Etrian Odyssey is definitely hard, but in a good way. The main game divided into 50 floors and it really feels like an accomplishment just to be able to clear one of them.
Um, every EO has been 5+1 Sanctums, with 5 floors per Sanctum in I&II, and 4 floors in III. The last Sanctum is always after the main story, and is much harder.
That one changed the gameplay by changing character classes and adding a sailing mechanic.
None of the EOs have the same classes. Sailing in III was also optional, accessible outside the main dungeon. It's basically a larger 2 room dungeon limited by your movement distance instead of your health/tp.
they were fun games until you got to a floor boss where you were forced to grin up 15 levels just to beat it just to fall to the next floor boss 5 levels down and have to do it again
i think how it went from easy to hard was
2 was a nightmare for me ..while 1 was almost a cake walk
Eh, it's a dungeon crawler. If you don't want to level up for the next boss, you're playing the wrong genre. I didn't have to "grind", but I fought every random encounter.
EO1 was easy only if you knew what to do with your paladin, and had a medic. They were basically required in the party. If you didn't have a paladin or medic specced with defense abilities, you probably couldn't get anywhere, so people didn't like this.
In EO2, they changed it so you didn't have to have a paladin type, so you can run with just about any class. Of course, there were a few overpowered classes (Hexer, especially, who can KO bosses in 1-2 hits).
EO3 was more balanced, but it ended up being the easiest, IMO. It was also the shortest, since it had less levels. I spent about 110 hours on 1, 120 hours on 2, and maybe 90 on 3. This is with all main game maps 100%, and most of end game.
They're all worth playing. But if you skip one, I'd skip 1 just because of the paladin/medic requirement.