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Ragnarok Odyssey ACE Review

XSEED initially released Ragnarok Odyssey for the PlayStation Vita in the US on October 20th 2012.  It played very similar to Monster Hunter in a lot of ways and was probably a play to get in on the sudden rise in popularity of Monster Hunter after its WiiU and 3DS release. Now Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is a rerelease for both the Vita and the PS3 as well.

The game itself hasn’t changed much sine it’s initial Vita release other than some polish and a few new features which ill get to in a bit.
The main gameplay consists some character customization and six available classes to choose from which include: Mage, Cleric, Hammersmith, Hunter, Two-handed Swordsmen and Assassin. I personally have only played as the Assassin so far as I prefer fast, close range characters myself.
The story essentially involves you joining up to fight against the returning of the Giants. That’s about it, your character doesn’t really get a back story, so you’ll just have to pretend.

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The battle system is fairly straight forward, you have 2 attack options which play like a light fast attack and a slower stronger hit, and you have the ability to combo the two types of attacks into some pretty fancy looking chained attacks. You also have a special ability that is specific to each class you can equip. You do get the ability to get more special abilities as you progress. Lastly you have a Rage Mode that boosts your abilities but causes your health to drop unless you are attacking an enemy, so make sure you have something to fight when you activate it or you might find yourself in a tight spot.

You get the option to add ability skills to your character like HP up or Attack up using the Skill Cards. You can equip cards with new moves and stats, but not all the cards are positive effects. Many of the cards give you helpful boosts but also have a downside. Maybe you get a card with and HP Up but and a Speed Down, so you have to decide carefully what you want to improve. Each card has a point value so you can’t equip more cards than the you have available points on your armor. You can equip more cards on your equipment by upgrading your armor with the loot you collect from the missions. Cards are purchased or traded for in shops or dropped by defeated enemies.

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The weapon system is very straight forward, you can buy and find weapons and use items you get from missions and enemies to upgrade them. The weapons have various abilities that can either help or hinder you depending on the specific ability.
The armor system is even more straight forward, you just find items and upgrade the armor once you have the required items. That’s about it. Unlike Monster Hunter you don’t have to grind and carve and capture dozens of monsters to get the one piece you need. Now that’s not to say you wont have to replay some missions in order to get what you need but personally I found the scale to be smaller and less frustrating.
You can change classes as well by buying the armor and weapons for the class you want from the shop. The weapons are available readily, but the armor isn’t all available right away from the shop.

The game offers both an offline and an online mode to play either alone or with friends.
One of the new features is the ability to summon mercenaries to go on missions with you in offline mode. Summoning mercenaries in offline mode will help with tackling harder bosses, but one thing I noticed is that the AI can revive over and over which can make the game feel I little too easy at times. If the Mercenaries had a set number of lives if might help make it feel more challenging, but even I had times where i just wanted to finish a mission and I’ll admit the mercenaries made that happen. So I can’t complain since I took advantage of it anyways.

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The Online Mode allows you to play with both PS3 and PS Vita users by accessing the Tavern after you complete the first 3 or 4 missions in the offline mode. The missions in Online mode are slightly harder and you cannot summon mercenaries to assist you, but you can get other players to help out by playing in a public room or inviting your friends to join you.

Overall i enjoyed Ragnarok Odyssey ACE and it was a welcome break from the tedious Monster Hunter quests I had been playing previously. I would have to give it a respectable 8/10 and recommend anyone with a PS3 or a Vita give it a shot.

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