Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: Some things are better unsaid

July 30, 2015

Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold

Like many genres steeped in nostalgia, there has been a first-person dungeon-crawler renaissance, specifically on handhelds. One of the key factors of this slow, undeniable resurgence of the genre is Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series. Etrian Odyssey’s focus on providing a challenging and rewarding dungeon-crawling experience over an expansive narrative was admirable, but the potential for a story-focused adventure was there.

Two years after the release of the original Untold, Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 is here and takes the concept of a story-focused Etrian Odyssey title and expand on it. Unfortunately, like the original, it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

As you might expect, Untold 2 is a remake of Etrian Odyssey 2 on the original DS. While you can play it in “classic mode,” the main draw is the game’s story mode. It follows a young princess named Arianna, her silent bodyguard and a group of companions on a quest to visit mysterious ruins and complete a centuries-old ritual. The plot is unremarkable, with the game’s heavy emphasis on dialogue taking away from Etrian Odyssey’s main focus: the gameplay.


Every new piece of dialogue from the cardboard cutout characters becomes more irritating than the last, constantly interrupting you and your ability to fully explore and experience the adventure for yourself. That’s not to say all of the dialogue is distractingly bad; Arianna’s naïve approach to the many wonders and dangers of the world she seems unfamiliar with is surprisingly charming. The supporting cast, however, is particularly one-note, as is their constant chatter.

Ultimately, Untold 2’s story mode seems misguided and unnecessary. It’s not quite clear to what audience it’s attempting to appeal, especially considering the first game already attempting something similar and didn’t succeed. Hardcore Etrian Odyssey fans will stick to the classic mode, while newcomers who want to experience a more narrative-focused adventure won’t find much to like. If anything, it might turn them off of the experience altogether.

image150225_1644_006Classic Mode (1)

As previously mentioned, the gameplay in Untold 2 has always been the reason fans continue coming back to the series and is addictive as ever. If this is your first game in the series, you’ll find a lot to like here, although the learning curve is steep. At its core, Etrian Odyssey is about taking a party of five characters into a gigantic, multi-floored dungeon and exploring to complete various quests all while drawing a map on the 3DS’ bottom screen. The map function is a main draw for many, but thankfully this feature can be automated for those who want to simply explore without worrying about it.

Untold 2 also takes a few pages from Persona Q’s book with its tweaks to the traditional turn-based battle system, including the option to enable “auto-battle,” which can make plowing through easier enemies on floors you’ve already explored a breeze. Despite some small improvements, nothing about Untold 2 stands out to those already well-versed in the series. The core gameplay is still fun, but after playing Etrian Odyssey IV, the original Untold and Persona Q over the course of the past few years, I found myself not as excited about Untold 2’s relatively safe approach to the series formula.


I’m not entirely sure who Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 is for. Newcomers to the series looking for a more story-focused approach to the series’ formula are better off with the superior Persona Q, while those in the market for a less story-heavy but still newcomer-friendly entry should stick with Etrian Odyssey IV. As it stands, it’s a solid remake, but even the most hardcore fans of the series might not find a lot to be excited about with this one.

Pros: Strong lead character, classic gameplay is still addictive
Cons: Story mode is dull, doesn’t bring enough new to the table

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.