Ragnarok Odyssey came out a little over a year ago for the PS Vita. It was a title that worked well with the console, but the developers weren’t satisfied with their first outing, so they spent some time to expand the game. Now we have the standalone expansion Ragnarok Odyssey ACE for both the PS Vita and PS3 that bolsters a number of new additions.
For those new to the genre, Ragnarok Odyssey is similar in concept to Monster Hunter in which you tackle giant beasts in an attempt to harvest their parts for awesome new clothes and weapons. That’s the beginning, middle, and end of what these games do. It’s the way that Ragnarok Odyssey tackles things that makes it a bit different. The focus isn’t upon tackling certain monsters. Instead, you’ll be jumping in to the same areas over and over to tackle hordes, fetch quests and a few rare beasts. After all of this, you’ll face a boss character who will more often than not consume a good portion of the screen. This formula works to reduce some of the frustrations that one can experience with hunting massive prey in Monster Hunter, but it also can take a bit of the reward out of it too.
What will take a while for most people is getting used to the controls. The game works off of simple hack-and-slash button mashing, but there is a great deal of spell casting and targeting that will require you to adjust to the controls and how they operate in a large 3D space full of enemies. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get to the second chapter, things should be working like clock work.
The only thing ever really holding this game back is the fact that it can get repetitive. Part of what makes it addicting is diving to get rare items, cards or weapons, only to come back up and dive right back into the same place. Those who might be confused as to the importance of cards in the game, they are very important collectibles, which is why the game chose to title their expansion with ACE. Cards for those unfamiliar with the Ragnarok Online universe, are important for adding boosted abilities to your character. They are almost as important as a new sword so gaining new cards through trades, purchases of new outfits or the random monster drop are big. Since a large part of the game is hunting for random drops to get new weapons or clothes, everything exists to push you back into battle. Fortunately, a lot of the redundancy can be alleviated by hopping into multiplayer, but if there aren’t too many people on, it might get a bit weary. The fact that this is multiplatform will hopefully keep the game alive and active for some time.
The ACE part of the title refers to a set of new abilities for each of the 6 character classes in the game. With its varying weapons and abilities, Ragnarok Odyssey (and any Monster Hunter type of game really) is a difficult game to balance properly. As an action RPG, it combines the frantic pace of Devil May Cry with the grind of your standard RPG. In doing so, measuring finesse over grand swaths of game takes some work. Revisiting and grinding levels can be difficult, but so can the attack on a giant monster by your lonesome.
As such, each of the classes feel more refined with their new abilities which is a showcase in what they’ve learned and what they have improve upon. To add to this all is the mercenary system for those of us that just want to tackle this thing in single-player mode. In this feature, you’ll be able to hire mercenaries to fight alongside you as you tackle quests for a pittance off your total reward. Pair this with the numerous new additions to the game’s customizable items and there is enough here to give owners of the original game incentive to hop on board for the upgraded title. If you do, your old saves and DLC will partially transfer, so there is some good news for you.
While I would argue that upscaling a PS Vita game to a PS3 does have some technical drawbacks, this is one of the few games that actually fully utilizes the connection that these two consoles share. Ragnarok Odyssey ACE offers cross platform gameplay so PS3 and PS Vita owners can indeed play together. Even rarer still is the fact that this game offers up cross saves so you can put your controller down and take the game with you on the road.
With a game like this, events can be a bit of a time sink, so for those that need a bit more flexibility in their game, they can find it here.
Ragnarok Odyssey was a solid action game that needed a bit more to really bring some attention to it. This upgrade does plenty for those that had overlooked the game the first time around. ACE is a solid action experience that goes a long way in balancing and opening the game up for more users. The fact that you can switch your classes at a whim will help many users really adjust to who they prefer to play as, both by themselves and with their friends.
Slapping an ACE on this game made it a more interesting experience and, while the game isn’t for everyone, those that do enjoy a good dungeon diving dragon destroyer will be quite pleased with grinding through Ragnarok Odyssey ACE.
[+Cross Play] [+Cross Save] [+More Content] [+Charming NPCs] [+Mercenary Mode] [-Repetitive]