The newest game in the long running Etrian Odyssey franchise has arrived on the 3DS, and while it doesn’t do anything too revolutionary with its mechanics, it makes up for it by being the perfect dungeon crawler for newcomers to the genre.
The Millennium Girl attempts to appeal to a wider audience by having a story mode for newcomers or story fanatics, and the typical freedom mode that fans of the series will find comfortably familiar. The story mode gives the player a pre-set party with actual characteristics as they explore the world to discover the secret of The Millennium Girl; it’s a typical JRPG story that’s only there to help introduce players into the massive Etrian Odyssey world.
The story also has tutorials that explain the games battle and cartography mechanics in surprisingly inventive ways. Characters will call out that a certain enemy is weak to one of their abilities, or when something interesting has been found on the map. It harkens back to the pawns from Dragon’s Dogma and makes the story characters much more than just the empty husks they are in freedom mode.
Apart from the added story mode and beautifully made anime cutscenes, the gameplay remains largely unchanged from the previous Etrian Odyssey game. Players still explore large dungeons to draw up maps, kill monsters and complete quests, but it all feels a bit too familiar and samey, never changing it up or throwing in any surprises to keep you on your toes. It lacks the danger that Etrian Odyssey IV had with its hulking monsters that chased you through dungeons. While the gameplay in Millennium Girl is in no way bad, it just doesn’t do anything new to spice up the series.
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl is a game I would recommend to people unfamiliar with the Etrian Odyssey franchise. It’s a fantastic introduction to the series that should be played by all newcomers. But diehard fans that don’t care about a story will only find that this is the same game they bought last year with few gameplay changes. While the game is both brilliant in mechanics and design, it just feels too similar to previous games in the franchise and I fail to see a reason to pick this game up over its excellent predecessor Etrian Odyssey IV.
+ Brilliant for newcomers
+ Story adds character to the world
+ Wonderful anime cutscenes
– Doesn’t do anything new
– Feels like freedom mode was rushed
Thanks to NIS for supplying a review code