Etrian Odyssey Nexus Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Etrian Odyssey Nexus RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Nintendo Merchandise Gift Guide: 16 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Nintendo Fan https://www.gameskinny.com/97k5l/nintendo-merchandise-gift-guide-16-gift-ideas-for-your-favorite-nintendo-fan https://www.gameskinny.com/97k5l/nintendo-merchandise-gift-guide-16-gift-ideas-for-your-favorite-nintendo-fan Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:11:50 -0500 Josh Broadwell

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-maker-worth-7b677.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-maker-worth-7b677.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203959","description":"

Super Mario Maker 2

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (485 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon

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We'd be remiss if we didn't include Super Mario Maker 2 in our list, the follow-up to the excellent Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. It's the game series that lets you design, play, and share your own Super Mario levels, using items and obstacles from throughout Mario history and offering multiple aesthetic styles to suit your creative needs.

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As comprehensive as the original was, it might seem like there's no way to improve. But Super Mario Maker 2 did improve, adding even more items, even more ways to design your stages, multiplayer options, and a special new Super Mario 3D Land style that lets you create stages with 3D elements.

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On top of that is a much more expanded single-player mode, one that goes far beyond simple tutorials to use for building and sharing stages. The idea is that Mario must help rebuild Peach's castle. While it exists mostly to teach players how to make their own stages, the included levels are easily some of the best designed Mario stages in general, essentially adding a new 2D Mario game on top of the Maker components.

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Even those who spent hundreds of hours with the original found Super Mario Maker 2 to be exciting and fresh.

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---

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And that's it for our Nintendo merchandise gift guide for this year. Hopefully, this list of awesome Nintendo products helped you find a gift for your favorite Nintendo fan — or at least got your gears turning! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-art-72f15.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-art-72f15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203944","description":"

The Art of Bravely Default

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Rating: 5/5 stars (11 total ratings)
Price: $23.49 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon

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Bravely Default isn't a new game, but it's only just now we're getting the lovely art book we've needed since the game launched. Bravely Default itself is a solid RPG, but one of the best things about it is how completely gorgeous it is, alongside the way the story plays with RPG storytelling and its Final Fantasy roots.

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Dark Horse Books — the same ones that published the Mario Odyssey art book — brings us 256 pages stuffed full of content. There's the usual art, of course, following location and character designs from conception through to the finished product. There's also never-before-localized commentary from the development team, covering the story and its origins plus general commentary on the development process.

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This is a natural fit for anyone who's played Bravely Default, though should it already be on your intended recipient's shelf, Dark Horse published a similar book based on the game's sequel, Bravely Second.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-dragon-quest-luminarys-crest-shirt-zaccummin-7d13f.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-dragon-quest-luminarys-crest-shirt-zaccummin-7d13f.png","type":"slide","id":"203948","description":"

Dragon Quest XI Luminary's Crest Slim Fit T-Shirt

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Rating: 90% 5 stars (150 total ratings)
Price: $18.81
Buy it from: Redbubble

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Like Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest still hasn't quite reached a level of popularity in the West that generates a wealth of merchandise. But the Luminary, the hero of Dragon Quest XI, is probably a bit more well known now thanks to his debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Whether your intended recipient has played DQXI or just knows the Luminary as that quirky character with the random moveset from Smash, the Luminary's Crest T-shirt from Redbubble is a great way to show off some of that Dragon Quest fan love. The design itself is central to the game, plus it's understated enough to be something you could wear anywhere, unlike some of the character-centric shirts that tend to be just a tad too loud for normal wear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-christmas-gifts-19bea.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-christmas-gifts-19bea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203945","description":"

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition

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Rating: 5/5 stars (239 total ratings)
Price: $49.99
Buy it from: Amazon

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Dragon Quest XI was one of the best RPGs that launched on the PlayStation 4 last year. Though Dragon Quest traditionally doesn't push too many boundaries in terms of RPG conventions, DQXI brought the series forward by leaps and bounds, with more character interactions, a bigger world, and a particularly potent plot twist that turns those conventions upside down.

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And now it's on the Nintendo Switch. It isn't just the regular game, either. The "definitive edition" moniker is well earned, as the Switch version includes new content, side chapters fleshing out every main character's story, a section that lets you explore elements from previous Dragon Quest worlds, and even the ability to play almost the entire game with SNES-style graphics.

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Players take control of the nameless Hero, the Luminary of ancient legends reincarnated for reasons unknown. There's a bit of a hitch in this setup, though, since the Hero ends up in prison precisely because he's the Luminary. From there, players meet up with an eclectic and fantastic cast of characters and travel around the (huge) world to uncover the mystery behind the Luminary and the dark plans unfolding behind the scenes.

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This is a meaty game, with a long main storyline on top of an extended post-game set of challenges

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019092414171700-9129043ef2aad7f1157cf852bacb8f7d-050bf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019092414171700-9129043ef2aad7f1157cf852bacb8f7d-050bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203950","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (540 total ratings)
Price: $49.94
Buy it from: Amazon

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Speaking of love for retro, Nintendo released an enhanced version of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Switch this year. Structurally, it's almost exactly like the Game Boy and Game Boy Color original, but that's not a bad thing. It isn't considered one of the best games in the storied Zelda series for nothing, and it places a greater emphasis on exploration and storytelling than many of the Zelda games that followed it.

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Link wakes up on a strange island and finds out he has to also wake up a mysterious creature known as the Wind Fish. He can't figure out why everyone on the island reminds him of people in Hyrule — or why creatures from other Nintendo franchises are wandering around. It's a surreal adventure tightly woven around some wildly unique personalities.

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While the core gameplay remains largely untouched, the game's visuals and soundtrack received some excellent upgrades. The entire game looks like a mix of toybox and diorama style in what, alongside Crafted World, stands out as one of the year's most innovative use of visuals in a game.

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If you can't tell already, we liked it. A lot. You can see all the reasons why here if you're interested.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/s/nes-encyclopedia-0cdfd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/s/nes-encyclopedia-0cdfd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203942","description":"

The NES Encyclopedia

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Rating: 4.5 stars (12 reviews)
Price: $37.04 (Hardcover) or $29.95 (Paperback)
Buy it from: Amazon

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This is the quintessential guide to everything Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). There's a comprehensive, but concise, overview of that period in gaming and the system itself, along with a detailed entry for every NES game released  all 714 of them  plus the 160 unlicensed games. It's the only book of its kind.

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The author is considered an expert in retro gaming as well, so you know it's coming not just from a reliable author, but from someone with personal experience of, and passion for, the topic. The enthusiasm for retro gaming is only getting stronger, so this would be a perfect gift for someone who already has the latest Nintendo products and even the NES Classic.

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Plus, the author is currently compiling an SNES Encyclopedia, which means we just sorted your Christmas 2020 plans for you as well. You're welcome.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-wallet-for-adults-925cb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-wallet-for-adults-925cb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203936","description":"

Poke Ball Classics

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If that certain someone isn't a plushie fan or can't carry their favorite stuffie around with them, the Poke Ball Classics collection is a consideration. It's a range of professional attire and accessories for adults (or those who have to pretend to be adults during the day).

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Though the wallet is shown above, the line contains a number of choices.

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It's a great reminder of the child at heart, that the things we love don't have to fall away just because time passes and we grow up. And they look cool, which is always a bonus.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sitting-cuties-86ac9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sitting-cuties-86ac9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203935","description":"

Pokemon Sitting Cuties Plush

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Ratings: Generally 5 stars (number of ratings varies depending on which plush)
Price: $10.99
Buy it from: The Pokemon Center

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The National Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield might not include all 1,000+ Pokemon this time around, but the spirit of Gotta Catch 'Em All is alive and well with The Pokemon Center's line of Pokemon Sitting Cuties.

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Right now, the line includes every Pokemon from Generations 1 and 2, which equates to 253 different plushies. These range in size from 5-inches to roughly 8-inches, but all are $10.99.

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As you'd expect, they all sit up somehow, which makes them easy to display or even just to sit around without worrying about them falling over and becoming the dog's next meal.

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The size also means these could be great individual stocking stuffers or grouped together as more than one, and they won't take up much space for the recipient either.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-odyssey-art-3997c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-odyssey-art-3997c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203943","description":"

The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

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Rating: 4.5/5 (9 reviews)
Price: $34.98 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon

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Super Mario Odyssey, the beloved plumber's first Nintendo Switch outing, has been around for two years now, and many players have seen all there is to see. What they may not have seen, though, is how it all came to be.

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Publisher Dark Horse Books recently put out The Art of Super Mario Odyssey, an in-depth art book presenting the various kingdoms Mario ventures to in a completely new light.

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And it's not light on content either, with 368 pages worth of material. From finished products and concept art, to cut designs and stories from the development team, this artbook is a must-have for Mario Odyssey fans.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019110613521300-0c015090e6c5e3f06d97fede95458758-a8cff.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019110613521300-0c015090e6c5e3f06d97fede95458758-a8cff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203949","description":"

Luigi's Mansion 3

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (145 total ratings)
Price: $59.99
Buy it from: Amazon

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Luigi's Mansion first appeared on the GameCube way back in 2001, and despite being well-received, it's only seen two sequels since then. It's kind of okay, though, because the most recent of those, Luigi's Mansion 3, is a polished game that's an absolute blast to play from start to finish.

