I bought etrian odyssey yesterday for my trip next week, but I couldn’t resist reading the manual . . . and then creating my guild . . . then doing level 1. Well, I had to see if level 2 was as good.
So far, I’m loving this game. The mapmaking adds a very enjoyable new aspect to the game. I probably overmap but I like it, making comments and the like. So, one thing I like about is the mapmaking itself: it’s a pretty good interface and toolset given the space. The other aspect is what it adds to the game, which is something beyond just killin’ and questin’ and lootin’. I never buy into the holy grail of game immersion, but the mapmaking adds something more substantative and ‘real’ to the game. I’m gathering information, too, so that a greater good comes of my work.
The RPG aspect is nothing terribly innovative. In fact, it’s more of the same. I’m still trying to get a handle on the skills and the boosts, but it’s nothing very foreign.
One of the complaints about the game, one that concerned me, was the sameness. Instead, I’ve found it very enjoyable. At least, level 1 is a forest with clearings so that there is enough variety [so far] that I’m not bored. Plus, the first person perspective works very well and is a nice break from the iso and 3rd person perspectives I’ve been playing up to now [especially considering the 3rd person view in Brothers in Arms, which I'm getting when it comes out]. The graphics are well done–not too bright but colorful.
Another complaint that I’ve seen a few times is that players have forgotten which role a character has. So far, I’ve not seen that, but I’ve used the name of friends’ characters that I’ve played online with . . . like Silverstar the healing druid, Hologrim the alchemist, Livia the ranger. [This is somewhat nice, too, in that I'm not thinking terribly much about how to distribute points because I'm using how my friends have played these roles, which adds something to the game, too.]
I really enjoy this game so far, and it makes me hope that games for the wii consider something like this.
Then again, I’m not to the harder parts yet.