Nintendo World Report writes: "After playing Etrian Odyssey II, I looked at my review of the first game and was tempted to simply copy and paste it with a couple of minor changes (off course, I'm being facetious). Although there are a few significant differences, EO2 is a relatively straightforward sequel. While I don't agree with all of the design changes, Etrian Odyssey II should still please fans of the budding series, while providing a good entry point for those who missed the first game since there's no continuity between the two storylines.
The core gameplay in EO2 remains the same as it was in the first game. You start by creating several characters (name, class, portrait, and skill assignments) and taking them into the dungeon-like forest. You can stick with five characters for the whole game, or you can create several extras and swap them out as desired for different situations. As you explore, you'll use the touch screen to notate the important features of each level. New weapons and armor are still unlocked by bringing the body parts of defeated monsters to the shop in town, and you still get one skill point per level with which to customize your party members. Now and then you'll encounter a character that furthers the minimal story, and of course, the dreaded FOEs (boss-like enemies that stalk around visibly, as opposed to the normal randomly-encountered enemies) are back to bring an untimely end to your adventuring."