Etrian Odyssey V Hands-on Preview – Japanese Demo and Screenshots

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I am a diehard Etrian Odyssey fan. It’s one of the game series that I own all the titles released, ever since the first one was released for the Nintendo DS. So, I’ve managed to get a Japanese demo copy of the newest title, Etrian Odyssey V.

Here are some early impressions I’ve gotten from playing the demo. A reminder they can be partially incorrect due to my low knowledge of Japanese.

Overall, the game seems to have improved, fetching the best from previous games and ditching the most criticized features (I’m looking at you, Etrian Odyssey IV).

Class wise, they’re not just a copy of the previous games. They all have three skill trees: one Racial Tree, with passive skills to improve your character; a Class Tree, with the bread and butter of your class.

Finally there’s the Title Tree (unlockable when a certain part of the game is reached), which is a specialization tree that can be chosen between two possible ones.

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Classes themselves are extremely varied: Fencer, the swordsman of the game relies on evasion to dodge attacks and counter, and also is a specialist on Chain (aka Follow/Link) skills.

Cestus is a front row brawler that consumes hp for more damage and can inflict binds. Dragoon is the tank class that can protect the party, summon pillboxes and shoot the enemy at the same time. The Herbalist uses Herbs to heal and Smokes to debuff and poison.

All of them have several available avatars to be picked when creating them.

The novelty is those avatars colors are fully customizable and you can even pick voices for each character (20 male, 20 female). In fact, all the NPCs in the game are fully voiced, a first for Etrian Odyssey (besides the Untold remakes).

The main stable of the game, the dungeon mapping, also gotten several improvements. Picking past improvements, the map symbols track several aspects, like if a gathering spot was used or not, closed or open treasure boxes, doors, etc).

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You can even customize the pop-up with the markers and reorganized them however you want, allowing to have your most used ones easily accessible. There’s a new gathering spot, Fishing, which can be picked with a Earthrun racial skill

Monsters look prettier, in a Pokémon-ish cute way. Overall, the graphics are more detailed and shiny. The game hints there’s more towns besides the first one, with the first dungeon hosting 5 levels.

Meanwhile, have a look at our screenshot gallery.

Etrian Odyssey V is launching for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on August 4th.

Diogo Teixeira


A gamer since a young age, starting with oldies such as the IBM 386, Atari, and Commodore 64. A Portuguese guy with a tendency for snappy and witty remarks. Also harbors an obsession for adventure games.

  • Isaac Sadler

    I’ll keep my eye on this, still playing through 4 at the moment though.

  • Extrange


  • speng

    I’m just curious, what was the “most criticized feature” of Etrian Odyssey IV, exactly?

  • Extrange

    Overworld map and the skill trees

  • Dr. Roswell. W


  • speng

    Two features I absolutely adored and felt like natural progressions from III’s ocean-maps and skills up till that point, so can’t agree with that. Thank you for answering my question.

  • Extrange

    *pukes on your shoes.*

  • Extrange

    It’s fair, people will always have different opinions. The overworld in 4 is pretty much useless once you’ve explored it and the skill tree was streamlined too much, with arbritary level locks to make things worse.

  • speng

    Points taken, although the same can certainly be said for the oceans (reach a location once to unlock bosses and maybe farm a few items) but in both games, for me the overworlds brings their respective games some nice scope and immersion.

    I think the level-locks were there to compensate for the fact that you no longer had to invest up to 20 skillpoints to unlock certain stuff (Pincushion in EO3 as example) that you won’t get to use till around lvl 20-30 anyway, meaning that you’d run less risk of gimping yourself on passives instead of getting access to a number of active abilities here and there during early-game. I’m not sure if a more elegant design could’ve been used, but I can understand if you and others didn’t like it.

  • Tristan (Chili1)

    Is there a story mode present like in the Untold games?

  • Extrange

    Although the Ocean overworld felt way more rewarding to to it’s exploration and puzzle nature.

  • Extrange

    No Story mode seen (aka, pre-defined party). Only 2 difficulty modes seen too.

  • Extrange

    If someone wants to ask more about a particular class, you can ask me here.

  • What are those modes? The same as EOIV?

  • It’s what made me hyped for this game. And yes, I am fully aware it will be harder.

  • Extrange

    Basic and Advanced.

  • Nifs

    Very excited. I sincerely hope it arrives in the west. I’d love for it to have Japanese and English voice possibilities too, but it’s Atlus and we all know what they think of that.

