Ragnarok Online 2 Review: Kawaii Desu!

I mean, the title says it all. Literally.

This weekend I sat down with Neverwinter, which is currently in open beta/soft launch phase. I played it for a few hours, feeling rather… well, like I did when I was playing WoW and TERA. Bored.

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Don’t get me wrong, Neverwinter is shaping up to be a pretty alright game. I won’t jump on the bandwagon and fangirl over it, but it’s decent.

But then I saw Ragnarok Online 2 on Steam. Oh, lord.

Let me just say that I watch my fair share of anime. I like it. I enjoy the art style, and enjoy watching the animations people create come to life–and mostly it’s cute. So when I installed down with RO 2, despite not being totally thrilled with the first game (which I played after it was super cool and had mostly died down to WoW’s current state), I was pretty excited to give it a try.

 

Style

Firstly, the style in which the world is created is right up my alley (read: animu). I was able to customize my character in a way not possible with Neverwinter. Despite the kawaii desu styles available (much to my boyfriend’s disgust), I really enjoyed making an Archer Chef.

Yeah, you heard that right. Archer Chef.

She hides ingredients in her hat.

 

Leveling

Honestly, leveling isn’t any different than it is in any other MMO. It feels like a grind–and that’s because it is. You’re killing tiny porings, some poor, some masterings, gettin’ that jellopy. Gotta make that jellopy pudding–that’s what being a chef is all about, right?

I gave it an 8 simply because I hated the grind. Otherwise, it would definitely be a ten.

 

Skill Trees

So… the skill tree. Let’s look at how points are spent. It’s the typical skill tree where you gain points upon leveling and you can thus unlock new abilities. Pretty straight forward, but unlike other MMOs, you don’t have to actually put points in everything before unlocking the bottom of the tree (typically, the most powerful abilities sit at the bottom).

Yes, that means at level 5 or 6, we had put points in our most powerful abilities, leveling up the others as we felt the need to.

 

Abilities

When you first start out killing those cute little porings, you’ll notice that your attack speed is actually laughable. At first, I thought I had to press 1 over and over to do my basic attack–nope, you just start out extremely slow. I assume that once you get better items that have the attack speed stat, that’ll improve, but so far… well, it takes awhile to kill anything unless you use something other than your basic.

Which generally have very low cooldowns, just a FYI. My charged shot has an insanely low cooldown, and I can cast it much faster than just waiting for my basic attack. I can 3-shot enemies with it, which isn’t terribly impressive, but it takes a lot less time to actually kill things.

Yes, It’s FTP

While the game does have a cash shop that can be used to buy things like costume items and mounts, there are no real game-changers available to buy. There are some boosts and some power-ups, but other than that, there is no gear to be found. So don’t worry about saving your real cash and sacrificing some in-game advantage.

In Short?

I have a hard time telling anyone to download any MMO given that they’re all falling into the same cliche crater–a leveling grind that is either boring and too simple (Neverwinter), or boring but more challenging (TERA). Ragnorak Online 2 sits right in the middle of these two games and offers the unique style that Ragnorak was known for back in the day. Given that’s free on Steam, I’d say give it a go and see how much you like cutesy leveling.

Who knows, maybe the end-content is insanely awesome!

8
Ragnarok Online 2 Review: Kawaii Desu!
I mean, the title says it all. Literally.

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Katy Hollingsworth
whale biologist.