Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
Etrian Odyssey IV is a dungeon crawler RPG on the 3DS which is highly influenced by the old school dungeon crawlers of yesteryear.
The first thing I noticed when I started playing the game is that it threw me straight into the deep end. This is my first ever Etrian Odyssey game I’ve played and I was struggling to figure out what was going on. For the first time since I can remember I had to constantly go back and check the game manual (yes, the game manual) to figure out what I was supposed to do. It kinda felt like that the game just assumed I had played a previous game in the series and only felt the need to give me a tutorial from something that was new to the series.
The second thing I noticed about this game, is that it will kick your ass! I was playing the game on the easy difficulty setting and straight from the start there are monsters that can kill your party members in one hit. You will die and you will die a lot!
The game also doesn’t look that good either. Whilst playing the game I was trying to figure out whether this was just a 3D port of an original DS game, or a game built for the 3DS (turns out it was the latter). The game consists of a bunch of static images which represent your party, NPCs and locations whilst not in a dungeon. And whilst you adventuring in dungeons of the overworld you get a very grid heavy 3D environment made with very low res textures.
The battles on the other hand are a pleasure to look at. With great monster designs and animations, battles tend to be visual highlight and it’s fun to discover creatures you haven’t seen before. But it would have been nice to see your party also get the 3D model treatment, because outside of the menu static images you don’t see them at all, as the game is in “first person” view.
Though there is a lot that I have mentioned so far that would turn away many gamers, there are a couple of crowds that this game would absolutely appeal to. Those crowds are the old school RPG fans, and tabletop RPG gamers. If you want a game that reminds you what it was like to play a game back in the NES/SNES days you would be right at home with Etrian Odyssey IV. And if you are a tabletop RPG gamer who wants to have a similar experience on your own on the go, this is absolutely also the game for you.
The reason why I bring up tabletop RPG gamers is because of the unique feature of the Etrian Odyssey series where you have to maintain your own map by using the touchscreen on the 3DS. When you travel through a dungeon the bottom screen will show a blank map in which you have to fill out using the tools given to you whilst you explore. This brings a level of immersion to dungeon crawlers that I have never experienced before and is a definite highlight for the game.
Your either going to love or hate this game and with these games it’s hard to decide whether you are going to drop the money to get it if you don’t ultimately know whether you are going to like it or not. Thankfully Atlus has made it easier for you to decide whether this is your cup of tea or not. On the Nintendo 3DS eShop you can get the demo right now. But what’s special about this demo is that not only does if it give you a hefty amount of content to play for free, it also allows you to transfer your save data and progress to the full version of the game if you decide to purchase it. This is a great idea from Atlus that I think more developers should employ, but ultimately this idea allows you to decide whether Etrian Odyssey IV is a game for you or not.
Your either going to love or hate Etrian Odyssey IV. If you are into hardcore old school JRPGs this is for you. If you are more used to the more modern story driven JRPGs this is not really for you. But if you are even slightly interested in this game get the demo, see what you think.
- Tranfer Demo progress
- Map maintenance
- Lacking in presentation
- Not new player friendly
- Extreme Difficulty