Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island Review

I owe you an apology, mister Shiren the Wanderer, as a result of I wasn’t actually accustomed to your recreation prior to now. Certain, I’ve performed a couple of thriller dungeon video games in my time – your Pokémon Mystery Dungeons, and your Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Each Buddy!, however whereas I appreciated them, they by no means actually obtained their claws into me. Even with my rising urges to play roguelikes, I by no means discovered myself a ok cause to dip into the franchise that began all of it till now, with Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island. I’m so glad I did, as a result of it’s my new roguelike obsession, and the sport that lastly made thriller dungeons click on for me.

It wasn’t nearly me, although, as a result of loads of Shiren the Wanderer video games haven’t had official English localised releases. We’ve had loads of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spinoffs exterior of Japan, however Shiren the Wanderer has been absent for nearly a decade (with out counting ports and remasters). Fortunately, regardless of some very unfastened callbacks and continuity, Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island is a standalone recreation.

Silent adventurer Shiren and his speaking ferret companion Koppa journey to Serpentcoil Island on rumors of historic pirate treasure, however they quickly study a devastating drought affecting the land, and a mysterious lady trapped inside a monster that lives on the prime of the Serpent mountain.

Attending to that mountain requires navigating 30 flooring of randomised thriller dungeons – every one filled with unpredictable paths, buddies, foes, gear, and gadgets. Runs in Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island gained’t take an excessive amount of time, particularly while you’re simply studying the ropes. A slip-up and unintended loss of life on ground 5 might take barely 6 minutes, and even wiping out close to the center of the 30 ground gauntlet can occur in only half an hour. The quickness of those runs is what makes them so addictive, although – in defeat, all I needed to do was run it again instantly and study from my errors. Dropping my gear and ranges sucked, however I had gathered all of it so shortly that I knew I might make that magic occur once more on one other run. And that’s the place the sport actually sinks it’s claws into you.

Shiren the Wanderer – Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island gameplay screenshot

After all, it harm a bit of an excessive amount of after I obtained an especially fortunate merchandise discover, solely to have an especially unfortunate loss of life. In moments like that, the On-line Rescue characteristic in Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island was a godsend. In the event you die, you possibly can request assist from different on-line gamers, and wait on the Rescue menu till somebody accepts your request. They then dive into the identical dungeon seed you probably did to get to the placement the place you died and extract you safely. On a couple of events with early-floor deaths, I used to be saved inside a couple of minutes. Deaths on deeper flooring, although, took a very long time to get saved from. Fortunately, you possibly can kill the time by rescuing different individuals, and even trying to rescue your self. Profitable rescues offer you factors you possibly can spend to activate buffs throughout a rescue try,, so if you happen to’re in deep you possibly can dig your manner out by serving to others to assist your self.

A lot of Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island is about discovery and experimentation, about discovering new guidelines, after which studying the way to break these guidelines. You would possibly choose up an onigiri, which might fill your starvation meter because it depletes, however it will possibly additionally improve your most starvation if you happen to eat it while you’re already full, and doing that sufficient can flip you into an enormous sumo with boosted stats. In the event you wait too lengthy to eat your onigiri, although, it will possibly go rotten – you possibly can stop that by placing it right into a pot, however you possibly can additionally throw the rotten onigiri at enemies to inflict standing illnesses on them. Or, perhaps you’ll get hit by a fireball that turns all of the onigiri in your pocket, even rotten ones, into edible Grilled Onigiri. The layers of interplay throughout each merchandise and mechanic run as deep as they do in immersive sims like Hitman or a recreation like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Shiren the Wanderer – Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island UI

Some gadgets, like pots and bracelets, can have quite a lot of results however can be unidentified while you choose them up. Do you experiment with an merchandise to find what it does, or do you wait to search out an Identifier Scroll so you possibly can have its potential revealed to you? When you do, you carry that data within you to future runsm and the wrinkles your mind varieties as you study each merchandise and talent and creature within the recreation are an enormous a part of what makes it so onerous to place down.

Plus, there’s a stunning quantity of narrative reward in-between runs. Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island has a pleasant solid of superbly designed characters who every have their very own smaller tales unfolding each time you meet them on the numerous villages and relaxation factors within the dungeon. It gave me much more objectives to work towards on every run, understanding that if I made it to ground 12 once more I might see what’s new with the pirate chief or the ninja princess.

There’s a lot to these 30 flooring of Serpentcoil Island, and my first time clearing all of it felt unimaginable. There’s a lot extra to the sport than that one dungeon, although – you’ll ultimately unlock bonus dungeons, alternate routes, new mechanics, and even new merchandise varieties. The solely factor you don’t unlock was any sort of customisation of your personal character. You may’t play as different heroes or get any significant cosmetics for Shiren moreover three Achievement-locked color swaps, which was actually disappointing. It’s a minor blemish on an in any other case unforgettable expertise, although. I used to be enthralled by Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island, and I’m already determined to dive again in as quickly as I end penning this evaluate!

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