Etrian Mystery Dungeon review

Atlus’s Etrian Odyssey series and Spike Chunsoft’s Fushigi no Dungeon (Mystery Dungeon) series are the best of both worlds when it comes to Dungeon Crawlers. We get Etrian Mystery Dungeon for the Nintendo 3DS, which shows that taking the best of two worlds can create something new, unique and definitely fun.

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In the Etrian Odyssey series for the Nintendo 3DS, players explore dungeons and use the bottom touch screen to map out the layout of the dungeon from a first-person perspective which also features turn-based battles, random encounters and a team of five characters with multiple character classes. The Mystery Dungeon series, however, features active battles with enemies moving as you do, collecting items as you go and exploring randomly generated dungeons, leaving you exploring dungeons which change every time you return to a dungeon. Take both of these together and you have a roguelike adventure with possibilities you haven’t seen before.

Rather than the first-person view and traditional RPG elements from the Etrian Odyssey series, Etrian Mystery Dungeon uses a top-down view camera allowing you to see everything around you including your team, and free movements and actions where moving one square or attacking is one action. Players will explore randomly generated dungeons in Etrian Mystery Dungeon with a team of four characters. They can be composed from 10 different classes, giving you a variety of abilities to create the perfect team.

Inside the dungeon you work to survive: avoiding traps, collecting items and chests and fighting enemies to level up. If you can make it to the lowest levels of each dungeon, you face off against a large boss. If you fail to escape you lose all your items you are carrying including a piece of your equipment, so be prepared with Ariadne Thread to escape if all else fails.

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Etrian Mystery Dungeon adds some value to the game by adding a secondary quest to the main adventure. Sure you could just keep going into dungeons and grinding, but why not increase the challenge by giving you a town you need to help protect and grow, and you do just that in the hub town of Aslarga. There are local businesses in the game that help you out and the more you invest in them to grow, the more you can get out of them, so that means time to start saving up that money. By leveling up different businesses you can unlock more character slots for your guild, better items and item slots for your team, and as your adventure continues you can unlock forts in dungeons which serve to keep dungeons from randomizing, keep enemies in and best of all level up characters stationed there. You won’t need to keep switching out members to level them up.

Prepare to grind a lot…. 

Finding your perfect team will help. With 10 classes to select and choose from, learning what skills are most useful to you is the key to survival. Selling items and collecting materials to sell will help get you closer to having great equipment and items, since the game’s difficulty shoots up pretty fast. Sometimes your weapons won’t cut it, even when upgrading and buying new ones.

The game’s randomness can easily prove to be your downfall and you might slip up, or one of your characters may suddenly decide to walk off on their own leaving you one character short. Around the 5th dungeon you are introduced to a new enemy known as D.O.E. (which is a spin on F.O.E. from the Etrian Odyssey series). These enemies are dangerous and will follow you up floors if you try to escape. Avoid them early on as best as you can, since they will try and break down your forts and even attack the town and destroy a business, leaving it unusable until you fix it.

Final Reaction

Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines the best of both Atlus’s Etrain Odyssey series and Spike Chunsoft’s Mystery Dungeon series to create one fun and challenging game. Fans of the Roguelike genre will experience a really polished game filled with quests and an amazing soundtrack, filled with dozens of hours of gameplay. Atlus definitely hit a home run with this game, and I would love to see more games from them in this series or even more mash-ups like they did with Persona Q.

Rating: 4.5/5  Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

 

Title: Etrian Mystery Dungeon
Developer: Spike Chunsoft & Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Rated: E
Release Date: April 7th 2015

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.