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Luigi, Mario, Peach, and some Toads are on vacation at the ominously named Last Resort Hotel. Everything seems perfect until night falls, the hotel owner reveals she's in alliance with Luigi's old nemesis King Boo, and everyone except Luigi has been sealed inside portraits.

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Fortunately, Luigi soon recovers his trusty Poltergust vacuum that lets him suck up ghosts and basically everything else. From there, it's up to the player to explore all 17 floors in the massive haunted hotel, uncovering secrets, solving puzzles, playing with toilets, and fighting off hordes of ghosts.

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It's definitely one of the better-looking games on the Switch. You're rewarded for paying attention to the details as well since many puzzle solutions are found by carefully examining what's around you. All in all, Luigi's Mansion 3 is just plain fun for any age.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-keep-calm-have-apple-gel-mug-a745-8c095.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-keep-calm-have-apple-gel-mug-a745-8c095.png","type":"slide","id":"203947","description":"

Keep Calm and Have an Apple Gel Mug

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Rating: 95% 5-star ratings (out of 66)
Price: $15.76
Buy it from: Redbubble

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2019 has been an excellent year for RPGs on the Switch, but one that sort of got lost in the shuffle is Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. It's a remaster of a game that's largely considered the best in the long-running Tales of series, and it made its debut on a Nintendo system with the Switch earlier this year.

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For a while, Apple Gels are quite literally your lifeblood in the game, being the most basic — and affordable — method of restoring your health and keeping you going. This mug does the same thing for whatever your essential building block of life might be, whether it's coffee, tea, or something else entirely.

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It's a fun little reminder to take a break and give yourself a nice little treat in the middle of the day. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/x/nexus-cd4dc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/x/nexus-cd4dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203933","description":"

Etrian Odyssey Nexus

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Ratings: 4.5/5 stars (50 total ratings)
Price: $29.97
Buy it from: Amazon

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The 3DS still saw some new releases in early 2019 as well, with Etrian Odyssey Nexus being one of the more prominent ones. It's a celebration of, and possibly farewell to, Atlus' long-running Etrian Odyssey series that first debuted back on the original DS.

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a throwback to traditional, first-person dungeon crawler RPG mixes, where you put together a party of five adventurers and explore a series of labyrinths. The exploration is the real star here, since Etrian Odyssey games require you to draw your map as you explore, documenting shortcuts, secrets, walls — or not, if you don't want to (but you should).

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These labyrinths aren't for the fainthearted, either. Etrian Odyssey is known for being one of the more challenging RPG series on the 3DS, and Nexus is no exception (though as always, the difficulty can be changed at any time to suit your needs).

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Overcoming the challenges in each labyrinth requires some careful party planning, and that's one of the game's biggest strengths. You have access to over a dozen unique classes pulled from all the previous Etrian Odyssey games, each with its own set of skill trees that offers a ton of customization options. No two EO parties will be the same and each offers a tremendous level of freedom in how each player approaches the game and keep things fresh for a long time.

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We go into more detail in our review here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-ferdinvon-aegir-classic-shirt-aphoticamarant-55db2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-ferdinvon-aegir-classic-shirt-aphoticamarant-55db2.png","type":"slide","id":"203932","description":"

I Am Ferdinand Von Aegir T-Shirt

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Ratings: 90% 5/5 stars (118 total ratings)
Price: $17.36
Buy it from: Redbubble

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Maybe the person on your list already has Fire Emblem: Three Houses. If so, and if they're active on the Internet at all, they're probably familiar with this little gem of a phrase.

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For a bit of context, Ferdinand is a character in the Black Eagles House, the son of the imperial prime minister and someone who has rather a good opinion of himself. Every character has a sound byte play when you first choose them during your turn. Dorothea, the former opera songstress, says, "That's my cue!" while the ever-impatient Lysithea says "Let's make this quick...".

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Ferdinand? He says "I am Ferdinand Von Aegir!" That's it. That's all his enemies need to know, because for Ferdinand, the entire world is encapsulated in that one statement.

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Naturally, this immediately turned Ferdinand and his catchphrase into a meme and even webcomic material. There isn't much Three Houses merchandise available, but this one, with its humor and stronger connections to the gameplay experience itself, is definitely one of the better pieces out there.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/i/seiros-26e74.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/i/seiros-26e74.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203931","description":"

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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Rating: 5 stars (496 total ratings)
Price: $57.85
Buy it from: Amazon

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an absolute must-have for any fan of RPGs or strategy games. It accommodates players of all skill and interest levels, and that's not something many strategy games do. It's a marriage of traditional Fire Emblem strategy gameplay with an RPG-style school setting that offers players an unprecedented level of customization. 

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Then there's the story. Three Houses boasts a sprawling storyline split into four main branches depending on the player's choices. Each branch shares a similar first part, then they all diverge wildly, covering completely separate storylines and characters.

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There's no "true" ending here, giving extra weight to the initial House choice and which students players choose to recruit into their armies. Fortunately, there are ways to shorten subsequent playthroughs, so experiencing each story won't just be a slog.

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It's also one of the most accessible Fire Emblem games to date. There's Classic mode, where dead units stay dead, and Casual mode, where characters who drop to 0 HP just retreat. Then there's Normal and Hard difficulty, with the soul-shattering Maddening mode recently added as the highest difficulty level in the game. Stat crunching menu lovers can spend time optimizing every student, or you can skip the instructions part and let the game do it for you.

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You can see our review of it as well if you need some more specific details, and we even have a range of Three Houses guides to point your happy recipient in the right direction should they need some assistance.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019033023514000-e0271681f1ac755dde5456b234024a96-a96e7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019033023514000-e0271681f1ac755dde5456b234024a96-a96e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203922","description":"

Yoshi's Crafted World

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Rating: 4.6/5 (350 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon

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With all the big releases and epic adventures that released on Nintendo Switch this year, it's easy to forget Mario's lovable dino-sidekick Yoshi had their own game release this year as well.

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Yoshi's Crafted World follows in the footsteps of Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U and 3DS, sending Yoshi across a variety of absolutely gorgeous worlds stuffed full of detail to retrieve some special Gems stolen by an evil Magikoopa.

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Crafted World goes beyond Woolly World in the detail department, though. Every item in the game is a handicraft item, made from cardboard, straws — anything and everything you'd expect to see in a craft project of some kind. Most of these are used in puzzles of some kind or can be interacted with to earn a special item or coins as well, and it's easily the best use of graphics and environment in a game this year.

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Like most Yoshi games, Crafted World isn't designed for your hardcore challenge seeker. It's fairly easy, though trying to find all the collectibles is a challenge in itself. Still, someone who appreciates solid and fun design and is happy to just get lost in the world for a while would be a good match for Yoshi's Crafted World.

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If you need more information about it, head over to our review for a more thorough description.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-lite-joycon-drift-25861.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-lite-joycon-drift-25861.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203946","description":"

Nintendo Switch Lite

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (322 total ratings)
Price: $199.95
Buy it from: Amazon

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The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more portable variant of the standard Nintendo Switch. While it sacrifices the ability to connect to a TV and it lacks HD Rumble — which means there's a handful of games it can't play — it's also a heck of a lot easier to carry around. It's also generally more comfortable to play in handheld mode.

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Otherwise, it does everything the same, with a display that's just a bit clearer than the original Switch, longer battery life, and improved backlight and sound settings.

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If you're buying for someone who mostly plays portable systems or who needs their own Switch outside the family unit, then this is definitely a better buy than the base model — not least because it's $100 less than the original Switch. Check out our full review and detailed comparisons here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-christmas-guide-08f1c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-christmas-guide-08f1c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203969","description":"

It's holiday 2019 already. Christmas is almost upon us, and it's time to start thinking about all the rad Nintendo merchandise you're going to gift that special someone. Luckily, we've done a lot of the leg work and put together a list of 16 awesome gifts to kickstart your holiday journey. 

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The Nintendo Switch has been out for two years now, but 2019 was an extra-good year for Nintendo fans. Just in the past 10 months alone, we've seen several high-quality new titles added to the system's library, ranging from epic RPGs to games that let you build your own levels. The 3DS even got an excellent new title earlier in the year.

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But what to do when that special someone already bought the latest games? We've got you covered there, too, with a selection of non-game merchandise to suit a variety of interests and tastes.

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Let's see what we've got below. 

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus Support Class Usage Guide + Best Builds https://www.gameskinny.com/zmb0w/etrian-odyssey-nexus-support-class-usage-guide-best-builds https://www.gameskinny.com/zmb0w/etrian-odyssey-nexus-support-class-usage-guide-best-builds Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:36:50 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Editor's note: This is Part 3 of our Entrian Odyssey Nexus Class compendium. To see Part 1 and Part 2, click here and here

Classes and party composition form the backbone of any Etrian Odyssey experience, and Etrian Odyssey Nexus is no exception. It offers 19 classes to use for your party of five, drawing on all previous games for these classes and adding the Hero as a new one.

