Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Shall We Do It? (THE 'DENPA' MEN 3 and Etrian Odyssey IV)

Well, folks, I have good news and bad news for you regarding my on-going playthrough of Etrian Odyssey IV. The good news is that I've now put about 60 hours into this 3DS-based dungeon-crawler and, as a result, I believe I'm now in the "home stretch" of the game, so to speak. The bad news? I haven't played it since I downloaded THE "DENPA" MEN 3 about five days ago.

Don't get me wrong, I was enjoying Etrian Odyssey IV a great deal while I was still playing it (and I'll get back to playing it soon enough, I assure you), but I have to admit I was starting to enter another one of those "interest lulls" I mentioned in my last "Shall We Do It?" post when THE "DENPA" MEN 3 took over. Of course, I guess that's to be expected when you keep ducking in and out--and in and out, and in and out--of what very well could be the gaming world's longest series of interconnected dungeons.

And then there's the related fact that the final section of Etrian Odyssey IV was beginning to give me some serious Bravely Default vibes thanks to the semi-recycled locales and color-swapped baddies. Now, it's not anywhere near as bad in Etrian Odyssey IV as it was in Bravely Default, mind you, but it is a bit ... deflating to make your way to the end of a game only to find you have to go through a bunch of old dungeons again before you can face the final boss.

So, enough about that one for the time being. Instead, let's talk about THE "DENPA" MEN 3 for a bit.

I've put about five hours into this eShop RPG so far, and for whatever reason I seem to be enjoying it more than I enjoyed its predecessor. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I can say why that is. It very well may be that, despite the fact that I nearly had my ass handed to me during my very first battle, this third entry in Genius Sonority's series feels a smidge easier than the second (although I have to say that the difficulty level of the first one, which I consider to be the "worst" of them all, didn't bother me at all). Or, it may be that this game's overworld is less annoying than the one featured in the last.

One thing I'm not completely stoked about when it comes to THE "DENPA" MEN 3 is that it includes a bunch of enemies that also appeared in the last two titles. Plus, the new ones that have shown their faces so far aren't what I would call the most appealing or creative in terms of their designs.

I'm finding this game's soundtrack kind of disappointing, too. Thankfully, the surprisingly tender tune that plays while exploring "Cannon Village" pretty much makes up for all of the lackluster ones that accompany it.

Despite those two rather minor complaints, though, I'm really liking THE "DENPA" MEN 3 thus far--although I've yet to even think about pimping out the homes of my "Denpa" men, à la Animal Crossing. I guess that means I have something to look forward to if (or when) my interest in the main adventure wanes a bit?

Are any of you also making your way through THE "DENPA" MEN 3 at the moment? If so, what do you think of it?

See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts


diaglyph said...

I've tried out the Denpa men demos of previous games, and just couldn't get into them. I kinda need a story to drive me through the game. Etrian odyssey is good example. While I thought demo of 4 was interesting I decided not to get it as there is seemingly no story to it. Yet having tried Millennium Girl demo I'm willing to give that a go and see if I can get a copy soon.

finchiekins said...

I really haven't played enough Denpa Men games, but i'm getting back into the first just because I keep seeing how much you enjoy them. The few hours I've played are so fun and weird (and tough!), and no one seems to talk about them much. I'm glad to find someone that does!

Mary Springfield said...

Stumbled on your page looking for pictures of Penta from Yume Penguin Monogatari. Have to say I love the list. I agree, it's too bad it was never released in the states, the graphics are adorable.

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

I'm buying it because I promised Miiquality I would. Right now I'm just kind of doing what Miiquality suggest to do but if Nintendo breaks their promise for the next one I won't be buying it regardless what Miiquality suggests. Plus I'm choosing to be hopeful that if this one does well in the west the next one will have same-sex marriages.

If they do keep their promise to be more inclusive and include same-sex relationships what I see them doing is adding some sort of "romance preference" option but making it inaccessible to players "out of the box" and having it set to opposite gender and then releasing a day 1 patch that gives players access to the option. I don't think they're going to include them "out of the box" because of how it might affect the rating in some countries but I don't think patches/updates/DLC affect the rating of the core product.

Also Nintendo of Japan really needs to expand their views beyond Japan if they're going continue making games for the global market.

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

Apparently the demo says the game is available in stores now suggesting that a demo will be available on the eshop at release.

Franggio Hogland said...

Ahh yes, that's much better. If you actually really wan't the game then go for it. I'm, as I said, burnt out atm but perhaps later down the road when I'm in a better place.

Now very off topic but I have to share it somewhere.

Where I failed with trying and talk some sense into the homophobic old man at work, one of the interns actually managed to get him to change his mind with just one silly little question regarding adoption.

"whats better, life in a poor orphanage or living with 2 mommies/daddies?"

Such a non question actually got the old man thinking and yesterday, a week later he said he had thought about it and apologized to one of the mechanics that's trying to adopt.
Not sure if I should feel disappointed in myself for never uttering the question or just be happy at least one guy has come around. For now I'm going with being happy :)

Sorry again for going off topic but it feels nice to see that no matter how old a dog is it's possibly to teach them new tricks ^^

thegaygamer.com said...

