Between Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, and even Tactics Ogre, recently Square Enix has been slowly dusting off many of its long-unused IPs. It landed on PC, PS4 and PS5 in the last days of September 2022, Valkyrie Elysium is a standalone spinoff of Valkyrie Profile. and therefore represents not a continuation of the beloved series born on the original PlayStation, but a delightful diversion dedicated to unbridled action (we talked about it in our article). Exclusive to Valkyrie Elysium). After spending nearly twenty hours in the company of the new hero Valkyrie, we are ready to make our final decision on the creature created by the children. baseA young development studio that has been promoting itself since 2018 mainly with Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, ninjala And Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time.
The end of creation is upon us
Set in a world heavily inspired by enchanting Norse mythology, Valkyrie Elysium stars. A young warrior created by the omnipotent Father to fend off the oncoming Ragnarok.
Although Odin has in the past defeated the deadly she-wolf called Fenrir, in a conflict that nearly ends with the mutual annihilation of the two powers on the field, the prophesied end of creation looms around the corner and hence the kingdom of Asgard. occupied by monstrous creatures, and distant echoes of the peoples who once lived there and have now almost completely disappeared. Pouring his remaining strength into the Valkyrie named Mary, who represents the last hope of salvation, the Father of the Gods sends the fearless warrior into the human world so that it can calm the destruction sown by the forces of chaos and prevent the apocalypse. A catastrophic event is seemingly inevitable.
An intriguing opening web at the very least, The story of Valkyrie Elysium turned out to be poor and devoid of bite, due to the script being abandoned.. Apart from the final chapters of the story, which still manage to arouse the player’s curiosity and encourage him to continue, thanks to a series of predictable twists, the dialogue sequences are also unfortunately reduced to the bone due to the absence of NPCs. In fact, as we mentioned in our I tried the Valkyria Elysium demoAsgard is almost deserted and exchanges with supporting actors are rare. In the absence of interlocutors to interact with, world-building is entrusted only to the so-called “ghost flowers”, collections scattered on game maps allow Maria, after collection, to listen to the last thoughts of lost souls.
While the memoirs of mortal experts allow us to discover interesting facts about Asgard, the life they led, and the conditions that led to the complete destruction of the human world, text messages triggered by the rescue of hidden flowers. they struggle to comprehensively and effectively summarize the dying reality entrusted to our id.. As a result, the ghost flower collection turns into an active collateral and mostly points to big players who are always careful to find secrets and collectibles.
Progress doesn’t behave much better if the characterization of the characters and the world they move in is missing: The campaign is actually divided into nine highly linear main missions.resulting in the inevitable boss fight.
Although the stages are huge and sometimes structured on several levels, we would have preferred to deviate more than a few detours and perhaps do more collectibles to save. On the other hand, secondary quests suggested by previously explored maps don’t force you to fully retrace the various stages, as developer Soleil prefers to place them in more closed terrain areas and is characterized by the presence of different enemies. encountered in the main mission. A gimmick designed by the Study, eliminates duplication and minimizes backtracking. We also appreciated Soleil’s decision to add multiple endings, but without forcing the player to complete the campaign multiple times: Valkyrie Elysium offers four different endings with a longevity of only 20 hours, but these can only be achieved with a single ending. the game just repeating the last part and changing some options. A solution that, in our opinion, fits perfectly into the extreme linearity of the product.
Considering that since Valkyrie Elysium’s announcement, Valkyrie Profile’s most stubborn fans have been turning their noses up due to the action shift the game brings, It is almost paradoxical that the combat system is without a doubt the most successful element of the whole package.. As explained several times on these pages, the spin-off packaged by Square Enix and Soleil abandoned the main saga’s variations and instead embraced a crazy gameplay system that reminds us of Drakengard 3 from the very beginning.
Following the orders of the action RPG genre, our hero is agile and light: features that allow him during battles. sprint very fast and switch between normal and light attacks for long and devastating combos. A master of both ground combat and air strikes, Maria has a wide range of attack patterns, as it can vary depending on the weapon used.
