Etrian Odssey II

a review of Etrian Odssey II : Heroes of Lagaard
a videogame developed by Atlus
and published by Atlus
for the nintendo DS
text by Remy Cote D'ivoire

1 star

Bottom line: Etrian Odssey II is “Intrusive.”

I have no idea why I bought this game. I don’t even like this nonsense! This leveling up. And yet here I am. Leveling. Amory Blaine once said that men would be willing to work for gold ribbons. He is so right. I find myself playing this game and leveling up and clearing another floor of the dungeon just so I can go back to town and talk to the villagers and read their new dialogue. It’s like coming home from work and, upon walking through your door, seeing your girlfriend standing there, lovely and smiling, and having her say “hi, how was your day?” in a different language. It’s like having that happen everyday. It’s really great. I like it.

But is this enough? To keep me interested? Considering I haven’t played the game for over a month, probably not. I still think about the game every day though, sometimes asking myself the question: “What would it be like, if…like, my Ronin were one level higher? How much more damage would he do?” Does it matter if my ronin is one level higher? If I want to beat the game, then yes, it does matter. And I’m comforted by the fact that the game has an ending, and that to see it you have to level up, which gives the act of leveling up a purpose.

The game doesn’t even really have a story, though! Damn! They’ve tricked me! The “purpose” of the game has become a cruel joke! Now, I will play games the require a whole hell of a lot of monotonous bullstuff just so I can see how the story plays out. Boy howdy, let me tell you. I beat Killer 7. I had a pretty hecking stuffty time doing it, but I did it, and felt rewarded at the end, I guess. So basically what I’m trying to communicate here is that my motivation for playing the game has become suspect: I’m not doing it because the story or the gameplay is going to leave a lasting impression on me; I’m doing it because I just want to see what’s at the top of the tower.

I have to admit though, that the whole reason I bought the game in the first place is because Yuzo Koshiro composed the music. And, like, it’s not that great. It’s solid, of course. I mean, Yuzo Koshiro, that guy, damn, he makes some pretty good music! In France, there is an old saying:




Ok, well, maybe we shouldn’t get that carried away! However, the power, the romance of music is such that the listener is swept up in like, this, this whirlwind of emotions. So if you look at it that way, it makes perfect sense that the French would want to light people on fire. Man, I miss those days, on the Champs-Elysées. The wine flowing freely, and those Algerian street musicians, grooving all day and all night. We called it power leveling. And we pretended we were Frodo Baggins.

–Remy Cote D’ivoire


11 Responses to Etrian Odssey II

  1. I’m sorry, but this is not a review. This is fluff. Surely more can be said about the game. Or, if not, surely less can be written.

  2. I kinda didn’t mind reading an review shorter than a New York Review of Books article, although… yeah. I feel less satisfied than usual.

    Not that I’m complaining, really. Here is my review of Etrian Odssey: “I like Etrian Odssey. You get to draw your own dungeon maps. It’s strangely addicting.” It’s not a very good review, but, yeah — that’s pretty much all I have to say about the first one.

  3. Isn’t that what actionbutton is all about, though? Random tangents that ultimately lead nowhere but you like where nowhere is headed?

  4. Nope… the good AB reviews had a point. I learned about games from the last batch of them. This just seems… meh. Like a parody of an AB review

  5. I thought this was site was supposed to be about ostentatiously intelleckshual reviews. What is this nonsense? Can I write tiny, meaningless snippets about games that I vaguely remember playing for five minutes sometime last year? Well, sure, I could, but why would I imagine anyone else would want to read them?

  6. To be honest this site is really just writings about games, from people that like to write. Fair enough i suppose, but a lot of what i have read recently is what i can only describe as well-written bullstuff.

  7. Sure, a lot of it’s self-indulgent bullstuff, but at least it’s not LAZY bullstuff. Which is how I would describe this entry.

  8. “Not sincere enough for you Tlon?”

    well kinda. i mean usually most of the stuff here uses rhetoric to make a point. this? i don’t see the point. also what GeoX said

  9. It’s a fair review, really. I mean, the entire point of the game is numbers/leveling- if you’re not attracted to numbers/leveling (in that special, obsessive-compulsive way), you probably won’t enjoy it! That said, a review written by someone who actually appreciates stat spreadsheets/dungeon crawlers would be a better read.

    Also: I rather liked the soundtrack.

  10. actually uhhh the only issue i have with this review is that it starts out by saying “i have no idea why i bought this game” and then several paragraphs later states “the whole reason i bought this game is because . . . ”

    don’t give up, remy~

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