Review by Shogain

"If you've never played the original PSone version, then this port is a good oppurtunity to start at."

Almost selling for almost a million copies, the original Valkyrie Profile did very well in Japan. However, shipping only a few copies of the game, it still did well overseas. Nowadays, you can't find Valkyrie Profile anywhere, unless your shopping on the internet. Prices can go from 100 to 160 USD for the PSone game. Thankfully, the PSP port of the same exact game can now be found in any gamestore. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is definitely a must play for RPG fans, offering engaging gameplay, graphics, music and overall, it's atmosphere.

Story - [7/10]
If your familiar with Norse Mythology, then you'll immediately figure out what the story is about. To put it bluntly, your a Valkyrie, who has to collect fallen warriors from the human realm and prepare them for the upcoming war, Ragnarok. Now, you may find this to be simple at first, but there's a hidden story to all of this. The valkyrie you control is Lenneth, who resembles the girl introduced in the prologue. As you go through the game, you'll uncover her origins and experience the fallen Einherjar(Warriors) stories. Before recruiting your Einherjars, you get to see how they die, and why Valkyrie chooses them to be her Einherjar.

Each recruitable Einherjars have their own unique stories for you to enjoy. However, most of them are pretty bland, and they serve no purpose after being recruited. With no character development for some of the Einherjar, I was fairly disappointed. Even so, I commend Valkyrie Profile's unique way of telling it's story. With over three endings, I'd recommend the true ending. In conclusion, the story was decent, but it was charming nontheless.

Gameplay - [8/10]
Valkyrie Profile's strong point is it's gameplay. The gameplay is very unique, and far different from most traditional JRPGs. Instead of traveling on ground, you get to fly around the map since your a Valkyrie. At first, most of the towns are pinpointed on the map, but they serve no purpose unless your spiritual concentration says it does. Spritual Concentrations are used on the world map to determine when and where an Einherjar is about to die. It's also used to locate dungeons.

Using spiritual concentrations use up periods, which advanced the chapters of the game. There's 8 chapters in the game, and a set determined amount of periods you can spend until the next chapter. Each chapters introduce new dungeons and new Einherjars to recruit. Every chapter, your goal is to send an Einherjar with the required talents he/she needs to Odin. This is necessary to advance the story, and to acquire material points.

Unlike other RPGs, shops are differently used in Valkyrie Profile. The Divine Item option on the menu is pretty much where you buy your provisions, armor, weapons and accessories. This option can be accessed on the world map, or on save points. The material points I mentioned earlier are used to buy stuff. You can obtain material points from sacred phases that happen after each chapter, or by converting MP from your items. Converting MP removes your item, but gives you Material points on how valuable the item was. This simple way of purchasing and selling(converting MP) works wonders for Valkyrie Profile.

Now, as for the dungeons, they are challenging and fun at the same time. Thankfully, they aren't dull or plain compared to straight-forward caves or mazes. Each dungeon has it's own style and way of paths. For example, you could be in a castle owned by an Undead king, or traversing through a long forgotten kingdom. Each dungeon has it's own boss and their small purpose. There are virtually no random battles in Valkyrie Profile. Unlike random battles, you can trigger battles by slashing at the enemy, or by simply touching them. Battles are executed with it's own style of gameplay. After triggering a battle, you and your Einherjars are mapped to each buttons. The triangle, square, circle and the X button. These buttons are used to make them attack the enemy and racking up combos. To put this out of the way, the Circle button is mainly for rear attackers and mages. The three other buttons are your main combat users. Pressing the buttons, your characters attack according to your timing. Whether it's slashing them up, then going from behind and stabbing them to get another attack in from the front, it's a fun experience to behold.

Since I didn't explain the combat so well, I'll explain something beforehand. Weapons solely determine how many attacks you can do. Whether it's a very strong one, with only one attack, or one with medium attack power, but with three attacks. Whatever the case is, once you equip a weapon with three attacks, you can switch around the order of your attacks. For example, instead of slashing up, you can slide, slash, and then attack up. Switching your Einherjar's attacks and using them to the fullest racks up combos and the overdrive gauge. Once you fill out the overdrive gauge, you can unleash special attacks against the enemy to finish them off if they survived your attacks. Each characters have their own special attacks, and the amount of hits/dmg they can do. One character can transform into a dragon, while another one can follow up with an onslaught of arrow strikes. Although a fast forward option would've been neat, it's still a sight to behold.

Bare with me here once more, but I must mention one more thing. Traversing through the dungeons, you can jump, or shoot out ice crystals. By shooting a dust of ice at your enemy, you can freeze them for a short amount of time. You can also shoot a dust of ice on the ground, or on a wall. This is used to create crystals so that you can reach higher areas. Each dust of ice increases the size of the crystal, but breaks immediately on the third time. This creates a speck of magical dust soon after, and you can hover in the air on it for a very short amount of time. In some dungeons, you have to use the ice crystal ability to advance further, or else you can't. For example, in one dungeon, a stretch of purple slime blocks your way. To clear it out of the way, you'll have to align your crystals to the spot where an ice beam will strike at. When the ice of beam touches the crystal, it reflects to a different angle, which would freeze the purple slime. After that, you can strike the frozen obstacle to advance.

Sound/Music - [8/10]
The soundtrack is definitely one of the composer's best works. Ranging from ubeat music, to a melody of symphonic rythms, it's all here. The voice acting however, is mediocre at best. Don't expect too much out of the voice acting, but the accompanying music will rock your world.

Graphics - [8/10]
Valkyrie Profile features beautiful 2-D graphics and sprite. Each sprite is detailed fully well, and is animated with superb details. The newly added CG cutscenes are definitely a worthy addition to a port, and is done very well. The environments, the dungeon designs, everything captures the atmosphere of Norse Mythology, and it's time period the game is set in. However, the portraitt arts are kind of distasteful for me, but not too bothersome. Overall, the graphics are great!

Final Word -
Tri-Ace is a Love or hate company, and if your a fan of them, then you should definitely try this game out. If you have no idea who they are, then this game is a good starting point to judge Tri-Ace. Overall, Valkyrie Profile is a very well done RPG with minor flaws.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/17/09

Game Release: Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (US, 07/18/06)

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