Review: Ragnarok Odyssey ACE – Re-Imagining the Original

Ragnarok Odyssey ACE – Re-Imagining the Original
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 4/13/2014
Review by Dustin Murphy
 
 


Pros:

  • Beautifully imagined graphics
  • New ACE Abilities
  • New Mercenary Book, which rewards players for completion
  • New Missions and Terrain that allow for a breathtaking adventure
  • Character Import allows for save data to transfer, but not save completion
  • Previously DLC will port over at some point
  • Game tweaks provide a better experience for the feint of heart


Cons:

  • Screen clutter on PS Vita seems to get cluttered at some point
  • UI Control for positioning and or party list would be well suited
  • Button placement to the d-pad for target hard-lock can at times be annoying on Vita versus PS3
  • Yggdrasil Tower can unfortunately be rather repetitive and requires main story completion


Final Verdict: 7 out of 10

Final Thoughts: As much as I loved the original Ragnarok Odyssey for the Vita when it first released, I found this game to be an instant grab soon as it hit the streets, much like the original. Unfortunately what I bought was a re-imagining of what the original should have been. With expanded content, bug fixes, and a vast amount of game balancing as well as tweaks, Ragnarok Odyssey ACE does deliver a unique experience that can’t be found in the original version. Unfortunately aside from being a beat-em-up fest, the problem with this title is the lack of story. It is fun to take on missions with friends and new acquaintances, but once that wears out, the fun is over. This is one title that is either for the die-hard fan or the new-comer looking for a game.

 


 When Ragnarok Odyssey launched back in 2012 on the PlayStation Vita, it caused a bit of a stir in the Ragnarok fan-base causing many fans to turn their heads, head to the nearest game store and of course pick it up. Fast forwarding a few years, we are greeted with a version of the game that has decidedly learned a lesson from the previous experience, which was riddled with difficulty scaling, but also game-breaking bugs for the online community. Fortunately, we are now seeing a polished, up-scaled, and bug-free version of the game. With smooth frame rate on both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita, Ragnarok Odyssey once more allows us to grab our overly muscled men or scantily clad women, and head out with our majorly over-sized weapons to save the world around our characters.

 


 Ragnarok Odyssey ACE is what some would imagine as the directors cut. With new content from new scenery, weapons, ACE Skills, Mercenary Book, Billionaires Pot, and of course the monstrosity of Yggdrasil Tower, which leads players up to a 400 floor expansion of the original title. When moving this title from the console to the handheld, I was surprised at my ability go online and play very easily with PlayStation 3 users, while finding little to no latency or disconnects. This was something that truly had changed the online experience I had obtained when first encountering the original release. With all the updates on hand, system changes, and of course updated gameplay features system wise (behind the scenes) I noticed increased framerate, no input latency or even the slightest hint of delayed response. This is something that many returning players will be able to take notice of. In Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, another feature players will cherish is the new Billionaires Pot. This little feature is something quite interesting and that’s because of how helpful it is to obtain rather rare items. With it players can obtain weapon expertise tickets, which allows them to create higher grade weapons, and of course upgrade said higher grade weapons. This of course can lighten the difficulty, but also make farming for materials all that much easier. With cards, which add abilities, players can trade them in and get various types of potions, some of them can alter immunities and decrease damage taken by certain elements. While other potions from it can cure poison and of course other various ailments as well. The one that I’ve grown to personally take a liking to as a completionist is the new Mercenary Book.

 The Mercenary Book is a completionists’ favorite thing ever for this game. In the book players will find goals to complete, be it have a certain amount of wardrobe items, a certain amount of weapons, various weapon types, slain monsters, or even regions visited among many other things to do. This is where the game can become a real challenge as players will seek to fulfill this book by running every option possible. This includes buying armor, weapons, ACE abilities, ability cards, and of course potions. Oh and lets not forget the boutique. Yes you even get rewarded for buying haircuts, face changes, and even color changes on top of each of them. Sound fun? Well it should if it doesn’t, these rewards are unique, and many of them will help when it comes to taking on the Yggdrasil Tower.

  ACE abilities are something I found unique to the game, something that actually became a bit of a game changer for me to be quite honest. These ACE Abilities allow for players to take on new combat systems, think of them as ultimate abilities, but with a rather quick cool down. They allow for new crowd executing attacks versus the old repetitive combo system, which still seemingly needs revamped. For example, for the Hammersmith, players will find themselves turning into a spinning hurricane of disaster for the enemies or a sky jumping, hammer dropping, meteor of… Well doom at least for some enemies.

 Outside of these new changes the game remains very much the same. This however, in some ways, is unfortunate. Having hoped for a bit more story depth versus brawling, the game still does bring some enjoyment. This is something that can easily be obtained by joining friends who are online via PlayStation Vita or the PlayStation 3 console. This can be done via ad-hoc and or infrastructure (online), which gives the game quite a bit of replay value: especially if that person is new to the game and is finding themselves having some trouble. 

 Unfortunately my biggest complaint had to be with the PlayStation Vita. With the ACE abilities, players will find their screens cluttered between them and of course potions, health bar, and party list. This overall becomes a clutter, which at times, can make the game rather annoying to play. A change that would have been nice to see and or would be nice to see a UI editing capability, so that as players become accustomed to the game, they can change the UI (User Interface) to a specification of their own versus the default. Luckily though, much of the game remains unchanged, and thanks to the Yggdrasil Tower, players can enjoy 400 levels of monster slaying, item farming, and item upgrading. We just hope many of the players find these subtle changes worthwhile and enjoyable.

Graphics: Much like the predecessor, much of the game remains unchanged, which is a rather nice change. With beautiful color schemes that give the game a rather lively look, many players can say the game itself looks much like the anime it runs along side with. For a handheld and PS3 title, Ragnarok Odyssey is a beautiful game, with quite a bit of customization.

Sound: Unchanged, many players will be able to enjoy the soundtrack, sound effects, and even the ambiance in a beautiful set up on the PlayStation 3 as well as the PlayStation Vita. Much of this of course having remained, unchanged.

Controls: With the transition between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the controls remained rather unaltered, which for many games that go between the two, this games controls remains very easy to learn, with minimal tutorials needed. However, combos for new players can be a bit of a hassle to figure out, but with time, they are easy, useful, and fun to use. From personal experience, the PS Vita was the console where the game was found to be the most enjoyable.

Special Thanks:

 I want to thank the multiple PlayStation 3 Users that allowed me to join their games in order to test the online connectivity between the PlaySation Vita and PlayStation 3 versions. I also want to thank the friend (wished to remain anonymous) that allowed me to use his PlayStation 3 version in order to do this review.

Release Date: Available now at most major retailers and digitally through the PlayStation Store on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

To Contact the Writer follow him here on Google+, Twitter or his personal blog!

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