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3.7 out of 5 stars
Ragnarok Odyssey - PlayStation Vita
Edition: Standard EditionChange
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
Edition: Standard Edition
Slick graphics, a smooth combat system, and gameplay reminiscent of Monster Hunter on the PSP, Ragnarok Odyssey delivers a solid Vita title that fans of the genre will want in their collection. The gameplay is there, but I question its longevity. I'm a huge fan of the MonHun games, so I'll be comparing the two a little bit throughout my review.

I only put a few hours into the game last night, but I can tell that I'll be putting quite a few more into it in the future. Here's what I liked:

-Instance based quests
-Crafting system based on collecting items from defeated monsters
-No stat upgrades, game is clearly gear-based
-Card system on your gear has me interested. I like mixing and matching skills. In MonHun, this was accomplished through different armor choices, where this game has a single piece of socketable armor you load skill-cards into.
-You can jump and perform aerial combos. I haven't grasped the combo system quite yet, but there are a lot of moves you can perform.
-Very pretty visuals, definitely one of the best looking portable games I've played to date. (I only have the Vita, not 3DS)
-Easy to pick up and play short missions, great for a portable device
-You can pause, although you need to enter a menu to do so.
-Touch-screen potions and emotes is VERY well done. 99% of the game relies on standard button control, while you drink potions by tapping your quick-slots on the touchscreen.
-Virtually non-existent load times when inside an area, and very short load times to get access to it in the first place. By the time you walk through an area portal, you're already in the next part of the map. No waiting around, which is awesome.
-Very easy to use interfaces.
-Detailed information on skills, cards, items, etc. Have a question what a skill does? Just hit triangle and it'll display the skill in more detail. I really like this. Often in MonHun you need to look up skills in your books, which you may or may not have immediate access to.

Here's what I didn't like:
-Very linear. In MonHun you can climb terrain, use ladders, and the maps had vertical movement as well as horizontal movement. This isn't the case, unless the maps open up after Chapter 1. Right now, you're stuck in various corridors until you fight a boss monster, which is usually in a slightly more open area.
-Camera can kill you if you're pushed up against a wall fighting a large monster. It's very difficult to see when someone is attacking you if the camera isn't positioned correctly. The lock-on system helps with this, but I'm still getting the hang of it.
-Blocking/dodging is difficult in some areas as you either A) get swarmed or B) can't get out of the way when attacked by a larger monster. Often it does feel like you're destined to get hit no matter what.
-Potions heal such a minimal amount they're almost worthless early game. Good thing you can take 9, it takes 9 to refill a low HP bar.
-Difficulty spikes like crazy in some instances. Fighting monsters is fairly easy until you're locked into a cage with 10-12 of them at once in an ambush. Then it becomes extremely hectic, but probably much more manageable with more players. I have yet to try multiplayer on this, so I cannot comment on that.
-Lack of class swapping early on. I went with sword warrior, but want to try assassin or hunter. I haven't gotten far enough to unlock the other classes yet.
-Random enemy drops. Who drops what? I have no idea. It's fairly random, which encourages multiple runs for equipment upgrades. The cards drop by the enemy that is on the card though, so fighting orcs will eventually get you an orc card.
-So far, nothing like the MonHun farm. I sort of miss the mines and fishing. I don't think anything like it is in here, but I liked utilizing mine often. I also miss something like the feline chef, which I also used all the time.

At this point I'm really enjoying the game. Regardless of the issues listed above, many of them are negligible and the game is fun. Probably my favorite game on the Vita thus far. I'm going to try multiplayer with a friend tonight to see how it runs and you can have up to 4 players online (and matchmaking is available, yay!). I'm not sure if it'll have hundreds of hours of gameplay like MHFU, but it does provide an enjoyable alternative to that game. I'll post more impressions when I can get a few more hours in tonight.
____________________
Update 1:

Changing classes is nice, but I wish they had some sort of guide to show you which combos create which effects. I have no idea what the mages two charge skills do. I'm assuming one increases magic damage and one increases defense, but I have no clue. Hunter takes some getting used to, but once you figure out his skills it's a cool class. I'm really liking the mage for playing online since cleric takes FOREVER to cast a heal spell.

Unlocked quite a few more cosmetic helmets, some new cards, and new armor suits. The look is considerably different on some of them and the 4 dye choices have unique armor looks. The card system is cool because you can custom tailor your playstyle to a class.

The completely random feeling of upgrade drops can be frustrating, but I think the items show what monster they can be found on when you check the detail.

You can send weapons and cards through Near to be picked up by others, which I think is a nice addition. I got a nice sword last night from some random player. Also, everyone gets the same loot in multi, which is *awesome*. No running to a barrel before another player to break it open so you get the loot, it's all shared.

My biggest gripe with the game so far is the depth. So far, it isn't that deep. Once you memorize class combos, that's about it for skills and abilities. Cards are cool, but I don't even know what half this stuff means. The heck is Tension and why do I want it on a card? My tension card is 20 points, so it must be a good card. I get all these new cards and largely ignore them because I'd rather stack a bunch of five point +attack cards and a +defense card than spend 20 points on whatever this tension card might be.

