By: Casey Curran
A long time ago when Nintendo expected the Wii U to be a smashing success, the public thought DmC: Devil May Cry would be a disastrous piece of crap, and Assassin’s Creed 3 looked to be doing everything right, I reviewed a little Vita game known as Ragnarok Odyssey. And here I am reviewing its rerelease, Ragnarok Odyssey Ace on the PS3 and Vita. So, expect a more modern review with my greater insight, wisdom and critical thinking… yeah, sorry for trying to spoon feed you that crap.
Ace’s controls have gone largely unchanged in the past year and a half. They work very well for the most part, as I was able to hack at enemies and dodge their attacks without a hitch; well, on the ground at least. Once I leapt up into the air, the game required me to be too specific with what direction I faced and where I hovered, which would often result in me hitting the enemy with half of the attacks and whooping air the other half.
Similarly, the lock-on system has not been fixed since the original. It feels like it only works when it wants to, as I would press L1 with a 50/50 chance of me locking onto an enemy. Once locked on, switching enemies was just as difficult, creating problems in relying on the lock-on system. Combat is fluid enough for this to be a non-issue, but it was an annoyance nonetheless.
On the PlayStation Vita this game was (and still is) gorgeous. It does not push the system to its absolute limits graphically, but it looks impressive enough for the game’s visual high points to stand out. These high points primarily derive from its fantastic use of colors, where everything is very vibrant and pops out.
On the PlayStation 3, however, its technical shortcomings are more noticeable, creating a game that looks a little more basic than it should. The game still looks good, it’s just not impressive when compared to Ni No Kuni or the Ratchet and Clank titles. The sound effects aid in making the game feel a little more addicting while music is forgettable.
When I first played Ragnarok Odyssey, I had not played as many dungeon crawlers, especially ones as polished as this, so it was a fairly fresh experience. Nowadays, it feels a lot more generic while the issues present remain. Progression is only based on loot, so there’s no stat building with your actual character.
The real issue behind this is that even hours into the game, the new weapons you gather do not make enough of a difference. Even the magical classes, which have combos based on stringing different elements (such as fire, ice, lightning, etc.) together have you using those same elements in the same order as you go through the game. This keeps the game from being as compelling as it could have been.
Combat is fun for a while as it is fast and fluid, but there’s not really enough depth to compensate for its mission structure in a game this long. Missions seldom differ outside of throwing a boss fight in. This would be fine in a shorter game, but in one meant to hook the player for dozens of hours, it is easy for the game to feel repetitive.
The new content doubles the game’s offerings, including a 400-level tower that’s sure to keep players busy. However, it feels like a missed opportunity to add more variety in the game, as it basically just offers more of the same. The new content will only please the biggest of fans in the game, offering very few reasons for those who merely “like” the game to keep playing.
If you missed out on Ragnarok Odyssey in 2012 and enjoy dungeon crawlers, then Ace is well worth your time. If you already played the original and really liked the game, then there may be enough new content here to hold you over. If you do not want more of the same, however, then this rerelease will not change your mind.