Summary: What is on the surface a goofy-cute, cartoony game infused with Japanese tropes and cultural flavor is actually a savage and devious Rogue-like game. This is good news if you have felt coddled by easy games that hold your hand to get to the end. Mystery Dungeon will beat you. A lot. And that is the fun of a Rogue-like game. You will die and lose your great +12 sword, awesome shield and the rest of your great loot and find yourself back at level one at the beginning.
Summary: If you enjoy playing Nethack, ADOM, Angband or one of the other roguelikes then you'll almost certainly enjoy this game. Also if you're a vetern gamer or just like games that have more of a bite, then this one is for you. Like other popular roguelikes, this game can be brutal. When you die , you're back to level one, and all your items are wiped out. It does allow you to store items in warehouses though, which softens the blow.
Summary: I don't think any game has ever inspired such a love/hate relationship with my DS. I still play this game, despite having bought it since its release. I can't stop playing it, mostly because the game is designed to be played in short sessions and it is very easy to "relearn" when necessary. Do you have to be a huge fan of rogue-like games to enjoy Shiren? No, but it helps - especially when you die. A lot. Constantly.
Summary: It's a classic Roguelike on the Nintendo DS. What more needs to be said? If you are not familiar with Roguelike games, just know the following things: (1) They are completely unforgiving (2) They teach and reward patience and experimentation (3) They are not everyone's cup of tea If you're not sure, try one of the free PC games out there -- NetHack, Angband, Moria, or the original Rogue.
Summary: For those with appropriate expectations, Shiren the Wanderer provides a long lasting, challenging experience. However, those who are looking for an RPG along the lines of current offerings by Square Enix and others will likely be frustrated by its inherrently risky nature. Death in the game results in a complete loss of all your possessions, with the exception of any items placed in a rare jar or those previously stowed in the few scattered warehouses.