Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Dungeon crawlers! They're one of my favourite types of games to play, even though they utterly terrify me. Some of the classic RPG series started (and often continued) as first-person dungeon games, such as Ultima, Wizardry, Might & Magic, Pools of Radiance...

On a side note, Pools of Radiance (and its sequels) were just released on GOG for a fair price. I highly recommend you play them if you have a spare... few months.

Anyway, Japan has been inordinately fond of dungeon crawlers ever since they were introduced. Also, their general culture is more accepting of grindy games, so a huge amount of them have been developed since the 80s when personal computing really exploded.

This long introduction is so I can talk about Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl. It's a party-based dungeon crawler set in a reasonably-well fleshed out generic-medieval-with-magic setting, and it's one of the games I wanted the 3DS for originally. Atlus seem intent on remaking every game in the DS Etrian Odyssey series, so I'm pretty sure I'll follow them as they get released. Interestingly, part of the remake seems to be adding a more story-heavy mode along with the 'classic' build-your-own-party mode that crawlers have had forever.

The story is quite well written, with varied (and mostly non-stereotypical) characters and decent voice acting. I can't impress upon you enough how rarely that sentence is true for RPGs. I played on the 'Picnic' difficulty, which really is very easy, so I'm definitely going to have to play through it again with my own party and on Normal or even KICKYOASS or whatever it calls the top one. Monster encounters are usually interesting, the classes are all quite different, and character growth is fulfilling. FOEs are a clever addition to the crawling formula - visible monsters that roam in specific patterns, requiring forethought to get past, or brute strength to beat. Picnic makes them quite reasonable, but on Normal or above they can destroy you at short order.

Overall, a good game, worth the time it took to beat. I definitely recommend playing through Story mode your first time, and not skipping through the cut-scenes or dialogue.

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