Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth

Review

posted 8/9/2006 by Matt Mirkovich
other articles by Matt Mirkovich
One Page Platforms: PSP
Valkyrie Profile has always held a special place in my heart. It took a friend to turn me on to it in the first place, but once he did, I was sold, now and forever. In fact I’ve stated numerous times that if Valkyrie Profile or Suikoden made it to the PSP I would buy one. Sadly those days have arrived and I now own a Sony brand brick. But that’s not to say I don’t enjoy being able to play Valkyrie Profile on the go, in fact it’s great to be able to play this game whenever I get the itch. If you’ve got a PSP and are seeking a quality RPG then look no further. There’s a great story to be told, a fun battle engine, and some new, quality CG scenes and aside from some port issues that we’ll discuss later, this really is a must have in the PSP library.

The Gods of Norse mythology are locked in battle with each other in what is fated to be the end of the world, known as Ragnarok. In order to secure victory, the All-Father Odin has called upon Lenneth, a Valkyrie who is to harvest souls for the Aesir army. It sounds like a lot to swallow, and for the most part it is. This RPG has a roster running with about twenty or so characters. Each of them is on the verge of death and would make a fitting addition to the army of the gods. While a bit much for some characters to grasp you’ll find that all are willing to dedicate their lives to battle. Tri-Ace did a fairly good job of giving the characters a decent story that leads them to their eventual demise. There is also the underlying story of who Lenneth really is and what her role as a Valkyrie means to the gods. Have fun trying to uncover the mystery as that is a good part of the fun.

The graphics of Valkyrie Profile are of a simplistic 2-D nature, with a splash of 3-D thrown in every here and there. Character sprites look less sharp than in the PS1 version of this game, though I would believe that is due to the PSP screen and a poor conversion. This is especially obvious during spots where the camera zooms in on the playing field, which is quite frequently, and it results in very blurry visuals. Thankfully absent are a lot of the frame rate issues that were present in the PS1 release. The inclusion of new CG cut scenes to accentuate the story can really pull you out of the game but they are greatly appreciated. For what it’s worth though this is a nice game to look at. Sound wise, this sounds like a Tri-Ace game, which if you’ve played Star Ocean 2, or even Star Ocean 3 then you’ll know it means synthesized guitar for dungeons and an overall forgettable soundtrack. Also if you’ve played the PS1 version of this game then you’ll remember the voice acting, and not as a high point. The voice acting remains unchanged and is the cast of Pokemon, which recycles a lot of people. One actress has the role of four characters, so don’t be too surprised when you hear people that sound the same.

When out and about training members of the Einherjar (The members to join the Aesir army) the game takes a 2-D approach and will have you running across planes and doing the very general platforming deal along with a few puzzles that are not of much difficulty. While exploring, Lenneth has the ability to freeze enemies to use them as platforms or just to hold them in place while you take on other enemies. Lenneth can also create temporary platforms to serve as a foothold which is an invaluable skill when treasure hunting as it’s the only way to reach some out of the way items.

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