cover_large.jpgRagnarok Odyssey is based on the world of Ragnarok, a popular MMORPG. With Monster Hunter style of hack and slash gameplay, online multiplayer, and item collection for weapon and armor crafting, let’s see how it compares to other games of its sort.

  • Story

You are in a group of mercenaries on the edge of the human’s last fort stationed in between the mountains and protected by a giant wall mounted with cannons. Giants begin to attack this wall with the intent to invade the human territories, and it’s up to your group of mercenaries to stop them. The story is in no way exciting or engaging though. It’s mostly just you going around killing things.

  • Gameplay

Before you start the game, you are tasked with character creation. After selecting gender, skin tone, hair style, hair color, outfit color, and voice, you can select from 6 different classes, all of which you can change later. You begin by walking around the fort and purchasing or upgrading weapons, armor and potions, all of which require you to collect items acquired from monster drops, first. There is also a card system where you can obtain and equip cards from monsters as drops giving you stat boosts or bonuses in certain situations. Every monster has one or two cards, allowing for lots of collecting. Upon selecting a mission, you go to one of the areas and begin fighting. Every single mission objective is either “defeat x amount of monster” or “collect x amount of this item” (which is obtained by defeating x amount of whichever monster drops it) Therefore, the missions get kind of old and monotonous pretty fast. It wouldn’t be so bad however if there were a unique skill and leveling system though, right? Too bad both leveling and skills are practically non-existent. You character ranks up after every chapter, meaning there’s no reason to fight enemies unless you have to, or you need a specific item drop. Upon ranking up, your HP, AP, attack and defense level up. Combat is fairly bland also. You have a jump button, a dash button, a run button, and two attack buttons (depending on your class, you may also get a block button). All the controls are tight, however, and no control is too screenshot_psvita_ragnarok_odyssey044quirky. Combo-ing your attacks into one another using different 5 button press orders are the closest things you get to skills in the game. On the other hand, launching enemies into the air and doing massive damage before slamming them back down into the ground is pretty fun, and you’re always able to switch classes, (after a certain point) so if one class just isn’t doing it for you, you can just switch to another. Boss battles are usually pretty epic and entertaining, but have a pretty steep learning curve. If you attack when you’re supposed to dodge, you’ll get ripped to shreds, and you don’t have a whole lot of time to figure that out either. If you get your entire HP depleted 3 times, you fail the mission.

  • Music and Presentation

The music is fairly forgettable, but at no time irritating or monotonous, and fits whatever is going on very well. The presentation is beautiful, though, the opening cinematic is breathtaking, and each area you go to fight is very different from the last. Each area of the map is unique and interesting, not to mention fun to explore. All the enemies and bosses are great looking, even breathtaking at times. All of the effects look great, and not once did I think my screen looked uninteresting.

  • Online Multiplayer

Seeing as the game is based off of an MMORPG, I believe it is important to include this in the review. Any mission you are capable of taking on by yourself, you can do with friends or strangers using the multiplayer function. The enemies will then get tougher to make things more of a challenge. You are unable to join a lobby if you are not able to get to that point in the story, this way the enemies won’t tear through less experienced members of your team, and no spoilers will be revealed. ragnarok-odyssey-ace-vita-1.jpgThe online runs pretty seamlessly, with little to no lag, and taking on groups of enemies or a tough boss with a team of three other players is a lot of fun. The only gripe with the online multiplayer I have is if anyone dies 3 times or any combination of 3 deaths on your team, your whole team fails the mission. So if you have a weak link in your team, or if your team gets wrecked by a powerful attack, you’re pretty much screwed. With no way to revive teammates, tougher missions can be really irritating, and potentially easier solo.

  • Length

There are a total of 88 story quests, although you don’t have to complete all of them to complete the game. As you progress, you unlock a total of 31 extra quests that are more difficult than the actual story quests for you to enjoy. I’d say you could make the story last about 10-30 hours if you played through pretty quickly, although if you grind it out, or go for the platinum trophy, you can easily squeeze 60+ hours out of it, not to mention all the online multiplayer you can go for. You can also grind out all of the monster cards in the game.

  • Why the Vita?

This game doesn’t actually use any Vita specific controls or features, but it still plays well, the controls are tight and it looks great on the OLED screen. While this would be fine on a console as well (and eventually, it does get put on the PS3 as Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, adding some DLC, an extra chapter, new enemies and skills), it’s nice to have ad-hoc multiplayer for friends to play together. The near feature is pretty cool too, where if you find a cool or useful card, you can send a copy of it to near for friends or nearby Vita owners to use.

The Bottom Lines

Pros

  • Lots of collectables and great gameplay length.
  • Beautiful land and enemies bring the world to life and keep things interesting.
  • Nice amount of character customization, and the ability to change anything about your character whenever.
  • Great online multiplayer.

Cons

  • No leveling system, making a lot of things seem pointless.
  • Combat can get old and monotonous very quickly.
  • Story is boring and uninteresting.
  • A somewhat unforgivable difficulty curve at points.

Final Score: 7/10

This game was a lot of fun, and if you can get past the cons, this game is actually a lot of fun. Feel free to drop it to a 6/10 if everything seems too monotonous for you, and maybe bump it up to an 8/10 if you love grindy Monster Hunter style stuff.

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