Oh, I’m definitely going back and playing them, then. I noticed during Etrian Odyssey IV that it wasn’t actually ridiculously difficult (although with both Kibigami and Logre I was ten levels ahead, so that might contribute to it a little), and I thought I might notice a bit more since everyone is saying that the game was incredibly hard.
Also, I was looking through the tag, and apparently a new game is coming out that is a remake of the first one. I would ask which is better, but it isn’t out yet. Which one would you recommend starting off with?
Keep in mind that part of the reason 4 is considered the easiest is because of all of the quality of life improvements that have been added to the series over the years. Some of it is little stuff, like making the crafting icons for your map actually meaningful icons, but others make the game a lot ‘easier’ just because they are better design choices.
The main one I’m thinking of is skills and their prerequisites. You may notice that in EO4 it’s kind of strange to see a skill that requires more than 8 points to master, but in the earlier games that was the norm, and it was especially bad in the first two games, because there were a lot of prerequisite skills that were straight up useless.
An especially painful example is the Ronin in EO2, who has a really good skill that takes 8 points in AGI Up, a passive skill that raises the character’s Agility by one lousy point every time you level it up, and 8 points in LUC Up, which does the same thing for Luck. That’s sixteen levels wasted on two skills that have negligible benefits before you get the skill you want. Hexers have it even worse; they have to level up a skill called ‘Curses’ to unlock any of their skills. Curses does nothing. It is a level tax for no good reason.
Having played most of the games in the series (I didn’t get to play the first one), I will say that the fourth one felt easier than the second one, but that’s because in the fourth game, I have options and skills comparable to what I would expect to have a dozen levels later in the earlier games. The classes are all also useful; there are several classes in EO2 that I never really used (or at least never really used in my main party, like Survivalists).
So basically, the older games are harder, but not always in a good way.