Etrian Odyssey (Nintendo DS, 2007)
Etrian Odyssey was the first in a fairly long running series of role playing games for Nintendo’s handhelds. Etrian Odyssey was released in early 2007 by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. The game is completely turn based and can be compared to classic, primarily computer based RPGs like Wizardry and Bard’s Tale (though with better graphics).
Etrian Odyssey even requires you to do your own mapping but does allows you to do so with the stylus and lower screen of the DS. It even provides a variety of ready made symbols for your use so it isn’t quite like the graph paper days of old. Etrian Odyssey provides a lot of dungeon crawling for you to enjoy if you like that sort of thing. It allows a party of five characters of various classes and you can swap out with other characters when you are taking a break from dungeon exploration back in the town at the guild hall. As is typical with RPGs your characters will advance levels when enough experience is gained. When this happens you can allocate skill points to specific skills.
The pace can be slow, the difficulty relatively high and the story is somewhat lacking but fans of old school RPGs should love this one nonetheless. It received mostly positive reviews and sold reasonably well for a game of its type. Unfortunately, prices tend to be pretty high for this one on eBay today, particularly for a complete copy.
There have been a number of sequels and remakes as part of this series. Sequels include Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard, Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan, Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth and the upcoming Etrian Odyssey X. In addition, the first couple of games have been remade. The original game was mostly remade as Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl and released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. There have also been a couple of spin-offs: Etrian Mystery Dungeon and Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2.
If you try the first game in the series and are a fan then you have plenty to look forward to though the game system does tend to change-up some between iterations.