Etrian Odyssey is with every ounce of its being an RPG fanatic's wet dream. The game makes no excuses for the player, demanding that you strategize every step of the way, whether it's in recruiting new characters, divvying out items and level up points, or taking a branching path in dungeons. The map making portion of the game is detrimental for survival, though it's something that is merely an aspect of gameplay, and nothing that the game truly hinges on. You'll have sections to clear away for missions, or areas that need to be explored, but mainly the bottom screen is used as your notepad, and you're expected to use it as such. The game's core mechanic is one we've seen and played for over 20 years, dating back to the earliest of PC titles that literally had players making notes on a pen and paper while playing, and it's a great title for the hardest of hardcore DS players. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and even other Atlus titles don't have the guts to embrace this audience of gamer anymore, so if you fit in that group of elder role-playing junkies this is an absolute must on the system.
Full review by Bozon of IGN.