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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Ragnarok Odyssey Preview

KevinS By:
KevinS
05/05/12
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE RPG 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER XSEED Games 
DEVELOPER Game Arts 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
T Contains Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Use of Alcohol

What do these ratings mean?

Odin, after my own heart.


I remember the last time Ragnarok was released on a portable platform (hell, I did the review), and it wasn't much more than a beginner-level RPG. Technology and technique has since grown tremendously, and now XSeed is delivering another portable title in the Ragnarok universe: Ragnarok Odyssey.


Instead of a more standard plot-based RPG this time around, Ragnarok Odyssey follows the mission-based Monster Hunter route. After creating a character from over 20,000 attribute possibilities (broken down to gender, face, accessories, and all that jazz) and six different job classes, you're tasked with taking on various tasks around the Ragnarok world in very action-heavy style. I would assume there is a story in the game, but the entire build I played was in Japanese, so let's just assume you're trying to save something or someone. Maybe you just wanna get buffthat's an apt goal.

Instead of roaming around and choosing enemies, then automatically attacking them like the previous portable installment, Ragnarok Odyssey instead focuses its attention on more traditional platforming attacks: physical attacks involve getting right up in the baddy's grill and stringing together combos of the two attack buttons, even launching the target into the air and keeping the chain going. Magic can be performed as well, but I honestly saw nobody even trying to use any, so it might be as standard as the physical fights appear.



Up to four players can play co-op online to take on the giant enemies in the game (maybe not quite Shadow of the Colossus but getting damn big) and explore more caves and dungeons. The only issue I see so far is that this feels entirely like Monster Hunter with little derivation. Maybe the English story will clarify how this can stand out on its own (beyond the jumping around a lot), we'll see in the final release.

The play is silky-smooth and looks great, so maybe that's all it really needs. Keep an eye out for it this summer, it's a nice way to pass the time under the air conditioning.

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