Monday, February 15, 2010

Scary hardcore gaming

In my explorations of the varied world of gaming I have run in to some really hardcore stuff. You might remember the near impossible achievements in Mega Man 9 or the crazy overpowered enemies in Etrian Odyssey. Which I somehow managed to overcome but this latest fascination of mine takes the price, Shiren the Wanderer.

Its a roguelike Japanese rpg from the Mystery Dungeon series, but unlike its more modern companions like the Mystery Dungeon games starring Chocobos and Pokemon or the new Shiren for Wii, this DS game is a true rougelike which strictly follows all of the conventions. Which means when you die your character is bumped back to level one, you lose all your equipment and you have to start over from the first village. Add to this that the game is balls hard and unfair in every possible way. There are enemies that turn your rare items into riceballs, undetectable traps that makes your weapons rust to pieces and enemy attacks that lowers your Hp to 1 no matter what kind of armor youre wearing.

Much of this unforgivable gameplay probably has to do with the game being a port of a 15 year old japan exclusive SNES game. Not all tho, for they have made it even worse. While the original had three save slots à la Zelda which could be manipulated to some success to make the game manageable this is removed from the remake. You lose your lvl 99 sword which you spent the past 10h working on, its gone. Unless (and this is new for the DS game) you have a friend who just happens to own a copy of the game along with some kick ass skills, who can come and rescue your corps using the DS wireless features. But the likelihood of that with a niche game with this level of difficulty is close to nil.