Etrian Mystery Dungeon Articles RSS Feed | Etrian Mystery Dungeon RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Mystery Dungeon is a Criminally Underrated Series — And That's a Shame Sun, 31 Mar 2019 13:03:36 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix released Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy recently, and to some, it might seem an odd game out. Mystery Dungeon games are roguelikes and previous Chocobo-related outings didn't attract as much attention in the West as they did overseas.

They're known for brutal difficulty and roguelike elements most of all. But underneath the randomly generated dungeons and turn-based combat is a series with huge variety and deep connections to gaming history. Certain outings, including Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon, also go beyond the teeth-grinding difficulty and offer compelling fanservice whose charm alone helps make the entire package worthwhile.

How It Started

In general, the Mystery Dungeon games share a few core things in common with roguelikes.

They revolve around exploring one or multiple dungeons, usually with a variety of randomly generated floors or sections themed around a specific gimmick. Each floor’s layout is randomly generated. That’s where part of the appeal is, too, since the dungeon changes every time you enter.

Movement is grid-based, and each step you take causes time to move forward on that floor. Of course, enemies and other environmental facets take place as you (and time) move.

Combat is turn based and often relies on your character facing the right direction so it can actually land a hit. Many Mystery Dungeon games will include a variation of the class system common to RPGs, letting you change up how you approach each obstacle.

These all stretch back to the game that’s one of the grandfathers (grand-game?) of all RPGs: Wizardry.

Wizardry was the first dungeon crawler video game with mass appeal and was based heavily on the likes of Dungeons and Dragons and created by Robert Woodhead and Andrew Greenberg in the late 1970s, though it didn’t hit many people’s radars until 1980.

Wizardry built on other, similar games with exploration elements and first-person mechanics to create a unique experience. Dungeon exploration and incredible detail (for the time) were coupled with party-based combat and a deep experience that could change depending on how you approached it.

It also existed in a pre-map era, which meant players resorted to the tabletop feature of developing their own maps (hello Etrian Odysseys ancestor).

Wizardry was a success in the West, but success doesn’t even begin to describe the phenomenon it created in Japan. It, along with Ultima, developed a huge following that still exists and sparked the modern RPG as we know it.

How Dungeon Crawlers Gave Birth to the RPG

Apart from introducing staple RPG mechanics like fantasy, exploration, and party combat to broader audiences, Wizardry caught the imaginations of Koichi Nakamura and Yuuji Horii during their earlier days at Enix.

Wizardry didn’t release in Japan until 1985, but the two programmers experienced it firsthand at Applefest in 1983. The design and mechanics struck a chord in them, and they combined Wizardry gameplay with the Ultima map as the foundation for what became Dragon Quest.

That game ended up spawning Final Fantasy, and the genealogy of RPGs is well-known enough from there. It is worth noting, though, that Nakamura would go on to work on the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, along with acting as producer for many, many other Mystery Dungeon spinoffs.

Around the time Dragon Quest made its debut, Wizardry and the dungeon crawler were fading from the public eye in the West. Greenberg and Woodhead had achieved cult following status in Japan, though, and could hardly walk around without being mobbed by adoring fans.

As roguelikes and dungeon crawlers gradually fell out of favor this side of the Pacific, Japan started seeing more mainstream games with Wizardry’s DNA, like Shin Megami Tensei, along with a host of lesser known titles, such as Dragon Slayer, to say nothing of the countless Wizardry sequels and spinoffs still being made.

How the RPG Gave Birth to Mystery Dungeon

The genre changed again, though. In 1993, the first Mystery Dungeon game was released, Torneko no Daibōken: Fushigi no Dungeon. It featured a side character from Dragon Warrior IV and was basically a console roguelikes that used familiar characters from well-known RPGs to draw people in.

But it spawned a series that would include countless spinoffs from multiple well-known franchises.

Take Final Fantasy for example. In 1997, doubtlessly riding off FFVII’s success, Square released Chocobo Fushigi na Dungeon (what would end up being translated as Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon for the sequel).

It borrowed elements of Final Fantasy and mashed them with Wizardry-style dungeon exploration and rougelike elements to create a successful spinoff—successful enough to warrant a sequel only a year later.

Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon 2 wasn’t a major hit in the West, but it developed a loyal following. Part of the appeal in Japan and the West was that the Chocobo offshoot tames some of the bone-grinding difficulty and made the series more accessible.

Other franchises would follow suit, but apart from the joy of seeing your favorite characters — or character classes, in the case of something like Etrian Mystery Dungeon — there's a special something about playing a game that has such strong roots to modern RPG gaming and was ultimately responsible for some of the biggest names in the gaming industry.

The Core: Strategy, Heartache, Rinse, and Repeat

But before Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and the Final Fantasy Fables games that tried to be more accessible, there were other entries in the Mystery Dungeon series designed for the hardcore gamer.

The Shiren the Wanderer games are some of the better known spinoffs in the Mystery Dungeon series, with releases on the Wii (Shiren the Wanderer), DS (Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer) and Vita (Shiren the Wanderer: the Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate).

The Shiren games are not for the faint of heart. They'll take your time, make you think you're doing well, and then crush you with a smile before sending you back to square one.

These hardcore Mystery Dungeon games are the epitome of roguelike. But that's also part of what makes them popular, popular enough to warrant additional entries in the West, including a newer mobile release as well. Shiren games force you to literally think out every step, planning ahead so even if the RNG gods do spit on you, there's still a chance of survival.

Like the best roguelikes, its design is effective enough to keep you trying again and again, regardless of how many times it kicks you down — even if you do need a break first. Since layouts are always different, it means your strategy has to change every time too.

It helps that these mechanics are wrapped around a charming graphics style, with some addictive item management and combination elements as well, making the frustrations more than worthwhile.

That goes double for Etrian Mystery Dungeon, the peculiar one-off Mystery Dungeon entry using Etrian Odyssey concepts. It's as incredibly difficult and "figure it out yourself" as the core EO games (well, most of them), but it combines exploration and class experimentation with the Mystery Dungeon format.

The result is an engrossing game on par with Shiren for both difficulty and reward, though surpassing it in terms of playability.

Each Mystery Dungeon game is bursting with replay value and keeps players engaged for long periods of time with its variety of mechanics and almost infinite ways you can approach it. Of course, the difficulty means it isn't for everyone. Outside of dedicated fans, you won't likely find many people who talk about Shiren in the West or Etrian Mystery Dungeon.

The Rest of Us

The Mystery Dungeon series is nothing if not flexible, though. While the core games like Shiren continued being made, the series fared better when it continued in the tradition of the original: combining well-known RPGs with the more unforgiving Mystery Dungeon formula.

Still, the series didn't really hit its stride in the West until Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team launched.

There were other attempts to make the series popular, like Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. But these lacked the staying power of a big franchise, while Pokemon was capable of bringing in a new and sizeable audience and easing them into the established gameplay formula.

Now, instead of the quirkiness of Shiren and the exotic dungeons, players could take a personality test and become one of their favorite Pokemon for the duration of the game.

The stories, while not astounding, at least provided context for the many, many trips into the dungeons. Plus the exploration used well-known Pokemon mechanics like elemental attack types and leveling up to make the huge change in gameplay styles easier to tolerate.

After the initial pairing's success, the Pokemon offshoot spawned regular new entries. While these might not be "true" Mystery Dungeon games, in the sense that they lack some of the risk-reward element and the harsher roguelike mechanics, they represent something important.

For franchises where experimentation either never happens, like Pokemon, or comes under heavy fire when it does, like Final Fantasy, the Mystery Dungeon series is a creative outlet that lets developers do something different with their established creations that fans can enjoy for a long time.

Who wouldn't want to run around a dungeon with Mog as a sidekick or turn into a Pokemon for a few hours, after all?

Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Everybuddy is out and about, and with it fans are getting the best of both Mystery Dungeon worlds. It has all the charm and appeal of a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game, but with Final Fantasy themes and cameos. What's not to love?

The Mystery Dungeon series ticks on as the primary roguelike series on console and handheld for a good reason, and it comes as no surprise with history in mind.

The Three Best JRPGs of the Past Two Years You May Have Missed Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:45:42 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

The past few years have been amazing for JRPGs. We’ve gotten some amazing titles that will go down as classics in the eyes of fans. These games have engaging concepts, stories, and/or gameplay that bring back feelings of nostalgia for some and give others a whole new love for the genre.

