Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria Review

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There comes a time where the excitement and wonder of playing videogames begins to waver. As we experience more and more games, our tastes become more refined as do our expectations. It is very rare that a game manages to truly live up to the expectations of a seasoned gamer and when it does, you know you have picked up a true gem of a game. That’s where Valkyrie Profile 2 comes in.

Nostalgia is often the driving force when it comes to deciding on a player’s best experiences. We all look back at the good times… and the bad but it all translates to good in the end because they were an experience. My childhood was spent playing games such as Pokemon, Final Fantasy and Super Smash Bros Melee, looking back my childhood was pretty shallow compared to what I experienced in my later years. Even though I am merely at the age of 23, Valkyrie Profile 2 wasn’t a childhood game, I played it in my late teens. I had already played countless other games beforehand and I was beginning to grow tired of modern gaming.

So I made the decision to go back to the good old days and play some of the games I missed out on in my youth. In doing so I realized that there was more to my distaste of modern gaming than nostalgia, there is something missing in gaming today. I realized that I missed out on so many gems that went under the radar, some were better than others but I soon realized that I had missed out on so many amazing games that I wish I had experienced as a child. Then I found it, A game that went above and beyond my expectations. A game so breathtaking that it put all of my childhood games to shame. Little did I know that it would forever be engraved on my very soul. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria currently stands as my favorite game of all time and it’s my job to explain to you why I find it to be the greatest game ever made… man this is going to be one hell of a challenge to review.

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Unlike the first Valkyrie Profile which was a cult hit, Valkyrie Profile 2 was shadowed by its predecessor in every single possible way and was considered a “massive disappointment” by many fans of the first game. Needless to say, the game’s sales bombed and as a result, the game was quickly forgotten about. To this day I struggle to understand why this game was so poorly received by fans and why some people continue to nitpick it to this day. Seriously just picking out flaws in this game alone is like finding a needle in a haystack. Sure the game does have a few flaws here and there but I don’t consider these flaws to be as detrimental as people make them out to be.

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So what did the game do to make people dislike it? Well for starters, Valkyrie Profile was a very good game… I say that loosely considering the fact that it was a hugely flawed game, an acquired taste you could say but the flaws in that game stuck out like a sore thumb. Nevertheless, Valkyrie Profile managed to gain a cult following who appreciated the games design choices for its originality and also appreciating the emotional impacts and deep undertones that made the game feel unlike any other.

Valkyrie Profile was unique and to see it become a traditional JRPG was ludicrous. People refused to accept that an 18-year-old midget princess with social issues replaced the almost stereotypical stoic goddess that was Lenneth but if you look back at Lenneth, as cool as she was, her stoic disposition really took a toll on her character as a whole and her development arc was blatantly forced. I just think the game was rushed by the end… but then again even Valkyrie Profile 2 suffered a similar fate by the end though looking back, I found that Valkyrie Profile 2’s story as a whole was better structured and was better executed than its predecessor.

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At first sight, it’s understandable how someone can detest the idea of Alicia being the main character. She appears to be a stereotypical bimbo at the start of the game which is ironic considering the fact that I found that her alter ego, Silmeria fit that category far better in the long run. Over time however, I did start appreciating Alicia as the main lead as I came to understand the developer’s reasoning behind her character taking center stage. It was all about perspective and that’s what led to the biggest change Valkyrie Profile 2 made, the fact that it followed a more generic narrative structure but despite popular belief, this change was completely vital.

Lets face it, Valkyrie Profile was an unpolished masterpiece. Horribly unpolished might I add. Had the developers put more TLC into the game’s execution, it could have become the masterpiece that was Valkyrie Profile 2 but it was held back by some questionable design choices. Despite this it still managed to be a cult hit. Valkyrie Profile 2 didn’t do so well in comparison. People who hadn’t played Valkyrie Profile avoided it and people who played and loved Valkyrie Profile also avoided it. In other words, Valkyrie Profile 2 was to be an inevitable flop that very few were ever going to play or even talk about. Basically Valkyrie Profile 2 is the most under-appreciated video game ever made.

