Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3) Review
Posted by Doug Yates on 04.23.2014
Ragnarok 1.5 is here. Is it worth playing all over again? Find out inside with 411's Doug Yates.
Title: Ragnarok Odyssey ACE developer: Game Arts Publisher: Xseed genre: Action RPG Players: 1-4
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is a remake of the cult hit Ragnarok Odyssey re-released for both the Vita and the PS3. A myriad of new additions to the game do not solve its most glaring issue: repetition.
Those who love highly customizable characters will not be disappointed as almost every aspect of your character is able to be manipulated. Once you are done creating your character you are dropped into a room where you will spend most of your time while not in missions.
ACE is based on Ragnarok Online the MMO, which matters little considering the nearly complete lack of a storyline other than that you must save the human race from some unknown danger by going out and clobbering monsters repeatedly.
Upon returning from your quest, you will have a bagful of loot that you can then sell off or use to upgrade your various equipment. The blacksmith will upgrade your current sword if you have the correct items in your inventory. The cloth vendor will upgrade your clothing, allowing you to equip more cards.
Ragnarok does not have a conventional level up. Instead of your character leveling up through combat and experience, you gain power through cards that can be attached to your clothes to improve your abilities. Some cards can also be purchased at one of the stores in the hub world, although the rarer cards must be farmed from enemies during quests.
The overall gameplay of Ragnarok is fairly simplistic. A couple button pushes will turn your character into a storm of punishment, and while it’s fun to be able to dish out that kind of punishment, it’s just not very rewarding when it doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to accomplish these feats.
The biggest addition to the gameplay is the ACE system. The ACE are big class-based attacks that can often level an entire group of enemies in a single go. The abilities run off of a cooldown meter, so having to monitor the meter and knowing when to use them takes a bit of skill. The moves can also leave you open to getting attacked as some of them have a bit of a windup, so timing is everything.
A nice addition for those who wish to play the game solo are the new AI mercenaries that can be hired in town to fight by your side in the missions. The mercs are surprisingly competent and definitely take the edge off of some of the more difficult encounters.
The alternative to the mercs is playing online with up to three other players on either the PS3 or the Vita thanks to the added cross play feature. This is definitely the best way to go about the game as the classes can be extremely complimentary to each other. The difficulty can drop off a bit with a few competent players in the same room though.
The largest addition to the game is actually at the end of the original game. The Tower of Yggdrasil is a randomly generated 400 floor dungeon that appears at what is basically the midpoint of the game. Each floor changes each time you return to the tower. This alone will add hours of gameplay for anyone interested in the game.
The visuals (at least in the PS3 version) are extremely lacking with a very last-gen feel. The environments are extremely bright and lively though, making up for some of that. The enemy designs are great, especially the gigantic bosses which can take up your entire screen at times. The downside of the enemy design is that there are not many models, so they end up repeating quite often.
The complete lack of voice work is not surprising given the lack of storyline, although does lead to an abundance of text that must be read through on occasion. The musical score in the game is also quite forgettable but does the job of filling the silence between bouts of monster bashing.
• Plenty of missions and extra content for new or returning players to enjoy.
• Great enemy designs make fights fun to watch.
• Plenty of customization options, both aesthetic and functional.
• The addition of the ACE moves gives a bit more variety to gameplay.
• Lack of storyline is disappointing given the interesting look of the world.
• Musical score is forgettable.
• Gameplay is highly repetitive after a bit of playing.
This is niche game and as such will not appeal to the mass market, but if you are feeling a need for a Monster Hunter clone in the interim between releases this game will most definitely scratch that itch. I can’t say this is my type of game, but some of the new additions certainly enhanced the game and made for a more enjoyable experience.
Great enemy designs but highly dated visuals.
Overly repetitious battles don't require much strategy.
Forgettable background music and complete lack of character voicing leave the audio wanting.
The complete original game with enough additions to bring fans back for another go.
This monster hunter clone relies too much on formulaic missions which caused me to lose interest on more than one occasion.