Etrian Odyssey, released what seems like an eternity ago (May 2007 in the U.S.) for the Nintendo DS, seemingly turned back the clock on portable RPGs.
A hardcore dungeon crawler, the Atlus-produced title featured turn-based battles, a first-person view of the labyrinth you're exploring, and a non-automatic map system where you used the DS stylus to draw in the map as you go on the bottom screen. Not for wimps, it wasn't-and yet it sold around 300,000 copies worldwide, kicking off an entire franchise.
With Shin Sekaiju no Meikyu (announced today in the pages of Famitsu magazine), it appears that Atlus is remaking the first Etrian Odyssey for the 3DS. "Reworking" might be a better way to describe it, although the new game will feature a much more prevalent story and cast of characters, putting it a little more in line with the mainstream in Japanese RPGs.
"The RPG-based fun is still there," said director Shigeo Komori, "but the game has now strengthened its story and character portion, making the core RPG essence that much more fun to experience. We're aiming to produce a title that both series fans and people just taking an interest in the brand will think is great fun."
As before, the game is set in the fantasy kingdom of Etria, with your hero (a bounty hunter exploring the realm's many abandoned ruins for fun and profit) kicking the story off by running into an amnesiac girl named Frederica Irving. Manual mapping on the bottom screen is back, but the new remake offers more dungeons and more monsters, as well as a slew of new character customization possibilities as your party levels up.
The title is due out June 27 in Japan for 6,279 yen.