Ah, that sounds good, Sam! And it makes me think Nintendo isn't completely nuts these days :)

thegaygamer.com said...

That story is great, Franggio, so please don't apologize for sharing it! Plus, this is my blog, and I don't mind off-topic comments at all, so I say keep 'em coming -- or at least always feel comfortable with sharing them in the future :)

thegaygamer.com said...

I agree with you on all counts, Sam. If the next Tomodachi Life game is released in NA and it doesn't allow for same-sex relationships, I'm not buying it no matter how much I may like the 3DS version. Also, I have to say that it's really quite confounding to me that Nintendo hasn't thought more globally in this way before now. They've been a global company since the success of the NES, so there's really no excuse for it--aside from stubbornness, I guess.

thegaygamer.com said...

There is a bit of a story to the third one, Igor, and the second one, too, I believe. It's really barebones, though--as in, "save the kidnapped princess!" There are NPCs and such, too, although they don't say anything that's all that important, IMO.

As for Etrian Odyssey IV, the full game definitely has an over-arching story but, again, it's pretty barebones.

So, I guess what you're really saying here is that you need a somewhat-to-fairly extensive story when it comes to RPGs, and not just a barebones one? If so, I can understand that, although personally I kind of prefer not having to deal with the kinds of bloated stories that serve as the backdrops of most modern RPGs.

thegaygamer.com said...

That's great, finchikins! If you like the first one, I'd definitely suggest checking out the third at a later date--and maybe the second one, too. Like I've said a few times, for some reason the second one didn't click with me as much as the first or third, but I can't remember why that was. I'm really enjoying the third so far, though!

Franggio Hogland said...

Will do :)
The funny thing though is that I always heard how the mechanics on the floor was just for the "boys" you know "the boys club" where no women where allowed, where being foreign was wrong and god have mercy on your soul if you were gay.

But I never met a more rowdy bunch of good hearted people. No fuss no nothing. Everyone was "forced" to be one of the "guys" no matter gender/ethnicity/religion/sexual preference. And honestly they might be seen as the odd group out but man are they a blast.

Now if I could just convince them to speak in a work seminar about work environment equality. :D

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

I just hope Nintendo takes this as lesson about reaching out more to the global market (without ignoring Japan of course) and being more inclusive across the board with their games. Like you said they deserve more shit for exclusivity than they get. And when they are inclusive they should praised for it. They do seem to be getting better with including female characters lately so at least there's that.

Also looking at it it's sort of odd how few Asian representations there are in their games and this isn't just a case of mukokuseki, the characters are supposed to be white.

thegaygamer.com said...

Ha! Thanks for the additional detail, Franggio. And who knows? Maybe someday you will convince them to be part of a seminar about work-environment equality!

thegaygamer.com said...

Yep, I agree with all of what you say here, too, Sam. I wonder if in the minds of the "powers that be" at Nintendo, white = generic human being? It would make sense, in a way (I guess), although still kind of weird. Anyway, I really hope they start branching out--and soon--and start designing characters that cover a much broader range of human existence.

Freezair said...

I always like seeing you write about this series (that being The Denpa Men), partially because we tend to have such opposite feelings on them! I do like the third, but the second reigns supreme as my favorite. And I find myself really enjoying both the music AND monster design in TDM3. Heh! I think my favorite critter so far is the Poison Pouch. It's true what they say in the Museum--you can't hate that smile! (Or at least I can't.)

I was super psyched for the house decorating bit at first, but now I'm a bit curious what, if any, bonuses it provides. I suppose it is rather nice that they give you so many spaces to work with, even if the furniture selection is obviously not as good as Animal Crossing's. I do wish there was a way to move all your favorite Denpa Men to that central "Digitoll" space for easy access to their rooms. Ah well. I'm just happy that we have a nice little trilogy of games! Here's to hoping we get a nice break in releases and that Genius Sonority comes up with something really mind-blowing for whenever they decide to get back into the series!

thegaygamer.com said...

How funny that you like the second one best, while I prefer the other two!

All that really matters, though, is that we both like at least one of the 'Denpa' Men games :)

I still haven't gotten into decorating the homes of my ' Denpa' Men, by the way. I'm too busy catching them, outfitting them and increasing their stats!

I'll get around to it eventually, though--I think.

As for your hope that Genius Sonority take a bit of a break and come back with something that blows our minds: I couldn't agree more!

Freezair said...

I love the Pokemon Colosseum games on GameCube; not gonna lie! Recognizing Genius Sonority's name on the first Denpa Men game was part of why I knew I had to play it. I'd love to see the series continue, but yes, after a good break. Maybe it's just me, but this game's English release definitely seemed more rushed than the other games'. I've spotted more typoes and the text seems less polished in areas. Three good games in as many years is quite the accomplishment, lads, but don't wear yourselves out! I'd love a Wii U-based return to the more 3D Pokemon adventures of the Gamecube, even if they weren't the "traditional" games everyone craved.

thegaygamer.com said...

Hmmm, I haven't run into too many typos myself, but I'll def. keep an eye out for them from now on. Regardless, you're right that they seemed to turn this one around pretty quickly. Maybe it was so they could start working on whatever's coming next? Personally, as much as I've enjoyed the "Denpa" Men games, I can't help but hope their next endeavor is something new and fresh...