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Kimberley Wallace
E3: Etrian Odyssey III Impressions
Time to fill out your maps... on the seven seas!
06.15.10 - 9:28 PM

The third installment of the Etrian Odyssey series, entitled Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, will see a September 21st release date. While at E3, RPGFan got a first hand look at the title. This time around, Atlus promises a stronger narrative, so gameplay won't be your only reason to pick up this dungeon crawler. The Drowned City will feature 10 all new player classes, some of which include farmer, princess, zodiac, buccaneer, hoplite, and gladiator. Naval exploration will also be a big part of Etrian Odyssey III. As you travel from island to island, you will experience all of your Etrian Odyssey standbys, including map creation and boss battles. And if that doesn't sell you the game, Etrian Odyssey III uses the same engine as Atlus' other acclaimed title Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.

What really makes this title stand out, however, is its multiplayer mode. Up to five people can co-op together through individual missions in the game. While at the show, we got to test this feature out and it runs rather smoothly. One player will take control of the party and will set the mission. Up to four other players can join in on the fun, but for those lacking a full Party of Five (bad pun), the game will place characters controller by the AI in your party. Each player takes control of their individual character, whom is chosen from their own cartridge. These players must work together to take down the bosses, but they're not limited to just the base abilities. The host can set up the party with Limit Skills, which can only be used a limited number of times in each battle among the party. Many of these abilities are linked between the characters in the party and can be game-changers.

While fans of Etrian Odyssey may be used to carefully managing their own party, each player will have their individual role, so, no, not everyone can be the Ninja. During our demo, I took control of the Ninja while our host at Atlus took control of the healing-oriented Monk. To shore up our party, editor John McCarroll chose... the farmer. Needless to say, we lost horribly because of that choice. Moral of the story: choose your characters wisely.

Keep watch to RPGFan as this game gets closer to its September 21st release date for a more in-depth look!


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