Feb 17, 2019I played a demo of Etrian Odyssey 4 and enjoyed the gimmick of creating maps by hand because it reminded me of my childhood playing Zelda games without a guide, having to use a pencil and graph paper to draw maps. Being a fan of Persona, I purchased Persona Q which uses Etrain Odyssey mechanics with Persona characters. That game was a 10/10 for me, so I was looking forward to EtrianI played a demo of Etrian Odyssey 4 and enjoyed the gimmick of creating maps by hand because it reminded me of my childhood playing Zelda games without a guide, having to use a pencil and graph paper to draw maps. Being a fan of Persona, I purchased Persona Q which uses Etrain Odyssey mechanics with Persona characters. That game was a 10/10 for me, so I was looking forward to Etrian Odyssey Nexus and played it at launch, expecting to love it just as much. I just completed a 36-hour playthrough in which I cleared all 13 dungeons 100% map completion and did all side quests. I enjoyed the game on its own merits, but expecting it to hold a candle to Persona Q was a major mistake. In EON, you create your own party of 5, and you meet a handful of other people along the way that join you temporarily. There is no personality in your party, and very little personality in anyone you come into contact with, with the exception of the crazy old guy that runs the bar and gives you quests. The quests are very boring. It's rinse/repeat of step onto the first floor of a dungeon, warp to the town, grab 2 fetch quests, kill the required enemies or gather from the gather points until you have enough of the junk to turn in the quest. It's the same thing over and over, and there was very little motivation to do it. I still completed them all because it was very easy to do so (most happen automatically) and the rewards were good.
I played on Picnic Difficulty because I don't like fights that go on forever and I personally don't like dying and starting over with progress lost, so I appreciate the easy difficulty being available to me. If I had it all to do over again, I would NOT play on picnic, and I don't recommend it to you either. The only puzzles in this game are dependent on you being afraid of the big bad enemies called FOEs. On picnic difficulty, you can kill them in 2 turns while sustaining zero damage. On a harder difficulty, you have to watch their step patterns and use your own movements to lure them into traps, slide icebergs into them to destroy them, avoid their acid vomit, and have them raise platforms to block themselves off from your path. Once I made a conscious effort to actually play afraid of the FOEs and teleport back to the entrance if one made contact with me, I had much more fun with the game because figuring out those puzzles was enjoyable. There were very few actual map-based puzzles, such as sliding platforms that move in the direction you approach them from and glide across the water. Those puzzles were good too, albeit slightly easy, and they were VERY rare. I had to stop and think about how to progress maybe three times, and I was never stuck. Persona Q had constant puzzles in the maps and FOEs, and was an all-around better experience. One thing I did like about EON was the Farmer skill that highlights all hidden passages, gather points, stairways, and chests on the current floor for up to 255 steps. Having the hidden passages pointed out on the map made life much easier as I no longer had to face every single wall and look for the interaction icon. Also, I used the automap feature that draws walls and floors where you walk, and I prefer it that way. There is still plenty of need to draw your own markings on conveyor-belt floors and other things. Etrian Odyssey Nexus reminded me more of a maze than Persona Q did as well. There were hundreds of dead ends around half the corners. In Persona Q, when you got to a room or a dead end, something would happen, and you needed to write it down in an annotation because it would be linked to a side quest. I wrote down everything in EON and it came back to a side quest one single time (a wind picked up when I stepped on a floating platform and one of my party members got a cut on her ankle. Accept the quest, and it turns out that a monster is blowing the wind and attacking people that fall in, so you have to beat the monster.) That was the only time anything like that happened that I can recall. The rest of the game sees you finding dead ends constantly. There is some flavor text in some spots about "do you want to play piñata with the hanging fruit?" that may heal your party, restore their TP (mana), or do a little damage.
Overall, Etrian Odyssey Nexus isn't a bad game. If I had played it first, I would have liked it a little more. But there's so much more personality in Persona Q, the puzzles are better, there's more reason to 100% complete a map (in Persona Q, you get a rare item from a chest when you 100% it, in EON you turn in maps when you're like 80% done with them and it allows you to teleport to the next floor from town), and there's just more life to the story. It didn't bother me that this game was a "best of Etrian Odyssey" because I haven't played any of those previous games, with this one 100% completed, I don't feel the need to, especially if this is as good as it gets.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Mar 8, 2019All in all, Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a solid entry in the series. It doesn't reinvent the wheel but is sort of a grab bag of everything that makes Etrian Odyssey work. It's very familiar, and longtime series fans may find that this outing played it too safe, but casual fans and newcomers should consider it a near-perfect place to start the series. All in all, Nexus is a fantastic end to the long handheld history of the franchise, and it provides a lot of hope for whatever comes next.
Feb 26, 2019Although I prefer Beyond the Myth by a slight margin, Etrian Odyssey Nexus offers a familiar and rewarding dungeon crawling adventure that retro RPG fans will surely appreciate. Now that the series is done on 3DS, here's hoping we can play the next one on Switch.
Feb 26, 2019The vast array of options in Etrian Odyssey Nexus could easily scare away players who are unfamiliar with or who dislike RPGs, but Etrian Odyssey Nexus is welcoming to all skill levels and would be a great starting point for players new to dungeon-crawling RPGs. It’s also an enjoyable and fitting send-off as the series’ last installment on the 3DS.