[PS Vita] Touhou Genso Wanderer Review

by EdEN, Owner

Touhou Genso Wanderer from NIS America is a roguelike dungeon crawler. On a stormy night a magical golden ball reacts to the touch of shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei, unleashing an evil entity that possesses Rinnosuke. Want to learn more? Then read our Touhou Genso Wanderer review!

For Touhou Genso Wanderer, the basic thing you need to keep in mind is that if you move or attack, then all other enemies will also move or attack. This means that you must carefully plan your every move or risk being overwhelmed by a group of enemies who will not hesitate at taking advantage of your mistakes.

After an introduction video plays out, and following a battle you’ll end up losing no matter what you do, the game will throw you into a short tutorial. Here you will learn about things such as your tummy. It has a capacity of 100, and as you walk and attack it will go down until it reaches zero – that is bad. You will need to eat every now and then to keep your tummy full so that you don’t end up receiving damage for being too hungry. You’ll also learn about magic seals. These are the gate to the next floor in a dungeon, so if you want to progress in the game you’ll need to use magic seals. If you step on one but feel that there’s still more for you to do in the current stage, then you can decide to stay for a bit to explore some more.

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As for the game’s controls, you can move around with the left analog stick or the D-Pad. The X button is for attacking, while the Circle button is for dashing. If you wish to change direction, then you can press and hold the Square button. The right analog stick can be used to switch Danmaku which you can shoot with the L button. You’ll first need to collect P items to power up, and depending on the Danmaku is the number of P you will use per shot. There’s one for shooting in front of you, one for shooting in three directions in front of you, one for launching an attack that will pierce through enemies, and a mighty one that attacks all around you. If you ever want to pass several turns at once, press and hold the X and Circle buttons at the same time – this comes in handy when you want to get an enemy or two closer to you without having to move.

As you adventure forth in each of the game’s dungeon you must always be on high alert. You’ll need to make the most of your partner character (which you can set to follow you, attack nearby enemies, explore or standy) if you want to survive, not to mention of the many items you will find on the ground. Speaking of the ground, you need to be careful as you walk around or else you might find yourself accidentally triggering a trap. Traps are hidden on the ground and they will only become visible until it is too late. Once activated, they will trigger an effect on your character such as freeze which freezes one of the items in your possession or unequip which unequips all of your equipped items at once.

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Something else to watch out for are the special terrain types you’ll run into. For example, if you over an updraft you will gain the floating condition which will be useful for avoiding some traps. Another type of terrain is the excavation point which you can attack to dig for an item. You might also find a smith or blacksmith who can level up the weapons and armor you throw into their space – they’re very rare but extremely useful.

Speaking of weapons and armor, be sure to review and equip them as needed in order to boost your attack and defense stats. The higher your attack the more damage you will deal. The higher your defense stat, the more you can lower the damage you receive. These are both very important because the more damage you can deal, the easier it will be to defeat enemies – higher defense is also a must the deeper you go into a dungeon.

As you defeat enemies you will gain experience. Collect enough and you will level up, thus improving your HP and power as well as your odds for survival. Your equipment will also gain experience and level up, and the higher its level the more useful it will be. If you find something that is very handy, stick with it and defeat as many enemies as you can so that you can improve it!

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Should you find yourself in a pickle you might want to use a spell card – that is if you’ve found one! For example, the Fantasy Seal can be used to cast a spell that will damage all enemies in the room. This will be great for those times when you find yourself in a crowded room with one too many enemies waiting to ruin your day.

As you defeat enemies their information will be added to a special book you will gain at the start of the game. The information will be vital in the long run since you will be able to record the strengths and weaknesses of your enemies so that you can make the most of your adventure. Be sure to review this info every now and then since you might not realize that your current strategy might be wrong when faced with a group of deadly foes.

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Before you dive into the story you might want to visit the dojo. Once there you will be able to take on some extra lessons to master the basics of the game. These include diagonal movement, how drinking eyedrops will allow you to spot traps, how the name of enemies can tell you how powerful they are (name-chan, name, name-san, name-sama and Big name being the titles), about talismans and their effects and weaknesses, and more.

You will also learn about Nito Fusion, a useful skill that will allow you to combine multiple items to create a new one. New items are a mystery until you have created them, but you can at least see the ingredients required for each one before you make them. On top of the ingredients, you will also meed Nito Points before you can use Nito Fusion. You can also use Nito Fusion to combine equipment, talisman an items to enhance them.

After you’ve finished training you can take on challenge dungeons at the dojo. This can be done either on your own or with your partner. The most important thing to remember for these challenge dungeons is that you should always use food and water only when it is desperately needed or else you might find yourself with nothing to eat during the final floors, highly increasing your odds of fainting.

The game includes a Platinum trophy, but due to the nature of the game (this is a roguelike dungeon crawler after all), you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time playing to unlock it. Sure, there’s trophies for starting the game and completing the tutorial, but the ones you will be busy with are for getting the main character and partner to level 99, as well as the ones for recording all enemies, characters, mix recipes and more.

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Overall, Touhou Genso Wanderer is a fun roguelike dungeon crawler with plenty of content to enjoy and a considerable challenge. One false move could be the end of your journey, but you will always learn from the experience and get ready to try it all over again. You’ll spend dozens of hours trying to see everything the game has to offer as you journey towards that shiny Platinum trophy at the end of the road.

This Touhou Genso Wanderer review is based on a PS Vita copy provided by NIS America.

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