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Now as someone who disliked the direction the first Valkyrie Profile took, I played a few more tri-Ace games and realized that they were by the same people who did Valkyrie Profile. So surely I should give the series another chance and I picked up Valkyrie Profile 2 on a whim. It could have been another horrible experience but I had a small glimmer of hope that they changed it and thank god they did.

 

“Valkyrie Profile 2 is the most under-appreciated video game ever made”

 

Valkyrie Profile 2 removed the convoluted open-ended story line progression along with its horrendous period system which punished players for exploring the world and replaced it with the old school narrative structure we all know and love. Vanilla storytelling has never been so bliss and to be honest, it was quite refreshing seeing the Valkyrie Profile series’ story line told with a more conventional form of progression as you got to actually experience the story line directly as opposed to just watching some random scene which holds no relevance to the plot whatsoever only to be thrown into the next dungeon, rinse and repeat. The developers clearly recognized just how hollow, convoluted and repetitive the open-ended progression was and while their decision to remove it completely might have sounded a bit extreme to some, I personally think that the decision was plausible.

Valkyrie Profile 2’s traditional approach may not have been perfect though. Early on in the game, you are presented with quite possibly the worst macguffin trope ever conceived to man and I honestly don’t mind macguffin tropes so long as they don’t take up too much time and aren’t too predictable. It’s easy to just sit there and say “this game is boring, give me a better plot” but as bad as it was, it didn’t seem to hinder the game’s pacing half as much as Valkyrie Profile’s entire story line and strangely enough, it really didn’t impede on the overall experience. In fact I believe the slow pacing was actually needed. Why? Because it allowed you to take everything in.

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That’s right, Valkyrie Profile 2 is the best looking game on the PS2, still holding up today as one of the most aesthetically appealing games ever created. The visuals are crisp and are loaded with glittering particle effects to add that extra sparkle. It’s easy to tell that a considerable amount of effort was put into the game as there are a lot of minute details that are easily missed the first time round.

Valkyrie Profile 2’s visual style illustrates a sophisticated tone which is neither bright and uplifting nor is it dark and gloomy. Valkyrie Profile 2 treads the middle ground between the two, illustrating a world where prosperity is relatively prominent yet tensions are rising and war could break out at any moment, thus foreshadowing the events that occur in the first game and Covenant Of The Plume.

So to put it simply, the visuals are a step beyond sublimity but the game’s incredible soundtrack just happens to be even better. The two go hand in hand to provide the player with one of the greatest gaming experiences you could possibly imagine.

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Valkyrie Profile 2 is a work of art in motion and not just visually but musically as well. If you can appreciate music and visuals, then this might possibly be your dream game and I damn well love some good music and visuals as I find that when done right they bring out the personality of the game better than any form of narrative.

I could listen to the entire soundtrack from beginning to end and never encounter a single track that doesn’t maximize its potential. Valkyrie Profile 2’s soundtrack is consistently magnificent from beginning to end, that’s not to say that there aren’t certain tracks that soar above others, rather the music never becomes bland or tiresome.

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Listening to the music in Valkyrie Profile 2 is like a drug, I just cannot get enough of it. Captivating is probably the most fitting word to describe Valkyrie Profile 2’s soundtrack. Heck I’ve spent more time listening to the game’s soundtrack than I have actually playing the game. I sometimes even listen to them whilst playing other games, particularly open world RPGs where they are surprisingly fitting.

 

 “Valkyrie Profile 2 is a work of art in motion”

 

It is implied that many of the locations you visit in Valkyrie Profile 2 are strongly connected with the series’ lore and whilst I cannot discredit the visual department for doing its bit, the music does its part in expressing the significance of each location extremely well by establishing an awe-inspiring ambiance of wonder as players traverse through them. As such it is recommended to experience the music in-game in order for them to truly appreciate the game’s artistic value and its lore.

In addition, Valkyrie Profile 2’s soundtrack is so incredible that it manages to illustrate the story better than the actual dialogue. What I mean by this is that the tone of each track paints a pretty clear picture for each and every moment that occurs in the story. Now Valkyrie Profile 2 isn’t the only game to do this, nor is it the only game to do this well but Valkyrie Profile 2 arguably does this better than any other game. This is due to the consistency of the game’s soundtrack. Many of the game’s tracks are brimming with emotion, allowing players to become attached to the story quickly in order for them to be emotionally prepared for each moment the story throws at them.

