What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shiren The Wanderer is generally a sweet role-playing game in which you are out to do good, not evil. There are some moral choices to be made, as when you choose whether or not help out the hungry. As cute as the anime characters are, they do spew some foul language. And there's some drinking involved, too, although it's not especially integral to gameplay or to the story.
What's it about?
What was it like to live the adventurous life of a Wanderer in ancient Japan? In SHIREN THE WANDERER, you'll you'll travel through small villages, lush forests, and to a castle called Karakuri Mansion that's full of mystery and monsters. At the outset, you're given a strange carved stone key by Sensei, your uncle and master, which will help you out at the castle. As you speak to the townspeople, you'll see that some are frightened by what seems to be a curse emanated from Karakuri Mansion. One says you'll find gold there, while another says it has a headless ghosts. A grizzled old man says you'll find something far more valuable that gold -- if you dare to go there.
Is it any good?
In general, Shiren The Wanderer is a creditable game with lurid graphics and anime-style characters. Even its non-playable characters are rife with personality and have interesting things to tell you, not just about the game, but about the philosophy of life. However, you'll encounter language like 'bastard' and, as is often the case in RPGs, drinking and drunkenness. You can play the game with both the Wii remote and the old-fashioned controller attachments. And if you haven't played RPGs before, you'll do a lot of reading of text, healing yourself, and arming yourself with various weapons like swords and shields as you progress through the castle. As you make your a way, you can assemble a party of up to three characters, all of which you can control during battle.
While there's a delight in seeing this Japanese series brought to these shores, those who have a history of playing RPGs will see that there's not enough that's new and different here to warrant endless excitement. Still, when you meet the ghosts and characters like the cheeky Asuka, the girl warrior/wanderer, you'll definitely be compelled to continue.
Families can talk about...
Which of the three characters would you like to be, Shiren, Sensei, or the helpful ferret, Koppa? Why?
If you were immersed in this ancient Japanese fantasy world, where would you live, in the village or in the castle? Why?
Which of the controllers would you use, the old school pad or the Wii remote and nunchuk?