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North Pointe Now

The Game Stop: Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

Photo credit: Technobuffalo.com

Photo credit: Technobuffalo.com

By Addison Toutant, Staff Reporter

“Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan” is a first-person RPG designed as a throwback to the genre’s text-based origins. It retains the same style of gameplay, but has a different plot than its predecessors. Players take control of an exploration guild, a group of adventurers who explore labyrinths and uncover the mysteries of the Yggdrasil Tree.

Besides those basics, there isn’t much more to the story. Producers rely on players to come up with their own characterizations, which is a potential turn off for those looking for an incredible story.

Players explore caves and labyrinths from a first person perspective, allowing for a more immersive experience. Each area looks great, and that further adds to the atmosphere. However, things are not as peaceful as they seem. Enemies will randomly appear as the party explores, and there are also particularly large monsters called “Field-On Enemies.” These will move around on the labyrinth map, and will either ignore the player or move straight towards them. Every F.O.E follows a movement pattern, so observation is the key to making it out alive. Battles are turn based as per  JRPG tradition. Allies are able to use various skills they’ve learned to make combat a bit easier.

Parties consist of five characters, each of which comes from one of ten different classes, and all of whom play a great deal different from each other. Whereas the Nightseeker specializes at inflicting status ailments on foes and evading attacks, the Fortress focuses on taking hits for allies.

Every class can be built a multitude of ways, thanks to how skill distribution works. As characters level up, they gain skill points. These can been distributed to skills on a character’s ability tree. This allows for a player to build characters based on their preferences. For example, Snipers can either be major damage dealers with Squall Volley, or support their teammates by binding enemies.

Still, a team of five will never be able to cover everything. There’s often a role that goes unfilled, and that’s where subclassing comes into play. About halfway through the story, players gain access to subclassing, which allows characters to learn the skills of another. Subclass skills can only be leveled up half as much as mainclass skills, but they still open the way to powerful combinations.

This is all accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack. “Storm” is a blood pumping track focused on electric guitar and violins. “The Land Beyond the Clouds” sounds like a track by John Williams, it’s incredibly grand sounding with blaring trumpets.

Overall, “Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan” is a very immersive game. Gamers looking for an engaging story with deep characters may turn away. Those on the creative side will create their own stories, which are aided by a grand soundtrack, immersive atmosphere and engaging battle system.

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