Platform: PlayStation Vita
ESRB: T for Teen
Developer: GungHo Online Entertainment
Released: October 30th, 2012
Ragnarok Odyssey is a game with a ton of potential that doesn’t exactly live up to any of it. It pulls elements from Monster Hunter and the original Korean MMO Ragnarok Online. It really doesn’t have any large flaws, but it has a lot of small ones that just made for an uncomfortable experience. I have to admit that while this game has many shortcomings it is, essentially, the perfect Vita RPG experience. Many of the “shortcomings” a normal RPG would have in terms of timed missions and linear maps are turned into strengths on this more portable version where you don’t want to spend several hours in the same map because you’re just picking this up in your free time.
One of the biggest problems I had with Ragnarok Odyssey was enjoying it in the first place. I chose an archer as my first class and just didn’t have any fun with it for the five hours I played as it. The lock-on system is a mess and the arrows only seem to travel about five feet in front of you. Not to mention playing as an archer in anything but a top down or sideview game is usually bad. Couple this with the fact you can’t see any enemies behind you and they don’t appear as icons on the mini map, and you have a recipe for disaster. I later changed my class to an Assassin and had a much more pleasurable experience.
You know, what’s the point of a mini map if the entire map is linear anyways? You would think it would be so that you could see the monsters on the map, but it wasn’t. The most convoluted map I had come across in my game only had about four different directions in the first place. The fact that the map is so linear is quite a bit disappointing for an RPG. They also send you on the same maps over and over again to fight almost exactly the same monster. The only variation comes from the times they will unblock a previously blocked off passage along the same map ways you have gone down multitude of times before.
I also don’t like the fact that the characters you level barely progress in the game. Clearing out an entire map of enemies is entirely useless aside from the small chance of getting a monster card or materials used to upgrade weapons and armors. Monster cards are what is supposed to be replacing the leveling up and skill distribution of the games. Quite frankly, I am very fond of the idea and wish it had been better executed. The cards are rare and, most of the time, they come with negative skills attached to them, unlike a level up system where you can only gain power and never lose it.
The art in the entire game is very impressive. Vivid environments pave the ay for you as you explore each area. This almost makes up for the fact that they send you to the same map a hundred times. Almost. Along with the impressive art comes the surprising amount of character creation customization they give you aesthetically. When you create your character they give a nice amount of both face, hair, and voice styles to chose from. Changing your hair color also has a surprising amount of option. Instead of just picking from 10 selected colors they have prepared for you Ragnarok Odyssey allows you to pick literally any color in the spectrum.
I didn’t get a chance to play the online mode as anytime I tried to get on no one was anywhere near me. They do have Near implementation where you can actually send items out to Near for passerby and friends to collect. I really like Near and want more integration exactly like this in future games of any kind.
I really enjoy the fighting system they have in the game. Different directions paired with different face buttons will give you many different combo attacks to chose from. It is very similar to a fighting game in that aspect. One thing I haven’t come to expect from an RPG is a good fighting system, but Ragnarok Odyssey’s was very pleasing. I can usually ignore the repetitiveness of the same enemies in the same maps just because I enjoy the fighting system so much.
The entire game is also very non-specific. It took me awhile to find out what materials I needed to further upgrade my weapons and armor just because you had to click through the display page four times in a row using the same button. Not to mention you can only see the materials list in the weapon enhancement shop in the first place. There also isn’t a “help” section that gives you a list of the tips you have learned so far throughout the game. I found it very hard to keep track of what gems did what when you collected them and what statues were affecting me at any time. I also never went through a tutorial explaining that I could do combos in the first place.
Saving can get a bit annoying as you are unable to save in the middle of a mission. It asks you after every mission you complete if you would like to save. Considering most games don’t ask and I end up getting hours into them very often without saving, only to freeze/die and lose everything, being asked to save is very nice. Aside from asking after every quest you can also save in your room at the inn. You can also change equipment, BGM, and talk to your slime friend in here whom will direct you to DLC and also accept gifts from Near for you.
The timed missions make this a game that can easily be taken in chunks. Considering the mobile system it’s on that is very beneficial to the overall experience. Ragnarok Odyssey is a very enjoyable game. This game is pretty much the perfect RPG for the Vita. Bite-sized missions, tons of actions, not a lot of dialogue to take up all your free time on the bus. With a solid leveling system this game would definitely be one of my very favorite games. If only the characters progressed through levels and materials were easier to create, Ragnarok Odyssey would be exactly the game I would want to have with me at all times.
- Amazing combat system
- Bite-sized in every aspect
- Lots of aesthetic character customization
- Beautiful and unique environments
- Very Monster Hunter-esque
- Perfect Vita game
- Repetitive in both map exploration and monster killing
- No leveling system
- Weak item creation
- Not enough tutorials, guides or general information given at any time
8 out of 10
Article from Gamersyndrome.com