Maybe as I get farther into the chapters I'll start to understand how it all works, but right now I'm just kind of mashing my way through each instance. Still fun for a new Vita game and highly recommended, but I don't think it'll have anywhere near the longevity that MHFU offers.
____________________
Update 2:

I'm a few missions into Chapter 4 and I am enjoying it quite a bit more than the first two chapters. I think I've fought a total of 3 large and 1 giant monster, but there needs to be a lot more options when it comes to weapons. After the giant monster fight I didn't get access to any new swords or anything, but I am unlocking new upgrades on cards.
____________________
Update 3:

Well, I really enjoy this game. Chapter 4 starts to bring about more large monsters to face and I'm having a blast playing this. I like upgrading my armor to access more card points, am enjoying the combo system, like the active dodges and blocks, etc.

I played 4-5 matches with a group and then soloed a few of the boss fights on my own. Definitely my favorite Vita game to date. I've been unlocking some really slick cards and mixing / matching the skills for the fight is fun.

The armor / headpieces look cool and I just found out last night you can dye your head piece as well. I'm still rocking the sword warrior, the combos on that class are great. Didn't really feel anything else, but I might try assassin since I just found a really nice weapon for it.

The higher the chapter, it seems the more large boss enemies you encounter. I think I just fought 3 in a row in chapter 5. I'm still enjoying Ragnarok Odyssey and hope we get more quality Vita games in the future.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2013
Edition: Standard EditionVerified Purchase
For any one who is familiar with or looking for a game that has a similar style to Monster Hunter, this game might be for you, but it should be noted that while it does have elements reminiscent of Monster Hunter it lacks the difficulty and selection of customization, and couples it with styles of Korean MMORPGs.

When you first start the game you will be given a selection of 6 different selectable classes -
Hammersmith (A slow heavy hitting warrior that uses a hammer)
Sword Warrior (A jack of all trades medium speed character that uses a 2h sword)
Assassin (A fast character that dual wields katars)
Cleric (A mix between magic and melee character that uses a shield and 1h mace)
Hunter (An Archer)
and Mage (magic user)

All of these classes are available immediately to you, and each offer their own unique play style that requires a different strategy when using each one. While they do seem to play the same in the very basics (do damage, avoid damage), they will make the game more challenging or easier depending on precisely who you pick. Fortunately, if you don't like your initial class you are given the chance to change it later on, and from that point can change and swap out what class your playing as much as you would like.

When it comes to the game its self, it can seem extremely basic. You pick up a mission from the job board, and immediately head out. The jobs are all pretty simple, you either have to kill X amount of Y, or collect X amount of Y which drop off the mobs you will encounter. Upon heading out to the mission you are given a timer to completion (generally around 30 minutes),

You rarely have to actually worry about the timer its self because the levels are generally very small and the map is easy enough to figure out where your going to. While the maps will often repeat them selves over and over again, some areas are closed off during some missions, and open up in others. Additionally, there can be varying different paths you can take to reach the end goal; so while visually it may look the same, it can feel different each time, especially if there are new mobs to encounter.

As far as difficulty goes, it's really not that hard especially during the beginning. Later bosses may give you some trouble, but so long as you figure out a decent strategy it's all about repeating that strategy over and over again. Like Monster Hunter, some bosses have weak points which it is suggested you hit first, and move on to other locations on the body to attack next. A snake boss for example might have a take that you want to destroy in order to prevent him from using an attack, or a bipedal boss may have armor on its knees so its recommended you attack for the chest. Again, once you figure out this strategy for your class and boss, it can be relatively easily.

As far as gear goes, you will spend a lot of time grinding to collect the best pieces. Weapons drop during the normal play through, but you are also given the option to upgrade them through out the game, which require certain materials. Armor isn't dropped, and is rather unlocked through the tailor shop. The armor that's offered does look unique, and you are given further customization with it by choosing dyes, and choosing a helmet which offers no real value beyond looks. The armor can also be upgraded, offering more options to add on cards and adding additional defense.

There is a multiplayer online option, which increases the difficulty of the encounters, but also offers greater rewards if one is so inclined to participate.

Over all, the game is pretty fun and great to pass the time with. If you like the play style of Monster Hunter, but are looking for something more casual, this game is definitely for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2013
Edition: Standard Edition
I was really looking forward to this game before it was released. Then the poor reviews came in and I lost interest in the game. I'm really glad I decided to buy this game. I don't mind repetitive games since I've played several mmo's over the years, and I don't mind linear games since I usually lose interest in sand box type of games. A lot of people don't like how you only level after completing a chapter, but it keeps the game challenging. So many rpg's I'll grind non stop in one area, then the game is a breeze. You still have to upgrade your weapons and expand your armor to be able to equip more cards.

My only complaint about the game is the camera. You can get stuck against the wall and have no idea where your character is to get him away from the monsters.

I'll try to update this review as I progress through more chapters, I currently just beat Chapter 3-9.

