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Best 3DS RPG - Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight


Best 3DS

Not long ago, the Etrian Odyssey series was reserved for only hardcore RPGamers. After all, these games center around first-person labyrinth exploration by a group of silent characters that can be meticulously arranged by the player if sufficient time is put into the process. Making systematic cartographic notes is not a huge selling point for a mass audience, and the series seemed just fine in its niche. Then the first Etrian Untold appeared, and by having defined characters along with more relaxed difficulty options, it snared a new audience for the series. Etrian Untold 2 continues to entice a larger audience than the series had known in its original incarnation. The means by which it does this hasn't changed much since the first Untold, but seeing that the execution continues to be top-notch is absolutely worthwhile.

The five members of the party have personalities instead of the mute adventurers of the original game, but by keeping the writing solid this quintet is not dull or obligatory when plot beats are sounded. They may not be deep personages by all conceivable measures, but watching the interaction of the party is quite entertaining. Some of that is doubtless due to another fine localization by Atlus USA, but a cruddy original Japanese script would have been apparent.

The game is not dumbed down, though many aspects can be skimmed over by those who wish to move along quickly. Options are in place to cater to both the hardcore dungeon-diving crowd and more casual players, letting the game be played at whatever pace seems suitable. Lots of content is there to keep interested players going long after the main story is done, and the core gameplay aspects have been refined over the series to be effective and efficient. Put all that together with a top-notch presentation, and it's no wonder this game has garnered so much kudos.

by Mike Moehnke

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