Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rougelike elements

Mystery Dungeon games or Rougelikes as they are also called are a very niche type of rpgs with some distinctive features. Etrian Odyssey isnt one of these games but it does borrow some ideas from the genre.

In Rougelikes you can usually see all the enemies on screen and they move one step for every step you take. This adds an additional level of strategy to navigating the dungeon. This isnt the case with most enemies in Etrian Odyssey, you meet them in random encounters. The more powerful boss like enemies called FOEs on the other hand you can see on the map. These nasty over powered things will patrol the dungeon and try to hunt you down if they see you.

Since these FOEs are often far stronger then your party you will have to try to avoid them. This adds not only an element of strategy to the game but also an element of dread. I would compare it having Nemessis chasing you in Resident Evil 3. Having a huge FOE breading down your neck when you are exploring a new area of the dungeon can be nerve wrecking. Knowing that if you choose to go down the wrong corridor and it turns out to be a dead end you will be trapped.

Of course like in most rpgs once you have leveled up your characters far enough you can revisit the earlier floors and kick the shit out of these previously invincible monsters. Most likely they are also carrying some sweet loot.

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