Ragnarok DS Review
Ragnarok DS box art
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.

Ragnarok DS screenshot

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.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

The game's not ugly, but the environments and characters are largely bland and blurry.
Though extremely user-friendly, everything's so streamlined it becomes boring.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The musical themes are clever but repetitive and often cheesy.

Play Value
The single-player campaign is a long, text-filled, boring grind, and the multiplayer is even worse.

Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Flexible Character Development System - Characters earn both Status and Skill Points each time they gain a level, and these points can be allocated to customize the skills across a wide range of different job classes such as Swordsman, Thief, and Merchant.
  • Upgradeable Weapons and Armor - Characters' armor and weapons can be upgraded by a blacksmith, or by affixing effect cards dropped by defeated monsters. Blacksmith upgrades will improve an item's overall stats, while effect cards boost specific features.
  • Game Play Optimized for Touch Screen - All attacks and commands are performed on the touch screen. Slash with the stylus to attack with your sword, and circle or tap the intended target to unleash magic spells.
  • Wireless Party-based Multiplayer - Players can take on the Tower of Mirages with up to 2 other friends using DS Wireless Play or Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. With more than 50 floors, randomly generated maps and completion conditions, and the chance to obtain rare items, players can enjoy this feature long after the main story has been completed.
  • Cross-game Connectivity with Ragnarok Online - Special items for the original PC version can only be obtained through the DS version of the game. By providing cross-game connectivity with the PC version, fans will be able to further enjoy both.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Ragnarok DS screenshot - click to enlarge Ragnarok DS screenshot - click to enlarge Ragnarok DS screenshot - click to enlarge Ragnarok DS screenshot - click to enlarge

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