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Etrian Odyssey IV and the nostalgia of the grindfest

primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' BoopinDetroit, MI Icrontian
edited Jul 2013 in Gaming
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I got a copy of Etrian Odyssey IV for the 3DS for my birthday. It was on my wishlist because I've always wanted to dig into an Etrian Odyssey game, and this was the most current.

I've never played an Etrian Odyssey game, so I didn't know what to expect. I assumed it was a standard jRPG, which I love. I had also heard whispers of the grindi-ness of it, which I also love.

I had no idea what I was in for. This is a 3D first-person dungeon crawler, like Legend of Grimrock. It's so old-school, you have to draw the map with the 3DS pen while you explore. Attack, Magic, Item, Skill, Escape are your options. I am in love.

There are no city maps; you go to the city, and it's basically just a list of options. Store, Inn, Guild, Bar, and so on. It's a bunch of menus that are just there to make town visits as efficient as possible. You don't need to walk around a generic fantasy town, watching the boy chasing the butterfly around the well, avoiding the people on pre-rendered tracks who say the same things over and over again. All you want to do is drop off your load of swag, upgrade your shit, get your quests, and leave. It's perfect.

The overworld consists of a grid that you map as you go over the squares. It has a coordinate system and you can get quests that ask you to explore B-2 or F-4, etc.

It actually reminds me a great deal of Might & Magic II, which was one of my absolute favorite Genesis games.

If you're looking for something grindey and nostalgic to pass the time on your handheld, you may want to check this game out. I need friends to play with anyway so we can Streetpass it up and unlock stuff.
UPSLynx

Comments

  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    I love, love, LOVE the Etrian Odyssey series. I don't play a ton of grindfests, but when I play standard RPGs I grind like crazy to get ahead of the curve. the EO games hit a sweet spot in me, and once I start playing I can't put them down. They're the perfect mobile game to me - you pick it up, play a little bit, turn it off when you need to. No commitment, no story to sit through, none of that stuff that requires long attention.

    And they're EXTREMELY challenging. The first time I found an FOE in EO2 I waltzed into it feeling all tough and bad, and I got WRECKED. It took a long time before I was ready to take on that fight, and I felt like a frigging champion when I beat it.

    EO2 is still my favorite of the four games, but I haven't played IV yet. It's on my list of games to get, and I can't wait to jump into a new EO game.

    And the music! Some of my favorite melodies from the 3DS

    Dat piano cover:
    primesuspect
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    @TheRedburn came up to me last night and said, "Dad I found a copy of Etrian Odyssey III in my DS case. I have no idea how I got it". SCORE. Another one to play.

    DEM FOES. They are SO hard. These games are unforgiving and kind of break the RPG convention; you waltz into a new area that you gained access to and you're just NOT READY for it. There's a real sense of danger and it forces you to be more conservative in your approach to things. You have to go back to previous zones, grind like crazy, and get ready for the next areas. Good stuff.
    UPSLynx
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    yeah seriously. The idea that you start a new area and it's just going to WRECK YOU no matter what is so awesome. Took me so long to get used to that, but after awhile I'd just NOPE out of everything just because I knew I'd get my butt kicked. FOEs are a great mechanic for that - everybody just assumes boss battles are things you can deal with, but you seriously cannot in EO. It takes so much effing grinding to beat FOEs that it almost doesn't feel worth it, but once you defeat them it's the best.

    I also love how brutal the game can be with lost progress. I don't know how it is with EO4, but in EO2 you had to have specific items to warp back to town. So I'd go and grind levels for an hour or so, revealing map and all that, and one time I was 2 hours into it and realized I was out of the warp item, so I back tracked the entire way, down three floors to find the warp area at the beginning of the level. I got to the level of the warp, but got into a fight I couldn't escape from, and was killed. All that progress lost in an instant. I raged so hard, but I went right back to it. Love it so much.
    primesuspect
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Jul 2013
    Yep, sounds exactly like EO4: You can either use the Geomagnetic Pole at the beginning of the major dungeons, or buy an item to warp you back. The cheap one warps you back to the Pole, which is essentially the same as the expensive one that warps you back to town. If you're in deep to the dungeon, you NEED the warp item or you cannot get back without walking.

    There is something TREMENDOUSLY satisfying about going back to the beginning zones and just wiping out all the FOEs you could never get the first seventy times around. You're like "YEAH, HOW'S THAT, FUCKER?"
    UPSLynx
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Oh god I hate this game so much I love it. You can't even for one second get cocky. You think "Oh, I don't need to go all the way back and heal, I can just take this last monster" and then BAM you're dead.

    Getting to this third major boss is a TOTAL BITCH. F this game!

    I love this game.
    UPSLynx
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Etrian Odyssey IV beaten

    Man, what an awesome trip.
    image

    The end boss took two tries. I beat it, but I have New Game+ and there's still a whole new slew of quests to take on after the end.

    I did something unusual, something I usually don't do in JRPGs... I usually get pretty attached to my characters and if given the choice to swap them out with new ones along the journey, "retiring" old ones, I opt out and just keep trucking with the ones I have. This time, I swapped out my characters twice and I'm glad I did. It set me back a few hours in lost level grinding, but I finally found some really high-damage character and skill combos that enabled me to just plow through FOEs towards the end like butter, and enabling me to beat the end boss on only my second try without doing any additional grinding (just changed my strategy a bit).

    Anyways, I beat it just in time, cause...
    image
    UPSLynx
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Oh, and now I can one-shot some of the FOEs from the first two zones. Fuckers.
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    I didn't even know it had new game+! I really need to get IV
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Man FUCK THIS GAME. FUCK IT IN ITS FACE.

    Hint: When you get to the post-game content, and the new bonus labyrinth, and you get to the part where you go 30 minutes through the labyrinth and then get to a dead end with a bunch of human statues, DO NOT INVESTIGATE THEM. Dammit shit fuck ass.
    RyderUPSLynx
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Played through IV twice, fully, and still can't beat the very end end boss; I'm max level, so I dunno.

    I plugged in Etrian Odyssey III and now I'm hooked. Even though it's stepping back graphics-wise, it's pretty much the same mechanics, so I was able to jump right in and start grinding. SO GOOD.
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    Get EO2!!! It's so good!
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    THIS SOUNDTRACK I CAN'T EVEN

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
  • I will have this on repeat over and over and over again. THANKS PRIME. >:)
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