The Etrian Odyssey series first came to light on the Nintendo DS in 2007 and is, in my opinion, one of the best new IPs on the platform. A well made, story-rich dungeon crawler is exactly what the system needed, and the two sequels kept the tradition of quality going. The last instalment, Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, was released in 2009 and we are about due for another entry on western shores. Etrian Odyssey IV: Legend of the Titan has already been released in Japan, however there has been some uncertainty surrounding its release in North America. Thankfully, Atlus have put these fears to rest by confirming that we will definitely be seeing a western release. For RPG fans and those bemoaning the lack of RPGs on the Nintendo 3DS, this should come as very welcome news.

The story of Etrian Odyssey IV: Legend of the Titan will surround Yggdrasil, a monolithic tree in a far away land that is a constant presence for the people of Tharsis. Despite the tree being a fixture on the horizon, nobody has ever set foot in the lands in which it is rooted. This is where you come in. You must follow an explorer’s guild, sponsored by the Outland Court of Tharsis, and venture to Yggdrasil and discover the perils and mysteries that lie within. Your airborne skyship is your mode of transportation, and your objective is to discover treasure, monsters and ancient secrets on your journey. As anyone who has played the prior games will no doubt be expecting, succeeding in your mission will not be an easy task.

This fourth Etrian Odyssey adventure will be the first on the 3DS, and the new platform promises to deliver improvements and enhancements over the previous instalments. The most noticeable change will be the graphics engine, which will feature polygonal enemies and environments that utilize the capabilities of the 3DS. The series staples such as character customization and touch screen map controls are still present, however the game will have a new look and feel that is clearly a step forward for the series. The Etrian Odyssey series is also known for being grind-heavy and very difficult, and that is not going to change in the fourth instalment. However, for those who prefer an easier ride, a “casual mode” has been implemented to make the experience less punishing.

The exact launch date for Etrian Odyssey IV: Legend of the Titan has yet to be confirmed, however Atlus has stated that it will be sometime in early 2013. The 3DS has a lot to live up to for RPG fans, especially with the stellar library of titles that the original Nintendo DS boasts. Hopefully this game delivers and more RPGs find their way onto the system in the near future.