But sometimes we miss out of some of the best games because we just weren’t looking. Here are three JRPGs released within the past two years you may have missed out on.

Bravely Default

Bravely Default is an instant classic. So much so that it made Square Enix rethink the importance of making JRPGs with unique elements and a focus on fan enjoyment.The game utilizes traditional turn-based combat mechanics and a job system, which includes the ability to combine jobs and increase encounter rates. Each job has its own ability and can be used to shape the gameplay to the player’s particular tastes.

Bravely Default was made to evoke the feel of a classic JRPG, and it succeeded. Every element, down to the soundtrack, reminds players of the early age of JRPGs and the fun tied to those classics. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out and you enjoy games like Dragon Quest, or the earliest Final Fantasy titles, now is the time to pick it up.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon

A crossover between Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon, Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines the best of both series to make a fun RPG dungeon crawler. Players create characters with Etrian Odyssey’s character and class system and take their party into randomly generated dungeons. The player only controls the party leader and must manage all of the characters’ health and hunger.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon is one of the best games in both series and works well as a dungeon crawler. Everything about the game evokes fun and encourages players to play at their own pace while exploring. While this game is not a hardcore RPG, it has all of the elements of an amazing game. Definitely pick it up if you have a chance.

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars

Conception II is really weird. Hilarious, but weird. The gameplay is a standard RPG with turn-based battles. The premise of the game is the main character, Wake Archus, goes to a high school that is also a demon hunting training program for young people who bear the mark of the Star God. After a tragic event resulting in the death of his sister, Wake discovers he has this mark on his hand. He also learns that he has a large amount of ether inside him and therefore can use his star energy inside of the Dusk Circles, where the demons come from.

So, in order to fight the demons, Wake and his female classmates create Star Children through a process called “classmating”. Get it? It’s called Conception because they mate and make children.

If you’re not scared away by the premise, you’re in for a real treat. The game combines elements similar to the Persona series as you raise your Star Children and build deeper relationships with the heroines. It’s got a fun story, a host of interesting characters, and interesting gameplay mechanics to entertain savvy RPG players of all ages.

With so many JRPGs slated to come out at the end of this year and the beginning of next, now’s the perfect time to catch up on some of the ones you missed. Did I leave out your favorite JRPGs from the past two years? Tell me your favorites and why you think they’re destined to be classics!

The state of RPGs in 2015 Fri, 04 Dec 2015 15:31:16 -0500 Ty Arthur

We've reached the end of another year, and it's time to take stock of what's come to pass and what's on the horizon in the world of role playing games. Although several of the biggest names didn't get sequels, 2015 was still a stellar year overall for RPGs – so long as you knew where to look. The best entries frequently weren't the AAA titles.

Recapping a full year's worth of games is a difficult proposition, and its made more challenging when considering just where the boundaries of the genre really sit. Unlike some genres, like first person shooters, RPGs cover a much wider range of play styles and tend to tweak their formulas more often. Take the reboot of King's Quest, for instance -- it might be primarily an adventure game, but there's a compelling argument there that it also lands in RPG territory, especially considering the series' history.

Things get more complicated when you thrown in strategy games. Are Blackguards 2, Sorcerer King, and Age Of Wonders III out of the running entirely, or are they RPGs that happen to use turned-based or real-time strategy as their core mechanic? Let's not forget Bloodborne, which is more an action game than an RPG, but seems to lean into role-playing through its setting and character stats.

RPG, or turn-based strategy in a fantasy setting?

Where to draw the line is an interesting topic on it's own, but for our purposes we're going to stick primarily to titles that are solidly RPGs in the classic sense of the term, with only a few forays into gray territory.

The Biggest RPG Disappointments Of 2015

In a full year's worth of releases there will always be duds, but thankfully this year was filled mostly with worthy entries that are genuinely worth playing. In fact, one of the major letdowns was simply a release that didn't appear when it was originally projected to land. Persona 5 was sadly pushed back (we really should be playing that right now), but is slated to drop in the summer of 2016.