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What differentiates Valkyrie Profile 2 from every other game is that important cut-scenes are not the only areas that receive this treatment, the towns, fields and dungeons each play their part in building the player’s emotional connection to the game which establishes a strong build up of emotion which carries the story forward. Despite this there are very few sections of the game in which the emotional build up cascades but when it does, it feels more impactful as a result.

A recurring theme surrounding Valkyrie Profile 2 is history. The game takes place many years before the events of Valkyrie Profile and puts you in the perspective of a Valkyrie who can read the psychic energy of objects allowing her to read into the past. Valkyrie Profile 2 tends to feel very barren and empty at times. This is intentional as the game tries to divert the player’s attention away from what is going on in the present, focusing on the events on the past in order for the player to see the world for what it really is. The problem is that many of these events are never explained thoroughly and players are required to piece things together for themselves in order to paint their own picture of the world.

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Silmeria’s object reading opens up a whole new dimension within the game’s storytelling.

This is where einherjar come into play. You can collect einherjar by interacting with weapons littered around dungeons and they will fight for you, essentially giving you another character to control in battle. Each character comes with a bio which can only be read in the status screen, some characters relate to one another, it’s funny when you learn that one of the first einherjar you get is one of Alicia’s ancestors. Now this is one of the game’s biggest controversies and what gives the game so much hate. The first game practically revolved around einherjar which are basically warriors risen from the dead to fight for Odin.

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In Valkyrie Profile, you can view the death scenes of each character during intervals. This is where the game’s abstraction is rooted, a series of short stories involving character deaths who will eventually become a member of your party and from that point on, you never see or hear from them again, except in battle or the sacred phase (which shows brief conversations between characters that aren’t really all that big of a deal and to view them, those characters have to be removed from your party). So essentially Valkyrie Profile had absolutely no character interaction outside the sacred phase and at a certain point you are expected to believe that they have grown attached to her which is total bullshit if you ask me.

Now the second game replaced them with a brief bio and people hated this despite the fact that the einherjar in Valkyrie Profile 2 took a backseat role in the main story. On the plus side, Valkyrie Profile 2’s main story actually has a bit of character interaction. Though the main cast may not be as interesting as other games in the genre, there’s still some character development to be found here. I do believe the cutscenes do a good enough job, at least enough to motivate the player. People who expect strong character arcs may not find it in Valkyrie Profile 2 (or any JRPG for that matter, go play Warcraft 3 if you want serious storytelling) but it doesn’t make the game any less enjoyable. If you prioritize gameplay and just about everything else over story, then you will likely adore Valkyrie Profile 2.

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Then again, there is a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the einherjar backstories in Valkyrie Profile 2, it’s just a different kind of approach which requires more reading than watching. If you take the time to read all of the character bio’s in the game, you will find out about a lot of events which occurred many years before Valkyrie Profile 2. I strongly recommend reading all of these einherjar biographies as they are the key to solving the puzzle that is understanding the world of Midgard. As you are essentially playing from the perspective of Silmeria, you are technically experiencing two stories, Alicia’s story (or as I like to call the “main story”) and the stories of the many souls within Silmeria, giving you an insight into many events that occurred in the past.

Some of the einherjar are connected and will occasionally share a battle quote with each other relating to their backstory which symbolizes that the einherjar, though backseat characters are actually part of the game’s lore. I personally believe that the attention to detail makes up for the lack of more concrete einherjar stories and I also find that a more abstract presentation of the einherjar’s backstories befits this game better as more concrete scenarios would be too distracting for the player when you consider the game is clearly trying to be a work of art in motion. As such, I’d argue that the developers didn’t rush this design choice.

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Somebody mentioned in an article that Valkyrie Profile 2 tells a better story in its world and setting than it does in its narrative. This is 100% the truth. The story in Valkyrie Profile 2 isn’t bad by any means but as I have mentioned before, the narrative doesn’t even compare to the likes of games such as Grandia 2 as it is somewhat flawed at certain points. This is because narrative is not the focus of Valkyrie Profile 2 whereas the first Valkyrie Profile had quite a lot of narrative, some more trivial than others but there was plenty of it nonetheless.

