|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gravity Co., Ltd./ GungHo Online||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Xseed Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 16, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-3||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Naturally, the job system is a product of Ragnarok Online; many of the classes are pulled straight from the MMORPG. Classes like the Archer, Swordsman, Magician, Taekwon Kid, Merchant, Acolyte, etc. can all eventually be upgraded to second-tier classes (Hunter, Knight, Wizard, Taekwon Master, Blacksmith, Priest, respectively) through acquired experience. This has the effect of making leveling a first-tier job worthwhile, though you'll always be subject to the battle system regardless of level and skills.
Disappointingly, the online multiplayer component of Ragnarok DS is worse than the single-player experience. Not only is it a challenge to find people to play with, but you'll be herded into a zone called the Tower of Mirages, where you'll be tasked with grinding through 50 levels of increasingly difficult baddies. Even the possibility of finding unique loot isn't enough to make going through this straight dungeon-crawl worth your time.
In terms of presentation, the game is also pretty mediocre. The visuals, as discussed earlier, are punctuated by bland, unvaried environments. The in-game, character and enemy pixel art can't hold a candle to the concept/card designs; the lack of details makes everything look blurry. The music featured in Ragnarok DS is actually a highlight; the tunes are varied and fun, even though they're marked by some seriously cheesy instrumentals.
In the end, this game is for dangerously hard-up Ragnarok fans or for very unsophisticated RPG gamers. This is a flawed, conventional dungeon-crawler that features a dull story and cast of characters, a boring battle system, and a tacked on multiplayer offering. For the real Ragnarok experience, you're best served sticking to the MMO. There's little worth exploring in this stripped-down, handheld version.
CCC Editor / News Director