New Game Review

Review – Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded (PS4)

Chibi the Wanderer

I’ve had little to no experience with the Touhou multimedia series prior to playing Genso Wanderer Reloaded. I’ve played Touhou Kobuto V a while ago and really didn’t like it. Besides that, I had no idea the series was more than 20 years old and comprised of dozens upon dozens of games. After playing a poor fighting game, I’m now playing a dungeon crawler that reminded a lot of Spike Chunsoft’s Mystery Dungeon series. Thankfully, not a bad dungeon crawler, even though I felt completely like fish out of water while playing it.

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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded feels and plays like other Mystery Dungeon games. It is a mixture between a dungeon crawler and a roguelike, with huge dungeons comprised of dozens of floors, as well as an odd combat system in which each step you take counts as a mini “turn” of sorts. The combat system is a weird mixture of millisecond-long turn-based decisions and real-time action. You also need to take give your allies orders, watch your hunger meter, be careful with traps, cast area of effect spells, gather enhancement materials for your weapons, invest in businesses (no kidding, that’s actually a thing), remember to pack some of your food items in special foils that allow you to protect said food from stealing and magic, and so on.

Yes, there’s a lot to see and a lot to do in this game, and it’s very confusing at first. I will sound like a hypocrite right now, but believe it or not, Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded isn’t hard to play after you get used to the barrage of menus and the less-than-friendly UI the game offers you.

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A meat stick as a weapon?? BEST WEAPON EVER!

In terms of visuals, Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded does a great job in some aspects and a less than stellar job in others. The characters are wonderfully animated. Granted, they all feature that excessively adorable “moe” (as in, cute little anime girl) style that might be off-putting to some people. The fact that both your allies and the enemies are all adorable little girls makes things a bit confusing at first, but they are all very well-drawn. The sound design is pretty good overall, with decent voice acting coming from the main characters and an excellent soundtrack, mostly comprised of rock tunes with Japanese influences. My one gripe with the sound department lies on some characters’ voice acting. Have you ever watched an anime featuring a young female character with an insanely high-pitched and annoying voice? That’s half of the less important characters in the game and since there is a TON of dialogue, it gets irritating pretty quickly.

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Who’s friend? Who’s foe?

My biggest issue with the game, however, lies in its plot and storytelling. Suffice to say, the game doesn’t feature an interesting story, at least nowhere as interesting as its dungeon crawling gameplay. The problem is, there is a lot of exposition and a lot of dialogue. When I say a lot, I really mean A LOT. I found myself skipping throughout most of the dialogue scenes due to their length and the aforementioned irritating voice acting coming from the less important characters. Then again, kudos to the developers for including hours upon hours of recorded dialogue into the game.

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The power of meat stick with kitchen knife can’t be outmatched.

Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded is not an easy game to recommend, but it’s far from being a bad one. As a dungeon crawler, it gets the job done with lots of mechanics and a somewhat accessible (if not a bit convoluted) gameplay. As a Touhou game, it’s an excellent addition to fans of the series, but it will most likely cater solely to those people. It’s a game with a deep lore and an art style that won’t be appealing to the vast majority of gamers out there, so you either need to be a Touhou fan or a big dungeon crawler fan in order to really enjoy this game.

 

Graphics: 6.0

While the characters are well-designed and well-animated, the environments look cheap, as if they were designed on RPG Maker.

Gameplay: 6.5

It takes a while to get used to the pseudo turn-based gameplay and the complicated interface, but the game gets a lot more enjoyable afterwards.

Sound: 8.5

An excellent soundtrack comprised of rock tunes mixed with Japanese flavors. The main characters feature decent voice acting, but many side characters feature that typical high-pitched anime girl voice that can easily get on your nerves.

Fun Factor: 7.0

The dungeon crawling aspect of the game is actually a lot more fun that what I was expecting, but the story and the massive walls of text and dialogue aren’t as engaging.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Also available on: Switch

A copy of Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded was provided by the publisher.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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