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Ragnarok Odyssey Review

Ragnarok Odyssey Review

In Japan, when the PSP was essentially on its deathbed, there was one game which single-handedly reinvigorated the system: Monster Hunter. With its focus on local multiplayer and Japan's clustered neighborhoods it was a match made in heaven. Nintendo got Capcom to release future Monster Hunter releases on their platforms, thus allowing Ragnarok Odyssey to try and fill that void. It has its faults, but for fans of the monster hunting genre this is one welcome odyssey indeed.

At the start of the game players pick from one of six classes, each of which are unlocked from the beginning. Each focuses on a different weapon type, ranging from broadswords for the sword warrior or dual blades for the assassin. There are also over a dozen different types of hair, eye and voice styles to pick from, so players who are pickier with their character customization options shouldn't have a problem.

If you've played any of the Monster Hunter or Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology games, you'll have a good sense of how Ragnarok Odyssey's story progression goes. After selecting a mission from the guild halls you'll set out to complete the mission, which generally ranges from killing a set number of monsters or collecting a set number of items. Each mission has a set time of 30 minutes, although almost all of them can and will be completed well before that time elapses. The system works quite well for the inherent portable nature of the PlayStation Vita as you can easily play through a mission or two during your free time.

As stated before, Ragnarok Odyssey has six different classes to pick from. Some are melee focused, such as the sword warrior and the assassin, while Clerics are tanks that can self-heal. Unlike some other games, Ragnarok Odyssey lets you freely switch between the classes between missions, so you never feel stuck because the game forced you into a particular skill set or where you're penalized for switching.

The battle system is easily one of the game's highlights as it takes the core gameplay of Monster Hunter, but makes it much more fast-paced. Players have a choice between weak attacks which can be easily chained but deal less damage, and heavy attacks which deal more damage but take longer to execute. Both of these can be chained together for combo attacks with the pattern depending on your character's class.

Each class differs on how their controls operate, but for the most part the controls are pretty standard across all of the classes. This means you shouldn't find it too hard adapting to class switching. Ragnarok Odyssey also has the standard defensive manoeuvre, but what differentiates the series from Monster Hunter is the ability to dash forward in the ground/air and upwards to scale some of the game's larger behemoths.

While the gameplay mechanics do make it easy to combo enemies, the reverse also holds true in Ragnarok Odyssey. There are numerous times when a mission will go from easy to overly difficult as enemy mobs perform combo after combo without any breaks. Sometimes bosses will also have an attack which can stun in preparation for a mammoth combo. Expert players can dodge or dash their way out of these attacks, but for beginners and moderately-skilled players, these unexpected difficultly spikes might be a bit of a turn-off.

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