Valkyrie Profile 2 decides that rather than telling you the story it wants the player to explore its world and uncover the story for themselves. Sadly, most players aren’t patient enough to do this and as such, I find that the story of Valkyrie Profile 2 was horribly misunderstood. Nevertheless, as I mentioned before, the music of Valkyrie Profile 2 creates a solid ambiance that will pull you into its world should you allow it to and that alone is enough to keep player emotionally connected.

Rather than simply plundering people's hoses for Loot, Valkyrie Profile 2 often has readable books where you can learn some of the lore.

Rather than simply plundering people’s houses for Loot, Valkyrie Profile 2 often has readable books where you can learn some of the lore.

As for the gameplay. It doesn’t disappoint. Much like the first game, it is a side-scrolling RPG which is probably one of the biggest reasons why it was overlooked. In any case, side-scrolling is part of the series’ identity and as such it’s a good thing that the developers didn’t change this. In any case, the visuals more than make up for the fact that you can only move left or right.

As with most side scrolling games, Valkyrie Profile 2 experiments with platforming with the use of photons. For the most part, the game’s platforming sections are pretty simplistic and the game tends to focus on thinking rather than reflexes.

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Photons can be used to crystallize enemies to immobilize them, however if you shoot a photon at a crystallized enemy, you will swap places with it. This mechanic is the most common element of the game’s platforming as it revolves around swapping places with enemies to reach certain areas.

If anything, the side scrolling sections are less about platforming and more about puzzle solving. I often joke about how Valkyrie Profile 2 experimented with the portal gun idea before Valve did with their release of Portal as it is essentially the same idea with photons except it uses enemies instead of walls. Overall, the platforming sections are a cool distraction, but the real meat of the game play is in the battles.

Valkyrie Profile 2 keeps the same style of combat as the first game but expands on it greatly. In battle, you are actually able to roam around a 3D battlefield… oh the irony. This opens up a completely new approach to battles and applies more flexibility and depth to them as a whole. The combat uses synchronized time, meaning that whenever the player moves around, so does the enemy. Each enemy has an attack area and if a character moves into it when it is flashing, the enemy will perform their attack. This adds an element of strategy that was missing in the first game, giving the game an extra layer of challenge.

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Much like the first game however, characters are set to face buttons and they represent your choice of attacks. What I mean by this is that rather than just giving you a set of special attacks for each character, picking one and letting the computer play the rest, Valkyrie Profile 1 and 2 has you playing as all the characters simultaneously. Each character represents a certain move set which can be customized at will, at least in Valkyrie Profile 2 as the first Valkyrie Profile limits each character to a single attack string of three attacks. This is where Valkyrie Profile 2 succeeds where other ARPGs fail, the ability to be in control of everything on-screen at all times. So if you make a mistake it’s your fault.

Valkyrie Profile 2’s battle system is unlike any other JRPG and can take a while to get used to. It can also feel quite repetitive at the start but once the training wheels are off and you obtain more characters, the real action starts. Honestly when I replayed the game and just had Alicia and Rufus I felt like the game removed so much. That’s because the combat improves over time but eases you into the basics and you better appreciate that as the game is very deep. Sadly it can put a lot of newcomers off, particularly impatient ones who judge the game at first sight.

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A lot of people say that this game is really hard. I honestly had no trouble playing through this game. It’s a very deep game and you really need to pay attention to the tutorials, get the right skills and understand seal stones as this game requires a lot of preparation. Valkyrie Profile 2’s game play is all about thinking outside the box. Whilst there is some strategy involved during game play, it matters little if your characters are under equipped, you’re going to get a spanking if you’re not prepared.

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Then again, if you do come prepared, you might find the game to be way too easy. This is because Valkyrie Profile 2 is so easily broken, it’s ridiculous. It’s all about knowing how the game works and if you want to play the game the normal way, the difficulty might be tough. However if you’re into power leveling and gearing then this game can seem be a bit too rewarding.

