It is always great to show up to a booth tour at E3 and be genuinely surprised when you turn the corner and see a game you never expected. My moment this year was inside the XSEED booth when I found my way to Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, a 1.5 edition to the hit game Ragnarok Odyssey, which released October of last year for the PlayStation Vita. Big things are coming this time around and something that you might not have expected.
In Ragnarok Odyssey Ace, you have 6 different classes to choose from, ranging from Archers and Clerics to Mages and Swordsman. Each character has a weapon, outfit, and hat. After you select your character and set them up, customizing your hair and facial expression, you are at a public square. Here you have the ability to buy new weapons, items, outfits, hairstyles, and cards. These cards are assigned to your outfit, with each card having a point value and each armor only allowing a set number of points.
After selecting all of this, you are able to select a quest and get to fighting. Combat in the game is very much like the Monster Hunter series and plays almost exactly like the first game with a few differences. You are still able to do your main attack, jump, and dodge out of the way. However, in this 1.5 edition, you can now assign up to four skills to your character and then pull off this skills during battle. Each chapter of the quest is basically fairly straight forward; fight through the mission to kill a certain amount of monsters or collect a certain amount of items in the allotted time limit.
There are two big changes that really make Ace stand out from the original game. The first is the Yggdrasil tower, which works very similar to the dungeon in Persona 4. Players can enter this tower and try to fight there way up the 100 levels to gain money and items. The tower is also completely random, changing up the levels each time you exit and enter again. This mode adds replay value to the title and gives players a new way to grind for items or money.
The other big change is the ability to hire mercenaries. One of my big gripes with the original game was that if you could not connect online to play levels with three other people, then you were left to take on some of the more challenging levels in the game solo. This time around, the players are given the option to recruit three mercenaries into their party to help them fight through the missions. This ability really adds a lot to the game, especially for those that aren’t always near a wi-fi connection.
The changes don’t just stop there, as Ace adds new story elements, maps, weapons, and so much more. Weapons themselves can be customized not just in looks but also in strength. The game will also have new missions constantly updated online. Just when you think that is it for all the changes, perhaps the biggest change is that a PS3 version is in the works, though no details were given to me outside of that it will be coming to the PlayStation 3, which is great news for console only gamers.
Ragnarok Odyssey Ace does enough with this 1.5 to easily bring back players of the original and also bring in new Vita owners who are desperate for a good game to play. The addition of a PS3 port will only further the amount of people playing, as it will hopefully have a cross buy/cross save feature. If you own a Vita, this is a game you need to check out once we are given a release date.