Ah, Wanderlust: Rebirth. It's been too long since I played you, and I still have good memories...
But, every time I try to go back to playing Wanderlust: Rebirth (WR from now on), I end up remembering why I stopped playing it in the first place. Let me just get one thing out of the way: I do consider this game to be particularly good for what it is, a 2D top-down beat'em-up RPG. WR would be even better had the developpers not centered its gameplay on co-op with other players. And so I start explaining why I don't recommend WR...
First, as the entire game was developed with co-op in mind, there is actually content of the game that can't be accessed in solo gameplay. Yes: because everyone likes playing with randoms or, even better, can convince his friends to play a game only he seems to like.
The first point segues into the second: playing alone you get AI team-mates, but they are just a sliver short of being useful. The reason for this is that the AI teamsters tend to get killed incredibly easily by certain enemy types while not amounting to doing any real damage (or healing) to contribute, in a general way. They are also clearly not balanced to help you in the higher difficulties, meaning that it does end up as if they weren't really there. It even gets insulting when, as the Paladin, you can't even use your skills to bring them back to life, AS WOULD HAPPEN IF THEY WERE A REAL PLAYER INSTEAD. What's the point? Are the developpers telling us that only some classes work for playing solo?
Third, for a game with WANDERLUST as its name, you don't tend to wander much at all. Exploration is minimal, having most scenarios (or chapters, if I remember how the game calls it correctly,) being linear and driven by a quest that is very cliché. I'll admit that you DO wander through
a somewhat varied diversity of caves and forests, and that perhaps the setting of the game has a worthy backstory that ends up either unseen by the player or forcefully fed at him depending on perspective and situation, but you would expect initially to have a little more freedom exploring a world full of annoying monsters for you to beat up.
Fourth, the enemies. Maybe if this point was a little more balanced in favour of the single player or by how many players there are in the game, the earlier three points wouldn't stand out as much. But come on! Some enemies are plain ludicrous in their balance. Blood slimes, even if "rare" in the campaign, are about the most annoying thing in the arena game mode if you can't finish them off quickly, or rather, quicker than they can leech off your useless AI budies' health into their own; blood slimes can also one-shot you, given the right conditions. And this is simply the enemy that pops to mind as the most unbalanced: poisoning spiders and the annoying elf casters also come to mind, if you really want a list of sorts.
Fifth... is definitely the grind. You would not believe how much you have to grind in this game... and you'll hate why, too: you need 3 of the previous tier of items to craft a next-tier item. And you also need tons of crappy small parts semi-randomly to craft things. And you need a "blueprint" of the item you're crafting. And the ingame currency as well, lots of it. And then this consumes space in your already limited and otherwise useless inventory. See where I'm getting at? You're not even grinding to become more powerful, oh no: you're grinding to raise a few numbers just a little, so that coming across an elf mage isn't immediately lethal at least. Leveling up is instead done by how well you scored on a chapter, which then gives you X of a total of Y skillpoints that the chapter can give. Meaning that playing alone is much harder in addition to the lackluster AI buddies, especially when you have to rely on them since most other things in the game are broken. Heck, the only way it could be worse was if you decided to actually play WITHOUT the AI buddies, which I believe you can, but why would you? It's better to have 3 meatshields and possibly a buff or two for 10 seconds than to die in those 10 seconds just because everthing was targetting you and you didn't kill the most dangerous things as fast as you could.
Also, that I know of, the multiplayer scene is practically dead. Maybe you can get into a game with a stranger, MAYBE. Timezones apply, of course. Be wary of desynchs, too: those can be quite annoying, with everyone stuck waiting for something that will never happen because the other person doesn't have the exact same data.
So, why did I bother making this review? Simple reasons. Primarily to warn you not to buy this game, but also to tell you that most of the things I listed are promised not to be issues with the sequel of this game, the (as of the time) yet unreleased Wanderlust Adventures. Seriously, DON'T BUY THIS GAME. You'd do the developpers more of a favour to buy the next game and extra copies if you care about them (thus creating a larger player base for an inherently better game by gifting the extra copies) than if you bought this game right now, or ever.
(Edit: the Steam store finally has the aforementioned Wanderlust Adventures here, http://store.steampowered.com/app/240620
, in case you were wondering.)