Etrian Odyssey is a series that I've been looking into ever since before the release of the first game, but I've held off on getting the games, mostly because I had other things that needed my money. That hasn't exactly changed, but now my local rental store rents out DS games, which made me extremely excited. I was actually the first person to rent Etrian 2, so it was all spiffy new.
Anyways, on to the actual game. Etrian Odyssey 2 is a dungeon crawler at its finest. Map out the environments while you explore, complete quests, and climb the floors of the dungeon. All very fun stuff. But something I would like to mention, if you have been following the series at all, then everything you've heard is right. It will kick your ass. Hell, the butterflies in it are strong enough to bring about the Apocalypse. Twice. I strongly recommend looking at a FAQ if you plan on actually going someplace in the game, if only just to get a class combination right. Because while, yes after time you will get the hang of things and realize what you need, that will be several hours in, and you will basically have to retrain a new team and get yourself dominated by the moles and butterflies all over again.
Now that I'm past the insane difficulty, I can tell you, anyone who is a big fan of dungeon crawlers, get this game. The customization is amazingly addicting and very fun. Managing the giant variety of skills in the 12 class types will give any stat-freak their fill and then some. But manage those stats well, because you get one skill point a level, and every one counts.
I can't write a review being as, after a few hours of play I'm still on the first floor, my highest character is only level 4! While the progress certainly seems slow, I personally don't mind. The battles are fun, the quests at this point are simple, and exploration is very rewarding.
Basically all I can say is, if you don't mind the lack of quick saves, a detailed story, or basic hand holding, then this game is for you. If you can get past these details you'll find a very addicting, fun, and most importantly different game. This game relies on your imagination to fill in the gaps and really paint the pictures. While a story is in place, and details are given, their is no imagery. Let your imagination run wild. Or don't, ya' lazy bums.
Etrian really surpassed my expectations. It has none of that "here let me help you with that" kind of crap. It really brought me back to the NES days of the "no checkpoints, no extra lives, your on your own bitch!" mentality. Which in case your wondering, is awesome. You're doing things by yourself, therefore every accomplishment just means that much more. If your a younger gamer, it's something you need to experience. So do yourself a favor and pick this up. Make sure not to be too quick to judge, their is a lot of fun to be had, just make sure you aren't too jaded by all the easy pushovers we've become all too used to to see it.