With America due to get Shiren The Wanderer 3 on Wii in the next week or so, I've been insanely jealous. After all, no European publisher has picked Shiren's latest adventure up, which is a bloody disgrace if you ask me.
So, I've plumped for the next best thing - Shiren The Wanderer 3 Portable on PSP. I ordered it last week from Japan and it arrived this morning. I've put around five hours in today and it's wonderful stuff.
Shiren's first outing on PSP is a port of the Wii version, although I understand there's a handful of extra dungeons - too early to say for sure, as I'm still fighting my way through the game's early levels.
The biggest difference with Shiren 3 over the last two outings is Chun Soft have made the game more accessible to newcomers. The player has the option of two difficulty settings. Easy allows you to keep all your items and level when you die, while normal strips you of your items when you kick the bucket, but your level remains.
It's a radical departure for a series which is famous for being a ruthless challenge. Of course, I've plumped for the normal setting, as one of Shiren's charms has always been the fear factor.
Like Shiren 2 on DS, Shiren 3 features a hub town. Although I've had a nose about, I haven't come across much to do in the town yet. There's a warehouse, a bank and a merchant but little else. Of course, I'm sure more will open up as progress is made.
My first game ended when I starved to death - there doesn't seem to be a place in town where I can buy riceballs, so that was fun! Nice to see some things never change :)
I've also discovered there is a 1000 floor dungeon - although again I will need to clarify.
The language barrier is throwing up a few problems as far as the story goes, although thanks to the Shiren 3 Wiki, I can at least identify items.
I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that a company such as Rising Star pick the Wii version up and release it in Europe. Considering the amount of sub-standard software sitting on store shelves, it would be a crime if a quality title such as this didn't make it to Europe.
I'll post back when I discover new things.