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Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City - Staff Review

7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the RealmRPGamer Staff
edited September 2010 in Latest Updates
Sad that farmers, hoplites, and gladiators are underrepresented in RPGs? Put away the graph paper and drown your sorrows with the newest old-school RPG from Atlus. Feel free to enjoy the better pacing and complimentary art book while you're at it.

Review
The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.

Comments

  • EthosEthos Member Full Members
    edited September 2010
    Exciting!

    Is the final main stratum also not a pile of insta-death spells and stupidity? Man, that was disappointing.
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  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2010
    Thank God no. I only encountered one enemy in the game with an insta-death ability, and it was an avoidable, relatively weak FOE. The extra stratum after the credits roll has some stupid in it with difficult floor layouts and tougher enemies, but the main levels are fair.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • OcelotOcelot is not declawed Full Members
    edited September 2010
    Damn it, Glenn, stop making me want to play this game.
    Becky Cunningham, Happy Snappy RPGamer Alum
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  • Zeboyd GamesZeboyd Games Member Full Members
    edited September 2010
    Shoot, this game has dual classing? I guess I have to get it now.

    I loved EO1, but skipped EO2 because it seemed like more of the same. All new classes, dual-classing, a silly sea exploration mini-game, and miscellaneous improvements sound like a good reason to get back into the series.
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  • solosolo Dilettante Gamer Full Members
    edited September 2010
    Shoot, this game has dual classing? I guess I have to get it now.

    I loved EO1, but skipped EO2 because it seemed like more of the same. All new classes, dual-classing, a silly sea exploration mini-game, and miscellaneous improvements sound like a good reason to get back into the series.

    I agree with everything stated above. Is there any relevant story connection or reason to play EO2 before EO3?
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2010
    solo wrote: »
    I agree with everything stated above. Is there any relevant story connection or reason to play EO2 before EO3?

    There's no connection at all. They seem to take place in different fantasy worlds, since it's hard to imagine one world with three different Yggdrasils in it.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • Adriaan den OudenAdriaan den Ouden Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2010
    7thCircle wrote: »
    There's no connection at all. They seem to take place in different fantasy worlds, since it's hard to imagine one world with three different Yggdrasils in it.

    Well, if you go by Norse mythology, the Yggdrassil's roots connect to ten different worlds, so it COULD be the same tree being access from different worlds.
    Maybe I'll log out and check my e-mail or something...
  • finalhourfinalhour New Member Full Members
    edited September 2010
    Thanks for the great review. I was hesitating a little bit on this one, but it seems like they've made some changes that really improve things (subclassing in particular sounds like a fantastic addition). Do they still allow you to re-spec you're characters with a level penalty like in the previous games? If so, how does it work with your subclass? Can you choose a new one if you re-spec?
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2010
    finalhour wrote: »
    Thanks for the great review. I was hesitating a little bit on this one, but it seems like they've made some changes that really improve things (subclassing in particular sounds like a fantastic addition). Do they still allow you to re-spec you're characters with a level penalty like in the previous games? If so, how does it work with your subclass? Can you choose a new one if you re-spec?

    You can re-spec a character for a 5 level penalty (I think it was 10 levels in EO1 and 2 -- another example of the improved pacing). The subclass is dropped when you re-spec, and you can choose a new one.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • Cassandra RamosCassandra Ramos Eternal Kyoshi Administrators
    edited September 2010
    I haven't played any of the Etrian Odyessey games before, but one sound rather intriguing. I just may give it a try.
    Bravely second...
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  • chaoticprimechaoticprime Member Full Members
    edited September 2010
    This is the one RPG series I have yet to play, more or less. Is it good? I will literally play any RPG from start to finish, I have just been short of cash lately. My favorite game is Dragon Warrior II, will I like this?
  • SoulweaverSoulweaver Artist - 6 Eyes Studio OrlandoFull Members
    edited September 2010
    It's a love-or-hate series. You're better off reading reviews from both sides of the spectrum to see where you fall.
    They seem to take place in different fantasy worlds, since it's hard to imagine one world with three different Yggdrasils in it.
    If you transfer over your data from the first game, your guild is considered to be pretty famous in the second game, so that would indicate one world.
    Earth
    , incidentally. But no, there are no story connections.

    Is Yuzo Koshiro still responsible for the game's music? I adored the soundtracks from the first two EOs, but I know I'm in the minority there...
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2010
    This is the one RPG series I have yet to play, more or less. Is it good? I will literally play any RPG from start to finish, I have just been short of cash lately. My favorite game is Dragon Warrior II, will I like this?

    Even though JRPGs are extremely slow-paced by today's gaming standards, one thing they originally did back in the day was speed up the genre. The first-person crawlers of the 80s and early 90s were very slow games, and Square Enix's take on the gameplay sped it up and took away a lot of the backtracking and retreading that first-person crawlers inherently have.

    While EO3 has a much better pace than EO1 and EO2 did, it's still a slow game and you have to be okay with walking across the same path over and over, as there is just one large dungeon. Warps, escape items, shortcuts, and a lower encounter rate on the first couple floors of each stratum help with this, but it's still the slowest type of game out there and some people, understandably, find it boring.

    But if you've never played a game like this and don't know if you'll like it, it's definitely worth a try. It's cheap for a new video game, and has the most reasonable, consistent difficulty of any first-person crawler I've played lately (that would include EO1, EO2, EO3, SMT: Strange Journey, Class of Heroes, Dark Spire, and Shining in the Darkness). It also has an interesting class system, which old-school games rarely have, and if you like DW2 you should be fine with the turn-based battle system. I'd say it's worth a shot. If you end up hating it for whatever reason, then you know to avoid the genre in the future. It's about as good of an entry game to first-person crawlers that you're going to get.

    @soulweaver -- You're right. I forgot about EO2 pretending like it was in the same world as EO1. Aside from the initial guild recognition if you imported data, it made no reference to the first game. Unless there was a reference and I forgot again, EO3 didn't act like EO1 or EO2 existed at all.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • SirusjrSirusjr Member Full Members
    edited September 2010
    Soulweaver wrote: »
    Is Yuzo Koshiro still responsible for the game's music? I adored the soundtracks from the first two EOs, but I know I'm in the minority there...
    VGMDB says yes.

    This review is encouraging and I might actually be interested in picking this game up if I didn't hate the soundtracks of these games so much. I realize there is a certain nostalgia about them and the use of classic sounds but I never got into a single Koshiro soundtrack. I can't enjoy a game if I don't enjoy the music these days.
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