This 2009 ‘spin-off’ in the Megami Tensei series is a turn-based tactical combat game, with the usual demons, magic, exploration and battles – presented in a mix of comic-like panels (for the conversation sections) and isometric landscapes (for the combat sections).
While I wouldn’t call myself a Pokémon fanatic, I do really enjoy the games because they are so well made, and because I love level-grinders. Pokémon Pearl (and its companion, Diamond) is considered by many as one of the best games in the series, and people still love to play it now.
Compared to previous generations, Pokémon Pearl has lots of new features, and compared to later generations: the series hasn’t yet started to collapse under its own weight.
Known as Dead ‘n’ Furious in Europe, but I’m going with the North American title for this Nintendo DS rail shooter – a touch-screen tribute to Sega‘s infamous arcade game House of the Dead. Only the title reference doesn’t work properly because there’s no “of” in it… I would’ve gone for ‘Touch of the Dead‘, which doesn’t really make sense but is better than what they used, because it at least references the original game properly. Anyway…
This pioneering Japanese RPG was first released in 2007 and paved the way for one of the greatest series in the history of level-grinders… The Etrian Odyssey series.
Number three is my favourite, but one and two are excellent too (see also the Nintendo 3DS fourth instalment), and all follow the same credo. Which is: to base a game around exploration, mapping, and turn-based combat. And to make the party system flexible, so that adventurers can take out different parties and experiment with character skills.
This 2008 Nintendo DS release from Atlus is up there with the best in terms of top quality level-grinders – it really is superb.
The Etrian Odyssey series is all about mapping and exploration, item drops, boss battles, levelling, and lots of excellent turn-based combat, and this second instalment is a clear evolution of the first game, although arguably not quite as expansive and refined as its remarkable sequel.
I want to post some more grabs from Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City on the Nintendo DS. Because it really is one of the best RPGs of all time, and because I can’t recommend you play it highly enough.
This third game in the Atlus Etrian Odyssey series is a serious contender for the best RPG of all time. It is just so beautiful and so detailed and so well constructed that I haven’t got anything negative to say about it. Other than it is rock hard!