|Title: Ragnarok Odyssey
Developer: Game Arts/ GungHo Online
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Genre: Action RPG
Rating: ESRB Teen
The Gods have fallen and it is left up to you to regain control of the world from the giants. Ragnarok Odyssey takes place in the world of Norse mythology. The kingdom of Rune Midgard is fighting for their very survival against the giant invaders. There are several different types of giants like hill and frost varieties for you to fight. You also encounter several boss monsters which are ripped straight from Norse mythology.
The first thing you will do in this game is create your character. There are thousands of options to choose from when doing this such as various hairstyles, skin colors, voices, and facial expressions. There are a few costumes to choose from as well and there will be a greater variety of these available as the game progresses. There are also 6 different character classes to choose from and each class will play slightly different, but more on that in a minute.
The fort serves as the central hub of the game. From here you can take quests as well as buy items and equipment and various other game features. The quests are divided up into chapters with about 10 quests in each chapter, each with various goals. Some quests will have you gathering items and other quests will have you killing a certain number of monsters within a time limit. These quests are also spread out over several different locations.
Lots of people will think this game is just a Monster Hunter clone and although it does have some similar game play aspects there a few major differences. First off the combat is completely different. Ragnarok’s combat is fast and furious with huge combos, pop ups and air jumps. Overall this is a much faster-paced game; you will not spend time gathering items at the start to get things to kill the bigger monsters, you will just dive right into it. The combo system works much like that of any other action game. You have 2 buttons you use in correlation with the D-pad to do various effects; these can end with the monsters being popped up in the air where you can do a nice air combo to boot or smashing them into a wall or another monster for even more damage.
As I stated earlier there are 6 different character classes in the game. As with any RPG, each class will have its strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Hammersmith class is really slow but has the highest attack power, whereas the Mage will have much less defense and attack power but has devastating elemental combos. Also, each class will use a different weapon and some will have greater reach than others, which will add an element of strategy to the game. I found for myself I like the Sword Warrior as they have a great balance between attack and defense. It is easy to pop up most monsters with them as well.
There is also a ton of monster cards to collect in this game. You equip these cards to give yourself a variety of abilities and stat bonuses. These will be dropped randomly by the monsters and even the boss monsters will drop these cards. Some can also be purchased or traded for from the in-game shop. There are a few job cards that can be found within the game as well and you acquire these by purchasing the various costumes from the tailor shop as they become available.
The graphics look amazing on the Vita’s screen; they are crisp and sharp. Each of the environments is well represented, from the snowy peaks of the mountains to the fiery valleys of the volcano. Each of the weapons and armors have a different look to them as well. The armors even have a variety of colors and can be changed at will with some dye and in-game cash. The monster graphics in the game look great as well; each monster has a unique look and feel to them.
The music in this games is fantastic. It fits so well with the mood and setting and is very enjoyable to listen to. Some of the game’s music comes for the other Ragnarok titles and you can purchase a variety of tracks from one of the in-game shops in the fort. You will be able to listen to these tracks via the record player in your room or you can also use them as the BGM for any quest in the game. You can select what BGM you would like to hear when you accept your quest. The sound effects are great, they promote the game’s atmosphere with the grunts and war cries of your character along with the sounds of all the baddies you are gonna beat up.
This game is great. I love the combat; it is so fast-paced and has so many different things you can do with it. All the character classes are wonderful and some will have a different play style than others but they all function really well. I found myself doing the same quest a few times just to see if I could get a better drop or get a rare monster card. I also like all the customization you can do to your character, from all the different costumes to the crazy head wear. This gives the game a great sense of style to it. As of this review the online servers were not available for me to check out the online play but it seems very promising to team up with 4 of my friends and wreak havoc on all the baddies. I will update this section as soon as the servers are up and running. In the end the game shares some of Monster Hunter’s style, but it is so much more than a mere clone so do not let yourself be fooled.