Springtime for El Spite…ler

With the Japanese release of Etrian Odyssey III edging up (along with the presumed U.S. release, because dur hur of course), I’m making another concerted effort to finish the second game. I always seem to get to the end of a stratum, die horribly at the boss, and find my attention whisked away by some other game that I actually have to play for work before I can level up and tweak my specs enough to win.

Yesterday, I managed to complete the third stratum with a nail-bitingly desperate victory that burned through all my expendables and ended with a single character standing, her health in the red. (And I probably wouldn’t have made it that far if not for the fact that the boss wasted about half a dozen turns trying to use its one completely ineffectual attack over and over again.) It’s a pretty good instance of the tension and challenge that I love so much about the game… and the fact that I’ll be able to return and crush this same boss with little effort before I’ve bested the spring-like fourth stratum is doubly great. And so, guild El Spite presses on toward the end.

22 thoughts on “Springtime for El Spite…ler

  1. Oh mannn, I just finally finished the first stratum and then I got distracted by Dragon Quest V. Thankfully that should be a short-ish game. There are too many good games on the DS, I need to start taking the bus more often.

  2. Man, I just got paralyzed with indecision on this once once I cleared the second stratum. The ability to have more than one party of adventurers back at the guild does not help me these days, as I was making myself grind twice as much to have characters in every class.

    Odd, I just abused the system when I played Wizardry V back in my youth, and I’m less obsessive-compulsive about most games these days.

  3. And yet we still lack the (reportedly) superior 7th Dragon. Alas.

    Also — this seems like as good a place to ask as any — could someone approve my Talking Time account? I’d be much appreciative.

  4. I don’t know that 7th Dragon is objectively superior, but it has always sounded more up my alley, so I’m still awaiting some eleventh-hour announcement for it… yeah, not holding my breath, though.

    Matt: Instructions for TT approval are in the stickied thread in the bottom forum. If you’ve followed that, the only thing is patience. There’s a very limited number of mods.

  5. “It’s a pretty good instance of the tension and challenge that I love so much about the game.” I would totally agree with this, I have beat both etrians and don’t usually have a hard time anymore with the bosses at the end of the stratums after working up good skill strategies. Usually I have stoped at post game content, I love the games to death but those are too much for me.

  6. The Fourth Stratum’s boss has a beautiful sprite. I never did get around to finishing the Fifth Stratum….

  7. I’m also struggling to finish Etrian II — I like it, but have increasing trouble dealing with the grind mechanic in any game.

    What follows is a lengthy aside, but I can’t help myself:

    Destil bran up Wizardry a couple of comments above mine. Obviously the games are somewhat similar, but I’m surprised at how little the Wizardry series, in particular Crusaders of the Dark Savant, is discussed these days. I’m hoping the new Japanese DS entry makes it over here, and that it adheres somewhat to the atmosphere of Cosmic Forge/Dark Savant and avoids a more typical JRPG look and feel.

    If you like Etrian and haven’t played Dark Savant, it’s one of the more epic games you’ll ever play — the atmosphere is not unlike Demon’s Souls in one sense (dark, mysterious). Also, avoid the “gold edition” — they mangle the original sprite work. Just emulate the DOS version.

  8. I’d wager the reason no one talks about Wizardry is that Sirtech disbanded a decade ago and only one game (Tales of the Forsaken Land) has been released in the U.S. since then. Tough to have much lively conversation about a franchise that may as well not even exist these days.

  9. @parish I don’t mean that an academic discussion of the series needs to be an ongoing thing. There’s a lot to the Wizardry series, and while one can only say so much about any finite body of games, of course, I’m just saying it’s under-appreciated and underrepresented. More to the point, I imagine a lot of gamers, especially younger ones, haven’t played it, and it holds up (Crusaders, at least), so I figure it bears mentioning more frequently.

  10. I love many things about EO2 vs. EO1 – the autofight makes grinding less… grinding, and the beast and gunner are great. But, dammit, why did they have to make it so that FOEs don’t give XP? Instead of being a pleasure to grind upon, they are now nuisances to avoid. Why? WHY? This thought still torments me.

  11. I imagine they thought that FOEs shouldn’t be bringing you any pleasure. The changes to Stalker and FOEs are the main things that gives the second game a different feel from the first. I like it.

  12. How long do you think we will have to wait for the enviable announcement of EO3 for usa? I love both EO 1 and 2 and cant wait for the 3rd.

  13. In regards to EO3’s state-side release, maybe Jeremy can ask Nich, who lead the localization of EO2, if I’m not mistaken.

    In regards to 7th Dragon, I took the plunge and imported it without knowing any Japanese. I spent those anxious days awaiting its arrival from Play-Asia by learning katakana as best I could. It’s well worth the effort and I’m 40+ hours into it. If you’re considering the import option, the info on the 7th Dragon English wiki site is indispensable (to which I’ve contributed a small pittance). I don’t have a clue what’s going on plot-wise, but everything else is quite manageable.

    If 7th Dragon never gets localized, we’ll have been ruthlessly robbed.

  14. Sorry, I do not press friends for information on unannounced games that they may or may not be working on… and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to share confidential information like that. It’s safe to assume EO3 will be making its way over here, though. Aside from some shovelware remakes, I can’t think of a single Atlus-developed game that hasn’t come to the U.S. since, what, SMT Nine?

  15. Oh, I’m not offended. I just don’t want the people to get into the habit of pestering the various industry folks who hang around here. It’s kind of an unstated rule that you don’t press them for details unless they’re already dishing.

  16. That makes perfect sense and I appreciate you taking the time to enlighten me. That was rather thoughtless of me and I must admit my embarrassment. I definitely had an “oh crap I just ticked off someone I respect” moment. :)

    Also, I’m really enjoying GameSpite in it’s printed form. Thanks for putting in the effort on the books!

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