As a result, I'm sticking with the original "Shall We Do It?"--although I am going to tweak how I use it from here on out. Basically, I'm going to simplify the headers I write for these posts. The new ones will be a bit less fun than the old ones, I guess, but they'll also be a lot less wordy and awkward.
Anyway, enough about that. You clicked on this post so you could read all about my on-going shenanigans with Etrian Odyssey IV, right?
I'd originally planned to talk about two other 3DS games--THE "DENPA" MEN 3 demo and Rusty's Real Deal Baseball--in this post, by the way. Unfortunately, the "DENPA" MEN 3 demo that was supposed to hit the North American eShop late last week was postponed until May 8 due to "technical difficulties" and it's been so long (about two weeks, I think) since I last booted up Rusty's Real Deal Baseball that I can't think of anything to say about it.
So, we'll stick to Etrian Odyssey IV and Etrian Odyssey IV only in this installment of "Shall We Do It?" Which is just as well, because I've spent more than 40 hours with this 3DS dungeon-crawler so far and, as such, I have quite a lot to say about it.
For starters, I probably should share that I've just gained access to the title's fourth "land," known as the "Cloudy Stronghold." It's taken me about 12 to 15 hours to conquer each land so far, which most Etrian Odyssey lifers probably would consider a laughably slow pace, but I like to piddle around while playing games like this.
The soundtrack is sublime--All hail Yuzo Koshiro, the man responsible for this game's delightfully varied set of tunes. Honestly, I've yet to come across a track I don't like, although the standouts for me at the moment are the jaunty, flute-filled Tharsis theme and the shimmering, guitar-laden song that serves as the backdrop of most, if not all, of the fourth land's dungeons.
It surprises me how much I'm liking the animated enemies--Back when this game was announced, I was unimpressed that it would be the first entry in the Etrian Odyssey series to feature animated enemies. The static ones found in the first game were more than enough for me. Or so I thought. Now that I've seen a good portion of this game's polygonal baddies in motion, I have to admit I find them mightily impressive--and I far prefer them to their immobile predecessors.
The airship-traversed overworld is a remarkably nice addition--This is another element that I originally eyed with a healthy dose of suspicion. How much could an overworld really add to the Etrian Odyssey experience? Turns out, it adds quite a bit. I'm especially fond of the hunting-and-gathering aspect that's tied to the animals, birds, fish, fruit and veggies that can be harvested while flying around each land and then either sold for cash or traded for swag.
One final, positive comment about my experience with Etrian Odyssey IV so far: I love how, pretty much without fail, a new "land" opens up just as I'm about to become burned out on the current one. If only the folks responsible for Bravely Default had been so keen on or aware of the importance of pacing in such games...
(Speaking of Bravely Default, I'd like to add here that I'm very much enjoying the fact that Etrian Odyssey IV has an almost nonexistent story. Sometimes you just want to battle your way through a game like this, you know?)
Have any of you spent any time with Etrian Odyssey IV? If so, please feel free to share your own thoughts on this 3DS dungeon-crawler in the comments section below.
See also: previous 'Shall We Do It?' posts