Beam Sword Attack!?!
Valhalla Knights 2 is the first game in the joint venture between XSEED Games and Marvelous Entertainment. During RPGamer's Run to the Sun, we were able to get our hands on this brand new title yet to even be released in Japan. The game starts off with a grand cinematic showdown between the Goddess sent to destroy mankind and the one witch on the planet with the power to even attempt to go against her. Even though the witch is able to stop the Goddess, she is merely delayed, not defeated.
After this glorious PSP intro, we were greeted with the current timeline in which players must venture throughout the world stopping legions of the Goddess's followers. Valhalla Knights 2 takes a more grand picture approach to storytelling rather than a character-based one. Assisting in the storytelling is Miwa Shoda, co-scenario writer of Final Fantasy XII. Players will take their party on a fast-paced adventure to seek out the remains of the Goddess and destroy her before she can regain her power.
At the character creation screen, we decided to create a powerful female adventurer. We were given the option of half a dozen playable races including: Humans, the jack-of-all-trades race; Elves, the extraordinary mages; Dwarves, the powerhouse melee race; Halflings, the agile and nimble wee folk; and Akatoki, a hand-to-hand combat master. Two race unavailable at the start are the gun wielding Machines and the cute Canines. Canines are not available for the initial character creation as they are not a controlable race, but make handy and loyal allies in combat. We chose to go with an Akatoki female, and she looked quite menacing. Next, we had the option of five starting classes. The basic Fighter, Mage, Priest, Thief, and Monk were our available starting options. We opted for a Monk, as it was a good match for our Akatoki brawler. We named our character, aiming for the highest possible naming bonus and started.
A One-Sided Battle
After playing a little bit at the beginning of the game, we were treated to a save file that took us much deeper into the game. The first thing we noticed was an expanded job system. Five advanced jobs were now available: Anchor, a Mage/Priest blend; the Knight, a Fighter with access to Priest spells; Samurai, a two-handed sword user that has a high chance for critical hits; Ninja, a Thief with the ability to use Ninja weapons as well; and the Enchanter, a status effect inducing magic user. Not only were these new jobs available, but we also noted that each of our characters had not only one main job, but two support jobs as well. We took our six character team into battle against some warriors in the local area and quickly dispatched them. Players are only able to control one character at a time, but can easily swap between the leader to take full control over combat. Want to dive headfirst into the fray? Control a Fighter or Akatoki. Rather stay back and make sure everyone lives? Take up the mantle of Priest and heal from the back lines. Strategic positioning and character A.I. is a key factor to this title, and both have been improved over the first title. Players of the original will also be rewarded for having a save file at the beginning of the game.
Valhalla Knights 2 will easily appeal to those hardcore RPGamers that want to customize every last detail of their team. With two subjob options, a half-dozen races, a handful of classes, and a team of six characters, this title offers an amazing variety of combat options. Valhalla Knights 2 is shaping up to be a hardcore, action fest with many improvements over its predecessor. Stay tuned for more details and further impressions as we near its Fall 2008.