Even if you already know how the classes work in their original games, Nexus gives things a bit of a twist by making new combinations possible.

In this part of our Etrian Odyssey Nexus class coverage, we'll focus on the game's support classes. These classes feature some of the best buffing and debuffing skills in the game.

Let's jump in. 

Sovereign Class

The Sovereign is one of the most valuable support units in Nexus, capable of indirectly dealing elemental damage as well. If you want a sturdy buffing unit, this is the one to pick.

Best Build for Sovereign Class

Sovereigns exist to buff attack and defense stats of a selected line. However, they can also imbue a line's weapons with a given element.

That's all fairly basic, but when you unlock Reinforce, buffs become even more useful. That's because each buff restores a set amount of HP for the selected line.

Unlike most support units, Sovereigns work well in the front and the back. The class has naturally high attack and defense, plus it can equip swords and heavy armor

Chances are, though, you'll want your Sovereign in the back row if you aren't using a Medic or War Mage. Royal Veil restores the party's HP at the end of each turn if your Sovereign is at full health.

There's also Royal Dignity, which restores HP to a buffed unit if that unit is attacked during that turn.

Between Royal Dignity, Royal Veil, Reinforce, and then Protect Order at Veteran level, you may find the Sovereign works better than other dedicated healers just because the class adds necessary boosts while healing.

Considerations for Sovereign Class

But don't ignore the Arms skills.

Until you reach Level 20, those skills might seem somewhat superfluous outside giving an extra boost in boss battles. However, the Veteran skill Element Bomb takes the element of one weapon and turns it into an attack against all enemies. Even at low levels for Arms and Element Bomb, the attacks aren't insubstantial, and it turns the Sovereign into a highly useful asset.

Of course, the class has access to other skills, but these are the primary ones to focus on for a while. Because they boost and heal at the same time, a Sovereign would work particularly well with a Protector or any potentially squishy frontliners.

Ninja Class

Ninjas are another tricky class to work with. Their attack is fairly high, but they have terrible defense. On the other hand, almost every offensive skill has the chance of inflicting a specific bind or ailment.

Best Build for Ninja Class

Based on its limitations, the Ninja has two potential builds.

The first build is mostly offensive, using the Ninja's strength to inflict larger amounts of damage and potentially ailments as well; in this capacity, Hawk Strike at the Veteran level is an absolute must.

But, to compensate for its low defense, you'd want to invest a good bit into skills like Mirage (static decoy), Concealment (higher evasion), and later, Ninpo: Flight (chance to nullify physical damage). This gives the Ninja a decent chance at surviving without you having to worry overmuch about keeping it alive.

The other build is backline status inflictor. This wouldn’t be the most useful role, just because the Ninja doesn’t have access to a huge array of status attacks. However, it’s still feasible, especially with the chance for petrify, poison, and sleep — even more so once you get access to Status Attack Up at the Veteran level and Ninpo: Mirror, which spreads ailments from one enemy to all of them.

Considerations for Ninja Class

Ninjas would work particularly well with Nightseekers or War Magi, since both rely heavily on status afflictions.

However, if you have a balanced front line with at least one other offensive unit, or a Protector, then the Ninja can still be a good attacking unit, even if you have to baby it sometimes.

War Magus Class

The War Magus is a bit of an odd class. Despite its name, the War Magus is more of a War Medic than an offensive magic user. Its offensive skills are formidable, but it’s not a class you can effectively use on its own.

Best Build for War Magus Class

The War Magus can use staves and swords. But its War Edge Mastery skill pretty much tells you to specialize in one or the other.

Swords grant access to all the War Mage’s offensive abilities, while Staves basically just boost healing efficacy; War Edge Mastery increases attack if swords are equipped and increases TP if staves are used. Also, you can still use healing skills if you equip a sword.

The attack skills your War Magus gets are pretty potent, targeting entire lines in some cases. They also have the chance to inflict debuffs or binds, but there’s a catch: they only inflict these if the target is suffering from an ailment.

That’s okay, you say; the War Magus can inflict ailments with Random Disease. Except it rarely works, even at higher levels of mastery.

Considerations for War Magus Class

An offensive-focused War Magus that uses binds and debuffs needs a Harbinger or Nightseeker to ensure foes do get some kind of ailment before attacking.

If you aren’t fussed over the potential for inflicting these, though, then you still have a powerful frontline fighter and healer.

Why? Because the War Magus’s healing skills surpass even the Medic’s. War Heal Line and War Revive are two of the best healing skills, as they heal a line or have a chance to revive at the beginning of the turn and at the end, for 3 turns.

Later, you get War Heal All, which does the same for the entire party. If nothing else, these skills make the War Magus the best potential healer.

   

Farmer Class

The Farmer is, at first glance, a somewhat pointless class. And at second glance, it still is – for combat, at least.

Best Build for Farmer Class

The Farmer is a support unit in and out of battle, nothing else. Its main strengths lie in gathering materials, avoiding battles, and offering a few supporting actions for your battle party.

Farmers can inflict status ailments randomly with Strange Seeds, and they can also restore some HP with a few of their Veteran skills.

The main reason you’d want to take a Farmer into battle, though, is to increase the number of items monsters drop.

If you did use the Farmer just for the heck of it, it’s actually a decent mid-tier unit, with even offense and defense. It won’t be your go-to unit, but it shouldn’t die every turn either.

Arcanist Class

The Arcanist is another hyper-focused unit. It primarily inflicts binds and ailments, but it can serve multiple roles with this focus.

Best Build for Arcanist Class

The Arcanist’s circles are probably the most useful binding attacks of all the classes. Not because they have a greater chance of actually working, but because they activate every turn for at least three turns.

What doesn’t work the first time might save your neck two turns later, and because even bosses are weak to binds, the Arcanist deserves your attention.

The class' Veteran level grants access to debuff circles as well, which can be even more useful. Moreover, each of the circle skills’ chances of working double after spending four skill points.

But there’s another reason people love the Arcanist: dismissing the circles.

Early on, you get the ability to dismiss a circle to heal the party. Later, dismissing has a chance of reviving the party. The drawback here is the amount healed is fairly small.

But if you don’t plan on using a dedicated healer, the Arcanist can serve as a good party support unit, too.

Considerations for Arcanist Class

(Much) later in the skill tree, the Arcanist also gets dismiss attack skills, one at the Veteran level that’s a plain ranged attack and an earth-based attack at the Master level. However, you won’t be seeing these benefits for a long time, so if you create an Arcanist, know that it is only a support unit for a while.

Also, because the Arcanist relies entirely on these circles for any kind of effectiveness, you know TP is going to be an issue. But Proficiency regenerates some TP every time a circle is dismissed.

It might not be enough TP to make a big difference until you spend a few Skill Points, but it’s better than nothing.

And like the Zodiac, the Arcanist is fragile. Make sure it gets some defense buffs or you’ve debuffed the enemy party’s attack to ensure the Arcanist’s survival.

Harbinger Class

The Harbinger might be last on the class registry list, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s an incredibly versatile unit capable of withstanding attacks, dealing melee damage, debuffing, and inflicting status ailments.

Best Build for Harbinger Class

For all of this to be effective, though, you need to start investing in Miasma Armor, Endless Shroud, and at least one debuff skill.

  • Miasma Armor activates for a few turns and increases speed
    • But it’s also required for the Harbinger’s melee attacks to inflict status ailments
  • Endless Shroud has a chance of activating Miasma Armor or extending its duration whenever you use a debuff skill

That alone makes the Harbinger’s debuffs better than the Arcanist’s, not to mention the fact the Harbinger gets them much earlier than the Arcanist does.

Paralyzing Reap and Toxic Reap can inflict two of the best status ailments in the game, taking enemies out of action and sapping huge amounts of health respectively. Darkness Reap does the obvious and blinds enemies. These attacks affect an entire line, making them even more useful.

You also get skills like Atonement that dispel armor to heal the party or later, revive dead members.

Here, the Arcanist has an advantage, because dispelling circles to restore or revive doesn’t reduce its stats in any way. While these healing skills are useful in a pinch, they ultimately limit the Harbinger because you have to re-activate Miasma Armor to get the unit back to its full capability.

Considerations for Harbinger Class

The Harbinger is a class requiring some forethought before spending Skill Points. For example, you don’t want to dump a lot into debuffs and then have underpowered melee attacks. The better option would be leveling the debuffs a little, then focusing on Endless Shroud and your melee skills.

Casting debuffs every few turns means you’ll still be reactivating your Miasma Armor automatically if you have a lot invested in Endless Shroud, so increasing the debuff turn limit to just 4 ultimately benefits you anyway.

Plus, it means you can strengthen your attack skills and improve their chances of inflicting ailments too.

As mentioned, all of this means the Harbinger pairs wonderfully with Nightseekers and War Magi. If you don’t want the Harbinger to be up front, you’ll still get the benefits of status ailments from the back row and can then switch to the healing focus as well, if you so desire.

---

Nexus offers a staggering amount of party customization, even more so when you finally unlock subclassing halfway-ish through the game. As long as you maintain some balance and give a bit of thought to how you develop your skills, though, you can make almost any party work.

