Touhou Genso Wanderer Review
With Touhou Genso Wanderer, NIS is combining it’s Mystery Dungeon spinoff Shiren the Wanderer, and the long spanning Touhou into a supposed RPG haven. The idea sounds smart because it’s completely directed towards fans, but at the same time, NIS isn’t really known for their spinoffs like other Japanese companies are. So, is Genso Wanderer the first in a great lineage, or will it stall game fusions like these in the future? The verdict is below.
Genso Wanderer is an RPG, but it’s also a rogue-like, and a tough one at that. Nevertheless, it’s hardcore characteristics are intriguing. Gameplay blessings are hard to come by, but the game makes up for these deep challenges by giving you tons of time to explore. A lot of rouge-likes don’t do this, but it offset the frustration I likely would have had.
The game also flips some elements of the Touhou franchise on its head, in order to adapt to concrete and difficult patterns. This gives the chance to alienate some, but it’s exercised in efficient ways, so I can’t complain as much as I otherwise would have. Overall, it’s a smart way to mix both franchises.
Story & Design:
The themes of Genso Wanderer aren’t too complex when compared to other RPGs, and it doesn’t get much better when you dive into the game’s dialogue. A lot of cues just happen to feel off, and this never feels like a fault in translation, instead being a problem with deeper substance. Considering how rewarding Genso Wanderer can be, wading through such a narrative robs it of some greatness.
More disappointment continues when you observe how both franchises have acted story-wise before this combination, and everything comes off as just sloppy instead of unfocused. If it wasn’t for the outstanding gameplay, these factors would haunt Genso Wanderer, but instead they just relegate to the back.
Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:
Genso Wanderer doesn’t give a great impression regarding its presentation within its opening moments (guess what, it’s dated FMV), but a comeback starts to occur once you dig more hours in. There are no issues with text size, and specific choices make the exploration in the game so much more memorable. I wish this arc in quality was expressed in other departments (ex: story), but I’m still glad to see it here.
I was this close to giving Touhou Genso Wanderer an 8, but with the copious issues it carries with its story, I had to go down a notch. If you don’t happen to pay attention to that front though and are a fan of rougelikes, than go right at it. This game was meant for you.
Touhou Genso Wanderer gets a 7/10 (Average)
We’d like to thank NIS America for giving us a code!
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