Here I thought I was so clever for guessing that Tom the Hot Dog Guy would be one of the characters included in SEGA’s Shenmue update for their popular match-3 RPG SEGA Heroes (Free). Right from when Ryo Hazuki first made his appearance, I assumed that Lan Di would be one of the characters given that many other updates have included the main antagonist from each game. Well, it looks like I was wrong. The last Shenmue character to join the game is stepping out of the shadows, and it’s none other than Ren of Heavens from Shenmue 2.
I suppose it makes sense, though. Ryo has few real allies in the games, and of that number not many are what you would exactly call fighters. Ren fits the bill, and he’s pretty bad-ass in general. He’s the leader of the Heavens gang that is based in Beverly Hills Wharf in Aberdeen, and after a rocky beginning, he and Ryo end up working together reasonably well. What’s his long play? Well, who knows. Maybe we’ll get some of that in Shenmue 3.
Here in SEGA Heroes, Ren of Heavens is an Epic Green Striker. You’ll need fifty shards to unlock him, and as usual those can only be obtained through a limited Gem Chest or by playing his event that kicks off later today. If you haven’t been lucky enough to unlock any of the Shenmue characters yet, you’re going to be in a bad position for this event as they are the only amped characters this time around. It’s extremely likely that Ren will be easier to obtain after some time has passed, much like how Alicia and Welkin shards are both available on the regular maps as of the last update.
Ren’s a pretty solid Striker. His MAX Skill, Called Shot, causes every other ally to make an attack. It also grants 10 mana to any Downed allies, helping them get back up on their feet sooner. Ren’s Star Skill is the Rigged Coin Toss, which applies Taunt status to the ally with the most health and gives them a defense buff. This could be particularly useful if you want to designate a character who doesn’t have a taunt as a tank. If you use this skill when all of Ren’s allies are Downed, Ren gains the defense buff and deals some Physical damage. His Passive Skill is called In It For the Money. He takes less damage from enemies who have more than 50% of their health and deals extra damage to enemies who are below the 50% mark.
As you would expect from Ren, his SEGA Heroes incarnation is a bit of a tricky fellow. I can see strong potential for him if you fit him into the right sort of team, but I feel like he’s not someone you just want to throw into a team willy-nilly. I think it’s good to have characters like this sometimes, though. And I’m sure Shenmue fans will be very excited to have him on the roster. Ren is a real fan favorite, and for good reason. With this character, SEGA Heroes will now be moving on to the next franchise. What will it be? How much longer will we be made to wait for Kiryu and Majima, anyway? Only time will tell, friends.