The biggest RPG disappointment of the year took a classic role playing formula and dumbed it down into a hack-and-slash click fest with only minor DM tools: Sword Coast Legends.

D&D has been missing from the single player or co-op arena for a long time, and it's return wasn't groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination. Garnering mixed reviews at steam and a metacritic score of 61, its clear this isn't Baldur's Gate. Hell, this isn't even Neverwinter Nights.

This is not the 5th edition game you are looking for

The Biggest RPG Releases Of 2015

Welcome home indeed! After years of delays and waiting in silence with no official info dropping until the 11th hour, the biggest RPG of the year (and probably most anticipated game of any genre) arrived in November. There were tweaks to the formula that make it possible to play the game more like a shooter, but Fallout 4 still remains pretty solidly in RPG territory.

Between the settlement building, weapon and armor crafting, side quests, and main story, you could easily sink hundreds of hours into the post apocalyptic wasteland. Granted, there are problems – graphical glitches and bugs abound this close to launch, as is expected from Bethesda at this point – but the Metacritic score of 84 speaks of a game that is remaining competitive even if there were disappointments.

Welcome Home Vault Dweller!

Continuing to bring in heaps of praise and with a whopping 92 metacritic score, The Witcher 3 is the surprise hit of the year. It's been a wild ride for this series, going from a niche PC RPG by a little-known European developer to a huge phenomena that reaches its crescendo in the third installment. The graphics are fabulous, the gameplay is solid, and a steady stream of DLC keeps massively expanding the game so you never have to stop playing.

There's also something to be said about the Witcher series giving us what Bioware's RPG romances have typically been too afraid to provide: actual sex scenes with *gasp* nipples and everything! What has got me most hot and bothered about The Witcher 3 though is what comes next – with this title finally released, CD Projekt Red can finish Cyberpunk 2077!

Classic Gameplay And Crowd Funding In 2015

It can't be overstated: crowd funding has changed the gaming landscape. We're getting a sequel to Planescape: Torment next year, and that's entirely due to crowd funding. Publishers and middle men are getting cut out entirely, and the consumers are putting their money into the projects they actually want to get made.

As it turns out, quite a bit of what RPG fans want involves returning to classic gameplay, as was clearly shown with Pillars of Eternity. While some were disappointed in the end product, it's the vast majority loved seeing the Infinity Engine games get a modern day overhaul, because this title sits at a solid 89 metacritic score. Honestly I couldn't have been more happy when I first booted up Pillars: it was somehow 1998 all over again and I was kid spending a silly amount of time exploring every last inch of Baldur's Gate once more.

Obsidian took us back to a classic era with this one

More importantly, the game brought me back to the oddity of Planescape: Torment's companions. The banter between Durance – a priest who hates his goddess – and Eder – whose god was killed by Durance - are imminently enjoyable. And that's just the beginning. The unexpected themes of atheism versus faith were a welcome change to the typical RPG storyline, and there were much more mature themes than what you'd typically see (due in no small part to cutting out D&D and Wizards of the Coast, who don't want anything even remotely close to passing a PG-13 rating).

There were some complex morality issues to be found in there as well, with unexpected consequences for your actions. I particularly enjoyed how siding against the evil tyrant could result in everyone in the area being slaughtered by undead, while helping to subjugate the peasants actually led to peace and harmony down the road.

On the heels of Pillars came another classic reinterpretation of an old school gem: Shadowrun Hong Kong was just dripping with atmosphere and upped the ante from the already stellar Shadowrun: Dragonfall. Starting out as an Asian cop movie with two siblings on opposite sides of the law, this third iteration in Harebrained Scheme's adaptions of the classic pen-and-paper RPG goes some crazy places. It all gets grounded back in reality at the end though, as your world-saving anti-heroes are reminded that if people can survive the resurgence of magic and dragon attacks, then they wouldn't mind one particular town getting taken over by an evil demon goddess.

Harebrained Schemes will be quite busy for the next couple of years after successfully kickstarting a Battletech game. But honestly, these guys need to do an Earthdawn RPG one day. That's the one FASA pen-and-paper title to never get its just due in the PC realm.