Be sure to check out Part 1 of our guide for our balanced class tips, and Part 2 for our offensive class tips. 

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus Offense Class Usage Guide + Best Builds https://www.gameskinny.com/60283/etrian-odyssey-nexus-offense-class-usage-guide-best-builds https://www.gameskinny.com/60283/etrian-odyssey-nexus-offense-class-usage-guide-best-builds Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:36:05 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Editor's note: This is Part 2 of our Entrian Odyssey Nexus Class compendium. To see Part 1 and Part 3, click here and here

Classes and party composition form the backbone of any Etrian Odyssey experience, and Etrian Odyssey Nexus is no exception. It offers 19 classes to use for your party of five, drawing on all previous games for these classes and adding the Hero as a new one.

Even if you already know how the classes work in their original games, Nexus gives things a bit of a twist by making new combinations possible.

In this part of our extensive Etrian Odyssey Nexus class coverage, we'll focus on the game's heavy-hitting powerhouses. These offensive classes feature some of the most dynamic skills and require a good deal of planning to use effectively.

Let's jump in. 

Ronin Class

The Ronin is Etrian Odyssey’s primary damage dealer — and is notorious for its fragility and low TP pool.

Best Build for Ronin Class

The Ronin relies on stances to deal higher damage and boost its stats:

  • Upper increases attack
  • Clear increases defense
  • Swift (unsurprisingly) increases speed and evasion

However, you’ll probably find its best not to focus on all three stances simultaneously.

The reason for that is because like all EO skill trees, the Ronin’s more advanced skills unlock after you open the basic ones.

Spending TP to balance out all the stances is one option. However, unless you plan on the Ronin being your only offensive unit, the more efficient choice would be focusing your TP on just a few stances, at least early on.

For example, your Ronin could take advantage of its naturally high attack and prioritize Clear stance skills, making it an all-arounder. Or you could spread out your points between Upper and Swift skills, ignoring low defense and letting you sweep in and take out foes quickly.

The majority of the class' later skills deal critical damage if your Ronin is in a stance at the time, but they’re also tied to a specific stance. Some cut the time your Ronin remains in a stance, while others automatically put the Ronin in a stance.

Considerations for Ronin Class

You could also do like some players and create more than one Ronin, covering all the stat bases and making sure you dish out critical damage with almost every hit.

It’s a versatile unit, one that can complement or supplement your other party members’ strengths. Once you decide on a path for your individual Ronin, you’ll probably stick with it for a while.

Shogun Class

The Shogun is a versatile offensive unit with some interesting support skills as well. It can’t handle heavy armor, but it has a unique skill granting higher defense if it equips two swords, helping it match the Hero in both damage output and absorption.

Best Build for Shogun Class

The guild registry menu tells you the Shogun is meant for offense, and it’s not hard to see why.

Skills like Echoing Slash and Bolt Slash are powerful without spending too many Skill Points on them, and Echoing Slash attacks twice in a turn — once initially, then once after the target’s turn.

Avidya Sight isn’t worth your time unless you do your exploring at night. But, it does unlock Morning Star, which boosts attack power during the day. Depending on your style, that’s probably when you’ll do most of your fighting anyway.

Then there’s Twin Swallows, a double attack (if you have two swords equipped), and later, 5-Ring Sword (2-4 attacks). Keeping the Shogun alive on the front line absolutely requires you to invest some in Double Sword, but the end result is definitely worth it.

On top of all that, the Shogun gets some excellent support skills.

Great Hero draws attention to a specific unit and raises its attack for three turns, while Front Command initiates an entire frontline counter if the specified unit is targeted. It gets a boost later with Blitz Command, where the entire party attacks if the user is targeted. That’s obviously where Great Hero comes into play, increasing the chance the target unit will be attacked.

If you use the Shogun with a Gunner or Survivalist, Shot Command —unlocked at the Master level — is one to invest it too, since it gives them an automatic attack if a specified line is hit.

Because the Shogun really should be an attack unit — despite its support abilities — you want to think about which support skills best match your playstyle, instead of investing in some of each.

It’s completely feasible to have a powerful Shogun without any of these support skills.

Considerations for Shogun Class

The Shogun isn’t perfect.

It suffers a fair bit from low TP, which is a noticeable drawback once you start leveling your skills. Bolt Slash is the biggest problem early on, but Twin Swallows isn’t far behind.

Still, with its naturally high attack and double equip options, the Shogun serves as a useful plain attacker too, even once its TP runs out.

Highlander Class

The Highlander makes its first appearance in a mainline EO game in Nexus, and it can be a difficult class to use. It wields spears and has high attack, but it’s also like a reverse Hero.

Most of its skills require either some of the unit’s own HP or some of the entire party’s HP, so it’s a unit that requires some strategy to use effectively.

Best Build for Highlander Class

The Highlander has two potential build focuses, offensive and defensive. Most of its skills are offense-oriented, though, so you could conceivably build a decently balanced Highlander with a mix of both.

What makes the Highlander so potentially useful, though, is that its attacks target entire lines at the basic level, with Veteran skills hitting all enemies.

The Highlander also has a good chance at exploiting elemental weaknesses with Spear Assist. This skill takes on the element last used by a party member. So, say your Zodiac just nailed an enemy’s weakness to electricity, the Highlander can follow up with a powerful melee attack infused with Volt.

Bloodlust is a useful passive skill, too, working basically as a counter skill. But obviously, it’s more likely to activate the more Skill Points you pour into it.

On the defense side of things, you get the chance to consume your own HP or party HP to increase bind/ailment resistance, improve chances to inflict the same, or just increase defense in general. The most useful passive skills to invest in, though, are Turning Tide and Bloody Veil. The former heals party HP when your Highlander defeats an enemy, while the latter increases the Highlander’s defense each time its attacked.

Considerations for Highlander Class

Because the Highlander is going to use a lot of HP one way or the other, it’s a good class to pair with a War Magus and its twice-per-turn healing abilities. To maximize Spear Assist, you’d want a Zodiac or Gunner around as well, classes more likely to use elements on a regular basis.

The defense boost from a Protector wouldn’t be amiss either, since it would help the Highlander stay alive longer, even with reduced HP.

Landsknecht Class

The Landsknecht is a good, balanced sword unit, capable of taking hits and adding debuffs to strong physical attacks. It has three different skill tree paths, but the first and third are the main ones to focus on.

Best Build for Landsknecht Class

The first skill path starts with Falcon Slash, a slash attack that always goes first. It then branches off into skills that grant you two consecutive hits, splash effects, or line piercing effects.

Because the Landsknecht is a naturally strong unit, unlocking at least a few of these is a good idea. Support skills, like Vanguard that increase attack, work naturally with this branch, especially if you invest in the self-explanatory Physical Defense Up skill too.

The third path is the debuff one. It starts with Power Break, a skill whose usefulness in the early game cannot be overstated. Most debuffing units don’t deal damage while they debuff, and many early monsters can wipe your party out in a turn or two.

The chance to whittle their health away and give your party a fighting chance at survival is vital. Later, the Landsknecht gets Guard Break and Speed Break for even greater usefulness.

Considerations for Landsknecht Class

The second path is the Link path. These skills attack a unit with a regular slash attack, then if another party member targets that same enemy, there’s a follow-up attack of the chosen link element.

The problem is, the link attack is very weak, even after leveling up a few times. If you want to spend your points on the links, it will pay off eventually. But the Landsknecht’s other skills are more useful right away, without as much investment.

However, you won’t get a lot of these until Level 20, when the Landsknecht gets access to its Veteran skills.

Rather like the Zodiac, this class requires patience and isn’t the most versatile choice initially. But if you stick with it, you’ll find the Landsknecht is a great addition to any frontline.

Nightseeker Class

The Nightseeker is a bit like the Ninja — powerful attack, dismal defense. But, unlike the Ninja, it’s not difficult to keep the Nightseeker on the frontline.

Best Build for Nightseeker Class

There’s not necessarily a best build for a Nightseeker. Centering on a specific ailment or two and then maximizing its self-support and higher offense skills works best.

Proficiency is easily the Nightseeker’s best skill, since it increases attack against enemies suffering from ailments. Combined with Shadow Bite at the Veteran level, which increases attack against ailing enemies, plus Foul Mastery, which raises unit’s attack for each ailment inflicted, you’ve got a superpowered attack unit here.

The Nightseeker also has some vital support skills. Shadow Cloak nullifies one attack per turn for 3 turns, while Auto-Cloak gives you a chance of activating Shadow Cloak at the start of battle.

If you don’t focus on ailments, or if you create two Nightseekers, one ailment-focused and one with a regular melee focus, then these are necessary skills.

For example, Biding Cut activates twice if the unit isn’t hit that turn, and other attacks like Blade Fury can hit twice with two weapons equipped.

Like the Shogun, equipping two weapons takes up an armor slot, but unlike the Shogun, you get no defense bonus for it. Shadow Cloak keeps you alive instead.

Considerations for Nightseeker Class

Granted, the Nightseeker is a superpowered unit that takes some setting up to really use to the best of its ability.