Depending on the equipped death tool, the level reached by the object, and especially the mastery achieved in its use, Valkyrie can access a fairly wide range of attacks, which she can instantly switch to by replacing the main weapon with it. secondary.
It is possible to press the appropriate button as the player has the option to add two different weapons such as swords, foils or spears to the equipment at any time during the battle. exchanging them and adopting a strategy aimed at exploiting the weaknesses of competitors to their advantage. Not in vain, every tool of death tends to be more or less effective depending on the opponent or the situations in which it is used (if swords are suitable for small enemies, spears are perfect for armored obstacles or when you are literally surrounded by them, and so on).
As for the weaknesses, though, it should be noted that the monsters that haunt the Asgard kingdom are particularly vulnerable to elemental spells that Maria can use after adding special magical scrolls to the scroll that can be recovered during the adventure. Wanted Divine Arts, dreaded elemental enchantments consume a large chunk of the art bar with each use, and since this is recharged by chaining simple physical combinations, the player is encouraged to measure their use immediately. Also, because hitting opponents with their weak element puts them in a dangerous state of “element destruction”, a temporary situation that leaves them helpless and greatly facilitates their elimination.
To further increase the already outstanding resources of the notorious Maria, Soleil’s developers use it as “Chain of Souls“, a useful tool both in the exploration phases and during combat.
If platforming sequences use spiritual chains to hook hatches, break through cracks, and reach normally inaccessible corners of the map, this can be used in the middle of a battle. Grab an enemy in range and instantly jump on them, to destroy it before it even had time to counterattack. Predictably, Chain of Souls proves effective in the most chaotic situations and in the presence of archers, as it eliminates the need to walk up to enemies that are quite far away, and perhaps the risk of being targeted from all directions. In any case, Valkyrie’s most valuable resource is definitely Einherjarthat is, the spirits he can summon on the battlefield to fight alongside him. By consuming the soul stick, our alt-ego can request the intervention (even simultaneous) of four extra fighters, once on the front lines, attacking with all their might against monsters. Unfortunately it’s not possible to give Einherjar special orders and their stay is so short that they have to leave the field after about a minute, but overall their presence offsets the absence of an actual party.
Also, although Valkyria Elysium might seem like a very accessible title at first, the difficulty level increases as the hours pass, reach the top when the screen is literally occupied by opponents. The situation just sketched where the Einherjar’s intervention can make the difference between victory and defeat. However, it is worth noting that the game has three difficulty levels (Normal, Easy and Hard), but for some strange reason the user can only select it at the beginning of the adventure. As a result, unlike most RPGs, once the difficulty level has been selected, it is not possible to change it except to start a new game.
Holes in armor
Leaving aside the fun component, where the development team’s biggest efforts were drawn, it’s time to take a look at Valkyrie Elysium’s tech sector, which has been looking pretty old since the announcement. That’s not all, as this is clearly a low-budget product the title has its roots in previous generation consolesbut it doesn’t even meet the quality standards.
Compared to those seen in the first gameplay trailers, the yield of the polygonal models has undoubtedly increased, but the same cannot be said for the landscapes, which, among other things, are punished by a choppy and repetitive level design. To this must be added the irritating pop-up effect, which affects vegetated areas and which, given the simplicity of the views, we struggle to justify.
At least on PlayStation 5, Valkyrie Elysium maintains an unlocked framerate at 60 FPS With erratic and barely noticeable drops (compared to the 35-38% of the PS4 version) only at the most exciting moments or when the screen is occupied by three or more Einherjars.
That said, there is nothing to complain about the soundtrack created by former composer Motoi Sakuraba, among others. Star Ocean, tales And DARK SOULS. The well-known Japanese artist has once again prepared accompanied by pleasant and effective music, can also emphasize the tones assumed by the narrative. Regarding the dubbing, if we point to the existence of two tracks (one in English and the other in original Japanese), then at least the lyrics are localized in Italian.
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