Developed by:ATLUS Published by:ATLUS Genre(s):
  • RPG
  • Platform:
  • Handhelds
  • Cost:$49.99 ESRB Rating:TEEN Players:1 Release date:August 4, 2015 Reviewed on:3DS

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight

    I’m usually a hard sell when it comes to remakes of popular video games. Improved graphics, bug fixes, DLC – none of the stuff that usually goes into a remade title convinces me to purchase a game I already own. That said, there are those rare times when a developer decides to bring something new to the table. Something that makes the remade title more than just a better version of its former self…

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is the second of the “Untold” series in the Etrian Odyssey franchise as well as a remake of Etrian Odyssey II, released on the original DS back in 2008. It too has the normal bells and whistles, including a new musical score. What makes The Fafnir Knight stand out to me though is its new narrative/story mode. For the first time, gamers will utilize a fixed party of fully voiced characters during their adventure in the labyrinth like dungeons.

    For those unfamiliar with the series, the Etrian titles are turn based RPGs/dungeon crawlers presented in the genre’s classic first person view. Players form guilds made up of different character classes to explore a large dungeon in hopes of completing some grand quest, usually accompanied by some light story telling. The dungeon’s inhabitants posed a serious threat – there weren’t any push-overs even when just starting out – while bosses took strategic balancing of buffs/debuffs to subdue. Even more dangerous  were the FOEs, powerful enemies that could be seen walking around the environment. That said, each step counted as a move in the dungeon, meaning that a FOE will only move after you did (like you’re taking turns). Besides the bosses and FOEs, all encounters where random. So aimlessly wandering around wasn’t recommended. It was possible to make a map using the DS’s stylus on the bottom screen though, allowing players to mark the best routes through particular floors.

    All of these elements make a return in The Fafnir Knight, but with spruced up mechanics. Take the map making for instance. There’s now a multitude of symbols to place on your maps, indicating things like doors, hidden passages, stairs, chests, and more. It also has an automatic feature that paints in the walls and floors as you move around the dungeon. Once majority of a floor is mapped out, you’ll be able to fast travel to the stairs leading to the next floor; great for getting back to higher floors without going back through the maze and when you need to retreat to an exit. As for the enemies you’ll encounter, they aren’t as deadly as before. Not in the sense that the game has gotten easier, just that the balancing has improved, making things a bit more fair. There are still plenty of monsters that can single handedly wipe out your entire party if you aren’t careful.

    FOEs are still incredibly dangerous opponents that should be avoided in most cases; it’s possible to kill them if your characters are leveled accordingly but even then, they aren’t to be taken lightly. What I like about them in this game is that they are often used as environmental puzzles. Some will chase you like normal while others will stick to a pre-determined path. Some will position themselves in certain pathways, acting like a sentry of sorts. Regardless of their positioning and tactics it’s up to you to find a way around them. For instance, after progressing up a few floors, you’ll face T-Rex-looking FOEs that actively chases you. There will also be trap doors placed along certain paths. By walking so that the FOE falls through the door while perusing you, they’ll become trapped for a few turns/steps. This will of course allow you to avoid a conflict.

    There are also several new elements introduced, like the aforementioned story mode. The actual tale itself is seated firmly in the cliché. A princess must perform an ancient ritual to save mankind and a knight (the main character) who’s tasked with accompanying her just happens to be an orphan that suffers from amnesia. They meet another group of would-be heroes whom reluctantly join their cause. A mysterious past, doom-laden prophecies, hidden motives – basically what one would expect from an RPG. This wasn’t a bad thing in my opinion, as it was nice to feel like your actions mattered in the grand scheme of things. Sure, in earlier titles completing the game meant you saved the day. Here though, the story plays out via anime like stills where your companions can actually contribute to the conversations. Not only that, but everyone (besides your character) is fully voiced. Your group is no longer a means to an end but a part of the ongoing drama.

    The game does sport a classic mode that allows you to choose your own group from the thirteen unique character classes found within. I personally didn’t care for it as much as the guided story mode, but it’s there for those looking to cut lose. As for other new additions, ATLUS has pulled some mechanics from their Mystery Dungeon series. This includes being able to build up your town to improve business. This in turn unlocks new items, side missions, and people to advertise too. Speaking of advertisement, this new feature should be well received. By advertising the right foods to certain districts via the town’s main restaurant, you’ll be able to raise money to buy much needed weapons and items.

    Last but not least are the grimoire stones. After you’ve reached a certain milestone in the game, you’ll be able to use blank grimoire stones during battles. If you’re lucky, the stone will copy a skill/ability from either a member of your group or the enemy you’re currently fighting. Once this happens, that stone will allow a character to use that particular ability regardless of their base role. You can essentially create hybrid classes that can do many things the normal classes can’t; a melee class casting a healing spell for example. That way you don’t necessarily need to worry about all thirteen classes when forming your party.

    There’s plenty to talk about when it comes to The Fafnir Knight. What’s important to note is that it’s a well-developed dungeon crawler that doesn’t just offer an updated version of an older game. I mean, it does do that in some areas; the reworked soundtrack is nice on the ears and the updated graphics literally pop when seen in 3D. However, it also has new elements that change up the way the game is played. Plus a completely “new” story to dive into. Ultimately, I found the game to be a difficult, yet entertaining RPG that’s worth the time it takes to complete.



    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight offers two different modes of play, both of which are loads of fun.



    This game is one of the best looking third-party 3DS titles.



    The new soundtrack and voice overs are great additions. For an added bonus, the original score can be swapped in for nostalgia sake.

    Replay Value:


    The classic mode offers up a lot of replay value, being that you can mix and match the classes. The story mode is fun enough to go through again but loses some of its wonder the second time around.

    Final Score:


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