Hands-On: Ragnarok Odyssey

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

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The Playstation Vita is in need of games, there is no denying it, and it’s probably the reason why many people still have no intention of buying one.  Why Sony decided not to focus much on their brand new product during their press conference is baffling when there are games on the horizon. With XSEED Games Ragnarok Odyssey things are starting to look brighter for the Playstation Vita.

The XSEED Games representative touted Ragnarok Odyssey as a “faster paced Monster Hunter.”  While I think Monster Hunter is certainly a good game, I always found it to be rather slow and clunky which always put me off from the series.  So the promise of a faster paced one definitely would pique my interest.

Ragnarok Odyssey is an entirely quest driven game made by the developer Game Arts (Lunar and Grandia series) and set in the same universe as Ragnarok Online, which I’ll be completely honest, means very little to me, but I’m sure means a lot to others.   Like Ragnarok Online, you will be able to customize the character in many ways of your own choosing, from facial features all the way down to his or her feet. There are also six job classes to choose from.  The game will feature a 4-player co-op through Online Play, which is a very nice feature.

What sets this game apart from Monster Hunter is the style and the feel of the game.  While Monster Hunter goes for a semi-realistic fantasy setting, Ragnarok Odyssey goes for an anime look, which serves the games over-the-top combat system well.   Defying the tropes of many modern -games, Ragnarok Odyssey dares to use an extensive color palette in which there are more colors than just shades of brown.

The combat uses a combination system in which you can chain several attacks together to deliver massive amounts of damage at once.  You can uppercut enemies with your sword and finish them in the air which can be extremely satisfying.

While my time with the game was indeed limited, of what I played I enjoyed very much and can’t wait to play the finished product.  This game may just be one of the few must have titles for the Vita in 2012.

Ragnarok Odyssey will be launched in Summer 2012.

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Press Release:

Since ancient times, mankind and the Isolated Land were always divided by what was called the “Thousand Year Mountains”– a range of mountains even a flying dragon couldn’t cross. Naturally, mankind had thus always been curious about the seemingly inaccessible Isolated Land, wondering what secrets it may hold. And in an ironic twist of fate, that curiosity and thirst for knowledge and adventure would be fulfilled in a most unwelcome way.

With a thunderous sound that shook the entire land, the Thousand Year Mountains came crumbling down, unveiling ancient ruins from the era of the gods. People could finally bear witness to what had been hidden away in the Isolated Land for nearly an eternity – and unfortunately, it turned out to be hundreds and thousands of giants. It became immediately apparent that these were not friendly creatures as they mercilessly turned cities to rubble with mere swings of their gigantic arms, crushing families and histories alike.

Now, the kingdom of Rune Midgard is fighting valiantly for the survival of their country against the invading giants. The war has been fierce thus far, with massive casualties, but the resilient humans have managed to keep the giants at bay – if only temporarily. In an effort to prevent any recurrence of this massive tragedy, those in power ordered an enormous fortress called “The Shield” built at the entrance to the Isolated Land, to stand as a last barrier of hope and help fend off any inevitable future invasions.

The residents of the kingdom may never return to their once peaceful way of life, but they will fight for whatever measure of prosperity they can still find. Their one and only reason to be has been ingrained into every citizen and turned into a rallying cry that echoes throughout the land: “Fight against the giants, and survive!”