Atlus recently announced it will be making its way onto the Nintendo DS next year with the North American release of Etrian Odyssey.
Known as Sekaiju no Meikyuu in Japan, the game carries a heavy-hitting list of talent including Kazuya Niinou (Trauma Center: Under the Knife) as director, Shigeo Komori (Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner) on story design, Shin Nagasawa (Final Fantasy IX) creating the game’s monsters, and Yuzo Koshiro (Actraiser, Streets of Rage) designing the sound.
The game takes place in a small town named Etria, where a crack in the forest opens way to the labyrinth of Etria. While the labyrinth is perilous, riches, fame, and more await adventurers. With the forest aspect to the story, Atlus is promising warm and bright environments including forests, jungles, and groves rendered in a three-dimensional engine and displayed in first-person on the top screen.
Players will be able to venture out into the labyrinth in parties of up to five characters, choosing from a personal guild that can host up to 20 characters. By defeating enemies in turn-based strategic combat (which Atlus describes as being very similar to the Shin Megami Tensei series), more than 20 battle skills can be learned and utilized by your party. The characters' skills will depend upon which of the nine available classes are given to them.
Landsknechts are masters of melee combat, survivalists are rangers with knowledge of forest lore, protectors utilize shields to protect the party, dark hunters strike with whips, medics heal with skills and techniques, alchemists control paranormal phenomena, troubadours assist the party through song and dance, warlocks use forbidden magic, and bushido are masters in bladesmanship.
Etrian Odyssey makes full use of the touch screen, leaving the player to plot their own progress through the labyrinth. Not only can players map out their progress, but also make special notes of treasure, doors, pits, stairs, or any other special event.
The town of Etria itself is ripe with information and supplies for adventurers. Citizens at the pub will give players quests to complete and an item shop will sell items already found in the forest. Even more items can become available by combining items found in the forest.
Currently, the game is scheduled to release in the first quarter of 2007 with a retail price of $29.99. No Nintendo Wi-Fi or local wireless options are slated for the release.