The rundown on what we know about the upcoming dungeon crawler/RPG for Wii.
Baroque is an action-RPG originally developed for the Sega Saturn in 1998, then ported to the Playstation, though both versions never saw American shores. Now thoroughly revamped for the PS2 and Wii, the game will get its North American debut on March 18th.
Baroque's hero and your player, known as The Protagonist, is an amnesiac awakened in a scorched future Earth which has been destroyed by "The Blaze." The Blaze is only known as a "catastrophe" that wiped out all remnants of human society and life in 2032. The Blaze also had the effect of altering human reality, leaving a world constantly changing, and inhabitants who have gone mad as a result. The "distorted fantasies" of those who remained in the world are called baroques, and some become so obsessed with their baroques that they are overcome by them, altering their physicality and turning them into mutants. These creatures, known as Meta-Beings, wander throughout the burnt world, but they infest the Neuro Tower, which was previously the main facility of the religious cult "The Order of Malkuth." The protagonist is ordered by The Archangel to go to the lowest level of the Neuro Tower to heal his sins and the world's.
It remains to be seen if the game can draw on the religious allusions and apocalyptic themes of its plot, or if the complicated story is merely the backdrop to Baroque's character designs and battle system. Baroque fits in the dungeon crawler genre as there is one dungeon to explore, the Neuro Tower, with a random layout every time you play. Little has been revealed about the actual combat, though you do have an Angelic Rifle and a sword, and your items and weapons have speed, range, and accuracy stats in the typical RPG fashion.
Baroque handles death a little bit differently than other RPGs; when you die, the game is not over. You will lose any items you just obtained, but you will continue playing after you are revived. The plot of the game is said to unfold even as you die, as it is another method of "progress." This may just mean you'll get some extra cut scenes whenever you're revived, or it could also mean that dying is sometimes strategically desirable.
The Neuro Tower is said to be constantly changing as a result of the distorted reality caused by The Blaze, but this probably just means that you will traverse several randomized versions of the same dungeon throughout the game. Baroque features an auto-mapping feature to keep track of your location. There also seem to be a few objectives or diversions outside of the Neuro Tower.
The Wii version of Baroque will include Wii-specific controls, including "subtle motion control integration for power attacks," though you can use the Classic Controller if you don't want to play with the Remote and Nunchuk. Baroque ships in mid-March.