Review by JCash1313

"Atlus has drawn it's map to success!"

Etrian Odyssey is an interesting game with a unusual, fun concept. It is a unique game that you will probably either love a lot or hate it with a passion. It has many unique concepts that really make the game. It has you draw maps and allows you to customize your team more than almost any other game I have played. It's story is fairly good but it isn't incredible. You don't get to bond with unique, witty characters. It doesn't need that though. It is unique in that it's story isn't worked on and made extremely appealing instead they focused on making the game play unique and fun. It is your classic dungeon crawling game. It is very difficult. Most games I have played and never died during them. I almost never got to see the big Game Over screen. This game was a lot different then most games I play and difficulty was one of those things that is different. You have to grind and grind before going up each floor just to survive. They make it so whenever you fight bosses sometimes there lackeys in the room come and help you. You kill the other foes before the boss and they regenerate! This game was definitely tough but it was worth the frustration. I am proud to say I have beaten the game and am ready for the next one.

The story is basically you are a group of adventurers that are going to help map and clear out the labyrinth. You take missions from the hall and quests from the pub to earn some extra cash. You gain few friends along the way most of which will live in town and sell you things. Your characters are custom name, custom class characters that never say a word. They have no personality at all. There are a few twists as you go through the quests and missions and explore further in the labyrinth but overall the story is just average. The drawings of the game are very good. You choose from four very unique drawings for each class. The drawings of the monsters were also detailed and colorful. You can tell the artists really went all out for these pieces. The music is what you expected. It is your basic, boring RPG music. It is very good considering this is a handheld system.

The game play is the most unique I think I have ever seen. You explore the labyrinth and help map it out. You use the touch screen and your stylus to draw out the perfect map of each floor. You get to use symbols to show things from a pit to a treasure. You will need to draw the map exact so if you need to go through the floor again you will find your way. If you die and see the dreaded game over then it will allow you to keep the map data which will help you make your way back through the long labyrinth. Your party has to be powerful to make it through the dangerous labyrinth. You can really customize your team in this game. You get to pick which class each unit will be. You need to find out the right combination for success. Will it be a survivalist in the back backing up a protector in the front with a bow? Do you need a medic to help heal your front line fighters? You get to choose which members will be on the front line taking the big hits and delivering crushing blows and which will be on the back line supporting those up front. You get to use skill points to learn different skills as you level up. Some basic skills must be learned before you can learn the expert skills. You can choose to level up the skills for certain weapons or different types of magic. Do you want to use an axe or sword, fire magic or ice magic? The choice is yours and you will need to make good choices to make it far in the game. The battles are your basic RPG style battles but with a huge increase in difficulty from most RPGs.

Overall the game is really good. I picked it up expecting to beat it quickly but the difficulty tripped me up and I spent a long time playing this game. If you have a little extra cash, you should definitely buy this game. It is a good game for any DS owner. Make sure you are ready for a fairly difficult game because it can be frustrating at times but who wants to beat a game without trying at all? The replay value is all right. You can go through using a different team and skill set but it will be the same story and battles as you play through the game again. Hope you have fun with this incredible game.

Story: 8/10
Game Play: 10/10
Graphics/Sound: 9/10
Difficulty: 10/10
Replay Value: 9/10
Overall: 9.2/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/06/08

Game Release: Etrian Odyssey (US, 05/15/07)

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