Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded is a rebooted version of Touhou Genso Wander as well as a compilation of all its extra content (both existing and new) at the same time. It’s out now on Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, marking the debut of the game on Nintendo’s console. Here’s our review.
My time with Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded wasn’t actually my first trip to the world of Genso Wanderer – I initially played and reviewed it on the Playstation Vita (you can still find that review here). The “reloaded” edition isn’t available on Sony’s handheld, but I suppose that the Switch is taking over the handheld mantle for this release. I played the game on a PS4 though, which was my first big screen experience with the game after my initial Vita playthrough.
Speaking of which, the Vita got two (paid) story expansions that are still available entitled “Futo Mononobe and the 7 Trials” and “Bullet Reporter”. Word of warning though – it doesn’t turn the Vita version into the Reloaded edition, which contains a ton of extra content not available for the Vita – including story content. I never played the Futo Mononobe and Bullet Reporter stories myself, and was surprised to see they had been seamlessly woven into the existing main story of the game. Both also give you the option of selecting new player and partner characters afterwards, which is a nice touch as well.
In addition to these existing story expansions, three new story campaigns have also been added to the Reloaded edition. Reloaded also adds several more partner characters into the mix, which means there’s a lot of brand new content to explore if you’re invested in the Touhou universe already. It might be a little daunting to newcomers, but this Reloaded edition feels like it was made with a lot of fan service in mind.
Speaking of which – some gameplay features have also been tweaked a little, my favorite of which being the ability to enjoy better fast travel options using the in-game map. Crafting’s been expanded as well, though the core formula remains accessible enough even to those who generally don’t play roguelikes.
Visually, I wasn’t too impressed with Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded on the PS4. Maybe I’m spoiled, but the game looks too much like the Vita version, even in its newly polished form. Visual-novel style cutscenes tell much of the story and the characters themselves look good, but the 2D backdrops for the ingame sections feel less than inspired. I know it’s hard to find a roguelike title with visuals that are NOT 16-bit influenced, but there’s not enough of a jump up from the old Vita version here.
Value-wise, you have to consider how invested you already are in Touhou Genso Wanderer. If you don’t already own a version, then this is the perfect edition to jump in with. If you already have the game on PS4 or Vita, then it feels a bit like an overpriced collection of DLC content – but one where you’re forced to pay for the core game again, leaving a sour taste in your mouth. It’s a great way to experience the Touhou universe if you’re interested in it, but I’m wishing it was available as an upgrade as well – it feels like that would be a better fit for the fans.