One of the biggest surprises to arrive with yesterday's relaunch of the PlayStation Network was an Xseed-published localization of the dungeon-crawling RPG Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls -- the first new entry in the series to arrive stateside in nearly a decade.

Dating back to 1981, Wizardry was a series of difficult dungeon crawlers for PC platforms, with ports later released for the NES and Super Nintendo. While the Wizardry franchise hasn't seen a new English-language release since the debut of Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, the series remains very popular in Japan, where many spinoffs and remakes continue to thrive across a number of platforms.

Wizardry's trademark difficulty lives on Labyrinth of Lost Souls, as I discovered earlier today. After carefully assembling and outfitting a party of six characters, I headed off to the first floor of the dungeon...only to lose half of my allies to a marauding band of rats. Limping back to the entrance, my remaining party members were murdered by kobolds. Only my main character was resurrected at the inn, with one hit point, and without enough gold to resurrect her friends or heal her wounds. I had, essentially, reached an unwinnable state in just five minutes of play.

Suffice to say, Etrian Odyssey this is not! Still, if you're the type who enjoys brutal difficulty, the game otherwise seems to be a solid take on the genre. Just don't expect any concession or mercy.