Etrian Odyssey Nexus finally makes its way over to the PAL region and North America from a successful release in Japan! Atlus takes us on an RPG dungeon crawling expedition all in the tidy little package that is the Nintendo 3DS. It’s the final instalment in the hefty lineage of Etrian Odyssey and does quite a fine job at going out on top.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus, like most RPGs, is a very story rich game, so I think it’s appropriate to skip any hints of what goes on in that context to avoid spoilers. As far as basics go, you play as a young adventurer in charge of a self-made guild, excited to accomplish tasks far and wide for fame, fortune or glory. You can choose to take on what the world has to give in a variety of different difficulties, customizing how you wish to play and enjoy yourself. I played on ‘picnic’ the easiest of difficulties to get a feel for everything (as I’m not an RPG expert) and found this to be a very enjoyable and surprisingly addictive experience.
Before you head out for any big adventure, you’ll learn the basics of taking and turning in quests. They can be little things like delivering an item for a little extra ‘en’ (‘en’ is the world currency), or something to move the story along. Questing is very easy to navigate on the 3DS, and is wonderfully constructed, feeling simple and fresh.
Watch the Etrian Odyssey Nexus trailer below:
The labyrinths are explorable dungeon floors set in different places like forests, or orchard where random battles can occur. Just like any proper dungeon, there are surprises around every corner, including special enemies, items for quests and interesting tidbits for story progression. They can be revisited, especially if you might need something for a quest, and can be very useful to grind for some extra XP.
When you head into the labyrinths, you’ll be given a map somewhere along your first time in. The map is an interesting feature that at first glance seems a bit tedious to do, but is extremely helpful and begins to be quite fun once you gain a basic knowledge of it. Being able to mark with different icons from a key bank, you can determine by your own standard what the keys themselves are supposed to mean. It’s a good way of feeling in control, and quite literally puts your own skills to the test. Marking things like water sources, item deposit chests and gathering points can prove very useful, and if you choose not to now, you will very much feel the repercussions of it later when you scramble about trying to find the locations again.
Watch the Etrian Odyssey Nexus challenge trailer below:
As you’re exploring and mapping, you’ll undoubtedly come across many random battles and sometimes special ones too. In keeping with true RPG fashion, these battles are turn-based. Before you set out on any adventure, you’re made to recruit your own guild, which is a bigger pool of people to choose from to form smaller parties. Five at the helm, you have to be strategic in picking who is up for every task on a case by case basis. Classes vary from your classic Medic and Gunner, to more exotic picks like Highlander and Zodiac. All are fantastically balanced in their own unique way and the variation makes it so your party will never become a dull affair.
There’s a lot to do, discover and fight in this massive adventure in a small package. As someone that doesn’t often play RPGs, or really have the time to, playing Etrian Odyssey Nexus was a fantastic and casual experience that not only I could keep coming back to–but I wanted to come back to. The mixture of combat, exploring and the hubs to rest, trade, and gossip kept it fresh at all times, ensuring a lot of fun to be had without becoming tedious or boring. It’s cute to where anyone can appreciate and had a solid brain for RPG enthusiast. If you’re a fan of the Etrian Odyssey series, then it’ll be an absolute must have to own. If you’ve never heard of Etrian Odyssey but are looking for something different to try on your 3DS, I can recommend that you’ll have a good time–no matter what the age.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.
Publisher: Deep Silver Developer: Atlus Release Date: February 5th, 2019 Reviewed On: Nintendo 3DS