Then comes Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight. As you can guess, it is the remake of the Etrian Odyssey II (now it seems like it's very likely that they will release Etrian Odyssey III Untold as well in the future). I didn't plan to buy the game since I thought it will only be as good as EOU, but as soon as I saw the reviews, I immediately went to my local game store to buy it. Lucky for me, it is released earlier in Malaysia compared to the US release date (early by a week!). My experience with the game so far? Superb! This is better than EOU by miles, and I enjoyed the game so much.
This game is hard. Like, very hard. It's good for me since I feel most accomplish when defeating a hard boss. There's no other feeling as good as slaying a boss when you're down to single-digit HP. If you aren't into difficult things, don't worry! This game has three difficulty options, so you can choose which suits you best. I played on Expert difficulty.
Interaction Between Characters
There are five characters that you will control. Your main character who you will name him, Flavio, Arianna, Bertrand and Chloe. These characters really like to talk to each other, and you can feel that the interactions are genuine. Chloe and Bertrand really steals the show. Flavio and Arianna are a bit generic, but they still feel human nonetheless. Their interactions when trying new foods is very fun to watch. In term of gameplay, the team is pretty balances so you don't need to worry about it if you opt to play Story Mode.
Skill Point System
When you level up (by gaining enough Experience Points), you'll gain a Skill Point. Using the Skill Point, you can allocate it towards any skills in each character's skill tree. The best thing about the skill tree is that there are a lot of customization option. Either you want to learn new skills, or you want to allocate the point the skills that you have learned to strengthened them. You also don't have to worry if you did wrong, because you can always reset your skill points, the only trade-off is your character will level-down by two levels, but that won't affect you as much.
In this dungeon crawler, you'll explore a big labyrinth (tree) that is divided by floors in first-person view. As you explore, you'll need to write your own map. Yup, there's no minimap whatsoever. But it really gives you a sense of exploration. You'll take note of the floor, the shortcuts, the enemies that are far stronger than you, the treasures, the traps and more. Live and die by your map.
Story Mode and Classic Mode
In the remake, they still include Classic Mode if you are not into the Story Mode. In Classic Mode, there are more classes of characters to choose from, so you are given more freedom on how to manage your team. Different classes also means a high replayability value. I prefer to have story in my game, so I chose Story Mode. By far, the story is quite good compared to EOU and EOIV.
There's an optional cooking sidequests that you can do. As you fight monsters and collect materials/ingredients in the labyrinth, you'll obtain cooking ingredients as well. You can use this to cook different dishes that will give you extra characters bonuses, such as extra HP, higher resistant towards ailments, higher rate of rare enemy encounters and more. It is totally optional though, so avoiding it won't affect your gameplay as much. But you should still do it.
Multiple Save Points
Previous EO games only save the game in the cartridge, so you can only have one save point. Luckily with EO2U, you can now have multiple save points. A minor but totally important improvements, especially if your friends or siblings want to play the game without buying a new one.
For a limited time, some DLCs will be available for free. I think they will still have it until next week, so now is a good time to pick the game up if you are even a bit interested. The DLCs include skin pack, character class, and new missions and bosses to slay.
With Grimoire system, you can give your characters a few Grimoire Stones that will bestow them new abilities. For example, Flavio don't normally learns healing skills, but you can give him Grimoire Stones that have healing skills to him and he will be able to use it in battles. Sounds neat, right? The thing is, getting Grimoire System is totally random, and you won't know which Grimoire Stones you'll get. Thankfully, you can trade a specific stones with NPCs, but even the stones that they offer are random.
A High Wall To Overcome
Like I said before, this game is HARD. If you are new to the series, you' might be overwhelmed by how easy and often for you to get Game Over. Especially in the beginning where getting money isn't easy. But you shouldn't give up so easily, since it won't be that hard once you get the hang of it. The first key is to build a balanced team between offense, defense and healing. It is a great game, I assure you.
If you are into JRPGs, then you should definitely play it. This is one hardcore dungeon crawler game, but it is also a good starting point if you never played any of Etrian Odyssey games. Definitely one of my best games of 2015.