Gaming for us may have mostly taken off with PC games but prior to that we did invest a good deal of time playing stuff like our Master System, Super Nintendo, and later on the N64 and PS2. We used to play all kinds of different stuff together but over the years he has withdrawn into a near impenetrable shell that doesn’t have much room for anything other than MMOs and a few other games. Getting him to even try other types of games can be incredibly difficult.
For years I’ve been trying to get him to play a Monster Hunter game with me but that hasn’t had much success at all. I think I might have mentioned a while back that the first attempt saw my PSP thrown to the ground in frustration. Anywho, a while back I discovered another game in the “Hunting Genre” called Ragnarok Odyssey Ace. From what I could tell it was the updated version of the game like Ultimate was for Tri. I picked it up for my Vita and after playing it for a short while I figured that I might be able to get him to try playing this with me.
Monster Hunter may not have drawn him in initially, but Ragnarok looked like it might do it. Bright colors, Norse-ish theme, wizards, etc. Plus the combat seems more approachable than Monstrer Hunter. If I couldn’t get him to try this out then there was really no hope. After a lot of complaining, guilt-tripping, extortion, and pestering I was finally able to convince him to play it with me. We downloaded the PS3 version of the game (which can play with the Vita as well) and gave it a go.
Initially Keen started out as a Sword Warrior (big two-handed sword user) and I was a hammersmith (Giant two-handed hammer. You can see the running theme.) but after some swapping he eventually landed on Mage, which I think he really enjoys. We haven’t put a whole lot of time into the game yet since we are taking it rather slow but I think he is enjoying it the more we play it. Occasionally while we are fighting giants or whatever I will casually reference Monster Hunter and some of the cool stuff you can do in it. I know all of the right buzzwords to say like “crafting” and “resources” and “bard-like support-type character.” I actually think he might be warming up to the idea, especially the more he plays Ragnarok. If I can get him hooked on this then he will want MORE. It’s like a gateway game and I’m pushing stronger stuff onto him.
So yeah, not much to tell other than that. I will give some brief thoughts on Ragnarok Odyssey though.
- Some good weapon/job offerings. Sword Warrior, Assassin, Hammersmith, Mage, Cleric, and Hunter. I think those names are right, anyway. Each does seem to have a pretty different play style. Keen likes the Mage and Sword Warrior. I prefer the Hammersmith and Cleric. We both don’t care much for the bow-using Hunter. Mainly because we can’t aim with him to save our lives.
- Interesting setting. Kind of Anime Norse Mythology or something. I’m not entirely sure but I think it might be based on the same setting as Ragnarok Online. I think I tried that game once and I remember seeing the familiar pink jelly monsters.
- Fighting mechanics seem faster and simpler than Mosnter Hunter, at least for now. Not a bad thing, really, just different. The weapons handle a lot differently but these games all tend to do that. I think I still prefer Monster Hunter’s mechanics but these are a close second with Toukiden. Still better than Soul Sacrifice, though.
- I miss not crafting full sets of armor. You can make outfits and weapons out of materials you get from mobs but that’s about it. You can also make hats, though, but they seem to be devoid of any stats. You can increase outfits card capacity through upgrading though.
- Speaking of which, skill cards are slotted into your outfit and give you different kinds of passive bonuses. They are actually pretty cool and you can obtain them from a store, monsters, or upgrade a weapon to it’s max potential and transform it into a card.
- The game also has active abilities. Mages can do stuff like shoot fireballs and the Hammersmith can do whirlwind and big knockback moves. That’s what I’ve seen so far, anyway. It does look like the Mage gets more skills than Hammers do, which bums me out.
- Some really cool large monsters. We haven’t actually fought anything too interesting yet but we did encounter a really big, really cool looking dude in a quest. We were just supposed to avoid him but he seems awesome. We’ve also seen dragons in trailers and that’s always fun.
So yeah, that about covers my initial impressions of the game and hopefully we can both get a lot out of it. Maybe Keen will write up his thoughts as well. Pester him if you are curious; he eventually relents!