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Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
Developer: tri-Ace
Publisher: Square Enix
JP Release: 02.19.2009
NA Release: Not Yet Confirmed for NA

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While many RPGs create their own mythology or pick and choose from various cultures, Valkyrie Profile is one of a few that exclusively draws on Norse tradition for its plot elements. The series takes an interesting turn with Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume on the Nintendo DS as a tactical RPG.

"If you are a Valkyrie Profile fan and a TRPG fan, then this game is perfect for you..."

According to some Square Enix staff, this game is actually a prequel to the original Valkyrie Profile, and centers on the protagonist Wylfred and his adventures as an Einherjar, or servant of the gods. Most of the demo involved a combat sequence, which at first appearance plays out like a normal tactical RPG with an isometric view. The game veers from this formula a little when characters attack and defend. After battle is engaged, both attacker and defender appear in a new screen where the attacks are executed, and many elements from Valkyrie Profile's previous combat system are usable here, such as hit combos and the Soul Crush. If other friendly characters are adjacent to the enemy, they can join to perform combo attacks, which are used to great effect.

While this sounds great in practice, the process of switching between the normal battle field and attack screen takes some time, and there is no option to skip the sequence of some of the attacks. Where the game makes up for this flaw is in its voice acting and general story, as the premise sounds interesting and the voice acting is first rate, even with the capabilities of the DS. Graphics are alright, but it is by no means the finest the DS has seen.

Conclusion? This is a good game, but not without its flaws. If you are a Valkyrie Profile fan and a TRPG fan, then this game is perfect for you, but there are some flaws with the execution of the combat system that might give RPGamers some pause. Still, it's worth a look.

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