Shiren's Still Rogue
Developed by ChunSoft, Shiren the Wanderer (a working title) is the latest RPG acquisition for Atlus USA. This Wii game is the third original title in the Shiren series and is your classic rogue-like or mystery dungeon title. However, it features a few changes to make it a little more manageable for a less hardcore crowd. The most obvious change is that Shiren will not restart back at level one after dying. He will still lose all items in his inventory, though if you are playing on easy mode, you can even keep those, only losing the items you gained while in the dungeon you were progressing through.
Shiren will not be alone in his adventures either. Not only will his constant ferret-like companion Koppa be with him, but he can have two other controllable party members as well. Shiren is a swordsman who is capable of dual wielding swords or using a sword and shield method. Asuka, his female assistant, battles using two-handed weapons with larger attack ranges than standard swords. His other party member Sensei will only go into battle dual wielding weapons.
Who does want a hat like that?
Though all dungeons are traversed in typical mystery dungeon style, towns and other areas allow for full free roaming. While exploring, players will have the option of using either the Wii Remote alone, adding the Nunchuk, or using the classic controller. Operating using the Wii Remote solo will require double mapping buttons, so it's recommended to use one of the other control schemes.
Steeped in Japanese mythology, Shiren is looking to offer more of a story experience than lots of other rogue-likes, if anyone plays these games for story. Most people, especially fans of Atlus titles, play games like Shiren for the hardcore gameplay experience. While this offering might be more forgiving than prior titles in the series, it still has a lot to offer the hardcore crowd. The game tracks your stats, from how many times you've died to how often you've swung your sword. On top of that, Shiren features an achievement tracker. Die of hunger, gain an achievement. It's an interesting system that will keep those looking for a challenge busy despite the fact they don't restart all over upon dying. Oh, there's also an optional 1000 (yes, one thousand) floor dungeon if the achievements aren't enough.
At the end of the day, Shiren the Wanderer is still a rogue-like game, but it offers a little more accessibility than most. As Atlus is still in the process of working on the localization, we were only able to play the Japanese version. We were assured that Atlus will keep the translation true to form when the game is released in the spring of 2010. Here's hoping Atlus listened to us when we suggested that Shiren's awesome hat be included as part of the Atlus Spoils program, because honestly, who wouldn't want that hat?