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    Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released Jul 05, 2012

    The 4th entry in the Etrian Odyssey RPG series, and the first for the 3DS.

    infinitespark's Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (Nintendo 3DS) review

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    Etrian Odyssey IV Review

    I started the Spark Guild on May 4. I created a party consisting a Landsknecht, Fortress, Medic, Runemaster, and Dancer. My adventure started at the Old Forest Mine, where the guild’s first order of business was to mine Iridescent Ore. A fellow explorer named Whirlwind provided me with a rough map of the cave and the location of where I can mine the ore. I carefully mapped out the cave, battled monsters, avoided the Nomad Baboons, mined the ore, and returned back to Tharsis to report a successful job back to the Count. The start was just the beginning of a two month long journey that took me to four lands with its enormous labyrinths, numerous caves, unlocking new classes and skills, collecting and selling items/drops for new items/weapons/armor, completing side quests and count missions, countless edits to the map editor, and an epic battle against the sleeping titan to finally bring peace to land.

    Etrian Odyssey IV is a dungeon crawler, turn-based role-playing game. Like many games in the dungeon crawler genre, you enter into a cave/labyrinth where you explore and solve the dungeon’s puzzles and battle numerous monsters. The gameplay may seem simple and shallow at first, but as the game progresses, players will find a lot of content to deal with and a surprising amount of strategy and depth with party constitution and battle system. EO4 does a great job in allowing the player to customize his party and however they would construct the dungeon with the map editor tools in order to accomplish whatever goal the player is going after.

    One of the important tasks players will have to establish is to find the right blend of classes to run their party out as. Players start off with eight classes to choose from, and can unlock three more after they defeat the bosses of the new lands they discover. Each class comes with their own specifics that the player must keep in mind as they mix and match their party. Some classes prefer to be up on the front line, some classes are better on the rear line, a few are comfortable in either line, and each class is limited with the weapons and armor they can be equipped with. Later on in the game, the player can choose to set a subclass for a member, which adds in a limited set of skills from another class. Again, this is up to the player to determine if adding a certain subclass to a member will provide an advantage to use in battle. The great part of constructing a party is that it is up to the player to find the right mixture and style with their party. Players can choose to be aggressive, conservative, or anywhere in between. EO4 provides enough options with the eleven classes to suit the player’s play style.

    Another neat tool that EO4 implements to suit the player is the map editor. As the player explores the dungeon/land, they will encounter many events along the way that they may wish to include to note on the map. The game provides a lot of tools for the player to document what they have encountered on the map. How detailed the player wants to include on their map is up to the player themselves. There are different colors to indicate which area is land, which is water, and two other colors to allow players to indicate other items. There are other tools to draw walls, note crevices, spots to collect items, F.O.E.s, etc. A well-crafted map can assist the player to know where to go when they need to backtrack for certain quests or to accumulate items to forge new items, armor, or weapons at the Atelier.

    Part of what makes EO4 an excellent game is its excellent level design. EO4’s lands, caves, and the labyrinths are well designed with obstacles and branching paths. The labyrinths in this game are large and will take players a lot of hours to full explore the ins and outs of one floor. The developers do a great job with the location of the crevices in the labyrinths, providing a “checkpoint” for the players to breathe after a hard trek on a certain area of the labyrinth. Each land’s labyrinth has their unique obstacles and solutions to those obstacles. In Lush Woodlands, the player has to entice a grizzly bear to chase after them to clear some fallen trees blocking a path. In Golden Lair, destroying the pile of burning lizard scales not only clears an obstacle, but changes the climate of the floor where the areas of water freeze over as ice, which opens up new paths and areas.

    All of the exploration would not be exciting if the battles are lame. Luckily, EO4 features an exciting battle system which offers an ample amount of strategy depending on the player’s party make up, bursts, and member’s skills. Typically, the player encounters a battle after a certain amount of steps taken in a dungeon. At each turn, the player chooses a command for each member. The party and monsters battle each other until one side is defeated. Some monsters are resistant or weak against certain attack or element types. The player will have to manage his party makeup, member’s skill set, and bursts selected to take advantage of the monster’s weaknesses. The game does a great job in mixing up different type of monsters the player faces in battle, forcing the player to think on how to approach defeating the different monsters.

    The game randomizes which unit goes which in battle. Unfortunately, the randomization of which unit goes when may prove disadvantageous to players if they were planning to approach the enemy one way, but then enemy counters in the middle of the turn which may throw the player off of his gameplan. Fortunately, those instances are few and far in-between. Players can also utilize the burst command, which gives the member or party certain attacks or buffs at the beginning of a turn. A combination a using bursts, skills, and exploiting the monster’s weakness is the key of winning battles, and is also part of what makes EO4 so much fun.

    EO4 also throws in F.O.E.s for each land and dungeon, which serves as the game’s mini-bosses. The player usually faces the F.O.E. one-on-one, though there are instances where another F.O.E. can enter into a battle if the battle is within its path. F.O.E.s are shown as arrowed icons on the map and walk a determined path in the dungeon or land and glow different colors, which tells the player if their party’s level is lower, equal, or higher than the F.O.E.s level. Battles against F.O.E.s tests the player’s mettle, as many F.O.E. battles can take a while for the player to continually to play out their gameplay as they whittle away the F.O.E.’s health.

    The boss battles at the end of each labyrinth are epic in that it really makes the player stay on top of their game to eventually defeat them. Each boss has a ton of health and some of them have no apparent weaknesses to exploit. This requires players to also be resourceful with their use of bursts, skills, and items. Each boss has their own powerful move they pull out when their health gets low which will probably catch many players off-guard the first time they face them. However, the bosses do repeat the pattern and will give off signs of when they’ll perform their most powerful attacks for the player to prepare their party to act against it. EO4 finds the right note on how stiff the battles should be against the player.

    EO4 also provides a ton of other challenges the player can choose to accept as they progress through their journey. The bar provides plenty of side quests for the player to partake and is a nice source of income and experience. The game also keeps a compendium of items and monsters that the player has encountered during the gameplay for reference. There’s also a bonus labyrinth and a bonus ending to earn after the player defeats the final boss of the main story.

    Unfortunately, if you were hoping for an emotional, rollercoaster story with character development, you won’t see that here in EO4. The story doesn’t really start until you reach the second labyrinth and none of the characters of your party get to express themselves much in the story. That is probably the only major complaint I can put onto this game. There are also small complaints, such as a lack of monster variety and the frequent monster encounter rates, but they do not diminish the strong gameplay and tons of content EO4 provides.

    My journey ended on July 10. I spent many hours in a day and many days in a week immersing myself into EO4. I kept going back in to explore and create the game’s dungeons, battled many monsters, using different party lineups, deciding on which bursts and skills to use, debating on when to purchasing a new weapon or armor, taking in and completing numerous side quests, and eventually defeating the end boss in a lengthy and challenging bout. Though my journey has ended, I hope that others get the chance to partake an epic journey with their guild.

    Other reviews for Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (Nintendo 3DS)

      Unique, deep RPG combat with a flat story and world 0

      Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan tells a very simple story: you take control of a new group of explorers tasked with reaching the mythical Yggdrassil tree that towers in the distance. You meet a variety of characters to aid you in your quest, both in town at the various shops and guilds and out in the unexplored lands, who are often just a little too undeveloped to be interesting. Your missions come from the Count of Tharsis, the town where your journey begins, and slowly bring you throug...

      2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

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