    Either way it looks like a great entry in the series. Whether or not it’ll be able to trump number 3 will be interesting to see. Regardless, I’ll be listening to the kickass music the rest of the year.

  • What do those ammount to? Normal and hard, or easy and normal? Well, normal for EO.

  • Extrange

    Forgot to comment a couple more changes:

    – 3 Separate Summon slots: They’re used for Dragoon Pillboxes, Necromancer Corpses. Hound pets. No more issues with only being able to use 1 summon like in Etrian Odyssey 3

    – Auto Move is made using rails vectors. Imagine designing train paths where you can choose branching paths. You can see it in action on my last map pics.

  • Extrange

    I ASSUME it’s Easy and Normal. There can still be a 3rd unlockable one.

  • Thanks.

  • Michael Richardson

    I won’t lie: I’m going to be a bit disappointed if there’s no overworld navigation in this entry. The much more open-world feel of EOIV’s progression structure is one reason that’s my favorite game in the series. It had some execution issues, but I loved how ambitious it felt.

    I’m both glad and surprised to see no story mode in this. I thought that perhaps the EO Untold series and Persona Q were Atlus’ way of weaning us onto story-based EO games in advance of a much more story-oriented EOV, but I guess I was wrong.

  • Extrange

    Ehhh, let’s see. It could be the overworld it’s only unlocked after first 5 stratums, or not. Too early to tell.

  • Michael Richardson

    We’ll know soon enough, I guess. Did you get a chance to check out the stereoscopic 3D? Its implementation in past EO 3DS games has been… underwhelming, to say the least. I hope they’ve improved it somewhat.

  • Extrange

    It has improved, things pop up a lot more and there’s more UI layering. Although, for some reason, the 3D mode overstretches the image slightly, so some outside elements are obscured? The A from Am is cut in half.

  • Extrange

    More details:
    Adventure Episodes
    – with several choices that gives you stuff and exp.

    _there’s an Auto Map option, that allows to fully draw the map for itself.

  • Smug

    Wasnt the game also confirmed to have DLC day-one (which is a first for the serie if I recall right)?

  • Wagnaria

    Wow. Seems some of the character portraits and NPC designs are umm bosomy this time around. Hope it won’t get censored in the localization.

  • Mr. Capo

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold is the first one to have DLC in the series. It was pretty awful with parts of maps locked along with boss fights and a fucking class, thank heavens for CFW.

  • Smug

    oops forgot about that one

  • Extrange

    Very surprised with Dragoon. The Gun Mount skill allows to re-use a Guard skill AND attack at the same time, which is damn great. His summonable walls, even if they are 10 HP only at all levels, have huge defense stats and aggro values

  • Mr. Capo

    Yeah I can see myself using Bunker (that summon wall skill) a lot during my playthrough. Having the ability to guard and attack is great since in previous games you pretty much only spam front guard, elemental walls or a variation of tank all hits skill.

  • Cael

    Dem armpits though. Good lord.

  • Extrange

    It seems Dragoon even has some decent damage potential with his offensive oriented Title, with Gun Revenge and Buster Cannon.

  • Yabloko Molloco San

    EOU 3 when. I want to play with a party made of the lesbian royal court of a loli-only country.

  • Jumanji Joe

    In EO4 most of the shortcuts stood out because they were a different color compared to the rest of the wall. I don’t see a need for that auto locate sound cue.

  • Mr. Capo

    Buster Cannon will come in handy against bosses and F.O.Es since they are usually in the front row. You could safely set up the attack if they are bound or inflicted with a crippling aliment like paralysis and curse.

  • Extrange

    What’s hard to get used to is Fencer. Even if they have Chase/Link skills (called Chains this time), they play so differently from Landsknecht cause they rely on dodging and countering.

  • Bit disappointed they wouldn’t use 3D models for player characters like VFD though.

  • Extrange

    You don’t exactly need them because you never see your characters in an overworld setting, unlike 7th Dragon.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Im kind of disappointed in the lack of a story mode.
    I liked the Untold games. The characters werent ground breaking but they had chemistry. It felt like adventurers becoming comrades through the dungeon. Its even more baffling since EO always made it clear it was optional.

  • Lepito

    Is it still 30FPS like all the other 3DS EOs? It was kind of jarring to switch between the DS games and 3DS games since I’m in the middle of playthroughs.