|Ishin no Arashi Shippuu Ryoumaden|
|Release Date:||: November 18, 2010|
|Game Modes:||Single Player|
Ishin no Arashi Shippuu Ryoumaden (維新の嵐 疾風龍馬伝, Literally: "Storm of Reformation: Legend of the Whirlwind Ryoma") is the third entry in the Ishin no Arashi series. Like Mouri Motonari: Chikai no Sanshi, the game was released in the same year as a similarly themed Taiga drama.
Ken Kitami is the game's producer. Character designs were done by Mayuko Omori. MASA was the sound director. Kitami professed to not be very knowledgeable about history during the Tokyo Game Show stage event for this game. His personal request for the game's programmers and writers was to "make it easy for someone like [him] to digest and understand".
Consumers who used Gamecity Shopping's service for their purchase obtained a single postcard with the game.
Shippuu Ryomaden's presentation is an overall simplified version of Bakumatsu Shishiden's system. Exposition takes place during mandatory cutscenes between the cast, and the story progresses based on whether the player chooses to complete or ignore a given timed objective. Time progresses in a daily format. Every action and story event consumes a single in-game day. The player is free to follow or ignore historical events by selecting key dialogue options in the story.
Unlike Bakumatsu Shishiden, a dialogue backlog is available for players (Y). Character names are now highlighted and their biographies can also be easily accessed any time during story events (X). Story objectives are specially highlighted in yellow and are repeated at least twice to help beginners. These features are included to help players who are unfamiliar with the time era.
Ryoma Sakamoto is the titular character and the main protagonist. He is the only historical figure the player can control. The entire story is told in a total of four chapters, and each chapter is divided based on events which occurred in Ryoma's life:
- Late teens-early twenties; life in Tosa, introduction to Western ideologies
- Mid teens; sword training in Edo, first viewing of "black American ships"
- Early-mid twenties; Tosa Revolutionaries, leaving Tosa
- Mid twenties-death; period of wandering, devising a new, united Japan
The first playthrough follows Ryoma's historical accomplishments as a proponent of the Fair Rule ideology. Clearing the game once unlocks an original "what-if?" scenario of Ryoma supporting the Tokugawa shogunate. In either scenario, Ryoma's main goal is to persuade all sixteen domains in Japan to follow one of the two ideologies. To accomplish this, Ryoma must personally persuade the ruling governor and the vassals in each domain through his list of social connections.
The player can build Ryoma's connections by first earning a certain Trust level with individuals in towns and cities. When Trust levels are high enough, the person can introduce Ryoma to new people and places in Japan. Higher Trust levels may also trigger special character events with influential historical figures.
Trust levels can be built primarily through Persuasion sessions, the meat of Shippuu Ryomaden's gameplay. These sessions have been simplified greatly from previous titles to essentially be a maximum of five rock-paper-scissors competitions. Ryoma and his opponent can choose the "Shout" (Rock), "Listen" (Paper) or "Talk" (Scissors) card options. The effectiveness of these cards relies on the strength of a character's stats. Ryoma may occasionally predict his opponent's actions for the player at the start of each round.
If Ryoma and his opponent choose the same conversation option (i.e. Listen vs Listen), the numbered level on the card determines the victor of the match. Whoever has the higher number wins the given round. A mini-game sequence initiates if both characters play the same card with the same level. The player has to repeatedly press A to have Ryoma emerge as the match's victor.
Characters have the option of selecting a special "Cut Card" once per session. These cards can trigger a special event to completely override normal cards. Ryoma can initiate these cards during any session. Cut Cards are often limited to storyline related Persuasions for other characters. Persuasion sessions can only end in victory or defeat. To win, the player must turn the bar at the top of the dual screen completely yellow.
Persuasions can additionally be used to obtain hobby themed Cut Cards, to invite a traveling companion, to convert believers to a particular ideology, or to successfully finish storyline objectives. The topic of each discussion is chosen by the player within a scroll down menu. Each session consumes a day of in-game time.
Another Trust building feature available with certain characters is sword sparring sessions. Each match is only two rounds and they end once either character is hit once.
Controls are limited to pressing left or right on the directional pad, X to perform a battle cry, and A to strike. Battle cries are needed to raise the character's will power gauge located at the bottom of the screen, and will power is needed to perform attacks. These same controls are used to defend Ryoma against warriors of opposing factions, which happen frequently during the later chapters of the game.
Sword sparring sessions take place within a dojo and have boundaries for the match. If the player moves Ryoma too far to the left, he will receive a Fault. He can receive a maximum of two Faults per round; a third Fault forces him to concede defeat. Any other case involving combat omits the Fault system and are limited to a single round. If Ryoma is defeated in these cases, he will cancel his plans for the day to recover from his injury.
Women now have their own vocal shout as opposed to Bakumatsu Shishiden.
Ryoma's current destination is selected by the player through a point-and-click menu based screen. Moving is required to wander towns or to visit different provinces. Travel between cities or domains consumes an allotted amount of in-game days. Similar to previous titles, Ryoma's personal stats can be boosted by studying under a scholar, training at a dojo, or by traveling the land.
Scholars and dojos are specially marked for the player within the each location's menu screen. Fatigue is no longer a concern with Ryoma, meaning the player can choose to continue their activities at their own pace.
The menu interface also makes it easier for the player to locate and identify people within Ryoma's social connections. Each figure has a miniature biography and their current residence listed for their convenience. It can be selected by the player before moving to a location.
Load from a previous save. Three save slots are available.
Self-explanatory. The game's New Game plus feature grants the player an option to start with higher stats at Chapter 3 and the optional original scenario.
A feature accessed through the game's main menu. Includes a gallery event images, a collection of earned letters to Ryoma's sister, and explanations of famous places Ryoma may witness.
When the player activates historical events in their playthrough, they also unlock a modern day map listing for a given historical event. It encourages players who live in Japan to visit the place themselves if they wish to take their personal tour of Ryoma's life.
The game received a special stage event at Tokyo Game Show 2010. The producer and history idol Mikako chatted about the game on stage. A promotional figure for Ryoma named RYOMA appeared on stage to promote the game. Kitami later appeared as an honored guest with the producer for Ryomaden for the Creator's Summit event at HISTORICA 2010. Radio commercials for the game were regularly played during episodes of Neoroma & Musou.
Shippuu Ryomaden had a special collaboration with the live action film, Sakuradamon-gai no Hen. The film is based on the historical assassination of Chief Minister, Ii Naosuke, which occurred during the time period. 10 wining contestants could win two tickets to see the film and a special pamphlet.