Etrian Odyssey Reprints

etrian

Perhaps you are new to the DS/3DS, perhaps you couldn’t find them, or perhaps you never heard of them. Whatever the reason, if you wanted another shot at trying the Etrian Odyssey games, a small reprint of the first three has been produced to satisfy demand resulting from the upcoming release of Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan for 3DS. They may or may not show up in your local retail stores, but you can order them at Play-Asia right now:

Buy Etrian Odyssey (Nintendo DS)

Buy Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard (Nintendo DS)

Buy Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City (Nintendo DS)

etrian3

The Etrian Odyssey series is an homage to classic role-playing games where you move tile by tile in a first-person perspective, explore a massive labyrinth, sometimes fall victim to teleporters and pit traps, and must rely upon your trusty map (which you draw yourself) to find your way back to the safety of the village. However, it’s not presented like an ugly computer game from the late 1970’s. With attractive monster designs by Shin Nagasawa and wonderful retro-style music by Yuzo Koshiro, the Etrian Odyssey games liven up an old forumla with a charming presentation. Furthermore, you don’t have to break out the graph paper; the lower screen of the Nintendo DS lets you draw the maps with a snap-to grid and useful icons.

In terms of plot, the Etrian Odyssey games go well beyond the classic RPG formula. You know, the old “Defeat the evil wizard/dragon/monster; Thanks, you saved our kingdom!” routine. However, the games still focus on exploration and party customization. The narration is sparse and you won’t see comical banter between party members, but there is a plot that progresses and there will be one or two unexpected twists. Just don’t go in expecting something it’s not.

The Etrian Odyssey games were cult hits in Japan, but have remained obscure in North America. They may not be for everyone, but they are good games if what I have described sounds interesting. The Etrian Odyssey games are all stand-alone; there is no need to play them all. In fact, due to interface improvements as the series progressed, it may be best to start with the third game. The first three will play on a Nintendo DS (any version) or a Nintendo 3DS. The fourth game is for 3DS only.

Dodonpachi Saidaioujou Arrange Mode

Famitsu recently posted new information about the Arrange Mode (Console Mode) for CAVE’s arcade to Xbox 360 port of Dodonpachi Saidaioujou. Here is a translation from a member of the NeoGAF forums:

  • arrange mode is programmed by Ikeda, Ichimura and Yagawa, it’ll be totally different from previous arrange modes and will be focused on story, with voice acting by Aya Hirano
  • it will feature a new elemental doll, Saya
  • vertical scrolling, but 16:9 aspect ratio, like Jamestown and Gigawing
  • supports coop multiplayer up to 3 players (not specificed if online or offline), there’s only one score counter shared between players
  • there will be an anime intro, sung by Aya Hirano
  • Yagawa is in charge of the port (in previous games he only did arrange modes)
  • it’ll be their last game for 360
  • they’re working together with Microsoft
  • there will be a big announcement on March 2013

Saya, the new elemental doll from Ar Tonelico character designer Nagi Ryou, isn’t the creepiest thing they could have added to the game, but it’s close.

In a previous post, I commented on many of the obstacles that must be overcome to sell an arcade game to console gamers. Some of these issues (screen orientation and content) were also in the developer’s minds and have been addressed.

Also noteworthy is that CAVE’s three main developers are working together on the Arrange Mode since they typically work on separate projects. The increased developer attention combined with Microsoft’s involvement and the expensive additions (Anime intro, famous voice actor) suggest that CAVE and Microsoft are putting everything they can into this game. It will be interesting to see the finished product and consumer response.

Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set

Capcom just announced the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set. The Xbox 360 version and Playstation 3 version both went up on Amazon today. It retails for $150 and is expected to be very limited. I’ve already pre-ordered mine.

This Collector’s Edition is a sweet looking box stuffed with goodies. Buyers will receive the following items:

  • Collector’s Case
  • 11-disc soundtrack
  • Street Fighter X Tekken game disc
  • Super Street Fighter IV game disc
  • Assorted costume / character DLC
  • Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition game download
  • Super Street Fighter II: Turbo HD Remix game download
  • 8-inch Light-up Ryu Statue
  • 2-disc Blu-Ray documentaries, animation, etc
  • 64-page Hardcover Art Book
  • Embroidered, Full-Size Ryu Belt
  • Numbered Certificate of Authenticity

When the package is released in September, you can find out if it really is rare and special or if you were duped out of $150.