Review by wolverinefan
"The perfect follow up to a cult classic"
Valkyrie Profile 2 is the prequel to one of the most wanted Playstation 1 titles. It wasn't that it had a super small print run, it was just a game that was praised in small groups until the internet really took off and now everyone and their sister wants a copy. It runs for about $150 on EBay. Things have changed in the past year though because Square has re-released it on the PSP and I do believe I have a review of that game posted as well. Well this prequel was announced for the PS2 fans rejoiced. The graphics were jaw dropping and the game play looked intact minus the 2d sprites. Will the fans be pleased? What about people who have never played the original, will they enjoy it? Read on!
VP2 tells the story of a girl named Alicia. She's a young princess but she is presumed dead. Inside of her is one of the three Valkyrie. She has been banished and now there are two Valkyrie on the planet which is against the rules. She seeks to find Alicia's father, to stop him from starting a war with the god Odin. Can she do it? Does she really have other plans? Does Alicia herself hold a secret? Well I can't ruin any of that for you but I will say no other game in a very long time. The twists and turns that the game took didn't fool me once or twice but every single time a twist came around I was surprised. The plot is top notch and rather epic which is rare these days even with RPGs.
Graphic wise this game looks amazing. The cgi stuff is worthy to drool over. Not only that but the in game graphics are amazing as well. The towns and stuff look great as do the character models. It goes a little down hill in the battles but everything still looks great, except the locations but sometimes walls will crumble in the battles so it looks cool either way.
The sound in the game is amazing. Sound effects are great from the sound of your steps changing from splashing water to soft grass to whatever else you're stepping on. The music is beautiful and I want the soundtrack. The voice work is even top notch. I didn't cringe once at a single voice and the game has a lot of voice work because it is a bit heavy at times with the cut scenes.
The control in the game might be one of the few problems. Walk around towns, using the world map and even doing the dungeon bits are easy. My problem came in the fights. It's easy to move around and the fighting system is good. My problem actually didn't come until the last boss but if I was using the main character for the fight I could rarely get the attack radius to register. I switched characters and then it worked the entire time so I don't know what happened there.
Now, fans will know exactly how this game plays with a few simple tweaks. So if you've played the first just scroll down for where I talk about the combat in the game. Anyway, like more recent role playing games, this one features a world map that just has you clicking the name. It works fine because there are many areas to explore and the world map looks really good as well.
So, the towns and dungeons are all 2d. Meaning you can only move left and right in them. See a person and hit X to talk to them. Want to enter a building? If so a little icon appears at the building showing that it can be entered and you just hit up or down depending on it's location. It's the same for roads in the towns and dungeon paths. It's a little off putting at first but since I had played the original it didn't seem that weird.
The dungeons themselves are long, kind of complex and really feel like mazes at times. There are so many multiple paths, twists and turns that it's easy to get lost but there are some maps. Inside the dungeons you'll see some enemies. They look like phantoms. Touch them and you'll enter a battle. Once defeated their spirit remains to be used. By this I mean you can shoot a crystal into it and it freezes. You can do it to them when they are still alive as well. You use these to build steps and using them to reach ledges and stuff. If you hit it again while it's frozen then you will switch places with it. The later dungeons become really complex because of this.
The characters level up like any game. You can equip weapons and other equipment. It's like any other role playing game out there when it comes to that. The combat though is really different. In the old VP game it was 2d and you just stood there and made the characters attack, timing mattered ECT. This time around, when you enter a battle it warps into 3D. The enemies are all over the place, 4 or more usually. You run up to them. Each character has an attack radius and you can switch what character you control. When you're close enough you can attack. Each character is assigned to one of the face buttons and you just press those to attack. At the bottom of the screen is AP. This is how many times you can attack. Later in the game the characters can attack more than once or twice and you can actually just have one guy attack over and over. You can hit select to bring up a menu for using spells or items if need be.
The game is fairly long, it offers some bonus dungeons to mess with and some dungeons need to be done right away. Side quests aren't all that but there is a special ending that does require a good bit of work. Besides that you get new game plus. Every time you beat the game it gets harder and harder. Up to 30 times I believe so for those looking for pain, this is for you.
I can easily say that Valkyrie Profile 2 is in my top 10 best games on the PS2 and games of the last generation. It's beautiful to the eyes and ears. The battle system is solid, the dungeons are solid. The plot is awesome. I really have no problems with the game besides some little nit picking. I recommend this to both casual gamers and fans of the first game. It has some little links to the original game so fans will get some extra stuff out of it as well.
Story - 10/10
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Control - 9/10
Game Play - 10/10
Replay Value - 8/10
Final Score - 10/10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/29/07
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