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If the idea of fighting an endless stream of random but challenging battles amidst drawing your own map with each step you take sounds like an agony, then that's all you need to know about this game. Move along!
If such a trek sounds like a fun way to while away the hours, then Etrian Odyssey 3 certainly offers that.
I enjoyed it. I think the part of the game that worked out the best is the difficulty level, which was high enough to keep battles challenging throughout and forced me to keep my party levels up, but was not so high as to often require level grinding. With the challenge at this level, winning battles proves rewarding, as well as do the items you get from each that allow you to buy new, much-needed equipment. A reasonable encounter rate also helps to keep things moving.
Now, I don't think this game does anything too extraordinary. You can choose between ten or so job classes and each can learn a decent number of skills but those character classes aren't incredibly unique. I like that you can give each character a sub-class to compliment his skills, but you cannot do that until halfway through the game and you are very limited in your ability to change your class/sub-class. Basically, you can only do that if you're willing to do a ton of level grinding, and that's when things really start to drag. The visuals are dull with minimal animation, and the story, when there seems to be one at all, is a mess. An optional sailing adventure quest adds little to the dungeon crawling. The soundtrack is actually quite good, but you'll spend so much time in the same areas and in the same kind of battles that it can still get grating.
So, I can't give this game too high of a score, and those who aren't interested in this kind of thing won't find anything here to make them change their mind. But if this is your genre of choice, I doubt you'll be disappointed. Just don't forget your escape rope when you head down below...
I'm a big fan of the classic rpg style games. You have alot of ways to make a team based on youre playing style. As always there are two bonus classes. The ability to customize youre weapons is an added joy to beating some of the harder bosses. The sailing is a pleasant change too. The other plus is that quest now give items and exp. If you have some friends with this game you can do guild special quest and trade guild cards. The only down side is for gamers who dont like to work for their items and weapons, you have to kill monsters to get the parts that you need. The game has a quick tutorial level and then youre on youre own. I own both Etrian 1 and 2. I'm hoping that atlus keeps finding new way to improve a great game.
Etrian Odyssey 3 (EO3) is a good example of an unholy union of an MMO(grinding) and an RPG(Cheap Deaths).
While the ability to Name & Select your starting class has been an honored tradition since Final Fantasy's first outing, the fun abruptly stops there.
The fun stopped precisely on the first floor of the first dungeon as 2 of my starting 5 characters, who had a total of 9 damage BETWEEN them, are stomped dead in my third random enemy encounter. Not against some Giant Space Flea from Nowhere mind you, but a two- monster team identical to the first random encounter I trounced. I suffered 3 more Cheap Deaths before level 2 occurred for my plucky TeamSOS.
But the final straw was when(again, on the 1st floor) I found a luck-check event. After(surprise!) failing the check, I was in a 3-Monster fight with TeamSOS having two Level 3s and 3 Level 2s. The first round I spend on the leftmost enemy with all attackers. The enemies each spent their 1st round poisoning a party member. I recoil in horror as I realize that the town's item shop wasn't even SELLING poison removal yet!! The injury follows the insult as the round ends and each afflicted party member suffers poison damage...equal to about 2/3 their MAX life. So I use my party's awesome Ninja escape skill...and the game promptly informs me this battle cannot be escaped. The end of round 2 sees only one member of TeamSOS standing. SOS indeed.
System OFF, game in return envelope, 3.5 hours of gaming life Gone Forever.