While Capcom drags its heels on bringing Monster Hunter back to the West, XSEED looks to fill that void by bringing over Ragnarok Odyssey for the PS Vita, an action-RPG developed by Game Arts of Lunar and Grandia fame. In my time with it I saw many similarities to Capcom’s creature-slaying series that ought to satisfy spurned hunters’ needs, but I also saw a game that could stand on its own without those comparisons.
Ragnarok Odyssey, based on the popular series of online RPGs, sets itself apart with its focus on speed. In the demo I played my swordsman dashed across fields and through the air (!!) to get where he needed to go — mainly to wherever cute pink blobs were rolling around so he could hack and slash at them. Even death is speedy. Instead of getting thrown back to the start of a stage, characters instantly respawn where they were felled, with up to three chances to screw up before a Game Over state.
Combat feels faster, too. I sent enemies flying across levels and juggled them up in the air with swift strikes, air dashing from one enemy to the next. I could imagine this being great fun with the 4-player online co-op, air-dashing around with friends. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any multiplayer functions.
Though I didn’t get to experiment with it, I was told armor plays a big part in character customization and player progression. Passive attributes like elemental immunity and chances for a “critical hit” are granted by filling slots in armor with cards — very similar to the Materia system from Final Fantasy VII or the decoration jewels from Monster Hunter. With six job classes (Sword Warrior, Hunter, Hammersmith, Assassin, Mage, Cleric) and the option to edit facial features, equip accessories and even get haircuts — a guy with enormous scissor-like things who does that for you in the hub town — it sounds like character customization is quite robust.
There will also be free DLC for the game, with the possibility for paid DLC down the line, though there will be 80+ quests available beforehand. XSEED is also at work on getting voice chat to work on the PS Vita, a feature that will most likely get patched in after the game’s release this Summer.