The 3DS retellings of Etrian Odyssey are unique not only because they give a sense of structure in the form of a defined stories and precreated characters, but also because they take substantial steps to make the series more accessible to people who would find the games too punishing otherwise. Thus people too put off by Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard may find Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight far more inviting.
At least, that’s my takeaway after about 10 hours with the game. Since everyone is familiar with the standard difficulty of the series, I thought it best to approach Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold with the new Picnic mode. It’s the easiest of the easy, but not exactly the simplest of the simple. My takeaway thus far is that going on a Picnic means characters are slightly more powerful than usual and there’s less need to grind.
For example, my team reached level five without any effort. I want to say that milestone was hit after less than two hours of play. Story mode characters, like the titular Fafnir Knight, were dealing over a hundred points of damage while at level one. It made the commentary from the story mode characters at the start of battle, during which they’d sometimes suggest specific attacks or elements to use to make a fight easier, seem more like a bonus, since I knew my characters could easily wipe out any foe anyway. And, even if they did fall, that was okay too. The game would give me a second chance. This may seem less attractive to veterans, which is fine since Expert mode is there for them, but it makes Picnic mode a highlight for those new to Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold.
The skill system is more open as well. Leveling up a mastery, say Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold‘s Heal Mastery, to level one, three or five will automatically sometimes provide instant access to the level one version of specific battle abilities. Grimoire Stones from the previous Untold return, and it’s possible to equip them to give someone an ability without any of the work.
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