Etrian Odyssey is an RPG game set in the city of Lorys which is in the continent of Arcania that rests at the foot of the mighty Yggdrasil which is also known as the great tree. Its roots grow deep into the earth and it is shrouded in mystery as if has been forbidden for anyone to approach Yggdrasil by the Arcania council. Until now when a royal decree gets issued
“Adventures and explorers of Arcania are hereby summoned to challenge Yggdrasil”
As you start your game the first set of menus you come to has a store option if you turn on your WIFI, I decided to take a look and see what additional content was available already for the game. In the store so far, there are 6 costumes you can purchase to expand on the character creation options that you have, there are also 2 extra replayable quests that can be purchased for the game each of these comes with an accessory that you can equip to your characters. Each of these items gives a different boost the first one grants 3x exp gain and the other gives enemies a 100% drop rate in battle.
When you start the game, you will be asked to choose what difficulty setting you would like I opted for basic on this playthrough (it can be changed in-game at any point) choosing basic mode gives you one chance to continue in the event your entire party gets defeated in battle.
After you watch the intro which will bring you up to speed on the world that you are stepping into and exploring, once the intro is completed you will go to the explorer’s guild where you are greeted by a man in armour called Egar who is the guild master of the explorer’s guild. He advises you to form your own guild and work with a group of 5 to enter the labyrinth of the great tree.
Once your guild has been named and created you will get to start creating characters, you have 10 options to choose from for your classes each with different abilities and from different races.
Earthlians – Fencers, Dragoons, Pugilists and Harbingers of death
Celestrians – Warlocks and Necromancers
Therians – Rovers of the untamed wild and warriors known as Masurao
Brouni – Botanists and shamans
Later, you will get the option to switch to other classes with the characters you have already created but it will cost you 5 levels from your character to do so.
You can have 5 people in your party and I would advise making a good mix at this point though you can have up to 30 characters in your guild, so you have plenty of options to mix the party up as you get a better feel for the game.
From here you will go through speaking to the different people in town the council will set you missions and quests to complete, the inn will let you store items and rest your party to recover hp and tp for your party. There is also a marketplace which will allow you to sell, buy and improve/recycle items. The more items you sell into the marketplace the wider the range of things you can buy will become so where it is handy to have materials to improve your kit you will need to sell some of it in to the market or the shop won’t be able to produce new and better items for you to buy.
After you have gone through speaking to different people in town you can choose to head to the great tree and begin your journey, this is where one of the features I really like about the game comes into play. As no one has been allowed to go near Yggdrasil until now there are no maps or anything like that of the areas you are exploring so you must write your own map. You can do this manually or you can go into the settings and set the map to write as you walk to save time but you will still need to mark points of interest on the map i.e. mining areas, fishing areas and doors etc.
It is very simple to do and the game will talk you through it in the beginning and it is definitely worth doing as you can only collect crafting items from mines etc once each game day so it is handy to know where you are going to collect it. You will notice there is a gauge on the right-hand side of the screen which goes up as you are walking around once it is full you will be attacked by monster/monsters. Defeating enemies in battle will give you a chance for items to drop which can be used in crafting.
The combat is quite easy to get to grips with and the menus are easily laid out and the tutorial of the game is in-depth and will give even the most inexperienced RPG player the knowledge they need to get to grips with the game and really enjoy it and the world you are stepping into. The game looks very good with the creatures all looking very different and a fair bit of detail going into the design of them, the combat is not overly animated with only slight movements from the enemies that attack you and you don’t see your characters moving on screen either. The game as you are walking around the world is done in a first-person view of the main character rather than the usual view of the characters you tend to see in most RPG.
Overall, I was very pleased with Etrian Odyssey as it plays well the story is fluid and from what I have seen so far, the game is going to be very big, the labyrinth is large and has many floors to it each one with new and dangerous enemies at each turn (some that should be avoided when first encountered). As you explore and find new creatures, materials and complete maps you can turn all this information into the council to receive rewards from them for helping to complete their records.
This is a game I will be continuing to play as there is still so much to explore and do my only real criticism is the potential for breaking the flow of the game by buying the add-on quests to receive the boost items from the store
Overall Score 8/10