Touhou: Genso Wanderer (PlayStation 4) Review

By André Eriksson 14.03.2017 2

Review for Touhou: Genso Wanderer on PlayStation 4

For Touhou fans, it is always equally fun to see the girls in different new incidents across a variety of genres. This time, the normally bullet hell-dodging girls are seen trying to find their way in a complex ever-changing maze, as the world has turned upside down after a recent "incident." A weird rainy tower has appeared, which seems to be the cause behind all this, and it is up to Reimu to once more resolve the situation.

The bullet dodging girls have been seen in many different genres through the power of the wide array of Touhou fan games. Touhou Genso Wanderer brings them into dungeon crawling territory, and while the two genres are very different, they both touch on what makes Touhou appealing to a modern crowd. They are old-school, known to be tough as nails, and both benefit greatly by the cuteness of the varied crowd that makes up the Touhou universe.

Touhou Genso Wanderer plays very much on these two aspects when it makes a mazelike dungeon crawler that takes all of the elements of games from yesteryear and uses them to create cruelly high difficulty levels that extend play time. It delivers a strong arcade-like feeling with the option of having a one-try style of gameplay, which means that any single mistake can throw players back hours of progress, which is sort of a problem.

The thing with old-school games was that they were kind of short, so even if you lost, only about half an hour of progress tops was gone for an average player. While an elite player could lose far more progress, that was uncommon, and such players were not just trying to beat the game, but trying to chase unbelievable high scores.

Screenshot for Touhou: Genso Wanderer on PlayStation 4

Fans of Touhou are used to punishing game mechanics, and to these fans, it might feel be completely welcomed, but for a wider audience, it is something to keep in mind. This isn't a modern dungeon crawler, this is an old-school arcade roguelike dungeon crawler, with all the cruel mechanics used back then to add to the difficulty.

With this out of the way, and if still interested, Touhou Genso Wanderer offers a full DRPG experience with an adorable cast of characters, enemies to fight, and a story that is slightly more present than in other titles in the genre. The game has everything older dungeon crawlers offered, mixed with some great RPG elements such as villages, shops, and places to upgrade the gear.

Beside the story mode, there is also an extra treat for those who truly loved the old-school dungeon crawlers: a classic mode in which all objects in true old-school roguelike fashion are unknown and have to be tried to figure out the effects, which can lead to some less-than-optimal potions during the worst possible situations. It is fun and interesting, and is certainly going to be a home run for fans of the older roguelike titles.

While it has a lot to offer Touhou fans and old-school gamers, there is not much for more casual players. This is to be expected with the Touhou brand, but it is worth stressing that this game is really punishing. If still interested after hearing this, Touhou Genso Wanderer is going to be a certain hit!

Screenshot for Touhou: Genso Wanderer on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While Touhou Genso Wanderer is not a game with wide mass appeal, it is exactly everything its fan base wants from a dungeon crawler. It is a punishing old-school roguelike at its absolute finest, starring the beloved Touhou girls, and what else could fans of a franchise that wears these elements as a badge of honour ask for? For everyone else, the thought of losing hours of progress might leave a horrible aftertaste.




NIS America


Turn Based RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Hows the actually rogue gameplay? Dont care if its hard, mostly wondering if its fun, upgrades are interesting etc.

Upgrades are mostly really vanilla things like weapon upgrades and temporary, or sometimes permanent, buffs to attacks and visibility of maps, cursed equipment and such. It is obvious that it aims towards being like older entries in the genre rather than new ones. Think Dragon Crystal, if you have played it, and you have a very good idea about what you are looking into when it comes to upgrades and the rogue gameplay.

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

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