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Ragnarok Odyssey - First (brief) Impressions

I have been looking forward to this game all year. For the ones who know me, know that I'm a huge fan of RPGs, but I favor the more traditional "turn based, big party of characters type of role playing games". Ragnarok Odyssey isn't that. In fact it is, more or less, the exact opposite of that style.

Falling more in the vein of Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star Online, RO finds itself at a point where it can establish itself on the PS Vita before other like-minded games come along. Now, I'm not going to sit here and type this up saying I'm an expert of this sub-genre or even this game, because I'm not. There could be a major twist coming that changes things up substantially. But I don't see that happening though. This IS a "loot-lust, mission based, action-RPG" for the Vita and fits perfectly on the handheld.

I've played for an hour or two straight with no problems and I've played a couple missions for about 20 minutes. There is a story, but it isn't an overbearing "this must be done now" setup. I'm free to play at my own pace and allow things to evolve organically. If I want to redo missions for either a better time, more of a certain item or play with friends, I'm free to do so. Plus the fighting remains intense...however, certain aspects are predictable. But that isn't a game/deal breaker.

Ambushes take place in big open areas...surprise. I can't say that I wasn't expecting that, but it doesn't really matter, because it all flows so well. So far Ragnarok has had (give or take) 20 enemies on screen at one time, doing different things in battle and the game ran smoothly. Slicing foes up, flying through the air to keep them from getting away, dodging poison and attack spells, all while preventing my character from dying.
I like that the game doesn't just allow the player to die. I have 3 chances to finish a mission, before the mission is called "FAILED". When I die the first and second time, I come back right in the middle of battle; as if nothing ever happened. A third time though and the mission is over. I have to reactivate the mission and start over. However, anything I collected will stay with me. So I can sell it or use it to refine my weapon. Allowing me to re-strategize after a defeat on the battlefield.

Overall Ragnarok Odyssey has areas that it can clearly improve. Such as the camera...it doesn't move with the character very easily or smoothly, as it just seems to stay at one angle. The developers probably thought it would be helpful NOT having it fly all of the place during battle though, so I just need to adapt to moving the camera manually with the right stick. Also the sub-item menu is selected by pushing the Select button, but that thing is so small that I think it should be controlled by the touchscreen instead.

Besides those two things I haven't found anything to really complain about. Which is odd I must admit. I was expecting more things to not work and weirdly enough I wanted to gripe that the story isn't fleshed out enough, but I'm finding myself naturally filling in the story as I progress. So much about this game is new territory for me, but it might make me revisit games like Monster Hunter in the future. This game is expertly made and I'm so excited to dig in deeper to find more things in the journey.

Remember to follow this site with the toolbar to the right. Email, comment and provide wonderful feedback. If you've got this game let me know what you think and find me on PSN, my name is Tridrakious.

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