Valhalla Knights Review
There's good in the world and there's bad in the world. What would Yoda be without Vader? Coke without Pepsi? The Dolphins without the rest of the NFL? Sure, good is nice but it can't really be appreciated unless there is bad to compare it against. This leads me to Valhalla Knights for the PSP. OK, while not as impressive as Yoda drinking a Coke while leading the Dolphins to the Super Bowl it's also not as bad as a Pepsi-sponsored Vader going to the Pro-Bowl. VK, as the kids are calling it, has some nice areas to be sure but just not enough to overcome vast mediocrity.
Valhalla Knights is a action role-playing game that uses amnesia to get the story started. After you have created your character, where you pick one of four classes like a fighter or priest, he or she wakes up not knowing anything about themselves in an inn. Guess you must have been sleeping for a long time as there is one pretty upset innkeeper that really want to get paid for what seems to be an extended stay on your part. Getting your tab paid is just one of many quests you need to finish in the game. Big hint here, when you go to recruit your first team member please make it a priest, otherwise you really aren't going to make it far. The story unfolds in a predictable way as you learn about about a powerful “Dark Lord” that turned your beautiful and peaceful land into a playground for evil monsters. Sigh. Oh and you should read the instruction manual if you're interested in finding out what's going on. For some reason the game itself doesn't want you to know and you need to manual to find out much of the past.
You will be spending a lot of time dungeon crawling fighting monsters that are generally more powerful than you. It's not an easy game to be sure. You will more often than not go deep into the dungeon, spend 15 minutes getting to boss and then end up doing it all over again because you died. Leveling up is too difficult, or more accurately, it takes a while to level up because the experience needed between levels is pretty big. The side quest are kind of a pain. I found that I rarely had a clear idea what I was supposed to be doing in the quest. I would do what I thought I was supposed to only to find out that wasn't it at all and I would end up backtracking hoping to stumble across the right thing.
You're not alone on your journey as you can have a team of six characters. However it may take a little while to get all of them because they are very expensive to hire. Success in battle depends on putting your team in the right order with the usual formation of big guys in front and small people in the back. You can switch to any of the characters during a battle and it's not such a bad idea just to make sure no one starts to do anything stupid. The AI isn't bad but you will be better off helping them manage themselves then to let them just do whatever they want.
I thought the graphics were pretty strong. The city was very detailed and in a nice touch the character models look different depending on the weapon and armor they have one. There are bad camera angles that really hurt during battles and poor frame rates that also hurt you in battle.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 59%. Valhalla Knights is almost a good action role playing game for the PSP. Almost.