However, if you have another ailment-inducing unit, like the Harbinger or a higher-level Arcanist, then you can focus solely on high-powered attacks without spending additional TP or dealing with the chance of not inflicting a status ailment.

And, as mentioned, it pairs naturally with the War Magus, enabling debuffs and stronger attacks for that unit.

Imperial Class

The Imperial uses a unique weapon and can deal lots of damage. However, it is absolutely not recommended for beginners.

That's because most of this class' best skills take it out of action for at least two turns. Dividing Skill Points effectively takes practice and judgement.

Best Build for Imperial Class

The Imperial class has two primary skill paths: regular melee attacks and Overheat-related attacks. Because the Imperial has some of the best starting offense, you could use it effectively without ever worrying about overheating.

The melee attacks are powerful; some inflict binds, and some restore HP or TP. Unlike other offensive units, though, the Imperial doesn’t get many skills capable of targeting more than one enemy, so it’s not a super tank like the Hero can be.

Considerations for Imperial Class

But even the melee skills tempt you to invest in the Overheat ones because they’re designed to reduce Overheat time.

The first Overheat skill you get is Assault Dive, and it puts the drive blade out of action for eight turns. From there, you can invest in stronger drive blade-based attacks or support skills meant to decrease overheat time.

But still, expect the Imperial to be hamstrung for a bit after using one of these mega attacks.

Its elemental skills are also Overheat-related, so you won’t be targeting enemy weak points on a regular basis with the Imperial. But pairing one with the Sovereign would be an effective way of bypassing this problem and dealing heavy elemental damage with even just regular attacks.

With all of that, it almost goes without saying you need some additional frontline offense if you plan to use the Imperial. At the very least, it can hold its own even while not dishing out damage, because it has naturally high defense and equips heavy armor.

A faster, more versatile unit like the Hero or Shogun would be good complements to help ensure your party still makes it through every fight.

Pugilist Class

The Pugilist initially seems like your typical Monk-type fist fighter. However, it’s a dynamic unit that can inflict binds and ailments while dealing large amounts of damage, making it a great unit for beginners and those familiar with the class system.

Best Build for Pugilist Class

The Pugilist doesn’t have a skill tree as easy to dissect as Entrian Odyssey's other classes. That means there's not necessarily a specific path you could choose for it.

Instead of investing in the opening bind moves beyond Level 2, pouring your points into One-Two Punch would be a decent move because it has the chance of inflicting binds after each attack.

Combined with Corkscrew, which has the chance of causing paralysis, and then Following Strike at the Veteran level, which could follow a bind attack with Corkscrew, you’ve got a versatile unit that will likely attack more than once in a turn and incapacitate your foe.

Considerations for Pugilist Class

It’s a good thing, too. The Pugilist has a low TP pool, so it’s definitely a unit that needs to hit hard while it can, especially since some of the more advanced skills require a good bit of TP.

Another potential downside is that the Pugilist is mostly bottom-heavy in terms of skills.

It gets more and more useful, basic skills than other units, and the Veteran and Master skills are fewer in number and uses. Granted, that does mean you can invest in support skills that increase bind chances and attack, so it’s not all bad.

As you’d expect, the Pugilist isn’t a defense-focused unit. It has to be on the frontline to take advantage of its physical strength, though, so you’ll need a Protector or Sovereign with it, or even a War Magus to help with repeated healing.

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Be sure to check out Part 1 of our guide for our balanced class tips, and Part 3 for our support class tips. 

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus Balanced Class Usage Guide + Best Builds https://www.gameskinny.com/1tc7w/etrian-odyssey-nexus-balanced-class-usage-guide-best-builds https://www.gameskinny.com/1tc7w/etrian-odyssey-nexus-balanced-class-usage-guide-best-builds Thu, 07 Feb 2019 23:26:03 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Editor's note: This is Part 1 of our Entrian Odyssey Nexus Class compendium. To see Part 2 and Part 3, click here and here

Classes and party composition form the backbone of any Etrian Odyssey experience, and Etrian Odyssey Nexus is no exception. It offers 19 classes to use for your party of five, drawing on all previous games for these classes and adding the Hero as a new one.

Even if you already know how the classes work in their original games, Nexus gives things a bit of a twist by making new combinations possible.

Don't feel overwhelmed, though. We've put together three comprehensive guides to detail the best builds for each class and how they work with each other.

This is part one of that compendium of guides, covering the balanced, all-rounders suitable for any team build.

Hero Class

The Hero class offers three main skill paths with a corresponding support role. And because it’s a new unit, it’s also worth exploring in some depth.

Best Build for Hero Class

The first role for the Hero class revolves around Afterimages.

An Afterimage is a shade of your Hero with a fraction of its HP and attack power. It occupies the sixth slot in your party, whether front or back.

Under normal circumstances, the shade stays around for a turn and uses the same skill that created it. Afterimages are good fodder for enemy attacks, but particularly earlier on, they don’t really add enough impact to make a tremendous difference.

These images offer a boost to the Hero or keep the Afterimage around for longer, and they’re helpful skills if you do take that route:

  • Charge Image
  • Graceful Image
  • Dark Image

Just be aware that unlike many other skills, Afterimage-related skills only power up incrementally each time you advance them; you won’t get double boosts until you master the skills. In short, if you want to take full advantage of Afterimage, expect to spend a fair amount of Skill Points before it really pays off.

But that’s just one branch of the Hero’s tree, and it’s a class with many other uses.

Wide Bravery should earn some points since it’s a handy way to attack multiple enemies early on without consuming too much TP. But Encourage is probably the most useful skill, since it makes the Hero a passive healer as well, perfect if you don’t want to bring a Medic or dedicated healer along or just need an extra boost.

You could also turn your Hero into a tank. The class gets some special shield skills that raise the party’s defense and deal a good amount of damage. Later, after reaching Veteran status, it also gets passive skills that raise defense and elemental defense; it also potentially lets the Hero take damage for a weak unit.

Combining these skills with Encourage or other basic attack skills mean you could conceivably create a unit that heals the party and buffs it while dishing out decent damage as well.

There’s the offense route. Hero gets some powerful elemental attacks as well, but one of particular note is Spark Blade. It deals extra damage to foes strong against cut attacks, making it perfect for foes like Golems.

Other offensive skills are more standard, like dealing two or more hits to a foe or attacking an entire line.

Considerations for Hero Class

The Hero class gets good defense and HP stats from the start, so it’s a good frontline fighter that can deal a variety of high-damage attacks and still manage to heal the party too.

And there aren't any major drawbacks worth noting, except to be sure you think ahead if you go the Afterimage route.

It's ideal for any player, easy enough to use for newcomers, with enough depth for series masters.

Protector Class

The Protector is exactly what it sounds like. This unit serves as your party’s first line of defense. However, it can deal some damage, too.

If you’re focusing mostly on offense and need a good unit to soak up damage from foes, the Protector is a pretty good choice. But be warned, it has some flaws that keep it from being the easiest defending class to recommend.

Best Build for Protector Class

A good protector naturally needs a huge HP pool. However, you don’t get access to HP boosts until you unlock the Master level of the skill tree, along with its defense boost skill.

Considering the Protector has average defense to begin with, it’s something to keep in mind; in other words, for a while, your Protector won’t be able to do as much protecting as you might like.

Still, its basic skills are worth investing in.

Heal Wall is probably one of the most useful Protector skills since it defends and restores, and Shield Smite is a no-brainer, since your Protector is only as good as its shield.

Considerations for Protector Class

Beyond that, it’s a bit difficult to recommend a best Protector build, just because its skills are so focused on one area.

Apart from the few skills that defend an entire line, most of the Protector’s usefulness comes from Taunt, which ideally draws all enemy attacks (and is why it sucks you don’t get HP and defense boosts until later on).

If you’re okay with a mostly one-trick pony, or if you need someone to take the hits for your offense-focused frontline warriors, like the Hero, Nightseeker, Ninja, or Pugilist, then the Protector is for you.

Medic Class

The Medic is another one-focus unit, but that’s probably not much of a surprise given its name.

The Medic is all about healing, whether that be reviving allies, restoring HP, or removing binds and ailments. Because the latter two afflictions play such a prominent role, the Medic certainly has its uses.

Best Build for Medic Class

Like most magic-based classes, the Medic is hampered by its TP pool. Fortunately, healing skills don’t take that much TP. Once TP is exhausted, though, you’re left with a deadweight whose usefulness is only in its Force moves.

That being said, the medic's healing skills are highly useful. One early Medic skill allows it to recover HP for the entire party, and the amount of HP restored per use means you probably won’t need passive healers like the Hero or Sovereign should you choose to use the Medic.

There also aren’t many classes that remove binds and ailments, so if you prefer not to carry healing items, the Medic is definitely for you.

Considerations for Medic Class

That doesn’t mean all its skills are worthwhile, though.

Delayed Heal is the most necessary after Line Heal, since it means whatever damage is dealt between your Medic’s actions and the end of the turn still gets healed. Chase Heal doesn’t always work, and you only get it later anyway.

Moreover, staff skills are rather pointless. They inflict some debuffs, but there are other classes that do a much better job inflicting debuffs without using up valuable TP.

