Etrian Mystery Dungeon is Etrian Odyssey meets any Mystery Dungeon game. It’s a blend of the two games and for the most part it works really well. Etrian Odyssey has quickly become one of my favorite games to play. The difficulty, gameplay, soundtrack, and deep RPG elements makes it my go to RPG on the 3DS. How does Etrian Mystery Dungeon compare to the normal Etrian Odyssey games? Lets find out.
If you’ve ever played a Mystery Dungeon game than you should know how this plays out. You and your squad go down into a mysterious dungeon and try and make your way to the bottom. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is a good example on how this game plays. They’re almost identical except for a few differences between the two franchises. In Etrian Mystery Dungeon you and your team of four people will travel down the deepest parts of the dungeon to try and complete quest, rescue people, or advance in the main story of the game.
Etrian Odyssey isn’t known for it’s story. It actually doesn’t have one, but they included one here and for the most part it’s okay. It’s not good or bad, but it does open up new locations for you to explore and that’s always a good thing in RPGs. The gameplay itself is much different than what we’re used to in Etrian Odyssey games though. Instead of playing in a first person perspective we get to see our characters in and out of combat. It’s still turn based, but in a Mystery Dungeon way and not a JRPG one.
The gameplay is fun and I enjoyed mixing different classes together to see which one suited my style best. Just about everything that you would expect to be in an Etrian Odyssey game is present here. You’ve got your main hub where you can go to the Inn to rest for a tough quest. If you need new equipment you can always go buy some from the shop, but it’ll be pretty barren at first because the only way to get new equipment if by selling her monster parts that you find on quest. You can go the restaurant to accept new quest or turn in ones that you you’ve already completed. There’s a guild available so you can hire new party members or switch ones that you either don’t like or need for a particular mission.
If your entire party falls in combat you’ll have three chances to rescue them with your back up party. It’s important to have a pretty strong group of backup explorers available just in case that happens.
You can even build bases on the dungeon floors so it won’t keep changing every time you enter. This is a good way to keep that particular area mapped out so you don’t have to re-explore the area again. Your bases can be destroyed by strong monsters though so it’s best to have a good team guarding them just in case that happens.
Boss fights are exciting because you can control your entire team instead of just a single character. In normal battles you can switch between your party members with the click of a button so it’s not like Pokemon because in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon you’re stuck as your starter until you beat the main story.
The story told here isn’t a great one. It’s not even a good one, but it’s also not a bad one. It’s okay and for a game like this that’s acceptable because neither Etrian Odyssey or Mystery Dungeon are known for their stories. I appreciate it being there because it gives me more to do than accepting random, unimportant quests. Since most boss fights are tied to the main story that’s enough to give it a pass because of how much fun I had battling them.
I’m a huge fan of the soundtrack from the Etrian Odyssey games. The soundtrack here doesn’t reach the level of excellence that the normal games have, but it’s still really good and I often found myself sitting my 3DS down just so I could finish the song that was playing before I left the dungeon.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a beautiful game for a handheld and it’s fully playable in 3D, which just happens to be my favorite way to game on the 3DS right now. The environments are beautiful, and the character models look really good. They don’t look like their portraits, but I didn’t expect them to. I like how the environments just pop out at me when I’m playing in 3D. I don’t have to hold the 3DS still because it tracks my head movements and that’s a major plus for me.
If you like games that allow you to level up, spend skill points, and kick ass in a group than you’ll most likely love this rogue-like game. It successfully mixed Mystery Dungeon with Etrian Odyssey. I’ll admit that I was a skeptic at first, but the more I played it I eventually got hooked and didn’t put it down until I was finished with it.
Too Much Grinding:
If I think a game has too much grinding there must be something wrong because I play MMO’s everyday of the week and many of them are grind heavy. The problem with Etrian Mystery Dungeon isn’t necessarily the grind. It’s repeating the same area over and over again until you’re a high enough level to take on the next dungeon and this really bothered me. I can understand grinding for a tough boss fight, but there are other ways to do it than repeating the exact same dungeon over and over and over again. After I completed all of my quest I had no choice, but to go through the endless grind that is this game and it’s what kept me from playing for hours on end because I eventually got worn out from all of the grinding that I had to go through. By the time I was strong enough to go down to the next dungeon I had already had my fill of this game for the day.
DOEs are Annoying
DOEs are the toughest foes you’ll encounter in a dungeon and that remains true in this game, but they’re also highly annoying. If you don’t feel like fighting a DOE than it’ll get back to town and go on a rampage. When that happens you’ll be teleported back to town and you’ll have to fight it there. You’ll lose all of your progress in your current dungeon and once the fight is over you’ll have to start over from the beginning.
There isn’t much to complain about in Etrian Mystery Dungeon. This game takes just about everything that’s good about Etrian Odyssey and mixes it with everything that’s good with Mystery Dungeon games. They work really well together and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 one day. If you’re a fan of Etrian Odyssey or Mystery Dungeon than I think you’ll really love this game. It’s hard, offers tons of quest, and hours upon hours of gameplay.
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