---Update---(2/4/2013)
This past weekend I pretty much played this game non stop. I'm currently on Chapter 8-2. It's a lot of fun playing co-op with other people who are the same rank as you. It's no fun when a high level rank joins your game and just owns everything in sight. Some of the boss fights are really fun. I like the really tall ones where you need to jump several times to reach your target and need to keep yourself "floating" in the same area to attack before running out of AP. And I'm loving the splash potion card. Any potion I use it turns it into an aoe potion.

----Update----(2/25/2013)
This will be my final update on the game. I beat this game a few weeks ago and I have still been playing it daily. I only need 3 more cards to collect until I platinium the game. I'm sure this will take a long time since the drop rates on cards can be very low. I finally got a Luck Up weapon last night, so I hope this will help with the card drops. Overall I still enjoy playing this game. The UI, fighting mechanics, easy to join groups, upgrade system, cards to gain abilities, have made this game really fun to play. I know I'll continue to play the game to try and make some powerful builds once I get the platinum.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2013
Edition: Standard Edition
Three of us were very excited to purchase this game, as we had been waiting hopefully for a Monster Hunter related game. I was the only one who preordered it, and I ended up ordering the Merc. Edition (because the cashier told me that it would be easier to switch to a regular version). It was a mistake on two parts: 1. The three of us should have preordered it, because mine was the only game that arrived, and 2. I ended up stuck with the Merc. Edition and a bunch of things I would have rather not had.

Upon playing the game, we were all very excited. The classes had seemed interesting, and we had read that the customizing was quite cool.
Having to wait a couple chapters before being able to experiment with classes was a real bummer. I chose Assassin, and while it was enjoyable, being able to try out all the characters before progressing far in one class wasn't ideal.
It was very linear. Unlike monster hunter, where you have a large map with many areas, this game has a very linear, pretty one-way track to the boss. At times it would be very difficult if you were hit by mobs, and at other times you breezed through it like it was nothing.
The customization was a real let-down. Instead of being faced with many, equally good weapons, it was very obvious which one was better than the rest, and it was useless to use anything else.
The card system was rather neat, and I liked the way that your equipment looked different with each change.

Overall, the game was fun, but after about a week of playing, I put it down and haven't picked it up since.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
Edition: Standard EditionVerified Purchase
I can't stop playing this game. I've drained my battery on many occasions. I have chosen this game over cleanliness, sustenance, and sleep and I regret nothing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
Edition: Standard EditionVerified Purchase
This gets called an RPG by more than a few folks. It's not; it's a straight up action game. That said, it does feel a bit more RPG than other action games.

The graphics are pleasantly cartoonish without losing the action vibe, framerates are consistent, and combat clips along at a good pace at all times.

However, the combat seems a touch too difficult for a lone casual player to handle. You can only carry a very limited stock of healing items into missions with you, enemies do a LOT of damage, and become uncomfortably aggressive very quickly into the first act, rarely giving you the opportunity to catch your bearings after bowling you over with a high power charge.

It's obviously intended for co-op play. You should definitely have a team to take some of the heat off you, to coordinate and strategize with. I'm cool and down with that proposition; I find co-op to be the most enjoyable form of multiplayer a game could possibly have. But alas, there is a problem.

The co-op mode is there... but where are all the people?

Ragnarok Odyssey is brought down in flames by a fault that is entirely not it's own. I have spent a LONG TIME looking for co-op missions in the tavern (where such missions are posted by the host players). There simply weren't any. This is mostly due to the fact that few people own a Playstation Vita, and fewer still own a Vita AND this game.

And that is a shame. If everyone who owned a Vita owned this game, that co-op would be BRILLIANT.

Oh dear... that sounds like a "don't buy this game"... let me word that better.

Buy this game: I really want someone online to help me kill this damn giant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2014
Edition: Standard EditionVerified Purchase
If you have Toukiden already, don't buy this. It is basically the same game with different graphics. I wish that most of the reviews would've pointed that out before I spent my cash.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2013
Edition: Standard EditionVerified Purchase
This game is a lot of fun but after playing for a solid 10 or even after beating the game gets kinda old because there isn't much variety to the monsters you face or the moves used. On the other hand, I loved the game for the fact it was a hack and slash and even being able to play with your friend either online or with ad-hoc. This game in my opinion deserves a solid 7.5 for the gameplay, the really short storyline, the character creation, weapons and the graphics used in the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
Edition: Standard Edition
I like RO because of the multiplayer elements, but I also like the game because it is really fun. A lot of people don't like the leveling system, but I'm fine with it. I've heard a lot of people call it a "low-budget Monster Hunter", but I've never played MH so I can't really say. The one thing I don't really like is that the Archer class is absolute garbage, but hey, that's just a personal let down, as I usually always play with archers. Regardless, I had fun and I got to play with my boyfriend so I can say this game was pretty good.

Word to the wise though, if you're getting in on the game late, it is sometimes difficult to find other people that are the same level as you. But don't be discouraged! There are lots of newbies running around. ^_^
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
Edition: Standard Edition
This game is awesome! It reminds me a whole lot of the first Phantasy Star online...simple town hub with several shops, and then the rest of the game is basically built around doing quests. There's a bit of story but nothing too deep, so don't buy this expecting a deep, story driven jrpg..just buy it if you want well done, quality combat and multiplayer fun!
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