Etrian Odyssey is definately one of the most challenging games I have ever played. Whilst I can’t picture it being on any other console, be warned that this game is not at all viable for playing on the move…. unless you walk around busy streets with your DS up to your face.
Graphics: The graphics for this game are blandish overall. When you enter the Labyrinth, you are greeted with a mildly plain forest, which you walk around in for most of the game. As you will see in a picture later on, it is lush and detailed, but just doesn’t cut the mark for most games, even for the Nintendo DS. However, there are a few gems in this game. The character designs, which you don’t see very much are very well detailed, so much that it is surprising they wern’t incorporated just a little bit more in the game. Also, the background to the menus and towns are very nice as well. Overall, nothing very spectacular and I would expect more, even from a game like this.
Music: Same as graphics, it is blandish overall. Don’t get me wrong, some of the music such as the battle themes are good for awhile, however once you hear them over and over, which I can almost guarantee you will, they really do get annoying. Especially the Labyrinth themes. For example, the first Labyrinth theme has been etched into my head as I have spent a lot of time in the lower levels. There may be variety later on in the game, but it is lacking in the first parts.
Storyline: To be honest, the storyline feels that it has been put on at the last minute, but it doesn’t actually matter as I couldn’t see them incorporating one really into the genre of game anyway.
Gameplay/Controls: Now, I think it is time that we get over all the negative aspects of the game and get onto the part where this game shines. Gameplay in the game seems old-school, you walk around on a map and fight with monsters. This is basically all you do and it may sound bland… but believe me, it is far from easy. You start off making a party of 5 members (You can have more in your guild but only 5 out at a time) and you head out to the Labyrinth where you start your first quest of drawing the map of the area. That is correct, there is no longer a need for pen and paper to draw a game map, you must rely on the touchscreen map to draw in the maps which can be used for your own benefit and even quests.
The battle system is set out just like the old style games did. It isn’t a bad system and even despite it being out of date, it definately adds to the challenge of the game. The most challenging factor is how strong the enemies can be whilst how weak your players can be. It is increasingly challenging even from the first floor to get past it, and gets more difficult when you have FOE’s (High Level bosses) appearing starting from the second floor. To be honest, I have only made it up to the fourth floor and I am already getting aggitated at how hard this game can be. But, it definately makes a nice change from the easy games that are in the market.
Travelling around the map uses the directional buttons and are done in first person. Drawing the maps are done with the stylus and is the only real purpose of the interactive screen.
Personal Opinion: To put it simply… very very very difficult and frustrating, which I am sure would take at least 60+ hours to complete. (As an estimate)
Personal Opinion: 8/10
Total: 23/35 (66% – B)
Special Thanks To:
- The Etrian Odyssey Official Site for Images and their team for making this game!