When Ragnarok Odyssey was first announced all big time RPG loves that owned a vita were ecstatic. I myself couldn’t wait to get my hands on what looked to be an amazing game that you could play on the go. Now that it’s on store shelves is Ragnarok Odyssey worth your time and money or should you just wait for the next RPG to hit Sony’s troubled handheld?
As soon as I got my hands on the game I couldn’t wait to start it up and let it take over my free time for the next several months. I had it all planned out to get deep into this RPG and end up making a badass character to show off to my friends but, something went horribly wrong. As you start up Ragnarok Odyssey you can create your own character and make him/her just the way you want with a number of faces and hair styles. Shortly after finishing your character you are thrown into the game world as a new recruit looking for jobs so that it can pretty much prove that you can help protect the city from these giant monsters that are threatening to destroy it. The three main gang members that help get you started are Eadgils the leader, Mina, and Eirik. The story pretty much stops there. Now these NPC’s aren’t incredibly important as they really don’t do anything for you but you do have the option to talk to them and they will tell you little bits of information such things as troops went missing and they need you to check it out or that they are glad that you came back safe, like I said nothing truly important.
The quests that you are forced to do are represented in chapter form with each chapter having anywhere from nine to eleven parts. This might have you thinking that this must be a really long game if it has multiple chapters and each one has a bunch of parts well, you’re correct. The problem with this is the fact that they are so repetitive that you will find it a chore to complete them. In between the really repetitive kill a certain number of these monsters, now go kill a certain number of these monsters and then followed by the occasional now go kill/stop this monster. That’s pretty much the only quests you are going to do in this game. Not to mention that you revisit the same areas over and over again and just fight the same monsters with different color pallets. It’s a sad thing to say but the only thing that really excited me about this game was the first hour or two until I realized that I’m doing the same thing over and over and not really being rewarded for it.
Most RPG’s would have the players level grind if they are having difficulty with a boss or certain enemy or some other form to build up your character to truly make him/her a badass. Ragnarok Odyssey tried something different by completely throwing that concept out the window and putting stat boosts into cards that you find by killing monsters. This in terms is supposed to make you want to grind some of the quests over and over to get better cards. It’s a really good concept but Ragnarok Odyssey didn’t capitalize on it making it one of the most unrewarding things I have ever done. For example you could be stuck on a boss or a certain mission and want to go back to previous quests to grind and find better cards but you could do this for hours and only get a few cards that are pretty terrible and doesn’t help you in any way shape or form.
Now there are other reasons to try and kill every monster in each quest and that is to collect parts from them that are used at the blacksmith back at town to upgrade your weapons. Unfortunately this also falls short. Upgrading your weapon to the next level will only increase it a few points in the attack and that’s it. And grinding to find parts take hours so I just found myself just waiting until I found a stronger weapon. There is another way that your character gets permanent stat boosts and that’s by completing each whole chapter. By completing each chapter your rank goes up unlocking new bonus missions, which there aren’t a lot of. These bonus missions are sometimes harder than the normal quests but also still don’t feel that rewarding.
As you progress through the game you will unlock more armor sets for your character along with special headgear which is a great feature to this otherwise bland title, which is as long as you have enough money and items to make each set. You can also change the colors and expand on them so they can hold more cards which will make your character stronger. Some of the armor sets even have special abilities that will help add to that such as making a special ability stronger by raising it up a level or two.
The highest part in Ragnarok Odyssey is the combat system. This is very fun and fast paced. It will remind players of such games as Phantasy Star and Monster Hunter. With square being a dodge ability, triangle normal attack, and circle being a special attack allowing you to perform different combos and destroy large groups of enemies with ease. Unfortunately what you start out with is what you get. You don’t unlock any new special skills as you progress through the game, the only thing you can do is upgrade them. Because of this and the repetitive missions, areas, and enemies you will get very tired of this game very fast. You do have the option to switch your class at any point during the game as long as you are in town which does add more variety by letting you change things up a bit.
Now Ragnarok Odyssey also has an online mode where you can play with up to three of your friends. This can put some of the excitement back in the game as you and your friends complete missions together. Unfortunately that’s about all you can do with your friends, you can’t trade with them so that’s out of the question. Sometimes there were also some connection problems where we would lose a team member halfway through a quest. But if you manage to not have a connection problem and don’t mind not having the ability to trade with them, then you will have a decent time playing this game with friends.
All in all Ragnarok is really fun at first until you realize that you keep doing the same thing over and over again. Not to mention you kill bunnies with hearts on their tails throughout most of the missions, now you tell me who the real monster is there. But in all seriousness, it’s not a terrible game, there just isn’t much to it and it just sucks that this was one of the major vita titles that a lot of people were looking forward to – because I know I was – and it just ended up being just an empty shell of all the expectations we all had for it.
Audio/Visual – 3/5: Even though it isn’t the best looking game there are some nice details here and there.
Gameplay – 2.5/5: Really fun at first but gets old fast. Playing with friends does add some enjoyment.
Value – 2/5: Not worth the price tag with other more complete Vita titles out there.
Innovation – 1/5: I hate to say it but there really isn’t much to this game besides the armor set and headgear, even most the weapons look the same just with different color pallets.
Final Score – 2/5