Copyright Adam Schlosser
Contact:
aschloss@gmail.com


Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser


Posted by Pip

AD12- Then Stop Being Delicious

Slander finally gets some well-deserved comeuppance! After all she's put Murd through, the secrets she's revealed, and probably some hands were put in warm water while Murd slept, she deserves to have to sleep in the yard. Maybe they'll be nice and build her a little naga house in the backyard. Or pit. Nest? Whatever snake people sleep in.


Long, MMO without the creepy guys eating Cheetos and Mountain Dew Review: Ragnarok DS- Ragnarok isn't going to win any awards for narrative. The story just couldn't get more cliched. Child's father goes away on an expedition, doesn't come back, sends the mysterious girl with special powers and silver hair away from the bad guys, child grows up to be an explorer, finds said mysterious girl only she has amnesia and she doesn't understand human emotions, they buddy up, and we're left to wonder if they'll triumph over evil, develop feelings for each other, and save the world after she finally learns what it means to love. Spoiler: Yes. The dialogue is bad and there's just so much of it. You can't customize your character for the story, which is really silly (even ignoring the MMORPG basis for the game) because you CAN customize it for one specific dungeon. If the feature is there, let me use. The sprite work is good but only when you have the camera zoomed in to the max. Instead of drawing the sprites for the medium camera zoom level, they're designed for when the camera is super close and you can't see anything but the characters, they get distorted when you're at medium, and look all kinds of wonky when the camera is far away (which is how I played 99% of the game). The static 2D art is really nice though. The battle system is very simple, but it works. Tap an enemy and you'll keep attacking it, tap an icon and then draw a symbol to do a special move, and that's about that. However, your character misses A LOT in battle. Like will miss the giant monster several times bigger than he is that's in his face four times in a row levels of missing a lot. I spent half of all my skill points boosting his accuracy and he still missed about 50% of the time at the game's end. The partner AI is shamefully bad. They run in-between you and enemies, they waste their magic on the weakest enemies, they'll occasionally just stop attacking and stand still, and they're always getting caught on objects (thankfully the game warps them to you when you get far enough away). The worst offender is your healer sidekick. She starts out really useful but as soon as she learns a buff, she's useless. She will stand there and do nothing but spam this one buff over and over and all it does is increase the strength of water attacks. Even if nobody on your team actually has any water attacks. Her attack spells are strong enough to kill almost anything in a few hits, but she won't use them. You can tell your allies to use general tactics (stay back, protect me, run, etc) but no matter what I choose, she won't stop with that damn buff. The first 3/4 of the game is a cake walk, but the final 1/4 ratchets up in difficulty if only because of how stupid your allies are. The enemies get a massive boost in stats once you hit a certain dungeon but my party consisted of my guy that's a swordsman that can't hit the broad side of a barn, a healer that refuses to heal anybody, and a wizard that would rather punch enemies than cast a spell. The wizard dies in two hits and the healer dies in three or four, but while my character is damn near impossible to kill given how high his health and defense are, enemies don't respond to aggro and will all gang up on the other two. Maps don't fill in as you explore them (only if you find the map item hidden in a chest somewhere), enemies respawn almost as quickly as you can kill them, the side quests are nothing more than fetch quests and grinding for useless items to deliver, and I could go on and on with niggling annoyances, but the game is actually still kind of fun. The simple battle system works (when it functions), the music is good and the main overworld music is ludicrously catchy, and most of the enemies are cute. If you can ignore the godawful characters and story and enjoy the ride, it's worthwhile.
Sins Committed: Bad story, Bad dialogue, Bad writing, Bad AI
Virtues Acted: Good music, Good art, RPG characters that openly admit that saving the world is and always will be secondary to money and loot