Ragnarok Odyssey Review
Cart: Ragnarok Odyssey
Cab: PlayStation Vita
Coin: GungHo Online
Ragnarok Odyssey is a game of two halves. This PlayStation Vita game is like a swords and sorcery version of Phantasy Star Online, and it does have the potential to be as compelling as that classic Sega game, but just falls short.
The game starts off with a simply stunning introduction sequence that is as gorgeous as it is mental. It sets the scene for what you think must be an epic storyline, but you really are brought back down to Earth with a crash as the game simply has a few lines of unfunny dialogue that introduces too many characters far too quickly, who then go on to explain most of the game’s structure and systems, and then leave you to it.
You get to choose your character class and look before you start, which does have huge ramifications on the gameplay, as the difference between choosing a ranged or a close-up fighter makes the game experience starkly different. You should only really choose a ranged character if you plan as playing online in a support role, as it makes the already monotonous combat all the worse.
Playing with others its where the game is at its best
The way the game’s story starts is fundamental to its problem: it doesn’t engage you at all, as you will not care for a story that is only really mentioned in passing, by terrible, one dimensional characters. You are only going to be playing this for the loot and the questing, not the epic storyline.
Ragnarok is an action-RPG, with simple combat and a focus on loot gathering. You collect quests in the game’s hub city and then off you go, into one of the games levels. The levels are uninspiring, with only enemies and the occasional crate to find, and you seem to get the same few repeated over and over, although the bigger enemies and bosses are pretty impressive. The huge let down is that the experience system and levelling up is based on the stage completion not enemies killed, which is a truly bizarre choice, and one that I really can’t understand.
You will be seeing a lot of this stage
There is a basic card system, with each card changing certain variables of defence and attack, and a decent loot system that allows for some fairly deep customisation, once you can figure it out. That is really it, you go on hundreds of quests, all much alike, and the single player mode is frankly, forgettable.
The game’s saving grace comes in its online offering. You can go questing with up to three online companions, and it really does transform the game. Going through the game with others reduces the feeling of repetitiveness somewhat, and the battles become far more open and interesting, and taking down the huge bosses is fantastic fun. It is clear that this is how the developer intended the game to be played. You are limited in what stages you can do by the level of the lowest ranking player, but that is understandable.
No voice chat, although there is a comprehensive suite of text and visual communication, and an ad-hoc local play mode is included.
So, as I said, this is a game of two halves. If you are planning on playing alone, then this should be avoided altogether. If you are planning on questing online, then this becomes a far more attractive proposition. Online, this has the potential to last for months if you love your questing and your loot, although this will only appeal to a specialist group of fans.
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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.