emergent games I've ever played. I never actually got very far into it; it's intimidating! And it looks like this new one is coming out very close to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.

But I'm looking forward to it. I'm curious how the devs will have evolved the formula in the 13 years since the last game. 13 years ago, roguelikes were still a little-known thing. Will the new Shiren reclaim its throne?
09/24/23, 22:35   
Edited: 09/24/23, 22:35
On which system is Shiren the Wanderer V?

I have the one for the DS and the one for the Wii. I sampled the DS one, but haven't given either of them a proper go at it.
10/02/23, 23:45   
It's so exciting! And look at that jaw-dropping jump to 3D! To be honest, I haven't put too much time into Shiren on Switch due to my novelty bias, but I do love this series. And I think it stands a cut above most traditional roguelikes. Even when it originally came out, it stood on the shoulders of giants, but the charm and execution carried it. Now it's roguelike royalty. I do like that this entry is going back to basics. I don't know about that night-time stuff...

Speaking of roguelikes, Void Terrarium is pretty cool, too. It's kind of a traditional roguelite, and the mechanics are much shallower than Shiren's, but the meta-context of needing to bring back supplies to raise the last human (?) on Earth actually provides great motivation. It's got heart!

Anyway, it's great to get a new Shiren, but I sure would like some Culdcept on the Switch... And Itadaki Street, maybe?

@Mop it up
The previous Shiren game is on the Switch. It goes on sale for super-cheap, too. But the DS game is probably the best entry point.
10/05/23, 04:57   
Edited: 10/05/23, 04:58
Can any of you ladies or gents explain to me what this series is? All I know about it is that there was a Super Famicom one that Koichi Sugiyama did the music for.
10/05/23, 05:33   
Here you go, hot off the presses from 2010!

In summary, though, a classic Roguelike (like Rogue!) is a challenging, strategic, turn-based dungeon-crawling RPG with lots of overlapping, simple systems that dovetail together in an emergent way. The genre is highly replayable due to heavy randomization and the need to restart at the beginning upon death. Story is usually negligible. Each run is its own story!

I know that doesn't sound fun, but it actually is. The gameplay is much more tense and engaging than in a traditional turn-based JRPG. It's all killer and no filler.

The Shiren series does make some concessions to accessibility, though, with a bit of character progression between runs, an item storehouse, beginner dungeons, etc.
10/05/23, 05:46   
Edited: 10/05/23, 06:02
Ah, so it's like Fatal Labyrinth on Genesis! I kinda liked that game so I'll keep an eye on this one. Thanks for the info.
10/05/23, 17:05   
Edited: 10/05/23, 17:05
Man, Fatal Labyrinth is addictive! I booted it up in the Mega Drive Collection on Switch just to see what it was like and couldn't stop playing. Still not sure why, but it gripped me. If you liked that kind of general progression I think you'll like Shiren.
10/05/23, 18:01   
Fatal Labyrinth is also one of my little bit of experience with this genre, along with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon (a series I actually like more than the main games...!). Those are generally easier and more forgiving than this type of game typically is, and I'm not so sure I would enjoy one with brutal difficulty.

EDIT: Oh! And Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon. Loved that one too. I guess it's clear a healthy dose of cuteness goes a long way to help me get into these kinds of games, hee hee.
10/06/23, 23:56   
Edited: 10/06/23, 23:58
Roguelikes are kind of like comfort food for me. I'm always down for a competent one. At Switch launch, I played the shit out of this 3DS port called Quest of Dungeons. It was a totally vanilla roguelike. But vanilla is kind of delicious!

Anyway, there were a couple of new details revealed about the new Shiren:

Old Shiren games had the ability to rescue (resurrect) people online by playing through their dungeon until you found their body. Now you can rescue yourself when you die! Cool! (Who really wants to help others, anyway?)

There's also a practice area, where you can try out different enemy/item combos.

And there's some arcane online functionality called Parallel Play? I guess multiple people can compete individually in the same dungeon instance? Or, alternately, play through it like a relay? So weird. But intriguing!
01/16/24, 03:33   
Edited: 01/16/24, 05:36
It's out! And it's great! I made it to the final floor of the main story dungeon on my first try, stopped paying attention for a second, and died. Took an hour and forty minutes.

