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Ragarok Online II - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Ragarok Online II
Platform:
Developer: Gravity
Release Date: Unknown
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If there was one software developer outside of Japan and the United States that made a strong impression to the attendees of the Tokyo Game Show, it was the Seoul-based Gravity Corporation. Despite being bought out by Japanese IT giant SoftBank, the company still maintains its Korean roots and has a mainstay MMO to its name; namely, Ragnarok Online. So, despite drawing long lines more for its bags and quirky booth babes (not my thing, but it worked for them, I guess), Gravity's centerpiece was the brand new Ragnarok Online II.
"...this should be a game to look out for, if only for the buzz that was generated by its immediate predecessor."

Anyone who has at least seen screenshots of the original game should know that the most important change to this game is the jump to full 3D. The anime-influenced art is still there, but the 2D-based field is now a thing of the past in the series. On Gravity's demo computers (which actually had very short lines, much to my surprise), the game ran pretty smoothly, although it lacked play with lots of other characters on the particular terminal I was playing on. Still, despite the jump of 3D, the look of the original Ragnarok Online is still there.

Several other tidbits have come up about the game which might be of interest to a few people: the score will be done by Yoko Kanno of Cowboy Bebop fame, and one of its toted features is the ability to change to multiple jobs with the same character. If Gravity can do all of this while maintaining a good portion of its user base, they might have a potential powerhouse on its hands.

Nevertheless, one of the main appeals of the original Ragnarok Online was its ability to run with very low hardware requirements. While the graphics of Ragnarok Online II can hardly be called groundbreaking, they are a considerable step up from that of the original, though this might not be a problem if the game runs as smoothly as it did at the show. No release date has been set for Japan, and there has been no confirmation of a port to North America either. However, this should be a game to look out for, if only for the buzz that was generated by its immediate predecessor.



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