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Developer:
Gravity Interactive
Publisher: Gravity Interactive
Platform: PC
Release Date: August 31, 2002

by John Barnett




I finally got the chance to play a game that I have been wanting to for a VERY long time and let me tell you, Ragnarok Online is worth every penny.


I will start out with the bad traits and go from there. To get the few negative things out of the way before I start praising the game. The price is the first thing that comes to mind, while not as steep as EQ2 and FFXI is, $10 a month is not a easy price to cough up unless you have parents or a job who is willing to pay for this addiction. And trust me, once you start playing it, it will become an addiction. At least you don't have to pay for the software, they give free cd's and trials (for 15 days), so that will help. Another aspect is that it is solely geared towards the otaku community. While they do a great job with the anime portion, there is a huge populace who hates anime and manga, so they literally have sliced their players in half by sticking with one theme, where they could have incorporated systems to please both sides. One other problem I have, is that there are SOOO many players from around the world on one server that you are not able to get decent character names. I understand that names are on a first come-first serve basis, but there has to be some way to allow people to have a lot of the names they want, whether it be by adding special characters such as "~,`,_,-, ^,etc" or another ingenious way, this is something that this reviewer believes could be worked on.


Now for the part that most of the people who are reading this article came for, the good aspects of the game. The graphics are superb, staying in direct correlation with the anime-theme. There was absolutely superb character, enemy and architecture design used in the game. In a lot of games, you tend to have glitches or badly drawn parts, but every single aspect that I have went seen is beautifully done in detail. The sprite movement was smooth and not nearly as blocky as some of the sprites drawn in similar games (for the playstation) like SaGa Frontier 2 and Star Ocean 2. It made me actually believe that the whole game was like an anime movie/series that people go out and cough up $20+ for at their local video store.


The music was gorgeous and I give props to the composer of the musical scores and tracks. I was kind of worried at first because I noticed that a lot of it was repitition and was wondering if I would get tired of it. I can say this much, I have played over 50 hours on this game and I still love the music and find myself humming the bars to it when I'm not playing the game. The music has some resemblance to animes like Slayers and Those Who Hunt Elves. It's a bit fairy tale-ish but it really works with the storyline and the graphics. Considering that this game is a throwback to an anime of the same plot, it makes perfect sense.


Something I never thought I would hear myself say, I did not experience one bit of lag whatsoever in the game. For those of you who were not paying attention the first time I will say it again, there was absolutely no lag during the game. This is a feat I have never seem accomplished before, I have seen lag in games like Mu Online and EverQuest even on a fast cable or DSL broadband connection. I even tried RO on my dial up computer for about 10 hours and I still had no problems with the server slowing down or freezing up completely. Kudos to Gravity.


Overall, I would say if you are willing to pay the money for a MMORPG and are looking for the most bang for your buck, this is the game for you. While it does lend itself towards anime lovers, it is wonderfully done and I believe that everyone will find SOMETHING they enjoy about this game. You'll receive days, if not weeks, of pleasure from Ragnarok Online.


Final Grade: 94%




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