Published and localized by XSEED in the year 2010, Ragnarok DS came to the American continent.This title based on the known and popular Ragnarok Online comes to the Nintendo DS, but does the game meet the expectations of the fans of the MMORPG or is it just a failed attempt by Gravity and GungHo? let’s find out.
As a player of the MMORPG this game caught my attention but not enough to try the game before, after playing for a few hours I regret not having done it before!
Now, I must clarify that the game is not a portable version of the MMO, even though it uses the sprites and maps of the game, it is a totally different story to the PC version.
The story introduces us to 3 characters escaping from soldiers, an adventurer, a doctor and a mysterious girl. The doctor and the girl flee as the mysterious adventurer buys them some time.
On your flight you fall off a cliff and these characters are drifting down river.
This is where we know the main character (whom you name) who address the grave of his mother swearing to become an adventurer with money and never go through the problems that he believes his father caused to his family.
On your way to Prontera to start your own guild, you find the mysterious girl by the river, who has no memories of the other two, let alone any memory of who she is or any of her past. She only remembers on thing; her name, Sierra, who appears to be a shaman.
You and Sierra thus embark on adventures and meet new friends on their trips. What awaits these two in this epic adventure? Only time will tell!
The game mechanics from the MMO are present in this game, and if you’ve played the PC version, you won’t have to relearn how to play this itteration. It will be like riding your old bike.
Though, if you never had the chance to play the MMO let me explain. You start the game as a Novice 1 / 1 (base level / job level) and as in any RPG we will have to kill monsters to level up.
Two basic skills like “Novice Attack” and “First Aid” are available to you. When your job Level reaches level 10 you can switch to one to the following 1st job classes: Merchant, Thief, Swordsman, Mage, Archer, Acolyte or Taekwon Kid.
After you achieve certain jop requirememnts, then you can change to a 2nd job class: Blacksmith, Assassin, Knight, Wizard, Hunter, Priest or Taekwon Master.
If for any reason you dont like the class you picked, in the different guilds you can change class without any problem (Be Warned your job level will reset to 1). Not bothering to explain the stats of the classes here, many FAQ’s and guides are out there to do so.
There are two new classes that were in the PC version but were never used (only god knows how to wait to play it, alas it never happened!) and they are Dark Knight and Shaman. These two are considered 1st job and have no 2nd class version.
Something great are the graphics of the game, as they are a perfect translation from the PC version. This includes sprites of the characters their respective animations, and 3D maps just like Ragnarok Online which is appreciated.
But due to limitations to the DS hardware (which is natural) maps are divided into sections, this is not annoying and does not affect the game to be honest.
What is sad is that because of these limitations all you see of the towns in 3D is limited to cut scenes, limiting the freedom to explore and talk with NPC’s like in other RPG’s.
You see Prontera as a 2D background and a Kafra cutin with a menu in which you can navegate to go to the different guilds, the different establishments in town (Inn, Order of the Knights, Bar, etc.) or to save the game.
Something that disappointed me is that all guilds are in prontera, which means the other cities are not present in the game, which is a real pity. Either by hardware limitations or lack of development, it would be great if these cities were included in the game.
The game is handled entirely with the stylus. Fear not, the way in which they did this is well done, it feels very natural and fluid.
You walk by moving the stylus in the direction you want to go, much like it is handled with the mouse, you attack the monsters by clicking on them with the stylus, and just like that by dragging a line or circle, to use your skills.
At the beginning I feared that the controls were going to be bad by relying so heavily on the stylus but I’m glad I was wrong.
Weapons and armor can have slots to insert cards and increase your stats, just as in the PC version there is a fair amount of cards to drop, and the variety of monsters is great.
Sadly you can only grab one quest at the time, making you go over and over to the same dungeons, walking back to Prontera can be a chore and feels boring, this can be one of the biggest letdowns in the game.
A very special and deserved mention is the music, the soundtrack of the PC game was good as it was, but I was quite pleased to see they remastered and added details to the music we enjoyed so much in the MMO, giving new life and a better environment to the game.
I could go on talking about the differences between the DS and the PC version but it would be too long, this version of the game is not what I expected, and im glad to say my opinion after playing it is positive.
Longing and beautiful anime style graphics too which will bring back memories to the fans, remastered tracks and a new and different story from the MMORPG. Lacking the diverse towns and places to visit game lost some of the epic feeling from the PC version.
Definitely, this game is an RPG that fans from Ragnarok Online will enjoy a lot, it’s worth trying but there are RPG’s for the DS with more depth and content, even so this game has its own merits and a proven formula that will entertain the player.
we give the game a 8 out of 10!