Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan Review
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Atlus
Pub: Atlus
Release: February 26, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes

Other parts of the game's interface show continued improvement for the series. By its nature, the game involves a lot of information processing and menu browsing. Most things are relatively easy to get to, though it will all be too much for some players. For fans of the genre, though, it's nice to see that character skill trees can now be easily browsed, and the player can get a great deal of information during battles with just a press of a button. There are a few oversights; for example, the player can check how many turns are left in running buffs for the party, but not in running debuffs placed on the enemy. Generally, though, the series has come a long way in terms of its user interface.

With the series moving to 3DS, the graphics have gained some nice upgrades as well. Along with the FOEs becoming real moving creatures instead of orange blobs, all regular monsters are now represented by 3D models during battle. They have lost a bit of the detail found in their hand-drawn predecessors, but they still have plenty of personality. Dungeon graphics are now higher-resolution and retain the highly botanical and riotously colorful themes they've had throughout the series. The game's many menus are attractively designed and are largely easy to look at.

Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan Screenshot

There are still graphical improvements that could be made. It would be nice to see NPC encounters and other dungeon events shown more graphically. In addition, the environmental graphics are a bit pixellated, lending a fuzzy look to the world at large that clashes with the smooth monster designs. The 3D effect is hit or miss—it looks quite nice in the menus and on the battle screen, but is a bit dizzying while exploring the dungeons. Still, Etrian Odyssey IV is ahead of most games in its genre graphically, something it certainly deserves credit for.

Likewise, the musical score in the game is head and shoulders above most dungeon crawlers (and many games in general). This time around, it's fully orchestrated, and the pieces are gorgeous. Atlus has a winner in composer Yuzo Koshiro, and his score makes up for the fact that all other aspects of the game's sound design are completely unremarkable.

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Etrian Odyssey IV won't appeal to every gamer, but the series has come a long way since its first entry. With an interesting world, the sense of adventure imparted by hot air balloon exploration, the interesting strategic choices surrounding the FOEs, and the fun of literally charting a course through the dungeons, there's a lot to recommend about this game.

Gamers who tried the series earlier and found it too tedious or difficult might want to give it another try with this game. Casual Mode is a godsend for anybody who wants to have a good time exploring the labyrinths without having to grind too much, and the game's many strong points have elevated Etrian Odyssey to the best dungeon crawling series around. Fans of the dungeon crawling genre will love it, and newbies who are intrigued by the concept will find no better introduction to this kind of game than Etrian Odyssey IV in Casual Mode.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: February 28, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
A colorful and lush world with nicely-done monsters and somewhat fuzzy environments.
3.5
Control
Although still heavily menu-dependent, EO is easier to play than ever before.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The fully-orchestrated score is gorgeous. The rest of the sound is unremarkable.
4.0
Play Value
There are tons of dungeons to explore, quests are like mini adventures, and Casual Mode is a godsend.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Includes a greatly improved graphics engine with polygonal enemies and special effects designed to take full advantage of the platform's unique 3D capabilities.
  • As with previous games in the series, players explore beautiful yet menacing realms - each varied in flora and fauna - mapping their journey along the way using the touchscreen and their stylus.
  • No two games are ever the same, thanks to a character creation and party customization system that encourages experimentation and rewards creativity and imagination.
  • A new Casual mode option ensures newcomers to the series and genre need not be intimidated.
  • The wondrous music of Yuzo Koshiro is back, fully orchestrated and as epic as ever.


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