Average User Score: 8.7Feb 27, 2013This is the fourth in a series that became my favorite on Nintendo's DS, and even though the series is not a graphics powerhouse, the still artwork put into the characters and the backgrounds is beautiful, and one of the most attractive attributes of the series. But the biggest draw of these dungeon crawler-style games is definitely the mechanic of having to draw a map of the labyrinths on a grid on the bottom screen of the DS and now the 3DS. The point of view of the player is first-person, like the dungeon crawlers of old, and the view is now enhanced with the use of 3D on the upper screen. All in all, if you want a deeply involved role-playing game for your 3DS, this is one of the best! Managing the powers, attacks, and weapons of your characters as you slowly level up is incredibly nuanced, and you will start thinking of these avatars as real people by the time you clock in your 25th hour on the game. This is not a game that will charm everyone, though, as you will need a lot of patience and handle frustration well unless you play it on the new "casual" mode (although I can't imagine the game being much fun on that setting!). The developers also implemented a very clever use of the Street Pass and the use of QR codes for this installment that will give a whole new twist to veterans of the series. Highly recommended, but play the demo first (available on eShop) so you know what you are getting into! Incidentally, this is the first time I have encountered a console game demo that will let you save your progress and then use it towards the full version of the game... clever move!… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Sep 1, 2011I have been loving this game, but I must admit it is mostly because of its visual concept. The game is basically a platformer with the type of game play you would expect from a 3D Rayman or Super Mario title, and quite repetitive. But that works for me just right because it forces me to explore every little corner to collect all the items and admire the artwork as I play. Relaxing for the most part, frustrating occasionally, I recommend this game if you are a fan of the characters and/or if you want to see something that looks original, even if it doesn't play that way.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Sep 1, 2011I'm at a crossroads on deciding whether this installment or the second one is the best Etrian Odyssey game for most lovers of the RPG "dungeon crawl genre"... Both greatly improved its game play design over its previous title, but this third one might have taken customization a bit too far.
Still, for me it is the best of the three, though, because you can still play the old fashion way without getting too far into the extra customization tools. But this one is definitely a deeper experience, and probably will double the already extra-large number of hours the previous games demanded from the player.
It includes a side mini-game that explores a sea around the land where the story takes place. While entertaining, it has not taken a hold of my attention for too long, and it is a very different kind of game than the one you expect from this series.
And speaking of the story, veterans of the Etrian Odyssey series should be warned that this is a completely separate story, so don't expect any continuity despite the "III" on the title.
If you haven't played any of the games, I would probably recommend to play the second one over this one first, and if you plan to play only one... maybe you should get the second one! (You will find it hard NOT to play this one if you finish the second one, though!)… Expand
Average User Score: 9.2Sep 1, 2011An absolute beauty of a game... This is hardcore RPG dungeon crawling at its best! Also, a BIG improvement on the original!
Only possible let down (not a big one, though) is that in this installment the F.O.E.s (not the big bosses, but the mini-bosses) don't give your characters any experience points, so there is no motivation to kill more than a couple of each kind to get the special item drops... Also, I did like the character art better on the first one, especially the non-playable character portraits. But, overall, it is better than the original!
Warning: this type of games are an acquired taste... Platformer and FPS gamers need not apply! (Unless you want to try something REALLY different.)… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Sep 1, 2011This was my absolutely favorite RPG game on the DS... Until parts II & III came along. Those two add a lot to the game play, and refine the user interface and item collection management.
If not for its sequels, I'd give it a ten, which maybe it's not fair since I'm reviewing this game years after it came out.
I do recommend, however, to play the games in sequence, not because the story might be relevant (it has a minimum story line, which is one of its strengths), but because it is more fun to feel the progression of the series' design.
One thing that this first installment does have above its sequels, in my opinion: the character artwork is my favorite here!… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Sep 1, 2011You will have fun with this game, guaranteed! The introduction clips to each level are hilarious, the action is frantic, and the game play is addicting. If you have kids, it's a great way to push the curiosity to find out about the art style and moment in history of each level (although the relevance of the "historic" characters chosen is questionable in many cases). The defense system is a bit off, though, but if you can master it, it will become relevant in some matches.
If you are one of those gamers who have been complaining about lack of originality in games lately, you have to check this one out!… Expand