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If you haven't played the previous games, then your mileage will vary greatly depending on how you like your games. If you want something fast and full of action, this probably isn't the game for you. However, if you like turn-based games that reward you for putting a lot of thought into your skill choices and are willing to put up with a significant amount of (game-assisted) level grinding, it's likely that you'll appreciate Etrian Odyssey III.
New character classes and ocean exploration serve to augment the standard formula, while keeping the soul of the experience intact. There's a lot of honest challenge here, and while the grinding and gathering can wear thin, there are enough moments of gratifying triumph to compel you onward. If you relish difficulty, thrive on exploration, and are a true graph-paper cartographer, Etrian Odyssey III delivers what you expect and love about the series. It gives no quarter and asks for none. Surmounting its challenges is a worthy pursuit for those who have the spirit to soldier on.