Roguelike dungeon crawling has been a niche and enjoyable genre for decades. Last year's Touhou Genso Wanderer was a fun take on Mystery Dungeon games so how does this Reloaded version stack up?
What's a Genso Wanderer?
For the unfamiliar, Touhou Genso Wanderer is an entry in the fan-made game series set in Team Shanghai Alice's Touhou universe and it's heavily inspired by Mystery Dungeon games. Considering I already covered the original version quite extensively, I'm going to try and not repeat myself too much in this review. Therefore, if you'd like to learn more about the base game then please head over to my original Touhou Genso Wanderer review before reading any further. I'm happy to say that the enjoyable core experience has carried over to this new iteration. It's a ton of fun to play, especially for those who are familiar with the Mystery Dungeon formula where you and your enemies move simultaneously within randomly generated dungeons. The gameplay requires a lot of practice and patience and it can get brutally frustrating when you accidentally bite the dust after playing for hours but once it starts to click, it's satisfying stuff.
Gotta love new content
The vanilla version of Touhou Genso Wanderer featured a couple pieces of DLC and they're both included here for free. Namely, you get two campaigns: Futo Mononobe and the 7 Trials featuring Tojiko Soga as well as The Bullet Reporter starring Aya Shameimaru and Momiji Inubashiri. On top of the previously released DLC, you also get three brand new story campaigns: The King of Fairies with Marisa Kirisame, Miracle Ambitions with Sanae Kochiya, and End of Desire with Reimu Hakurei. Finally, you can download the completely free character Flandre Scarlet. As you work through all of this content (which will likely take dozens of hours), you'll encounter many new items, enemies, and story sequences and it all adds up to one fulfilling adventure.
Wait, I still have to buy DLC?
Although Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded comes with a ton of content, there is still a lot more that you can purchase. I honestly found this to be quite disappointing because the core game is rather pricey on its own and if you want to experience everything that's currently available, you'll have to pay almost double seeing as the season pass (The Elegance Bundle) costs almost as much as the full price of the core game. If you decide to purchase it, you get a whole new campaign in the form of the Clock Remains story starring Sakuya Izayoi and Reimu Hakurei as well as a bunch of additional characters: Alice Margatroid, Cirno, Daiyosei, Kasen Ibaraki, Kokoro Hata, Rei'sen, Satori Komeiji, Suwako Moriya, Tenshi Hinanawi, Tojiko Soga, and Utsuho Reiuji. You also get a couple of costumes for Reimu (including a Santa costume) and some other cosmetic items. Sure, that's a lot of stuff but why couldn't it be included in the core game? This is supposed to be the definitive edition of Touhou Genso Wanderer, after all.
Enhanced for your pleasure
Content may be the most important aspect when it comes to definitive editions of games but Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded actually features some gameplay enhancements, too. The most notable of which is that Nito Fusion (the item creation system) now allows you to appraise, dismantle, and meld materials. Plus, the Gensokyo Chronicle Gaiden contains much more information and you can now instantly travel to any previously visited base via the new Gensokyo Regional Map. These are welcome inclusions indeed but I can't help but feel that it's not quite enough if you already own the vanilla Touhou Genso Wanderer. Speaking of which, the issues that I had with the original still remain in this version so don't expect a huge improvement if you've already played it before.
Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded is a fantastic interpretation of the Mystery Dungeon formula that genre fans are sure to love. However, if you already own the vanilla version and aren't a hardcore fan then you likely won't be impressed with this iteration.
- + Superb Mystery Dungeon gameplay, especially for those new to Genso Wanderer
- + Contains plenty of new content
- + Some welcome gameplay enhancements
- - You still have to buy loads of DLC for the complete experience
- - Gameplay hasn't improved much
- - Same issues as the original