Going into Ragnarok Odyssey ACE, I had no idea what to expect. I had never played Monster Hunter or anything quite like this before. From the screenshots I saw before playing I thought I was looking at an RPG that involves exploring worlds and a developing story. Instead I found an addicting yet repetitive action based battle game with seemingly endless collectibles and power-ups but a lackluster story at best.
As the game begins you will create a character to your liking. There are several classes to choose from depending on the weapon you want. I chose Hunter first, as projectiles seemed like a good start and you can always change your job after the first few missions in the first chapter. I found the Hunter job to be a little underpowered compared to the melee classes.
The bulk of the gameplay takes place in the missions, which can be played either on your own or co-operatively online (ad-hoc or Wi-Fi). The co-op features cross play with PlayStation 3 players and can be quite fun at times although it does suffer from lag issues from time to time.
Before you get to any of the mission, however, there is an absolutely tedious amount of tutorials you must go through. These are all text based and I made the mistake of actually reading all of them. There is nothing extraordinary buried in there so you could certainly skim through these as fast as possible and pick up the details while in the action.
The game takes place in a town with a headquarters, your character’s room, and some shops in a market place. Most of the important things to start out are found in HQ or the tavern where you will find all of your missions at the counter along-side potion and card stores. Potions can be equipped to cure ailments and replenish health among other things but only limited amounts can be carried into battle. Cards are the game’s main leveling system and are equipped to your character to power up. As you progress in missions you will be able to visit the other shops to change your character’s look and class.
Missions are timed and usually take about fifteen minutes each. You are given an objective that should be mentally noted before you play as not all missions require eliminating every enemy. Be sure to break boxes to find items if you are having trouble finding something. Enemies are scattered across fairly small areas to explore in each mission. You will be spending a good deal of time mashing square and triangle and trying to land combos. There are also special moves that can be unlocked as you go.
Ragnarok Odysey ACE provides a good amount of missions and content that will keep you busy, along with some above average co-op play as far as the Vita is concerned. The game is made for the Vita as the missions will not always require your full attention and sneaking in some grinding time here and there will keep the game interesting for longer. The game suffers from some control issues when moving the camera and repetitive game play that may get old quickly if that is not what you are into. While this game is by no means a “must buy” I do not think most people would be disappointed with the purchase especially if you enjoy the genre.
Reviewed by Ben Russert