"Far off in the mountains, the small village Aslarga becomes a hub for adventurers looking for fame and fortune from the Mystery Dungeons. But dire challenges await even the most stalwart adventurers in Etrian Mystery Dungeon, a turn-based action RPG roguelike developed by ATLUS and Spike Chunsoft.
The Nintendo 3DS exclusive mixes Etrian Odyssey’s vast RPG party and skill customization aspects, and Mystery Dungeon’s infinitely random dungeon adventures. The action/turn based combat means that battling monsters is not just about using the right skills, but becomes an elegant Pas de Quatre of strategic positioning. Players form their parties with familiar Etrian Odyssey classes, customize individuals using Etrian-style skill trees, and then take up to four members into the dungeons. Always randomized with various levels and paths, the dungeons require plenty of exploration, not to mention the incredible loot rewards -- just be wary of what waits among the deepest depths."
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+ All classes are useful / have roles
+ Good introduction to rougelike game
+ Can build forts to expedite dungeons
+ Skill / create system makes them feel like your own character(s)
~ Allies can't always be controlled at once
~ Dungeons can get rather tedious
~ Randomize dungeons
~ Protector seems to be the best class / classes aren't balanced
~ Weapons / Armor have arbitrary level up/ forge system
- Bug causes the sovereign class to avoid their own buffs
- DOE enemies seem more like filler than an actual challenge
- Constant messaging for using items
- "Powered up" enemies are worse than bosses
- Bosses are relatively easy compared to walking through the dungeon
I've enjoyed the mystery dungeon style games I've played, but this one is probably one of my least favorites. Unfortunately, I don't think the Etrian style really meshes up all that well with the mystery dungeon style, and I constantly felt like I didn't have enough units or I didn't have the skills and abilities I needed. I was stuck in an endless loop of grinding and bad luck, and eventually I put the game down because I grew frustrated with it.