We’ve already seen one great game from Atlus earlier this year, and we are about to get an even better one. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is coming to North America this month for the Nintendo 3DS. The Fafnir Knight is a first-person dungeon crawler that takes advantage of the 3DS’ 3D display and analogue stick to really throw the player into a gorgeous fantasy world. The game itself is a bit slow starting out, but that can be expected from an expansive JRPG. However, once the action starts, it doesn’t hold back.
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight comes with two different modes. The first is the expected Story Mode, a fully narrative driven adventure that follows the Fafnir Knight and his companions. The story begins with you and your friend charged with the mission of finding a girl, and leading her through a labyrinth in a distant land. The purpose of traversing this monster ridden labyrinth is to perform an ancient ritual, but the purpose of the ritual remains unknown. All that is know is that it must be performed every 100 years to prevent something called the “Calamity.” Story Mode also includes voiced dialogue and animated cutscenes.
"Cooking element aside, Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is a must own for anyone who enjoys JRPGs."
The second game mode is Classic Mode. This mode is how the game was originally designed, but lacks a number of the great features that were included in the Story Mode. There is also a New Game+—an always great addition to any RPG. This mode gives you a lot of options when starting it, such as including the ability to move over any money, items, or floor maps.
Floor Maps is where the game really introduces interesting elements. As you traverse the labyrinth you need to map out each floor. To do this you use the bottom screen of the 3DS to map out the tiles, outline paths and mark doors, stairs and treasure chests. It adds a fun and creative element to the game that further drives the story, as well as exploration. Secret paths and hidden rooms are hidden everywhere, bringing further replayability to an already vast adventure. And once a floor is completed you can use the minimal to jump between floors, without having to traverse them again.
There is one element that could use a little work. At one point in the story a café opens in the town you are staying in. You then use items dropped from monsters in the labyrinth to discover hidden recipes. You can use the created items to heal your group or increase their stats. You can also use the café’s storage to hold any extra items that you might need later. While this is useful, the cooking process is somewhat lackluster.
Cooking element aside, Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight is a must own for anyone who enjoys JRPGs. Between the gorgeous animated cutscenes in the Story Mode, the engaging battles, and the fun Floor Maps, The Fafnir Knight has everything a great and memorable RPG needs. So if you’re a fan of RPGs and there’s only one 3DS game you’re willing to invest in this summer, you can’t go wrong with The Fafnir Knight.
Review by: Mike Ackerman