You’ll be spending a lot of time relying on enemy drops since that is how you craft a lot of the better items, weapons, and armor. And like I said before you’re at the mercy of a lot of these drops and their percentage rates can be frustratingly low, I spent about a good two hours trying to find enough items to craft accessories to make my party immune to poison. So when you’re playing this game you’re in it for the long haul. The battle system is so much fun that it almost makes up for this, but it just seems like a way to tack on hours to this game when there really wasn’t a need for that. Another way hours get tacked in is through a lot of pointless grinding. Around the third chapter the game goes from moderately difficult to almost ridiculously difficult. Those who are still getting used to the battle system are without a doubt going to find frustration in having to go back and level up for a bit.
There are a few ways to cut in to this time and most of them come in the form of Seal Stones. These things are found in the dungeons and can add stat bonuses to the party when they are carried or they can be placed on pedestals and the effect can spread through the dungeon. For example there is a stone that when you carry it, it will slowly chip away at your party’s health. But if you place it on the pedestal then all the enemies you fight in the area will slowly lose health. The placement of these Seal Stones is paramount to strategies in the dungeons as it’ll allow you to exploit enemy weaknesses by changing the elements of the area. Dungeon exploration is also going to eat a lot of your time, and it involves a lot of puzzle platforming, which is a welcome diversion from your typical dungeon crawling. In Valkyrie Profile you’ve for the ability to freeze enemies and their essence that they leave behind. You can also swap places with said enemies causing for some interesting platform puzzles. I really appreciate that this game always has you thinking and constantly keeps you on your toes. This game has an interesting paradox about it, on one hand it has you doing all this grinding and item hunting but on the other hand the battle system keeps it all from being boring. Though this isn’t going to be true for the typical user it has without a doubt affected the rating you will see below.
The story of this game managed to be incredibly strong and yet incredibly weak at the same time. There is a core party that you’ll be working with and they are all playing major parts in this story. You’ve got the princess of Dipan, Alicia, she’s not your typical human of Midgard, rather, she’s also got the soul of Silmeria residing in her. She is a Valkyrie under the service of Odin yet she’s willing to defy him. Reasons and allies will be discovered as you play through, though the allies are kind of the weak link here. You find members of your party by locating items throughout the world that contain their souls, and using Silmeria’s powers you can bring them back from the dead. The only problem with all of this is that it doesn’t really explore them as a character. In the first Valkyrie Profile game you were treated a bit of a cut scene showing the potential party member’s moments before their deaths and what they were trying to accomplish.
After spending a great deal with Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria I’m a little bit torn on how I feel about this title. This game excels on a technical level and I find the battle system to be a lot of fun. The game isn’t at all short but that’s because of all of the nonsense grinding and item searching. The main story is really interesting, but the background characters just seem to be filler. The difficulty is through the roof at times and then surprisingly easy at others. So I really don’t know what to say about this game other than this. I had a lot of fun playing this game, and I’m pleased with the time I spent playing it. Results may vary for everyone else, but you’ve got to check out this game, especially before that juggernaut Final Fantasy XII hits. I only wish I could give it a higher score, especially since I loved it so much.
Despite a few flaws (difficulty and character development), Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria is a ton of fun.
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