You don’t want your Medic on the frontline to dish out damage anyway, because without the ability to equip heavy armor, that means a dead Medic more likely than not.

In short, Unbind, Delayed Heal, Refresh, and Line Heal are the main skills to focus on; others are added bonuses, but not as effective. And you don't have to use a Medic to effectively heal your party.

Survivalist Class

The Survivalist is an interesting class. Series fans know it has been weakened since its glory days, but it still has some definite uses with one substantial drawback early on.

Best Build for Survivalist Class

The Survivalist uses bows and gets access to some powerful ranged attacks targeting entire lines (Flank Shot), dealing damage to the back line (Drop Shot), and inflicting some useful debuffs and afflictions as well (Blind Shot and Trickery, for example).

There are other classes that can deal damage to the back line or entire lines, like the Zodiac, but the Survivalist gets some additional skills making it easy to recommend.

Chain Dance, Resuscitate, Risk Perception, and Finishing Shot help the Survivalist live up to its name, letting it boost evasion, revive downed allies in the field (not in battle), and finish off weak enemies.

Safe Passage also means you don’t need to worry with Guard Soles taking up inventory space (and without really needing to spend more than one or two Skill Points).

Considerations for Survivalist Class

With all of that, you’d think the Survivalist is a must-have unit.

But there’s one thing to keep in mind, as always: TP.  Until you get a good TP pool built up or access to TP restoring items, the Survivalist is a bit tricky to use.

Because it uses cloth armor and naturally has lower defense, it isn’t meant for the front line. Its skills, like Power Shot, still work very well from the back, but once the TP dries up, its attacks aren’t effective because it’s in the back.

It’s also worth noting the Master class skills require some planning to use, like Hazy Arrow. By the time you unlock those skills, that planning will probably be second nature, though.

Still, the Survivalist is a highly useful mid-tier offense unit with a host of useful skills. It’s a good unit to have in the back row, but you might find it more useful after you’ve got a few labyrinths under your belt with some Memory Conch experience leveling it up back at the Guild and offsetting the TP issue somewhat.

Gunner Class

The Gunner is an excellent basic class that fits with pretty much any party combination. It uses guns (duh) and works best on the back line, either providing support or hurling out damage.

Best Build for Gunner Class

Those two roles are the main builds you could try for with a Gunner. Though, like the Highlander, a combination of the two is certainly feasible.

The Gunner has a wide range of useful physical attacks, from element-infused bullets to line-piercing attacks and a charge ability. Gunners also get access to a splash effect physical attack, which affects enemies directly left or right of the target. The class also has skills that potentially bind enemies.

It’s easy to see that the Gunner is a versatile and highly useful unit for offensive purposes, but it’s got some support skills worth looking at too. Cover Support heals the party when a backline Gunner guards that turn, while Medic Bullet heals HP and removes ailments. The class also has some helpful debuff skills.

Considerations for Gunner Class

Given the Gunner’s offensive capabilities, it’s unlikely you’ll use it primarily for support. However, if you do, the class can cover a variety of needs and inflict binds and damage as a bonus. Or you could always go the Ronin route and develop more than one Gunner.

Either way, the Gunner should be a go-to unit for those who aren’t completely comfortable with the class system and need a well-rounded character.

Zodiac Class

The Zodiac is another fairly basic class that, like the Protector, exists to fill just one role: dealing huge amounts of elemental damage. However, it isn’t the hardiest of classes and shouldn’t be used as a primary source of offense.

Best Build for Zodiac Class

The Zodiac is the only offensive magic class in Nexus. But you don’t actually get access to its elemental attacks immediately.

First, you have to spend at least one point on the rather useless Etheric Gleam skill, a support skill that increases the elemental attack of a line. Then you can unlock the fire, volt, and ice based skills – the Zodiac’s bread and butter.

The other skill a Zodiac should definitely have is Singularity. Singularity powers up a Zodiac’s attack if it exploits an enemy’s weakness, which is tremendously helpful in drawn-out boss battles, like the first one against Cerunnos. It also unlocks Etheric Charge and Etheric Return.

The former is highly useful for targeting single foes and their weaknesses; the latter’s TP return isn’t that spectacular but would be useful as skills level up and you gain access to higher powered abilities like Meteor.

Considerations for Zodiac Class

But it also links to the Zodiac’s biggest weakness: TP.

One important thing to note about these skills is that you should not raise any of them beyond Level 4 until you gain access to the TP boost skill at Veteran status. From Level 5 on, each skill costs twice the TP, which means your Zodiac loses its usefulness in battle faster. The Veteran element skills deal larger amounts of damage but at a larger TP cost

But in general, most of your Skill Points for the Zodiac are going to go to its abilities that deal greater damage, rather than its support skills.

Because it’s a weak class, it needs something like a Sovereign or Protector to help boost its defenses; low HP and defense means even one pierce attack can spell disaster.

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That's most of what you need to know about the balanced classes in Etrian Odyssey Nexus. Be sure to check out Part 2 of our guide for our offensive class tips, and Part 3 for our support class tips. 

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus Beginner's Tips Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/arie4/etrian-odyssey-nexus-beginners-tips-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/arie4/etrian-odyssey-nexus-beginners-tips-guide Mon, 04 Feb 2019 10:55:45 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Etrian Odyssey games are designed to be old-school, which means they aren't often newcomer friendly. Even the Untold games, meant to be primers for newbies, have a steep learning skill.

Yet Etrian Odyssey Nexus is primed to appeal to old fans and newcomers alike, with its combination of all the best bits from previous games and some unique elements thrown in.That's why we put this comprehensive guide together, covering all the basics you need to know to dive into the labyrinths without fear.

Etrian Odyssey Nexus Exploration

Nexus does a good job explaining the basics of exploration early on, though there’s a lot of information to deal with at once, and it doesn’t tell you everything.

There are two details of greatest importance: mapping and exploring.

Mapping the Labyrinths

Mapping might seem obvious, since it’s the franchise’s main feature. However, especially later on, paying attention to your surroundings and documenting them appropriately is crucial to your survival.

Auto-mapping is an option even some veteran EO players don’t realize exists. It’s on the third option screen, and you can adjust to “full” if you want to let the game map out walls for you. It’s a good way to save some time and avoid a bit of tedium, though it only records walls directly next to you.

Still, it gets easier to figure out general room sizes and shapes as you go on, so if you don’t want to walk next to every wall, you can usually fill in most room outlines by turning around and gauging size and distance.

What you can’t fill in automatically is shortcuts. Shortcuts are exactly what they sound like: passages through walls that let you cut out a good chunk of walking. If you aren’t paying attention, they can be easy to miss, but each labyrinth uses essentially the same thing: some kind of flower or other unusual oddment on the wall as a signal to check that space.

Mapping where they are and what direction you can approach them from gives you an idea of where to go later in the labyrinth to get to where you can use the shortcut permanently. And it lets you easily go from floor to floor without dealing with monster hordes and long walks.

Exploring Every Nook

Exploration ties in with the other thing you want to record: mini-events. Etrian Odyssey is all about exploring, and the labyrinths make it worth your time and the extra random encounters.

Some corridors lead to short text-based events that go in your logbook and grant extra experience for the party. These recorded events are one-time occurrences and often affect the party in some form, for example, restoring HP or TP or inflicting status conditions. The potential for benefits and, most importantly, the extra experience make even negative outcomes worthwhile.

Other events are recurring—a pool of refreshing water, for instance, or a fruit-bearing tree—and these are excellent ways to restore a tired party without having to leave the labyrinth. They regenerate once per day/night cycle.

And in other cases, you’ll find evidence of something not useful at the present, but important for a later sidequest. Because some quest descriptions are incredibly vague (i.e., find my lucky coin I lost somewhere on B2), you really want to make sure you use the notes feature to mark places like that.

So, the TL;DR here is “explore every dead end.” Even if you end up seeing something like this.

Useful Skills

You also want to make sure you mark gathering spots. On the top screen, they show up as little sparkly squares. Many of them are in odd, easy to forget places, but they grant you valuable items once per day/night cycle. It’s important to mark which kind of gathering spot it is as well—Take, Chop, or Mine—since having a party member with the right skill can increase your yield from specific types of spot.

In fact, many EO players create gathering parties for the express purpose of exploiting these spots and raking in the cash and materials. Spending one Skill Point on Mine, Chop, or Take means you get double or triple the amount of materials. More importantly, the Farmer class – absolutely useless for combat in most cases – increases your yield, causes more monster drops, and shortens the time it takes for gather spots to regenerate

If you’re looking to stockpile a lot of goods and money or just need to collect a certain number of things for a quest, a gathering squad with a Farmer is the way to go.

If want to just explore and don’t need as much combat for a while, invest in a skill like the Zodiac’s Horoscope, which reduces the random encounter rate for a set number of steps.

Alternatively, the Shogun’s Taunt Assassin skill increases both the random encounter rate and the experience you get from each fight, making it perfect for level grinding. After reaching level 20 and Veteran status, the Hero class gets access to a skill that draws in additional enemies in the area and ups the chance of encountering a shiny monster; shiny monsters are rare normally and give big experience boosts.