 

“This is where Valkyrie Profile 2 succeeds where other ARPG’s fail, the ability to be in control of everything on-screen at all times. So if you make a mistake it’s your fault”

 

There are a lot of ways to play this game and it can seem a little daunting at first but experimentation is key. Valkyrie Profile 2 is all about finding the best play style for you and maximizing it to its full potential, though it is encouraged to switch on the fly. For this reason, gaining experience matters little in comparison with equipment and skills.

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Each character has their own set of attacks and they learn more of them as they level up. Considering the fact that Valkyrie Profile is not a Tales/Star Ocean game, the move selection in battle is limited (and linear) for each character simply due to the fact that you are controlling everyone in the party (though you can learn the scramble attack skill to mix things up). You’re not picking out moves, you’re picking out characters and developing moves from the characters you like in order to enhance them, you can then change-up their moves later after you’ve developed them, either that or swap them out for a new character and equip that character with the armaments from the other character to make them just as powerful.

Utilizing all of your character’s skills and abilities is the name of the game here. Most battles revolve around timing your attacks in order to acquire bonus experience via magic crystals as well as increasing your AP reserves via gems which lets you use more attacks. Whereas some characters are best at dealing direct damage, others are better at generating extra hits which can not only help gain more gems and experience crystals but it can also generate more heat allowing you to perform soul crushes which are a signature move each character has which can be chained with other soul crushes to deal a tremendous amount of damage towards the enemy. In addition, the higher your hit count, the higher the damage you deal.

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Characters learn skills through battling, the amount of battles required depends on the character’s level. So it’s important to learn new skills as early as possible.

It’s also important to note that each battle has a timer on the right hand side of the screen. As you perform actions, the timer slowly begins to run out. Many of the game’s battles have you fighting against multiple enemies, those that do tend to have leaders. Leaders are essentially stronger versions of the standard enemies and the only way to finish a battle is to defeat them. However, once you have defeated the leader, the battle ends even if you haven’t defeated any of the other enemies. This helps speed things up a little and encourages you to finish the fight in the shortest time possible in order to perform a direct assault which rewards you with bonus experience crystals and occasionally an extra item.

That’s not all, enemies can also lose body parts when they attack in a Monster Hunter esque fashion in the sense that breaking off enemy body parts often rewards you with loot such as accessories which you can use to learn skills and improve stats. Additionally, breaking off certain body parts changes the behavior of the enemy, if you break off their weapon for example, their range will be limited.

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Shopping in Valkyrie Profile 2 is like Monster hunter. Basic armaments can be bought with cash, more powerful items need additional materials to be created. You do however get a return on your materials simply by trading them for OTH.

The biggest reward for breaking however is break mode. Break Mode allows the player to attack freely without expending AP so you can button mash to your heart’s content. The official strategy guide mentions that break mode occurs randomly and the rate that is occurs accumulates by 5% per break for each character and the occurrence rate starts at 70%. The fact that the game actually keeps track of how often the player breaks off enemy body parts really goes to show just how astonishing the attention to detail is in this game.

Allow Lezard Valeth to demonstrate the many benefits of breaking

It is often important to experiment with different attacks in order to hit a certain body part and acquire certain items early on in the game so that you can learn skills as quickly as possible. Bear in mind that in order to learn skills, you cannot simply equip an accessory. Most of the game’s equipment comes with its own colored rune and each skill requires a specific color and rune combination to trigger its learning process. This means combining different types of equipment and keeping them equipped until a skill is learned. Talk about needlessly complicating things.

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Magic is visually spectacular, however many of the enemies have high resistances making mages fall short of other characters in the damage department. Possibly an oversight by the developers.

Visually, the combat is a spectacle. The animations are exceptionally detailed and encourage a steady flow of combat. Like I mentioned previously, timing your attacks is important and can be very rewarding. However if you miss an attack, it could prove to be detrimental, so it’s important to stay focused on the action. Thankfully the gameplay never becomes too hectic and can even be somewhat relaxing due to its steady pacing. The soul crushes are also a treat for the eyes and can be extremely satisfying to pull off. All in all, Valkyrie Profile 2’s combat is not only intricate in its mechanics but also in spectacle. If you enjoy experimentation and don’t mind a bit of complexity with a few balancing issues here and there, then you’re going to adore Valkyrie Profile 2’s combat.

