Well It’s not the worst game I have ever played. Its not one of the best either.

Published by XSEED games, and developed by K2 (Japan) this Wii exclusive is the third title in the Valhalla Knights series. The first two being PSP exclusives.

The Story:

The lands of Eldar have long been known as the origin of chaos, a place where monsters and demons wreak havoc, indiscriminate in their madness. Legend tells of how the Spirit King, whose coming was heralded in by a meteor shower, gained control of the creatures and waged an unrelenting war upon civilization. Order and life were brought to the brink of destruction, but an alliance of the four races was able to drive them back and seal the evil. Centuries more have passed and once again the lands are slowly being overrun by the reemerging monsters. Without a known cause or even a united front to repel them, it would seem that this time, Eldar will fall. It is up to you to take up the forgotten mantle of the hero, reunite the races, confront the hordes of monsters and restore peace to the land.

The story and mechanics are Typical RPG faire. The player character can be customized in 7 categories:

  1. FACE :  Not many differences between default and the others.
  2. Hero (Patriarch)
    Hero (Patriarch)
  3. HAIR:  All the styles make you look like a woman.  This is really not surprising as Japan seems to have a love of Androgynous Men.
    Vaan (FF12)
    Vaan (FF12)

    .

  4. VOICE:  None of these sound any different.  Except Number 3.  Makes you sound like a woman.  (See Vaan)
  5. NAME:  (Default is Arthur)
  6. RACE:  You can play a Human, Elf, Halfling, or Dwarf.  That pretty well rounds out your typical D&D adventure.
  7. JOB:  There are five basic job types (fighter, mage, priest, thief, bard) and several “advanced” jobs to be unlocked later.  Each Job can equip and use certain skills, weapons, and armor.
  8. SET-UP:  This is where you assign different Skills to quick slots, etc…

There are two episodes to choose from in Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga. While ‘Episode 1: Fragment of the Almighty’ directly precedes ‘Episode 2: Standing at the End’ chronologically, the player may choose to begin playing in either episode.  I started with Episode 1, Why play out of order.

First thing you notice upon starting the game is your footsteps.  You will hear a “CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK………….”  with every step you take.  And no you can’t turn it off.  All you can do is turn your TV volume down until it hits a bearable level. Dialogue consists of you Miming while slow text scrolling is used for NPC’s.  Speaking of the NPC’s….the Blacksmith appears to be humping the Air like a dog all the time.  Who programmed that?

Like any RPG you’re a going a questing.  There are two types of quests, Story and Guild.  Story Quests continue the story (shocker there I know), and guild quests that are given out by the local adventurers quild (another shocker,  Ya’ll keeping up…good).  Guild quests are optional but pad the wallet and your gonna need it as equipment is expensive.

Shops give no indication as to whether or not you already own the object you are about to purchase, whether you have it equiped already, or whether the new item will be in any way better than what you have on already.  This gets quite annoying very quickly. Bring a pad and pencil.

Speaking of equipment, One great thing that they do and I wish more games took this route, Your appearance changes based on what our wearing.  Not many games do that.  And Valhalla Knights does a really good job of it.  They definately earned a star or two for that.

Combat takes place on the world map.  No seperate screens, and all enimies are visable.  This can allow some strategy, such as sneaking to either avoid combat or to get a backstab in.  The actual combat controls are simple.  Hit A for a weak attack, hit B for a strong attack.  The visual of your attack and the speed of it depends on factors such as, Single or Dual Weild, Weight of the Weapon(s), and character skills.  Skills are very slow, and steal just seems to be a button you hit in order to stand still and get a beat down from a rabbit.  I wouldn’t reccommend using steal…..ever.   Aiming can a crap shoot so use auto aim at all times.

Mercenaries can be hired but that won’t be for a while because of the lack of funds.   But I reccommend having help when possible as the mercenaries level up as well.  Although this is a double edged sword (good analogy for a RPG right? )  as they do get stronger with levels but they also get more expensive to hire.  If you can’t afford a mercenary you can play with a friend over WiFi.  But finding another person to buy this game will be difficult.

As far as the graphics go, and I am a firm believer that gameplay is more important than graphics.  Visually this game isn’t up to Wii standards (480p).  It’s even low for GameCube quality.  I would make a guess that the coding team either intended it to be a GameCube game or they are just used to making GameCube games.

Overall the game is a big MEH!  Like I said in the first line, It’s not the worst game I have ever played. Its not one of the best either.

Keep It or Trade It?  For me its a keep.  It’s a simple easy game to pass some time.  Easy to pick up and put down at a moments notice. And I’m just a huge RPG fan and a psychotic completionist so I have to try out all the possible customizations, jobs, etc….For most people though it’s a trade.   This is really a $15-$20 game that is currently priced at $40.  If you are interested in trying it out wait for the bargain bin or a used copy.

Graphics:
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Story:
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Gameplay:
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Difficulty:
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
Intangibles:
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

As an aside, since this has nothing to do with the actual game. Here is some evidence that that the FTC really does need to stop Companies from posting as “average” people. Here is a Screen Shot of The Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga page from GameStats.Notice the difference between the Press Score and the Single User review. Interesting to say the least.

Proof of schills giving good reviews.
Proof of schills giving good reviews.

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