By Steve Baltimore / July 27th, 2018
|Title||Touhou Genso Wandererer Reloaded|
|Release Date||July 17th, 2018|
|Platform||PlayStation 4. Switch|
Rogue-likes are not usually my cup of tea. I’ve played a few over the years and the only one I really enjoyed out of them was Sorcery Saga, but my recently found love for the Touhou series made me want to give Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded a shot. This being an upgraded version of the game, I figured at the very least there would plenty of Touhou goodness to sink my teeth into. Let’s see how this turns out, shall we?
Since this version of the game contains all the DLC from the first release and three totally new adventures there is a lot of story here. This has all been streamlined in this release to flow in a better order than last time, since you could skip to DLC stories before the main quest. The new adventures include “The King of Fairies,” with Marisa Kirisame, “Miracle★Ambitions,” with Sanae Kochiya and “End of Desire,” with Reimu Hakurei. You can also purchase an additional DLC mission for Sakuya Izayoi.
I loved all the stories told here. The characters are all well written and the quirks you find in other fan works are found here as well. There is a ton of fan service for Touhou fans, and the localization work seems pretty solid this time around as well. There were a few minor issues, but nothing that breaks your immersion. I’ve been playing this game over 60 hours and there is still content left for me to see here.
Graphically the game looks really great. There is great variety in the stage environments. You will see everything from lush forests to crazy looking caverns. The chibi models used for the over 120 characters in the game are all fantastic. Lots of details and nice animation really bring these to life. I mean, that Flandre chibi is just way too freaking adorable, right? Everything runs at steady framerate and there is some awesome cut in art when spell cards are being used.
The music is top notch and exactly what you would expect from a Touhou game. There are remixes of some the most well known songs in the franchise. These include Magus Night, U.N. Owens Her, Dullauhan Under the Willows and many more. This is probably one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in a game in a very long time and certainly raises the quality level of the game enormously. The story scenes feature Japanese voice acting. The voice actors do a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. You can really get a sense of each girl’s quirks right off the bat.
Well this one looks great and has a killer soundtrack but how does it play? Well, I’m happy to report this is probably one of the most fun and accessible rogue-likes I’ve ever played. Now, when I say accessible I do not mean easy or simple by any means. Dungeon floors are still littered with traps that will screw you over in the most horrible ways possible. I just feel like this game is fair overall compared to other games in the genre. Lots of games in this genre make the penalties for dying so harsh that it actually disheartens the player, but Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded lets you keep your items and the levels you obtained with them upon defeat. This makes it so you still feel like you’ve made some progress even if the dungeon boss or a floor is just too much for you to handle at that moment. You will still have to start the dungeon over and you will lose all the money you’ve acquired. This is far better than starting over with nothing.
The game plays like your basic grid based rogue-like. This means as you and the enemies move along the dungeon a turn passes with each step. Attacking, using items, and spell cards will all use a turn. Each character has 4 different Danmaku Attacks. These range from straight shots to shots that completely surround you. You will need some P to use them, and this is dropped by enemies you defeat. The addition of a partner spices up the mechanic a bit since you can issue them commands of their own. You can have them follow you, explore the dungeon on their own to reveal the map quicker, or attack incoming enemies. They also have their own spell cards with some nice buffs and room clearing abilities. You will start out with only Futo for a partner, but more will unlock as you complete each chapter in the game.
As with any rogue-like, dungeons and items are randomly generated. The game will usually tell you how many floors are contained in the dungeon and what difficulty level it is. Some dungeons will allow you to bring items and weapons into them while others you will have to solely rely on what you find there. You will also have to start from scratch when doing characters other than Reimu’s story dungeons. Some dungeons will also limit your use of Nito Fusion.
Nito Fusion allows you take the items and materials you’ve collected and upgrade existing items, create new ones, identify items, and meld them together. These features will unlock gradually as you complete story missions and you will gain Nito points which you pick up by defeating enemies to use. A good example of this is if you are dying on a boss because of certain status aliments, you can take a piece of armor with a seal that protects you from that aliment. Then combine it with your current armor, and it will gain that seal, provided it has an empty slot. Weapons, armor and charms will gain levels as you fight with them. As they gain levels they will grow stronger and gain more seal slots. Your equipment will also change form after gaining so many levels, for example a Stake will eventually become Remilia’s Gungnir Spear at around level 60. This makes it fun to experiment with Nito Fusion just to see what everything turns out once it’s leveled up.
Equipment is not the only thing Nito Fusion is good for. It can be used to make powerful potions, talismans, spell cards and even food. That last one may seem kind of crazy, but if you are starving in dungeon and the random floor generator decides you don’t need to eat this can really save your bacon. Potions and spell cards can be really useful as well. I mean there a potion that can make you invincible for a few turns, if that’s not helpful I dunno what is!
I have to say my time with Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded has been a pure joy. I love the stories and characters. The music is fantastic, and could be my favorite of the console Touhou games I’ve played. Gameplay here is fun, simple and challenging but fair. The amount of content here makes it well worth the $49.99 price tag. PlayStation 4 users can load their save from the previous version to carry over story progress, bestiary, and equipment. This means those folks jump straight into the new content. This is a must own title for Touhou fans. The amount of fan service to the franchise is huge and done in the best way possible. Rogue-like fans will have a blast with this one as well. This is one of the best game’s I’ve played this year and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone!
Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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