There are some games that, due to the nature of the console in which they were released, are difficult to port. An example of this is the Nintendo DS, one of the first touch screen consoles that was quite a boom at the time. Many games that experimented on how to use the touch screen were released on it, such as the Etrian Odyssey series.
This series was a trilogy of RPG Dungeon Crawler games that allowed us to draw our own map on the NDS touch screen. Now, with the fashion for remasters, they make the leap to Nintendo Switch taking advantage of the HD graphics and touch functions of the Nintendo hybrid.
Yggdrasil, the key to everything
At the plot level, the game is not too complicated but basically has the Tree of Yggdrasil as its connecting thread. In the first game, the city of Etria has a magnet to draw intrepid adventurers in search of fame and treasure. In Etrian Odysey 2 we will visit a castle in the sky which leads to the labyrinth of Yggdrasil. And, in Etrian Odysey 2, a sunken city called Armorroad is full of secrets that lie beneath, again, the Tree of Yggdrasil.
In the cities, we will have access to shops, guilds and inns. Each one has a corresponding function and the rest is to meet and interact with the different managers of the establishments in each city. We can talk with them in addition to doing their respective business, but little else. We will not have memorable characters to meet, and not even the protagonists will have any interaction beyond conversations.
a motley crew
Before starting a trip to one of the floors of the labyrinth, we must prepare our group of adventurers, starting with their creation. We will have 9 classes in EO1, then 11 in EO2, and finally 12 brand new classes in EO3. Classes range from Soldiers, Ranger, Healer, Gunslinger, Warrior Mage among others. We can have up to 5 members per group and they can be from the different classes available, basically the 3 games in the collection are handled in the same way.
Once our warriors have been selected, we must know in which group formation line we must place them. The description of each class indicates where we should place them, for example, a mage is not very effective in the vanguard, while a warrior is. Characters in the rear deal less damage but are less prone to enemy attacks, all of which influence the outcome of combat.
Now in matter, we explore a maze in the form of dungeons called floors, the objective is to gradually explore each corridor until we find a door that will take us to the next. Along the way we will have random encounters with enemies and we must defeat them. However, it’s not a walk in the park as we won’t be looting an entire floor in one visit. We must level up and have better statistical benefits when facing the challenges.
The classes are not superdicted to a single attitude, since the skill trees allow you to create specialized warriors in different builds. We can have healers who, in addition to healing, grant debuffs or inspire our warriors. As for the third installment, the game allows you to create sub-classes and thus complement our heroes.
Del DS al Switch
One of the hallmarks of Etrian Odyssey is precisely drawing each map as we discover its trails. However, since it is not an NDS, the Nintendo Switch adapts its gameplay to its touch screen. The maps are full of events that we must mark in order to get the most out of each game.
The map can be opened at any time on the right side of the screen and if we choose to remove it, a mini-map will be added so as not to get lost. We can draw the maps with both the controls, the touch screen or a combination of both methods. However, I felt that drawing with the controller was much easier, but this is a personal thing.
The first two games are pretty much played the same way, although new options were added in the third. One of them is the multiplayer options that allow us to exchange objects and guild cards with our friends and carry out cooperative missions.
Etrian Odyssey HD Origins Collection from HD has rather little, since only the screen format was adapted to 16:9 and the resolution was improved. However, the 2D character models are maintained, although the quality of the images was improved, being redrawn. The soundtrack was also enhanced with relaxed, combat, and instrumental themes. It comes translated into Spanish, something that the originals did not have.
Etrian Odyssey HD Origins Collection is a great compilation for Dungeon Crawlers lovers that brings three games from the series in one compendium, although they are not games for everyone due to their high difficulty. At the story level they are not deep at all and we will hardly worry about the characters. However, what stands out about these games is the preparation prior to an incursion through its labyrinthine, being able to carry out missions with our group of warriors, defeating enemies and receiving rewards, which curiously make it very immersive. Graphically, they were limited to the basics of adapting to the HD era and nothing remarkable.
Note: This review was made thanks to the copy provided by Atlus.