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The Capt's Log - Ragnarok Odyssey


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Initial post: Nov 1, 2012 4:25:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2012 4:26:27 AM PDT
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. As I'm a huge fan of the MonHun games, so I'll be comparing the two a little bit throughout my mini-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.

Have you played Ragnarok Odyssey? What are your thoughts?

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 4:49:33 AM PDT
Awesome info Capt K. A real life friend of mine actually purchased this game as well, so I am hoping once my copy arrives from Amazon, I will be able to enjoy this game to its fullest utilizing multiplayer with my friend.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 4:53:47 AM PDT
Thanks! It really is a blast to play. I can't wait to make it a little farther in the game and unlock some new weapons.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 5:09:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2012 5:12:29 AM PDT
Well I think I'll post my feeling as well (Oh, side note you can change classes after Mission 2-3)

The game is fun, That is true. It runs beautifully on the Vita, and there is no Framrate loss, or screen tearing or anything it's clear they took their time on this one. The combat is faster paced than Monster Hunter (MH from here on) and the combos are simple to remember but sometimes hard to pull off (need open windows for some).

What I like:
+ Pretty, nice environments and nice music to accompany it.
+ 6 Classes to chose from al with their own completely different fighting styles, and weapons
+ Many different repeatable missions to chose from
+ Lots of cards to farm up, even a card from the same creature can have different effects on it
+ Good amount of character look customization, that can all be changed in game after the character was made
+ Ariel combos are awesome!
+ The Interface is flawless, this game has the proper use of a touch screen, which means it is rarely used accept for a few quick potions and activating super attack mode (i forget the name), and the icons are so close to your right thumb they are easy to reach without having to move your hand off of the buttons on either side of the PSV, something that bugs me in other games.
+ Pick up n go quests. Each quest gives you 30 minutes, but it on average takes maybe 10 to finish a quest, great for a portable pick up n go game.
+ The story... well i actually can't really find the story. But in this kind of game i like that. I don't like being bogged down all the time by a usually generic story. Same with MH, the story was there, i just could ignore it and still enjoy the game.

What I didn't like
- Personal Bias towards MH causes me to dislike the extremely limited amount of customization when it comes to my weapon and my armor. I get whatever the game gives me, and so far (This may change) all the weapons have looked the same accept they are different colors. And all the weapons upgrade the same. For instance so far ALL of the greatswords required the same materials to upgrade, and it's a minimal power upgrade, i didn't see much any damage difference when hitting things. It doesn't give me hope for good progression
- Armor is limited. you get a chest piece which you can equip with cards which are nice, i like that idea. however they have no stats on them. No defense numbers or anything, just a skill or two and slots. Plus the armor is all you get. You have ONE piece you wear and nothing more. No boots or gloves or leggings or belt or anything, and I like super customizing my armor yes, like in MH.
- Helms are 100% pointless. They add nothing to the characters stats and are a waste of crafting materials. Maybe that changes later on.
- Capt. Said it and I agree, there are actually so many items that you don't really know where you got them, what they are used for, and if you should sell them or not. So i end up keeping everything just in case. I do the same in MH and i'm sure I'll get used to it. But I knew in MH that "Rathalos Sword" required Rathalos parts.
- Blacksmith purchased weapons are garbage. Again this may change, but the good weapons seem to be found not crafted. And I'm a big supporter of crafting my own gear and farming for the mats instead of the items itself.
- There don't seem to be a lot of Big mosnters. The quests in chapters lead up to a boss but there are a lot of them (Again, this may change)
- Difficulty spike is in some cases obscene. Capt. covered that
- Lack of progression. I don't feel like I'm getting any stronger when I upgrade an item or add new cards. It just feels superficial and pointless. Even though it probably isn't.

All in all, I think it's a good game. unfortunately I am a bit spoiled by MH, i admit that without shame. I will continue to play to see if things progress differently than they do. What this game really does, is three things.

1. It gave the Vita it's first good non-port RPG, something I think it desperately needs more of as it's a great system and needs a better library
2. It REAAAALY makes me want Capcom to release a MH Vita. I don't care if it's 3g, 4, or 3. Just give me one! (I know i can download MHFU, but i already have played that particular one to death)
3. Shows that the Vita is capable of much more than just touch screen/gimmick games. I think this, and Little Big Planet Vita are the two best Vita releases since the system came out (not counting it's starting line up). Zen Pinball 2 being the third best.

