Ragnarok Odyssey first debuted on the PS Vita in late 2012 and was based on the MMO Ragnarok Online. The game released to average review scores and average sales. Some reviewers and players took issue with a handful of elements in the game, so developer Game Arts and publisher (for NA) XSeed Games decided to create and release an updated version of the original game that featured updates, all the DLC, new music, new enemies and some new skills. Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is this new, updated game and is releasing for the PS Vita as well as the PS3 this time around. Is it the update needed to push the game into higher standing with gamers? No. Simply put, the game contains a bit of fun but is not nice to look at (on PS3 at least) and features archaic level design overall.
Ragnarok Odyssey is an action RPG in a similar style to the Monster Hunter games. It features a hub area where you get quests, buy and sell cards, and buy and sell items/potions among other things like speaking with characters. When the game begins you get to set up your character and edit a few basic traits, as well as picking a class. There are quite of few classes (most are the typical RPG classes) and it’s interesting to try out them all to see how they compare against one another. This was one of the areas I found most enjoyable of the game, playing with classes and seeing their differences. Once you set up the character you get about 10 minutes of text while you talk to characters and get the basics (this tedious task happens throughout the game, with non-skippable text scenes). You finally get your first quest and head out.
The quests are all in fairly linear levels and have you following a path defeating enemies of various levels and gathering loot. One major issue not improved in ACE is loot and questing. You can sell loot, but the whole system is poorly explained and utilized. The questing is basically “accept quest, go,” and doesn’t show you what enemies you need to fight or where they are. Also you really never feel properly rewarded for quests as there is no leveling system. You may get some new loot, but otherwise there’s a real lack of a “good job!” for completing missions. The gameplay itself is a bit different per class, but revolves around hack and slash style action, and building combos. You also gain special abilities via cards that can be mapped to different button combinations. These give combat a bit of variety but at the end of the day the gameplay is very straight forward and gets a bit tedious. The level design is also a bit archaic and uninspired as you literally follow a 10 foot wide path with a few branching areas that all typically end at the same destination. You complete the mission when you beat all the monsters in the area.
The good news with ACE is that there is now more multiplayer options. As the game is on Vita and PS3 you can recruit players from both systems to join you on your quests. If you prefer playing alone you can also recruit a few AI partners to join you. Both will come in handy if you attempt to tackle the new, 400 floor, dungeon (Tower of Yggdrasil) that has been added to the updated game.
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE isn’t a terrible game, and may appeal more to those who are fans of Monster Hunter (but don’t expect the same level of quality) but overall fails to hold attention throughout. Basic gameplay, ugly PS2-era graphics (PS3 version reviewed – Vita version may look much better), and a boring plot make the game one that you could easily skip unless you really enjoyed the first release of the title a few years back. If you’re looking for a basic action RPG to fill some time in your day Ragnarok ACE might work, but I believe there are better options for the price, especially on PS3.