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Ragnarok Odyssey

Platform(s): PlayStation Vita
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: XSEED Games
Developer: Game Arts
Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012


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PS Vita Preview - 'Ragnarok Odyssey'

by Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen on July 28, 2012 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

An action-heavy RPG set in the lush landscape of the familiar Ragnarok Online universe, Ragnarok Odyssey is a fast-paced game with a heavy emphasis on melee combat.

Ragnarok Online was one of the classic Korean RPGs. Though initially most famous for one of the highest-profile hacking incidents in video game history, its class array, storytelling and world made it one of the stronger early MMOs — and, infamously, the one with the most illegal servers. The world returns in a new Vita game, Ragnarok Odyssey, which we saw during E3 2012, and there were signs of one of the Vita's first decent Monster Hunter clones.

Ragnarok Odyssey takes place in the Norse-inspired setting of the kingdom of Rune Midgard, which is now under threat from beasts from the other side of the destroyed mountain range. One of the baddies is invading giants. When asked how large these giants were, XSEED PR suggested that I think of Monster Hunter bosses. Actually, much of the game is very reminiscent of Monster Hunter. The comparison is inevitable with 87 quests ranging from five to 20 minutes apiece, three lives to confront each quest, four-player co-op (local or Wi-Fi), and a large array of unlockable armor sets.

The core gameplay might look familiar, but it takes major inspiration from a very different Capcom franchise: Devil May Cry. Player attacks are very capable of knocking enemies into the air and across the map.  It looks impressive and provides a critical source of crowd control when dealing with multiple enemies. The same series inspires a special super mode, which constantly drains HP while active but allows the user to regain life with each hit, and it makes those hits every powerful.

Armor sets in Ragnarok Odyssey do not influence stats. Instead, each armor piece has slots for cards, which are picked up by completing quests. (You no longer need to farm them off enemies at a 0.01% drop rate.) While different armor sets initially have different numbers of slots, a Seamstress NPC in town can add slots; this leaves all of the armor functionally identical over time and allows players to customize their appearance out of an advertised 20,000+ combinations.

With inspirations from Ragnarok Online, Monster Hunter, and Devil May Cry, Ragnarok Odyssey could be something special when it hits the PS Vita.

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