XSEED Games has announced that they have partnered with Japanese developer and publisher GungHo to secure the North American rights to publish and distribute Ragnarok Online DS in North America later this year. Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games states, "Ragnarok Online DS stays true to the original while adding elements to optimize the experience on the Nintendo DS."
In this online and offline title, players get to upgrade armor and weapons via a blacksmith or through enhancements gained by cards dropped from monsters. Characters also earn both status and skill points each time they gain a level. These are used to customize their character's class. Classes include Swordsman, Thief, and Merchant to name a few.
Ragnarok DS features a main quest that is offline, but also contains an area known as the Tower of Mirages. In this tower, teams of three can join up using local wireless connectivity. In this dungeon players can hunt rare items on fifty floors of randomly generated maps each with unique completion conditions.
In the peaceful world of Ragnarok Online, there is a group of scholarly researchers plotting to resurrect an evil goddess. It's here that the orphan, Ares, ventures out to gain fame as an adventurer. He soon meets with Sierra, a girl with a mysterious power who just so happens to have lost her memory. Together they will have to save the world from the wicked goddess.
Right now, Ragnarok Online DS is scheduled for a vague Winter 2009 release, but we should have more details as time goes on. This release marks XSEED's first grouping with GungHo, a publisher who has recently released Hero's Saga Leavadein for the DS, Mimana Iyar Chronicle for the PSP, and will be publishing the upcoming Lunar: Harmony of Silver Star in Japan.