Developer: Game Arts |
Publisher: XSEED Players: 1 to 4 Player Game |
Release Date: 08/21/12
Japan is the home of many different genres in the gaming industry. One such genre is the Action RPG Monster Hunting that took the country by storm when Capcom released Monster Hunter and all the multitude of sequels. Monster Hunter has become so popular in the country that if a console or handheld was released without a Monster Hunter title, the Japanese people didn't purchase it. Capcom released a Monster Hunter title for the 3DS, which still isn't announced for the US, and the Vita was left out. Therefore, sales of the Vita have fallen flat while the PSP, which has a Monster Hunter, and the 3DS are still selling well.
To help fill the void on the PS Vita, XSEED is stepping in with a game that has a similar style to Monster Hunter but based on a popular MMO franchise: Ragnorak Odyssey. Sitting down with XSEED to take a look at the game in its current build, we can see a multitude of features.
The first thing shown off is a heavy emphasis on customizing your character. As this is an online title, nobody wants their character to look the same as another player. So you can completely change the look of your face, hair style and color, your armor color, etc. Being unique looking is something they want to have a heavy emphasis on.
Further building on the unique nature of armor, Ragnorak Odyssey will not include any special attributes included in their armor. Instead, all armor has pockets to hold Attribute Cards. The reason for this is really quite simple. If you find a cool set of armor, say a Ninja Suit, at an early level, you wouldn't be able to use the same armor at a later level. With the pocket and Attribute Card system, you can put higher level cards in the armor as you level. Also, there is a seamstress in town that you can pay to add additional pockets on armor. This is an interesting take on how to handle gear and it sounds like it will work perfectly!
The Attribute Cards are seen by XSEED like trading cards in the game. They will each contain awesome looking monster artwork on one side that you can view and the other side will contain the buffs it gives the player.
During your adventures in the world, players are allowed to carry up to three items at a time. You can also, fortunately, play with friends or strangers via Wifi and ad-hoc networks. This is a big plus to those of us in Western markets as we won't have to look for crowds of people to play Ragnorak Odyssey with. Up to three other players will be able to join you via the Tavern for Multiplayer games.
XSEED promises all 10 different areas, from the Japanese release, and the more than 80 quests. Each quest will take you around 15 to 30 minutes to complete. Future DLC is being planned in Japan. All of this DLC will see a release in the US as well. You will access it from a NPC in town. The current plan is for all DLC to be free.
XSEED is promising a lot of challenging gameplay for Ragnorak Odyssey. However, it will be possible to beat the entire game alone. You will find some bosses especially difficult so try to bring along some friends via online play to help make the game a bit easier, more social, and just more fun.
Ragnorak Odyssey is being planned for both a retail release and PSN download. Price point has yet to be determined but we should see a release this summer. The rumored release date is August 21, 2012 which we could not get confirmation of. This is the Action RPG handheld Vita gamers have been waiting for. Hopefully this gives the platform the shot in the arm it needs to increase the units sold.