Ragnarok Online is one of the largest and most popular MMORPGs on the market. What started as a little online game from Korea, has blown up into a worldwide phenomena. Naturally, when something becomes popular, it expands. Ragnarok has always been a PC MMORPG, so it’s strange to see it branch out onto a console, a handheld no less. Ragnarok DS attempts to make the MMO people love a portable single player experience.
Does it work out? Let’s take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Ragnarok DS. I should also note that I have had very little experience with the MMORPG, so I won’t be comparing this version to that game much. Also, due to complications I was unable to try the multiplayer, so I won’t be commenting on that either.
Mimics original style
I haven’t played much of the PC game, but I have played enough to understand the battle system. The DS version mimics the original battle system very well, and makes it work too. You control one character, your own. Your party members are all A.I controlled, but you can set different battle strategies and give commands on the fly with a pulldown menu. As for yourself, you attack by simply tapping the enemy you wish to fight, which starts an auto-attack. You perform specials by selecting them from either your menu, or your quick access bar. Special attacks are done by specific motions with the stylus over the enemy, like slashing across for example. It’s a fun little battle system, somewhat of a cross between Ragnarok Online and The World Ends With You.
The graphics are nice. I’ve seen better on the DS, but these graphics match those of the PC game pretty much to a T. The sprites are bright and colorful and well animated. Ragnarok fans will appreciate how true to the original game this looks. The environments are ok, nothing spectacular, but vibrant enough.
The sound in this game is well done. The dungeon music is catchy and the boss theme is cool. The sound effects are decent, and actually have a bit of variety. Though the game is lacking a bit in some parts. More and more DS games are adding voices, so the lack of such is a bit disheartening. Still, I did enjoy the music.
This is RPG 101. It’s the same story we’ve seen a million and one times in JRPGs. A young boy who wants to be an adventurer sets out on a journey to prove himself. He soon meets a beautiful girl who suffers from amnesia and clings to him like glue. Nothing new, nothing interesting. The story will most likely not be what keeps you playing this game to the end, because it just isn’t good. Creativity was not included during the writing of this game.
Battles can be annoying
For as well as the battle system works, it does have its annoyances. Enemies can sometimes be too small, and trying to tap them with the stylus can be a pain. Also, the game can sometimes confuse your motions when trying to do special attacks. These are minor problems, but still irritating at times.
Overall, Ragnarok DS is nothing new. It stays true to its MMO counterpart, and offers some nice, albeit average, dungeon crawling on the DS. There are better games, and there are worse games. This game falls right into the middle of the road, some will like it and some won’t, but I doubt anyone will remember it much after they’ve completed it.Ragnarok DS Review,