Great dungeon-crawler for both casuals and for those with lots of patience.

User Rating: 9 | Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl 3DS

Etrian Odyssey has come a relatively long way when it comes to providing a challenging dungeon-crawling experience. Although, those who loved the first three title of the series would raise their eyebrows over the addition of an easy difficulty option it is clearly meant to lure in more fans for the series. Atlus has found a compromise on how to make EO accesible for more gamers while also trying to make it appealing to those who like it the hard way - the ones they've catered to in the first place.

It's a good thing right until you'll know that you can change difficulty almost anytime on your save file much like EO4. Now, it's more of a personal preference. Basically, the idea is that you'll have the option to try out which difficulty caters to your needs. But when a person choose the extreme difficulty when starting a new game, he/she definitely knows what he/she is getting into(I have high faith in humanity). Having to change difficulty later in-game makes the purpose of having to choose one in the first place unimportant. I could list some good points that could come out of it but it doesn't outweigh the fact that it might spoil gamers too much. Whether you pick easy or hard, you just have to learn to stand by your decision. Deal with it.

Preferences aside, Untold: The Millenium Girl is a great dungeon-crawler. It's a trip back to the first Etrian Odyssey game. It's a remake but ATLUS made it a very refreshing one. ATLUS took most of it's great concept and added some new ones to make it an even much more enjoyable game than the first one. Although the new exploration features and the forging mechanics present from games like EO3-4 are absent here, it has been replace with newer features.

Now, you can have a guild house of your own. You can even name it. And in it, you can prepare dishes(tea in this case) that dishes out bonuses for your party when crawling in the dungeon. Item storage has been transferred here. House helpers/guests a.k.a. guildkeepers will occasionally give you items and quests. Now, a guildkeeper's quests is pretty much simple and can be redundant but since it turns up occasionally(unlike in pubs where quests are one-time only) it's another way to earn experience especially in extreme difficulty where every experience growth is counted on.

And then there's the grimoire system. A grimoire stone is filled with skills that enables the one who bears it, regardless of class limitations, use them. Not only that, some grimoire stones allows any unit to wear specific equipments that normally they couldn't equip. Like for example, a medic with a gun(they already had in real life but just recently in this game though). Plus, you can craft grimoire stones out of three old ones. Its complex but can be integral to the game if you intend to make the most out of your party. One minor gripe of the grimoire stone is that it depends almost on chance. You have a chance to obtain one or more during a battle. And when I said chance you either get one or you don't after the battle. The level and kind of skills that's inside the stone is base partially on luck. It may take a while to have an ideal grimoire stone but it's definitely worth it.

Then there's another two important features that makes exploration around the dungeon less cumbersome and more convenient. You have the new option to auto-draw the places you've been and not just the tiles/floor but also the walls/lines. Whatever icons you put on your map is entirely to your discretion but at least you don't have to worry about drawing every freaking lines of an entire floor. Then there's the floor jump mechanics. Basically, if you've explore most of the floor you'll get access to the floor jump. You'll be able to jump from other floors that has this kind of access. Although this method is subject to abuse it makes grinding on a specific floor easy. After all, a purpose of a grind is more on earning something than the challenge that it represents.

Untold has two gaming modes to choose from. The story mode and the classic mode. I can't tell much about the story but you start with a pre-made class. Now, classic mode has more freedom when it comes to party-building but you won't have access to some class. It's kinda shame really that you have to choose which mode you want to play on your one and only save slot. Although, I could say that you could just get by pretty well in classic mode without these exclusive classes but then again you'll miss the chance to try them out. Tsk. Tsk.

Etrian Odyssey is visually pleasing(from the NPCS to the monsters) and when the 3d feature is turned on you could really see its beauty. The way I describe it is that it's like a "multi-layered pop-up book". I'm not much for visuals but this one's great.

All in all, Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl is a superb game. It now appeals to those who find the previous titles too hard. It's also one for the series vets despite the option to change difficulty in a snap. Resist the temptation to do so and believe me you'll have inner peace.