From the third labyrinth, Primitive Jungle, on, you’ll also encounter hazards and traps in the labyrinths. These inflict damage or status effects, and some can disable the map or transport your party. The Survivalist has a skill that nullifies traps and hazards for a set number of steps, but if you don’t plan on using one in your party, you get access to the Guard Sole item in Primitive Jungle, which works the same way. Just make sure you take several with you.

Etrian Odyssey Nexus Combat Tips

Battle advice is where Nexus goes silent, making it more of a trial and error experiment unless you’re already familiar with the systems. Like all EO games, Nexus throws you into party creation almost from the start, with no guidance whatsoever.

If you aren’t familiar with any of the classes, it can be overwhelming determining which ones might make a balanced team. After you get used to things, you can make almost any team work, but there are a few general tips to keep in mind.

Unlike most RPGs, you want a dedicated buffer, debuffer, and/or status inflictor. Nexus offers no shortage of choices for any of these, with Harbinger, Nightseeker, and Arcanist being three of the most useful. Binds are helpful in many ways and prevent an enemy from using certain skills.

  • Head binds: prevents magic-type skills or head-bash skills
  • Leg binds: prevents leg related skills
  • Arm binds: prevents arm related skills

Doctor Sibil in the Tavern offers some advice for how to use binds, but careful observation of enemy patterns and specific skill names will clue you in on which enemies should be targeted with which binds. Analysis scopes help as well, filling in your reference book information slots and showing whether enemies are even vulnerable to certain ailments (and most are to at least one, including bosses).

On the other hand, status affects like the usual paralysis, poison, and sleep are highly useful as well. Poison skills can sap huge amounts of health from enemies (and you), while paralysis works much the same as in Pokemon, randomly preventing enemies from acting.

Sleep’s usefulness depends on your strategy; using a fast class like Ninja to inflict sleep doesn’t pay off when your other characters act later and target the same enemy, waking it up if attacks connect.

Buffs and debuffs don’t need too much explanation. But they’re importance can’t really be overstated. Boosting your party’s or a line’s defense and reducing your enemies’ attack (especially if you can do both at the same time) or reducing their defense and raising your attack are basic, but crucial strategies for making tough battles winnable—and shorter.

Shorter battles are good, too. Your TP (Technical Points) pool doesn’t last forever, and TP restoring items are very rare at first. Random battles should be dealt with via a mix of normal attacks and, when necessary, special ones. TP restoring items like Amritas are best saved for boss fights, which can drag on depending on how you approach them.

That makes dealing with certain classes like the Zodiac rather difficult at first, because they’re usefulness depends entirely on TP-based attacks. As you’d expect, though, TP increases as you level up, and some classes, including the Zodiac, let you spend Skill Points to boost TP further (though these abilities often have to wait until level 20 when you reach Veteran status).

One other thing to keep in mind is the Memory Conch. It's a recurring item in the series that acts like the Experience Share in Pokemon, and you receive it shortly after the game begins. It grants party members back at the guild a small percentage of your battle experience (without taking it away from your party).

Obviously, it won't keep your inactive party members at the same level as your active ones, but it should bump their levels up a fair bit during each labyrinth.

There's a catch, though. It's an accessory item, so it takes up a valuable armor slot for one of your active party members. Make sure it goes on a tank-y character that doesn't need too much extra armor.

How to Use Skill Points in Etrian Odyssey Nexus

Spending your Skill Points is one of Nexus’s most important activities. You start with a handful and obtain one point every time a character levels up, but choosing which skills to spend them on involves a bit of strategy.

It’s best to pick one or two aspects you want to focus your character on, rather than trying to balance Skill Points across every available skill.

For example, you might want to emphasize passive healing and increased buffs for your Sovereign, instead of focusing on its elemental capabilities, or ignore the Hero’s Afterimage gimmick entirely and pour all your efforts into individual buffs and elemental cut attacks.

It’s completely up to you how you plan and what you do, but spending some time before creating a character to figure out how you want to build it long-term saves trouble later on in the labyrinths and makes leveling up more efficient.

If you find you screwed up somewhere along the line with your skill points or just want to reorganize them, all is not lost. Head back to your guild in Maginia and choose Rest in the Organize menu. It’ll cost your character a few levels, but you can redistribute your available skill points as you see fit.

And don't think you have to max out skills to realize their benefits, either. Most  skills that go up to 10 double in power at rank four or five, so if you want a significant boost without dumping too many points in a given skill, that's one route to go. Others you can ignore entirely if they don't fit with your chosen build or if you only need them to unlock new skills.

General Newcomer's Tips

This section covers some general tips and advice to help you make the most out of your experience.

In Maginia

Most of the options available to you in Maginia are fairly self-explanatory. But the beginning of any EO can be overwhelming for newcomers, so it’s worth noting a few important things.

Kvasir’s Tavern

Kvasir’s Tavern becomes available shortly after you register your guild and do some basic adventuring. You don’t get your first quests for a little while after that, though. Instead, you can talk to some of the tavern patrons, each of whom usually has some interesting information to share.

Robin the Flee-Footed warns you of certain monster attacks to be aware of and potentially how to prevent them with binds, while Doctor Sibil offers important advice, including tips about obtaining rare items off monsters by defeating them in a certain way. Take that advice when you can; the En you get from those items is worth the while, plus they tend to unlock new goods at Napier’s Firm.

The most important reason for visiting the Tavern, though, is the quests. You usually get new quests at least twice in a labyrinth cycle. The first time after you’ve done some exploring and advanced the story to where Headquarters posts a new mission, and the second comes after you’ve advanced the story further, which usually involves revealing the main trial for that labyrinth (which itself is usually a boss monster).

Calling these sidquests would be a bit of a misnomer. They aren’t necessary, true, but they offer the best way to boost your party’s levels outside of clearing story missions. Experience gains from these can range from 300 to 1000 points, which makes a huge difference if you’re trying to strengthen your characters.

Napier’s Firm

Napier’s Firm is the place you’ll visit the most in Maginia. It’s your usual RPG store, where you buy and sell weapons, armor, accessories, and items, but it plays an important role in Etrian Odyssey games. Longtime fans will already be aware of this, but EO revolves around a few gameplay loops, and one of the primary ones is exploring, item gathering, selling, and returning to the labyrinth.

In each maze, you’ll come across items dropped by monsters and materials gathered through collection points. Unlike most RPGs, you don’t happen upon new equipment by chance. It becomes available as you sell Napier the goods needed to make it. So while selling everything you gather gets you En, it’s also vital for keeping your party up to scratch.

The importance of this loop can’t be emphasized enough. Don’t go into a labyrinth thinking you should try and clear the floor in one go. Fight, explore, get lots of stuff, then go back to town and start again.

Unless you grind for materials a lot, though, you’ll probably find you can’t afford to kit out every party member. Part of the game’s strategy involves choosing the right equipment for the right character, whether that’s giving your Hero a new sword to deal more damage or making sure your Zodiac gets a new set of boots to increase their defense.

But, Napier’s Firm also includes a Forge option for certain weapons, and it’s a good idea to check it from time to time to see if you have any materials or old (or current) weapons you can improve. Forging increases a weapon’s stats without costing you anything other than items, and sometimes, forged weapons end up being stronger than many of the weapons you can purchase.

Most importantly, don’t go back into the labyrinth without an Ariadne’s Thread. It lets you leave a labyrinth immediately and is vital if you get stuck or are in danger of a wipeout. For cost-saving purposes (and general practicality) you don’t need more than one at a time.

The Lady of the Lake

Vivian’s Inn doesn’t need much explanation, though there are a couple of things to pay attention to.

First is item storage. Since you’ll be selling a lot, you might ignore it for a while. But as you start gathering rarer healing items and the like, you may find you run out of room for gathered materials more quickly. That’s where Storage comes in, letting you stash away items you know you need later so you can maximize your profits in the present.

You’ll notice over time, Vivian starts charging more for resting and recovering. By the time it costs over 100 En, it won’t be that big of an impact to your wallet. But after clearing the second labyrinth, Lush Woodlands, you get the option to go back to Base Camp on the world map.

Once during a day/night cycle, two characters you met before offer you a steak dinner that replenishes your health. It’s a nice way to save some money and time, if you don’t want to go to the inn.

And of course, the save option. It’s easy to miss, but it’s at the bottom of the Inn menu and doesn’t require you to pay to stay overnight.

Headquarters

Last on the list of things to do in Maginia is visiting HQ from time to time. Don’t forget to report new monsters and items obtained periodically, along with completed maps. After reaching certain milestones (5 monsters, the 25, then 50, and so on), you get some nice rewards, including rare items and the always-necessary En.

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It seems like a lot to take on all at once, but the aspects covered in this guide form the core of every Etrian Odyssey experience. Once you master the basics, you'll find everything starts falling neatly into place as you venture closer to Lemuria.

Got any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus Review: The Perfect Send-Off and Welcome https://www.gameskinny.com/2jm9n/etrian-odyssey-nexus-review-the-perfect-send-off-and-welcome https://www.gameskinny.com/2jm9n/etrian-odyssey-nexus-review-the-perfect-send-off-and-welcome Mon, 04 Feb 2019 09:30:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Etrian Odyssey, Atlus’ first-person dungeon crawler series, has been around for over a decade. The series itself hasn’t evolved too much over time, but each entry perfects what worked in the previous one and adds a number of improvements to boot.

