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?
@Secret_Tunnel 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.
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.
@TriforceBun 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.
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.
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!
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.