I give the game a pre-emptive 8/10, it will change depending on how the game progresses.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 5:14:56 AM PDT
I agree with everything you posted. I hope the look of the weapons changes as you go, maybe around chapter 3 or 4? I think there are 10 chapters, so I'm hoping to start seeing some variations.

I haven't jumped online yet, but I'm going to try it tonight. Maybe I'll run into some crazily high-geared co-op partners or something to shed some light on the later item tiers.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 5:21:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2012 5:26:15 AM PDT
Hey if ya wanted to team up we could. You may want to get the chapter two part 4 so you can change classes :3

I honestly wish I could do a Let's Play of this game, but I can only do that with PC games. And I havent' found a PC game lately that is good Let's Play fodder. Borderlands 2 is a good game, but not the best for let's plays. A lot of running around and people talking. Hell I may start doing them for old SNES games. like Mario RPG or Mega Man X... aaah memories.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 5:48:53 AM PDT
Yeah we'll have to play some multiplayer at some point.

Speaking of multiplayer, I noticed that the game uses Near to send gifts and such to other players. I wonder if there's some cool stuff to be found there.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 5:53:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2012 5:56:31 AM PDT
no idea! no one anywhere near me owns a Vita. In fact not one single person i ever come accross even knows what it is. I like to mess with people when they ask though. I was in line for chinese food the other day with my Vita in my shirt pocket, someone asked me what it was. I said it was the iphone 7.

They believed me.

Then again I also live in a town where a computer from 1995 may be seen as fascinating technology.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 6:44:56 AM PDT
Thanks for the information! I will definitely be excited to have the chance to play this game.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:18:40 AM PDT
All the Monster Hunter comparisons are seriously turning me away from this game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:20:17 AM PDT
That's a shame, but I think it's an excellent game. Many people are looking for an MH alternative on the Vita for the time being, and this helps to fill that void a little bit. I think that's what the devs set out to do and they have done a pretty good job at it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:27:36 AM PDT
Yeah, me too Garion. I just want a real RPG on my Vita, is that so much to ask?!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:29:48 AM PDT
For now yes. No developer is going to take the risk of creating a real RPG right now. I expect we'll see something later in 2013 once Sting and a few other RPG devs move onto the Vita instead of developing for the PSP and 3DS.

It's going to take some time though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:30:50 AM PDT
Totido says:
I want to buy this game. IGN review trashed it, but what can you say, it's IGN. I'll see how other reviews fare and keep Capt review in mind also.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:31:32 AM PDT
I want a Demon's Souls or a Skyrim like game. That would be something else.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:33:13 AM PDT
Chocolette says:
Did anyone already receive their Merc Editions from Newegg? Because I just spoke with Customer Service and they said the release date on the Merc Edition was 11/2.

Which I am very sure was not the case just before I spoke with Customer Service.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:33:31 AM PDT
I do too. If TES6 gets on the Vita (even as a port) I would be ecstatic!

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:37:55 AM PDT
Nice post Capt K.

Between this and Persona 4, the Vita is starting to get some legs! Let's hope this continues.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:38:42 AM PDT
the PsP had a pretty bad library for a year or two. but then it got good. Real good.

I can only hope for a Patapon game on the vita... that doesn't use the touch screen.

Pata Pata Pata Pon...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:50:56 AM PDT
That Emu Kid says:
That Orgarhythm game is supposed to be like Patapon... but it does use the touch screen, so maybe that's why you made that clarification. Reviews seemed to like it, though they did say it was a bit short for the price.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:53:54 AM PDT
All the pre-buzz talk on Soul Sacrifice when people thought it was a Dark Souls-type game really makes me want that kind of game on the Vita. I don't see why it can't be done.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:54:40 AM PDT
Oh, and as far as RPG's on the Vita go, at least we have Persona 4 coming out soon...and hopefully Ys Celceta isn't far behind.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:55:32 AM PDT
Oskar2525 says:
Dood!! Persona 4 Golden in 20 days! Seriously one of the best RPG's ever made!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 7:56:50 AM PDT
"All the pre-buzz talk on Soul Sacrifice when people thought it was a Dark Souls-type game"

And instead they turned it into another MonHun clone. Good for me, but bad for those that are just looking for good CRPGs / JRPGs on the Vita.

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 7:58:14 AM PDT
Oskar2525 says:
Soul Sacrifice looks amazing, MH clone or not. I watched a video preview of Ragnarok Odyssey and it looked a little too cutesy for my taste.
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  106
Initial post:  Nov 1, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 31, 2012

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