Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Etrian Odyssey: Not as Hard As You Think

Very recently I replayed and finished a game called Etrian Odyssey on the DS.  The game was released in 2007 and is a dungeon crawler where the player is tasked with entering a labyrinth and solving its mysteries as they progress down 25 floors of danger.  The game came out in 2007 so this isn't going to be a review but I want to address something people have always said about it's difficulty.

Etrian Odyssey can be a challenging game to a new player, you have a number of classes to pick from who each have their own unique skills.  Then once you've made your team you have to gear them out, go into the dungeon and start to get them to a higher level.  Once you level up you get points to put into a skill and the lists of skills are so long that it would surely overwhelm a lot of new players, it sure as hell did for me my first time round.

So the things I hear the most regarding difficulty is that the encounters can be tough and dying makes you lose a lot of progress.  Well the second one might be true, since save points inside the dungeon are quite few and far between death can me a pretty hefty setback depending on how long you were exploring but encounters, even the special enemies and bosses become disgustingly easy once you get your head round the characters skills.

In my replay I managed to remember all the points required for the best skills and I realized that a great deal of the skills on the characters list are completely useless.  For example, the games version of the warrior has all these skills called things like "stunner" or some whirlwind thing that hits adjacent enemies but it's all crap.  Max out the attack, HP and All Slash skills and he can deal with most of the standard encounters alone.  Another example would be the survivalist who only really needs one skill called Apollon which does massive damage after 3 turns to a single foe.  You can take such a massive chunk of health from a boss in such a short time that the fight becomes almost trivial.  Couple that with a medic who has a maxed Salve 2 and the the game becomes almost too easy.

Granted, you would never know to do all that shit the first time round but I went back to this game with memories of having a hard time but my replay was just pathetically easy.  Even the final boss stood absolutely no chance and I beat him stood in line for a ride at a theme park and barely paying attention.

So what I discovered essentially is that a number of the skills are a bit unbalanced and break the combat a little bit and once you figure out what those skills are the game becomes a cake walk.  I'd recommend Etrian Odyssey since its a great little RPG and fans of dungeon crawl games might get a kick out of the whole draw your own map feature using the DS's lower screen.  It's become a big series too and I've not played a lot of the later ones so I'm curious to see if the later titles are as easily broken as this one.

No comments:

Post a Comment