Game: Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth
System: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG (First Person Dungeon Crawler)
Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS
4th August 2016 (Japan)
17th October 2017 (US)
What is it about?
The fifth main entry in the Etrian Odyssey series, you control a party of five and make your way up a huge labyrinth known as “Yggdrasil”.
Completion Hours: Around 30 hours (for main story)
There has always been a similar pattern between all Etrian Odyssey: story is bare-minimum. There are small snippets of story for each time you enter a new stratum, but it won’t really contribute much to the lore or the story. Surprisingly, NPCs this time around are slightly interesting (like the bunny girl in the inn) that in some ways it will leave a good impression on you. All in all, do not expect a story-driven game when you play Etrian Odyssey. Etrian Odyssey games have always been about exploring and climbing.
This. Is. Etrian Odyssey!!!! *Kicks self into the hole* This is an Etrian Odyssey game, what more could I say about it except that it is a first person dungeon crawler with the ability to draw your own map. Still, this is the latest installment (as at 2017) so surely there’s some changes or improvements, right? You bet it is!
Let’s start from the beginning. A first and new to the series (finally), you will be able to choose Race for your characters. Each race has a pre-set of class that they can use, but you can always switch them to another class during mid-game. Also, each race has their own set of skills, combining together with the classes’ base skills. Once you’ve completed the second stratum, you will unlock Master Class, which you choose between two different types of Master Class to further gain more new skills for your character. Uniquely, this time around you will be able to customize your character portraits and also their voice. So if you’re the type who loves to swap colours for your characters, this will be a nice addition for you.
In the previous Etrian Odyssey games, there are three main gathering points: chop, take and mine. This time in Etrian Odyssey V, there are new additional points that you can interact with and gather them as food. Food are items that can help you recover HP and TP. However, the downside is that you can only use them during exploration but not during battles. Food has their own separate storage space in your bag so you won’t have to worry about limited inventory spaces. In addition, sometimes you will find a campfire on the map, which you can mix and match your food to further increase their effectiveness. I love this new feature as you don’t have to worry about not bringing enough healing items into battle and spending lots of Ental (money) so you can save them up to purchase other items, weapons or armors.
The other small improvements made to this game was the floor jump feature, which you can just instantly jump to the floor that you’ve already explored, instead of traversing up to that floor all the way from the nearest geomagnetic pole. The mapping tools have been expanded greatly, but it remains a small hindrance to your map viewing. Less but not least, the character’s Burst skills have been replaced with Union skills, which you can learn various types of union skills from your race skill tree and mostly requires to combine together with other party members to perform. Union skills is a nice improvement from Burst, and I personally find it more useful to use it.
I am surprised to say this, but this time around I find it highly satisfying playing Etrian Odyssey V, despite the fact that they are trying to return back to the roots: Etrian Odyssey 1. Game is easier this time around, as I can easily kill off FOE upon first encounter and characters’ skills are extremely useful that I always find myself in a dilemma to choose between the skills. It’s sad to see that they’ve removed the Grimoire system from the Untold series, but I still have tons of fun playing this game. Stratum bosses are more gimmicky this time, so once you’ve learn their patterns it’s usually easy to beat them on either the first or second try. Nothing too difficult as the difficulty is just right if you build your characters correctly.
Pleasingly, the soundtrack this time around is actually memorable and nice to hear. I can still vividly recall some of the music and I just love how the music easily ease you into their world. Still not as epicly amazing as the soundtrack from Final Fantasy or Persona, but it is no exaggeration when I say that you will fully enjoy the music if you decided to buy the Original Soundtrack.
Strangely this time around, I actually thoroughly enjoyed the graphics. Despite the fact that the first stratum is still the same old boring forest design, starting from second stratum onwards the dungeon design took a wild and unexpected turn. You just can’t help but wonder if you’re really climbing a tree or not.
Maybe it’s because I’ve played a lot of Etrian Odyssey games, I personally do not like the redesign UI. However it’s not really a big deal as you will eventually get used to the new UI after a few floors in.
You can summon additional party members such as wraiths, bunkers or even hawks to support you during battle.
Final Score: 7/10
Let’s be honest here. At this point I’ve played many Etrian Odyssey games and I would have to say this is definitely my most favourite EO game out of all the series (except for Persona Q. That game is godly). I can’t really explain why, but maybe it’s because it’s easier to build up the strategies that you envision. You don’t get punished too heavily if you accidentally build your characters wrongly (well, there is also the option to “rest” to reset skill points anyways) and the new breath of fresh air for the unique dungeon designs just make the dungeon more fun to traverse through. The ‘Floor Jump’ feature is extremely useful as I don’t have to waste so much time retracing my steps back to the latest floor. Still, the differences are not really a huge amount so the score still remains pretty much the same.
Will I replay the game for a second time?
Strangely my answer for this time is a….. YES! There may not be any exciting story for this game, but I thoroughly enjoy my experience with this game. Despite the criticism that the game is hard, but it was actually easy in my books. I love that they’ve managed to tweak the skills to make them more useful this time, and it’s extremely fun to see how my party synergize with each other easily. This is probably the first Etrian Odyssey game that I wouldn’t mind to replay a second time again. Bravo! Excellently done and I have a high expectation for the next Etrian Odyssey game!
As always, thank you for reading this review and I hope to see you soon in my next post! Goodbye!
Score: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7/10
Score: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7/10
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