By Spencer . September 23, 2011 . 5:00pm
The lines to play PlayStation Vita games were longer than almost anything else at Tokyo Game Show. Monster Hunter 3G was the exception, but at 90 minutes or more per Vita game getting hands-on time was a challenge.
Fortunately, Game Arts invited me to play Ragnarok Odyssey at their offices. They had the Tokyo Game Show build ready and I started by selecting one of three available classes. Sword warrior, assassin, and wizard were playable. Ragnarok Odyssey will have character customization features like different faces, but for the purpose of the demo there were a few premade characters to choose from.
Since Ragnarok Odyssey is supposed to be an action game, I went with the Sword Master and picked the quest to defeat the Orc King. My character turned up in a lush area with Porings hopping on a path. These cute little pink critters are the fodder enemy of the Raganarok Online universe and put up little resistance as I hacked through them. Fallen enemies drop different crystals, green ones restore your life and red crystals boost a supercharge meter.
Despite carrying a giant blade, my Sword Warrior was quite agile. I could sidestep and dash with the square button. X was for jump and you can air dash too. Triangle and circle were different attack buttons. I believe circle was for swifter attacks and triangle strikes did heavy damage. While Ragnarok Odyssey looks like a hunting game, the overall feel was flashier and faster. I could jump in the air and juggle enemies, as if my character learned a few tricks from Dante. Fighting is fluid and more like a stylish action game than anything tied to the PC game.
It didn’t take too long to reach my target. The Orc King was sitting in a cave waiting for me to come. He towered over the other monsters I fought so far, at roughly the size of six or seven Porings stacked on top of each other. So, I had to slash at its shins. The Orc King followed a pattern of punches and tried to ram at me headfirst. This is where the square button’s swift dashes came in handy. I saved my super meter for this battle too and when activated (R + O) my character was even faster than before. Dodging was a snap and I could chain attacks while running circles around the Orc King. He didn’t wear his crown long after I pulled the trigger.
Mission complete, but Ragnarok Odyssey will have many more monsters from the online game to fight. Game Arts tells me their PlayStation Vita title will be more difficult when the game ships too and the boss was simplified for the purpose of the demo. I think what makes Ragnarok Odyssey interesting isn’t necessarily the reimagining of the Ragnarok universe (although that’s neat too!), but how it’s a middle ground of sorts for fans of action games and the growing hunting genre. With elements of both, could Ragnarok Odyssey bridge a gap?