Valkyrie Profile (PlayStation) review
"If you prefer good gameplay to good storylines, or if those twits in Lunar and Final Fantasy talk too much for you, then Valkyrie Profile might be worth a try. "
Valkyrie Profile isn't a bad role playing game. Hell, it's better than Dragon Warrior 7. However, it's not really good either. Valkyrie Profile features the common traits of an Enix (the company who made the game) product - a bad storyline and relatively little character interaction, which is balanced somewhat by outstanding gameplay.
In Valkyrie Profile, you play the role of a Norse god, Valkyrie. You're a middle of the road god, one who is in charge of fate. You are given the duty by Odin, king of all the gods, to journey into lower lands and find heroes to fight beside Odin. It's your job to develop these heroes into formidable warriors. At regular intervals, known as Chapters, you must send one or two heroes up to Odin.
However, the story never quite reaches the heights that it could. Each hero you meet is briefly described, and given a background story, then summarily dismissed. As a result, the entire story consists of disconnected stories about people that never really connect. Your learn a bit about the actual past of Valkyrie herself, but for the majority of the game, the story is in the afermentioned way.
There's also a LOT of different characters in Valkyrie Profile, which is a blessing and a curse. It's nice to have a lot of different characters to build up and play around with. On the other hand, it's also hard to determine which characters you should keep, and which you should stop developing, or save to send up to Odin.
Valkyrie Profile does feature innovative gameplay, though. Each character attacks by pressing a button on your controller which corresponds to their attack. Each attack fills up a combo meter at the bottom of the screen; when it fills up to one hundred, you can unleash a massive combo attack for mega damage.
This remains fun and interesting for the first chapter or so, and whenever you get a new character, but after a while it gets boring just to watch combo after combo strike the enemies. The enemies themself don't get hard until the later chapters of the game, and even then an experienced RPG gamer should have no problem with them.
Of course, there are three levels of difficulty presented at the beginning of the game, easy, normal, and hard, but they have no factor on the enemies' strength. They only change the number of characters in the game (easy, few, hard, many), the level they start out at (easy, changes, hard, everyone at level one), and the endings available (you must play on normal or hard to be able to receive all three endings).
If there is one distracting part of Valkyrie Profile, it's the gameplay aspects relating to the chapters. Each chapter is made up of a certain amount of periods. Most actions you perform (visiting a city or dungeon for example) consume a period. As a result, there's a sense of urgency to the game; you can't lesuriely explore places as you wish because it will take up periods of time.
Graphically, Valkyrie Profile is a bit above average. Flat characters are used for most of the game; there's no ''true'' freedom of movement in towns and dungeons, as you're resticted to moving up and down through corridors and up stairs. It's no Final Fantasy, but the graphical detail and animations are a step above most Playstation games.
Likewise, the music is also above average. It's a mostly orchestrated score that is rather pleasing. However, the strength of Valkyrie Profile is its voice acting. The acting is done pretty well, and each character has a voice well-suited to them.
Overall, Valkyrie Profile balances out to be an average role playing game. If you prefer good gameplay to good storylines, or if those twits in Lunar and Final Fantasy talk too much for you, then Valkyrie Profile might be worth a try.
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)
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