Where man meets magic and machine: and Asian cops and demon gods

While Pillars and Shadowrun were the most visible old school games, there were plenty more than went under the radar and are worth investigating -- like the early access UnderRail, which continues in the style of the original Fallout games. If you dig party-based, isometric RPGs, you will want to take a gander at Serpent In The Staglands. For those who like lots of dialog and turn-based gameplay, don't forget that The Age Of Decadence just dropped back in October.

Earlier Games Updated With New Formats In 2015

It wasn't just entirely new games that generated buzz this year, as plenty of games – both old and relatively recent – got facelifts and saw new editions land in 2015. Two of the biggest came to games created through the power of crowd funding. Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin (two very different takes on the RPG genre) were both overhauled and re-released in updated versions, with graphical improvements and plenty of gameplay tweaks that changed them to the point of nearly being new games.

Previous owners got the new version for free to boot!

The Final Fantasy series has always lagged behind in terms of PC releases, with consoles getting all the love and the PC master race only getting occasional scraps years after the fact. One of those scraps finally arrived in 2015 ,as the 3D version of Final Fantasy 4: The After Years landed on Steam, letting anyone without a Wii get to experience the direct follow-up to the classic Final Fantasy 4 story.

Beyond just PC or console, the Final Fantasy series likes to toy with North American fans and give Japanese players all the love first. The 2011 title Final Fantasy Type-0 just arrived on North American consoles back in May and on Steam later in the summer. The wait may have been too long though, as reviews are definitely mixed, with a metacritic score of 72 for this HD rendition of the aging game.

Better late than never?

Not to be left out, the much loved creature-raising series Monster Hunter saw a late North American release in 2015, as Monster Hunter 4 arrived in its “Ultimate Edition” for the 3DS early in the year (after being out in Japan since 2013). Handheld fans are clearly digging this one despite the length of time they were required to wait, as reviews are mostly positive and hover around 86%.

The Many RPG Sequels Of 2015

Outside the big name titles, returns to classic gameplay, and re-releases of old games, 2015 was a year heavy on sequels when it came to RPGs. One that's had everyone waiting with baited breath lands this week at the tail end of the year, with a new entry in the Xeno series arriving to prop up the struggling Wii U. There really aren't that many RPGs at all for that particular console, so the launch of Xenoblade Chronicles X stateside is a breath of fresh air for anyone in need of a role playing fix.

The dungeon crawling crowd got not only two sequels in one, but also a surprise crossover on the 3DS in April when Etrian Mystery Dungeon launched. Make sure to stock up on healing items if you plan on delving into ever-deeper levels of dungeoneering in this one, because the addition of rogue-like elements makes it a lot more unforgiving!

The anime-based Sword Art Online: Lost Song also launched this year, taking the series to a different game world and putting a heavier focus on both action combat and hardcore level grinding. Another grinder that show how very different two RPGs can be is Disagea 5, where Sony let gamers play as the bad guys and put them in control of a demon army that seems more focused on slapstick humor than damning any souls.

Who said demon princes can't be comedians?

Significantly beating out Disagea in the longevity department, the Tales franchise got a new entry as the year is closing out with Tales of Zestiria, which again mixes 3D action combat with classic RPG gameplay. As usual this entry is a mixed bag, featuring a lackluster story and humor that sometimes works and sometimes falls flat, but if you liked any of the previous Tales games, this one will keep you hooked on the combat.

The Forecast for 2016

While 2015 was a solid balance of old school charm and slick, next generation games, the coming year is currently slanting more towards the bigger releases with hyper polished effects. Final Fantasy XV will of course dominate, although it remains to be seen if SquareEnix is ready to actually recover from the fiasco that was the FF13 and its spin offs and deliver something worth playing in the single player department again.

Titles in the Mass Effect and Deus Ex franchises will keep sci-fi roleplayers covered, along with Technomancer, an upcoming game set on Mars that is looking very interesting indeed. 

Just because the big name developers and AAA titles are on the rise next year doesn't mean you should discount the indie titles or throwbacks to an earlier generation of RPGs though! There's not a PC RPG fan around who isn't waiting with baited breath to see if Torment: Tides Of Numenera can live up to the hype of its predecessor, while Project Setsuna sees Square Enix returning to its roots and focusing on its strengths with a SNES style offering.