Etrian Odyssey Nexus is the franchise’s last entry on the 3DS, and it’s meant to be a cross-over for all of the previous games, combining favorite classes, characters, and labyrinths around a new story in a new land.

The game’s core remains largely the same as previous entries in the series. There is some noticeable repetition that might stick out to some, but despite that, as well as including mostly recycled material, Etrian Odyssey Nexus is the perfect sendoff for longtime fans and an excellent entry point for newcomers as well.

Plot and Narrative

Like most EO games, Nexus’ story is somewhat sparse. The first thing you do in the game is meet Princess Persephone and learn about her goal of finding Lemuria, the lost civilization with a secret treasure everyone wants to nab. From there, you form your guild as usual, create some party members, and begin venturing into labyrinths.

The overarching story takes a backseat to the mini-stories found in the labyrinths themselves. For example, the tutorial labyrinth partners you with a young healer named Birgitta and tasks you with looking for her little sister. Later labyrinths pair you with other characters, some familiar — like Shilleka and Wiglaf — and some unfamiliar, but all are generally focused on either finding an exit, taking down giant Monster X, or both.

The narrative is never completely engrossing, but there are enough captivating events scattered throughout the labyrinths to keep things interesting and engaging. In fact, it’s arguable Nexus’ labyrinths include more story sequences than the story-focused Untold games.

Gone are the lonely excursions into dungeons with nary a soul for company, something that goes a long way in maintaining the general theme of various groups working together, and sometimes against each other, for the same goal.

Exploring the Depths

The gameplay consists of the same satisfying loop of exploring, mapping, gathering, fighting, selling, and venturing back in for more. Leveling up gives you skill points to flesh out your characters, while battles and exploring provide items you take back to town — Maginia, in Nexus  and sell, which results both in new items for sale and money you can buy them with.

Accurate mapping is as crucial as ever, particularly toward the end of a floor where you often find shortcuts that make backtracking a lot easier. If you don’t feel like drawing every single wall, though, there’s an Auto-Mapping feature you can activate in the options menu. This automatically draws walls in your character's immediate vicinity and fills in green and red color tiles. However, you'll still need to mark shortcuts, events, and the like if you want to be thorough.

Battles are turn-based and conducted in first-person. They’re also fast-paced and intense, forcing players to balance between offense, defense, and inflicting status at a moment’s notice. That's all while keeping an eye on the never-large-enough TP pool for each character’s special skills.

Exploiting elemental weaknesses is a must if you want to survive, but EO is different from many RPGs in that status ailments are equally important as general buffs and debuffs. Paralyzing an enemy or binding its arms can sometimes make the difference between winning a boss battle and being sent back to the Game Over screen yet again.

On top of each class’ numerous skills, Nexus brings the Force and Break systems back. Force grants your unit or party a specific boost for a set number of turns, while Break typically launches a supercharged attack or debuff at a group of enemies.

Combining the Classics

Nexus’ overall content is somewhat different from the typical EO experience, however. Most EO games introduce new classes and brand-new labyrinths, some with entirely new monsters. Not so with Nexus, which combines some new with a good bit of familiar.

Labyrinths

If you’ve been with the series for any length of time, chances are, you’ll recognize at least some of the labyrinths: Primitive Jungle from the original and Untold; Waterfall Wood from Etrian Odyssey 3; Lush Woodlands from Etrian Odyssey 4, and so on. Nexus opts to do away with the strata system from previous games, making each environment a separate labyrinth blocking the explorers' path to Lemuria. Despite recycling names and appearances, though, the labyrinth layouts aren’t the same by any means.

Even if you’ve memorized puzzles and mazes from earlier games, Nexus still gives you something new to explore, even mixing up where – and which – FOEs you come across in each labyrinth. Those Cutters from Primitive Jungle in the original Etrian Odyssey instead greet you in Lush Woodland and comprise the majority of its puzzles.

However, Nexus does provide a few new devious side-labyrinths with FOE puzzles designed to keep you on your toes, like the Giant’s Ruins. The game also goes out of its way to tell you these recycled designs are intended, with characters remarking from time to time how odd it is to find a similar labyrinth to the ones back home.

Classes

The same isn’t quite true for classes, though. There are 19 classes to choose from in all, but Nexus only introduces one new job class: the hero, pictured in the box art (the Vampire is, sadly, only a data memory for now). It pulls other classes from the rest of the series, but the lack of new classes doesn’t harm the experience.

Part of the addictive element in EO games is creating unique (and sometimes broken) parties, and Nexus gives you plenty of material to work with in that regard. Arcanists from EOIV mix with Harbingers, Sovereigns and Shoguns come back from EOIII, and the Highlander finally makes an appearance in a mainline EO game, alongside standards like Protectors, Medics, and Pugilists.

The new Hero class itself is a well-balanced addition that nicely complements the grab bag of other classes, but learning to work with the Hero’s support skills and unique Afterimage gimmick more than makes up for missing out on other new classes, and it fits well with the game’s placement as the franchise’s 3DS swan song/ultimate compilation.

As with all EO games, Nexus gives players extensive character customization options. You can pick gender, skin tone, hair color, iris color (mix and match options exist here too), voice style, and name. It also lets you change these at any point in the Guild.However, Nexus doesn't include the race feature from Etrian Odyssey V; all your characters are human by default.

A Balanced Experience

Also per usual, Nexus continues the tradition of difficult, old-school gameplay. It gives players absolutely no guidance when it comes to creating parties, beyond skills lists and general class descriptions.

Boss fights are as difficult as ever, especially if you don’t exploit weaknesses or have a balanced party. Even random encounters can quickly turn nasty if you aren’t paying attention; FOEs shouldn’t be attempted until at least one labyrinth later than when you first encounter them.

You’ll often find you can’t buy the latest equipment as well since Nexus remains as stingy as ever in doling out En (EO currency). Outfitting your party becomes a strategy in itself, determining which stat boost is necessary and whether attribute-increasing accessories are worth taking up that extra armor slot.

Nexus offers four difficulty levels you can change during the game as well: Picnic, Basic, Expert, and Heroic. Basic offers a substantial challenge in itself, but veterans might want to go for Expert, while newcomers can safely jump in with Picnic and learn the various systems in a mostly stress-free fashion.

That said, the game does seem easier in a few areas. Transitioning a party to Veteran status can happen as early as the end of the second full labyrinth with minimal grinding. Experience from battles remains paltry, but some sidequests and main missions dish out tremendous amounts of experience.

If anything, though, it makes the game more enjoyable, because it means you can tinker with your classes to a greater extent earlier on. Sub-classing doesn’t come in until much later, so it’s a good trade-off that lets you build a decent party earlier on instead.

Several labyrinths only have three floors total, compared to the usual five. At first, this might seem a bit off-putting. But given how familiar some of the designs are, not to mention the wealth of content on offer, it keeps everything moving at a satisfying pace.

The Floor Jump feature from earlier games disappears as well. You can choose which floor to start on whenever you re-enter a labyrinth. It doesn't require you to completely chart a floor to count it as mapped either, which is a convenient touch, though perhaps not for the hardcore EO fan.

It is worth noting, too, the use of 3D is far superior to many other 3DS games, with a nice blend of foreground and background that doesn't strain the eyes with portraits and text that pops too much.

Some Drawbacks

The audio and visual departments are where Nexus suffers a bit. Etrian Odyssey games never made graphics a priority, and Nexus is no different. Bright colors, excellent character art, and dynamic monster models are all great, make no mistake. But it’s the same we’ve seen since EOIV, and at times, it seems a little tired.

The audio is a more noticeable issue for longtime fans. Recycled BGM and dungeon music won’t be an issue for newcomers, but the jazzy Lush Woodlands tune and muted sounds of Primitive Jungle are tracks series fans have heard repeated a lot in their respective games. A remix would have been nice and helped fit with the overall all-stars, old-meets-new theme.

The voiceovers are a bit hit-and-miss as well. Nexus offers Japanese-only voices, and in general, the work is high-quality. But its implementation is random. Some major scenes have voiceovers, while some don’t, and some scenes that start with voiceovers have them suddenly stop for no apparent reason. It’s a minor gripe, to be sure, though it does stand out as odd at first.

The Verdict

Pros: 
  • Plenty of classes to experiment with
  • Streamlined experience makes it more immersive than ever
  • Loads of content
Cons: 
  • Some recycled aspects are a bit ho-hum
  • Uneven voice acting implementation
  • Only one new job class

Etrian Odyssey Nexus does a fantastic job weaving stand-out elements from the series into a compelling package. There's enough difference to keep fans interested throughout the lengthy, 50-ish hour campaign, but it's balanced enough to make it welcoming for newcomers as well.

Nexus might stumble in a few places, but it's difficult to imagine a better send-off for the franchise on the 3DS.

[Note: Atlus U.S.A. provided a copy of the game for the purpose of this review.]

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