ragnarok-odyssey-2
While carrying the name “Ragnarok”, this odyssey is another opportunity for the franchise to explore a simpler world.  This time, on the Playstation Vita.  At first look, this Action RPG offers incredible potential, which is sorely needed on the PSVita.  What it comes down to, is plenty of character customization and an incredibly fast-paced melee combat system.

ragnarokodysseyassassin

You begin Ragnarok Odyssey creating your new character.  Customization comes with a wide range of options.  Choosing your gender, face, hair style, hair color, voice, class, and outfit color.  The nice part, is that once you make your choices, most of them can be changed at a later time, including your class.

As a new recruit on the front lines, protecting the Sundered Land fortress and their kingdom of Rune Midgard.  Large beasts known as Lommoxes, have made their way through the mountains to wreak havoc on the land and expand their own territory.  It’s up to you to accept quests from HQ to assist in ridding the land of these monsters.

After the quick intro, you’re free to begin questing.  Before each quest, you are told what the main objectives are, how much zeny (money) you can earn, and how long you have to complete the quest.  Most quests have a maximum of 30 mins to complete.  If you have not completed the quest in the required time frame, your quest is considered a failure, and you are brought back to HQ.  For a portable game, timed quests make a lot of sense.  For those of us who have to commute to and from their destinations using public transportation, you may not have a lot of time on your hands.  So, it’s easy to pick up, take on a quest, and be done with it by the time you arrive at your destination.

Combat itself is fluid, fast-paced and easy to get into.  It won’t be long before you’re mashing away, getting combo after combo.  Though as the game progresses there is a need to start strategizing how you attack and evade.  Unlike most RPGs, leveling up is not based on experience points.  Your stats are “leveled up” as you finish chapters.  Furthermore, as you travel and defeat monsters, you pick up different weapons, items and cards along the way.  Items can be used to refine your weapons and armor, or create headwear. Cards are equipped to your armor to improve your stats, such as HP and immunities.

ragnarok_odyssey_1

While the experience is fluid, it’s very repetitive.  Depending on the area you are fighting in, (by the river, in a cave, frosted mountains) the maps are the same.  There is also little in the way of plot advancement.  Choose a quest, fight the monsters, win some zeny.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Occasionally, you’ll be asked to find certain items during your travels, but it’s nothing you’re not already collecting while on your quests anyway.

Mind you, Ragnarok Odyssey is considered an Action RPG; with a heavy emphasis on Action, and a watered down version of an RPG.  If you’re looking for something with a deep, involving story, look elsewhere.  But if you’re just looking for some fun with fast action, simple gameplay, and lots of customization, this is your best bet.

7-5--10

 

Platform: Playstation Vita

Developer: Game Arts

Release Date: October 30, 2012

Price: $39.99