I’ve made it to the bit in Final Fantasy XIII where the game opens up and I have to run around a vast, open, interconnected series of areas hunting marks. Basically, it just turned into Final Fantasy XII. I am being forced to stay home today and do nothing but play this game. So, you know, sometimes this ridiculous job of mine is pretty OK! And now I can begin looking forward to my next addictions.
This may sound strange, but there’s a small, sane part of me that kind of hopes Atlus doesn’t localize Sekaiju No Meikyuu III into Etrian Odyssey III. I mean, I’m champing at the bit to play the game, yeah. But that’s kind of the problem. I estimate I sank 100 hours or more into the first two games — that’s apiece, not cumulatively — and everything I’ve read about EOIII looks like it has the potential to ruin me.
Right, so there’s mapping of dungeons. That’s to be expected. But outside of the dungeon, there’s an ocean to be explored. I am susceptible to the lure of exploration! It is my elemental weakness. So that’s not good.
I’ve read that there are ten new classes which completely remix the game’s skill system. (And someone noted some blank spaces in a class menu somewhere, leading to speculation of a few extra unlockable classes similar to the previous games’ Hexer, Ronin, and Beast.) Fine, fine, I can relearn how to build my party. But then I heard that EOIII offers multiclassing, allowing characters to train up in a secondary class for skill diversification. This brings EOIII a step closer to Final Fantasy V. A perilous step. Now I really can potentially create a party consisting of Ranma the monk and three shepherds without compromising my combat potential.
Also, I’ve read that there’ll be a significant weapon-customization element to EOIII as well. You’ll presumably have to gather dungeon (and ocean) loot to unlock new gear, but on top of that you’ll be able to add various enhancements to your equipment to boost your power and add innate elemental traits and who knows what else.
So basically, it’s Etrian Odyssey with more to explore and way more to customize. I suppose I should probably just chain my DS to my body if the game makes its way over here. At least it will save me money; I doubt I’ll need to buy another game all year. Uh, except Dragon Quest IX. Oh man, this summer is gonna be like Sophie’s Choice for me, isn’t it? Which baby do I abandon!?
P.S.: Speaking of Etrian Odyssey, the spring 2010 GameSpite subscriber bonus book is well underway. It consists of two features: A gigantic EO feature that was entirely too large to fit into GameSpite Quarterly 4 — seriously, at 30 pages long it would have bumped the price up a dollar — and a 8-10 page comic called “ToastyFrog in: Metroidvania!” I’m hoping to wrap up the comic this weekend. Please look forward to it.