The 3D visuals look surprisingly better in-game than they do in video.

This one seems a lot more streamlined than Shiren V. Menus are faster to get through, tutorials are more naturally integrated into the game, and all the extraneous mechanics are stripped out. Despite having played a ton of Shiren V, it feels like I'm really learning the game's systems in a more fundamental way here. Every is so much more snappy too.

Highly recommended!
02/28/24, 07:12   
Beat the main story! Took five tries, with the fifth try being a little over two hours. Sumo Status is powerful.

And now the real game begins.

I'll reiterate that this is a way better jumping-in point than Shiren V. The sidequests that progress each time you die would be a great hook to keep playing during the pre-credits section of the game. But now I'm doing what feels like beginner material in tandem with postgame content, haha.
02/29/24, 19:17   
Barring Metroid Prime 4 coming out or World of Goo 2 being a mindblower, this is my Game of the Year.

I was skeptical of the 3D visuals, but outside of Shiren's character model being a bit robotic and the ugly grass/dirt intro areas, the game looks great. Later areas are creative and beautiful, and all of the monsters have a ton of personality. I can't imagine going back to pixel art.

The density of ideas and decisions in this game is insane. I said something similar in the Sin & Punishment thread, but little realizations like this:

...are a hundred times cooler to me than anything I've seen in my 40 hours with FFVII Rebirth so far.

It's a game that doesn't waste your time at all, and the deeper I get into it, the more I appreciate the beauty of its systems. This is a series that's been around for 30 years and lead to countless spin-offs for a reason. Play it!
03/26/24, 21:15   
Edited: 03/26/24, 21:16
Thanks for the impressions! Sounds great. Shamefully, I haven't gotten to this game yet, but I did start up Shiren 3 on Wii (the polygonal spiritual precursor to Shiren 6?). They really tried to ease players into that game, with optional permadeath, lots of control options, and a somewhat structured campaign.

I'm definitely going to nab Shiren 6, though. Here's hoping (in vain) that it lands on even more GOTY lists this year!
03/27/24, 00:33   
These postgame sidequest dungeons rule. Every one is themed around teaching you a different game element. There's one about synthesizing weapons, one about evading behemoths... really awesome stuff. Knocking all these out feels like training for the true challenges that lie in the postgame story dungeons.


Tell me more! I've heard that Shiren 2-4 are weird.

It still blows my mind that the series timeline is:

1 - 1995, Japan
2 - 2000, Japan
1 Remake - 2006 Japan, 2008 US
3 - 2008 Japan, 2010 US
4 - 2010 Japan
5 - 2010 Japan, 2015 US (on the Vita!)
6 - 2024 Worldwide
03/29/24, 17:56   
Edited: 03/29/24, 17:57
Yeah, and it always throws me off that Shiren 1 is actually the second Mystery Dungeon game, after the Dragon Quest-themed original. Which is one of the main reasons for the scattered releases, I guess. The Mystery Dungeon team has probably been splitting their time between Pokemon, Dragon Quest, Shiren, etc. Also, I think Game Boy and Dreamcast saw some original entries.

Supposedly, Shiren 2 was the biggest release in Japan (prior to the new one). On N64, of all places! I think that was the spiritual precursor to Shiren 3 on Wii, with more emphasis on story, realistically-proportioned characters, and polygons. But I've only played 1, 3, and 5.

Shiren Wii is structured more like a traditional RPG. You can carry equipment forward through the story dungeons, permadeath is optional, and you progress through a simple Mario 3-type overworld map. The story dungeons are fairly bite-sized, with boss battles at the end of each. And you can optionally take full control of each party member.

The room shapes and level layouts are also a little funky, compared to the other Shirens that I've played.

I don't really have too many interesting things to say about it. But what I played was pretty fun!

It seems like the success of the DS remake really kicked the franchise into high gear, before it subsequently flopped its way back into low gear. If the Shiren 6 does well enough, maybe we'll see another Shirenaissance!
03/31/24, 07:00   
Edited: 03/31/24, 07:04
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