DS Import Impressions – Ragnarok Online DS
I was pretty surprised when this was announced, and even more when it suddenly came out. Having playedÂ quite a bit of RO (on private servers) back when I was in high school, I was pretty excited to see what they’d do with it on the DS.
First things first though. This game is in Japanese. I don’t know Japanese. I did manage to understand most of the basic gameplay and navigation through menus, but because of my complete lack of Japanese knowledge I have no idea what to do in quests and what the story is about, and there’s lots of stuff I just don’t know about the game. So don’t count this as a review, but more of a first impressions thing coming from an old RO fan. Also, this will be a relatively short post.
MOAR after the jump!
When completely zoomed in, the graphics are near identical to the PC version. Yeah, surprised me. But being completely zoomed in makes the game pretty much unplayable, so you have to zoom out at least once, which lowers the graphical quality quite a bit. But otherwise the game uses pretty much the same graphics as before. The same monster and character sprites(though for now “bosses” were just bigger monster sprites and looked like ass), the same NPC sprites, the same item sprites, everything is the same.
The spell effects I can’t really tell. I haven’t seen that many other than some bolts, and the magnum break (which I never used in the PC version), and the other spells I’ve seen were used by a Shaman, who doesn’t exist in the PC version.
Overall though the game retains pretty much the same quality as the PC version of RO.Â
Just a passing mention. As of now the sound effects I’ve heard are all exactly the same as in the PC version. The music though seems slightly changed, even if it’s the same tracks. And not all the music from the PC version is here.
The only annoying thing is that, when you’re in a map that might have enemies, you always hear the Poring sound, whether or not there’s something around, which can get annoying.Â
Don’t get too surprised when I say this: The game plays almost exactly like the PC version! *gasp*
Well there is one major difference: It’s not online! Despite having “online” in the title, the game itself isn’t. There is one part of the game you can connect Â with other players. After going far enough in the game (which I didn’t because I’m currently stuck), you can access the Mirage Tower, which is a 50-level tower with increasing difficulty, and you can either go it alone with a few NPCs at hand, or play with other people online. Yay. Kinda sucks for a game with ONLINE in the title to only have something like this for online play… Though if the Mirage Tower is challenging enough, it might be really cool to tackle it with friends.
Now, the basic gameplay. Well, like the PC version, you use the touch screen(instead of the mouse) to choose where to move and touch enemies to fight them. As you level up, you can gain skills, which are used by first clicking it in your shortcut bar(you can have up to 3 of those shortcut bars) and then do the proper “drawing” on your target to initiate the attack. For example, the Swordman’s bash requires you to draw a line on an enemy, and Magnum Break(well, i think it’s Magnum Break) requires you to draw a circle in the area you want to affect. Also, if 2 enemies are really close to each other, it’s possible to hit them both with one attack, or if you’re using a spear you might hit enemies who are between you and your target. Otherwise it’s pretty much like on the PC.
During the story (yeah, of course it’s a story-driven single player game for the most part), NPCs will join your party. You can tell them what to do by clicking them then clicking an enemy (yay for limited control) or you can set them a “tactic”(Conserve SP, full assault, stuff like that) so they control themselves automatically. There’s not much more to say. They level up themselves so you have no control over that, but you can change their equipment.
Leveling is done just like in the PC version… No surprise here. Each time you level up you get stat points which you can assign to stats, and each time you level up your job you get skill points to learn skills… damn this game is simple in that aspect. But depending on what skills you equip, your style of play will change greatly, just like before.
Equipment can have slots, they can be upgraded at the blacksmith, just like before, and the cards from the PC version are back here without changes… From what I’ve seen. Though as of now I haven’t seen a piece of equipment with more than one slot for cards.Â
Also, in this version, instead of walking through towns, you’re treated to a menu to get to various places. This is also where you save your game. When you enter town the Kafra employee directs you to where to go. There’s sub-menus for shops/buildings, guilds to start different classes and some town-specific buildings, as well as a “get out of town” option that gives you the different places you can exit town through.
One slightly disappointing part is the classes/jobs/whatever you want to call them. You get most of the normal jobs (my memory is very fuzzy on those)Â Sword Man, Mage,Â Archer,Â Thief,Â Acolyte,Â Merchant andÂ Taekwon Kid when your novice reaches job level 10. When you chose your first class and reach level 30, you get to upgrade your class once again! But this time you only have the 2-1 classes, and none of the 2-2. That means no Crusader or Rogue or Monk or Alchemist or Sage or Dancer/Bard or Soul Linker. You only get Knight, Assassin, Blacksmith, Wizard, Hunter, Priest and Taekwon Master.
But not all hope is lost, as you get access to 2 completely new classes: the Shaman and the Dark Knight. Those can only be acquired through quests and I have not done them since I have no idea how to and, again, can’t read the japanese anyways, but for the RO fanatic there’s surely some fun to be had by trying those 2 new classes.Â
There’s more I could dwell on, but my complete lack of japanese knowledge can only bring me so far. I know there’s quests and such, but I have no idea what to do in them, and as such I can’t really explain those, or anything else in the game.
This game is quite fun. Relatively faithful to the PC version, despite a few flaws and differences. Looks almost as good as the PC version, sounds pretty much the same, and near unchanged gameplay except for some differences in skill input and such.
Overall an RO fan should like playing this, despite the game being mostly an offline experience. Â The online portion might be really good (I dunno…), so if you’re interested in that check it out.
If you don’t want to trial-and-error through the game like I’m currently doing… well it’s pretty much the only option until they announce an English release, which I am not holding out for, I really doubt it will come… AAAAND there’s always the pirate way, with inevitable translation patches someday…
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