2013's Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl was a first for Atlus' Etrian Odyssey series; although the series has always had stories to some degree in the past, they've never really had any pre-determined party. And although Etrian Odyssey's difficulty has many fans (including myself!), many of the older titles—Etrian Odyssey II, especially—suffered from a nearly impenetrable beginning dungeon, leaving all but the most hardcore of players behind. With the Untold sub-series' additions of a greater story, pre-determined characters, and a greater degree of hand-holding alongside new difficulty modes, more players should have the ability to get used to the game than ever before, while veteran's can still benefit from the original difficulty, newly composed soundtracks (mmm ... Yuzo Koshiro...) and 3D visuals utilizing the Etrian Odyssey IV engine.
The demo that was on the show floor today was a short portion from the beginning of the game's story mode, with the difficulty set to Easy. Because of this, the games infamous difficulty was nowhere to be seen, but considering the game is just a remake a la the first Untold game, what was played was enough to tell us about what is new. The game's story will act very similarly to the previous Untold's, and the aforementioned remixes of the game's classic tracks are all in place. I wasn't able to listen to the remix of Cherry Tree Bridge, but there's little doubt that whatever remix it received will be enjoyable.
Needless to say, all the series' signature mapping features remain intact; in fact, the story mission on display seemed to be meant as a tutorial of sorts.
Another new feature present in Untold 2 is the ability to create characters based off of classes that were introduced later in the series - classes such as the Sovereign return in this installment, and a new Story mode exclusive class, the Fafnir, allows a fresh experience for players already familiar with the series. Additionally, players intent on checking out the games new content while still playing through classic mode no longer have to worry. Multiple save files are included in this release, and players will be able to play through both game modes at once.
Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight comes out August 4th, for the MSRP of $49.99. The initial release of the game will include a variety of bonuses, including an art book and soundtrack sampler CD. Stay tuned for our review in the future!