I’m in the middle of Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard on the DS right now, and I’ve got to say that it’s one hell of a game. I’m in the process of playing it for an official review at GameCritics and I thought I’d be able to get it up in a pretty reasonable amount of time, but I’ve already sunk over 20 hours into it and I don’t think I’m even quite halfway. I may have to do one of my extremely rare ‘unfinished game reviews’ but in this particular case, I feel pretty comfortable with that if my deadlines start closing in.
The first few hours were heartlessly brutal, bringing a difficulty that I haven’t seen since the 16-bit days, but once my characters hit level 10 things sort of evened out and the constant smackdowns from random encounters started to ease up. I’m not going to talk a lot about it except to say that it’s an extremely fine piece of software and that although I can see how the appeal might be stronger with people who grew up in the old school, the designers of the game have got a pretty damned good handle on what they’re doing. It’s a total thumbs up at this point, and a very strong recommendation for anyone who can get into dungeon-crawl RPGs.
Easily one of my favorite games this year.
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