In a move no one expected, there's also an actual Baldur's Gate title coming, as Beamdog studio gives us an expansion/sequel using the exact same engine and assets titled Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.

Get ready for this one to get weird!

Want a full list of what's coming soon you should be saving your money for? Check out our complete look at the most anticipated RPGs of 2016 here, as well as our examination of the coming year's MMOs, which feature more than a few RPGs in their ranks.

What did you think of the RPG offerings throughout 2015, and what were your favorite games/biggest disappointments? Share with us in the comments! 

Atlus Streams Etrian Mystery Dungeon's Full Trailer Thu, 02 Apr 2015 18:34:10 -0400 Featured Contributor

With Etrian Mystery Dungeon's American release in a few days, it seems like a good time to reveal the game's full length trailer.

Atlus' new effort of expanding and experimenting with Etrian Odyssey, the dungeon-crawling JRPG series, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is due for its North American release. A collaboration with Spike Chunsoft, Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines the classes and battling of Atlus' series and the randomized dungeons of Spike Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon series.

Shigeo Komori and Yukari Yokoro from Atlus serve as the producer and director of the game, with Seiichiro Nagahata and Kaoru Hasegawa from Spike Chunsoft serve as the project director and character designer. People who worked on previous Etrian Odyssey titles also return to the work on the new game, including composer Yuzo Koshiro, class designer Yuji Himukai, monster designer Shin Nagasawa, and art supervisor Nizo Yamamoto.

There are a number of changes to the series in this collaborative spin-off. Unlike in the original Etrian Odyssey series, players can only choose a maximum of 4 out of the 10 classes for their exploring party, explore the dungeons in a third-person perspective, not first-person, and can't map the floors because of the obvious randomization.

The game will be released with bonuses for players who decided to preorder it. In addition the game, players will get a 28-page book of art and notes from the game and a CD with rough recordings of the soundtrack. Already released in Japan in March, the game became the number two seller for the month, selling 91% of its stock within the first week of its release. Hopefully the game will preform the same in America as it did in Japan. The game will be released on April 7th for North America with its price set at $39.99.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon - A Huge Seller Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:52:59 -0400 Featured Contributor

The newest addition to the Etrian Odyssey series isn't a main series game like the long awaited Etrian Odyssey V or one of the Untold remake games. It's Etrian Mystery Dungeon, a collaboration between Spike Chunsoft and Atlus.

The unexpected crossover is set to be released in North America next month, and it seems like the excellent sales in Japan say how excited people were for it to come out. The game had just been released in Japan last week, and it's already a sell out! In just a little over one week, EMD sold over 65,000 copies, according to Media Create. It sold 91.96% of the copies available, making Atlus ask for customers to be patient for restocking.

EMD did better in its first week than Etrian Odyssey Untold 2: The Fafnir Knight did in its first week. Released last November, EOU 2 sold almost 60 thousand (59,531, to be exact).

With that much sold within the first week of it being released, Atlus probably has high hopes for Etrian Mystery Dungeon's North American release. The game comes out next month on April 7th, though a preorder is already available. The preorder bonus is a CD with rough recordings of the soundtrack and a book with the game's art. The price is set at $39.99.

Atlus Announces Etrian Mystery Dungeon Release Date Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:03:40 -0500 Akeem Favor

Lovers of 2007's Etrian Odyssey rejoice: Atlus has announced the release for Etrian Mystery Dungeon, a cross-over of Etrian Odyssey and Mystery Dungeon.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon, set to be released April 7, 2015, is a dungeon crawler in which players control the iconic classes of Etrian Odyssey facing off against enemies in randomly generated maps representative of Mystery Dungeon.

In an effort to build up anticipation for the game's release, Atlus has already begun sharing videos of character classes found in the game, starting with the melee-heavy Landsknecht.  

Players will be challenged in this new edition to the Atlus family, as the positioning of your characters will carry just as much importance as their skills.

Speaking of skills, players can fully customize their parties, and unlock new skills through the use of skill tress.  

In addition to the game, those who pre-order Etrian Mystery Dungeon will receive a copy of the game's soundtrack. 

Personally, I'm waiting to see when the English site gets as much love as the Japanese site; at the moment English gamers are left leaving a lot to the imagination.