Valkyrie Profile 2 offers a variety of features which enhance the possibilities in combat. Once an einherjar reaches a certain level, you are able to release them, permanently removing them from the party in exchange for stat boosting items and upon doing so, they become NPC’s who blend in with the world. By talking to them, they might even give you a free item depending on when you released them. In addition to this, Valkyrie Profile 2 adds a new feature known as sealstones. Sealstones are powerful tools you can use whilst traversing through dungeons to empower or weaken the holder.

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Sealstones can be purchased with Magic Crystals which are rewarded for hitting enemies in a mid air combo in battle. Allowing you to keep them permanently.

By holding a sealstone, the effects of said sealstone are bestowed upon the entire party. As such you may find some sealstones to be detrimental in battle. However if you place it on a dais within the dungeon, all the enemies in the area will be under the effects of the sealstone. Sealstones have multiple uses, you can use them to assist you and you can even use them to deliberately handicap yourself for challenge runs, if that’s what you’re into.

Furthermore, the game has up to 50 difficulty levels which can only unlocked with each play through (complete the game on 1 difficulty, unlock the next difficulty etc). Each difficulty multiplies the enemies stats depending on the difficulty making this game quite possibly one of the most challenging rpgs out there. If you are a perfectionist you will spend a long time on this game.

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Valkyrie profile 2 also has a bonus dungeon that not only deliberately butchers the game’s storyline (typical tri-Ace trend) but also provides a real challenge for the dedicated players. The bonus dungeon has 5 floors each packed full of mini-bosses and tough super-bosses and lots of loot. Much of the side content takes place here and the developers worked hard despite having limited resources to make it a somewhat interesting bonus dungeon compared to the conventional bonus dungeons many rpgs implement which tend to be rushed, dry and tedious.

Valkyrie profile 2 carries on the trademark super-bosses of the tri-Ace games as well as adding its own, allowing players to recruit otherwise inaccessible characters in the main story. Sadly most of these characters have already been playable beforehand so you won’t find many surprises here except maybe for one but you’ll have to wait and see.

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One word that defines the experience of Valkyrie Profile 2 overall is sophistication. I find that this is the core of every single aspect that makes Valkyrie Profile 2 such a memorable experience. Not only does its mythological setting carry a lot of sophistication within itself but just about everything from the short yet somewhat intriguing story, the unbelievably sublime soundtrack, the crisp yet somewhat achromatic visual style and even the pacing of battles feels sophisticated as the game encourages carefully timed button presses as opposed to reckless button mashing.

In fact, this game is so sophisticated that it can be difficult to believe that it is a tri-Ace game at times, considering the fact that many of their games tend to be caricatures. For this reason, I find that Valkyrie Profile as a series stands as tri-Ace’s true claim to fame personally because as enjoyable as the Star Ocean games are, they don’t manage to capture half the depth the Valkyrie Profile games do and each installment seems to follow the same formula… just with a different method of conveying that formula. Don’t get me wrong, the Star Ocean series is still a lot of fun to play, it’s just that Valkyrie Profile 2’s sophisticated tone expects players to take the game more seriously.

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It is this sophisticated tone that makes the Valkyrie Profile series so alluring to begin with but the first Valkyrie Profile, despite it’s plot and setting, didn’t manage to capture as much sophistication as the sequel. For starters, I found that Valkyrie Profile’s ridiculously flamboyant voice acting felt cheesy and unrefined. In addition, as much as I enjoyed the catchy dungeon music, I felt that it clashed poorly with the game’s tone which came across as vulgar at times. Valkyrie Profile also delivers much of its narrative through exposition, which despite being presented and performed very well, fell flat on its face in the end due to the fact that they shoved way too much of it down the player’s throat to the point that it could get pretty overwhelming at times, making it difficult to keep up with the game’s story.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that Valkyrie Profile was undoubtedly sophisticated to a degree and I cannot deny that I enjoyed its flamboyant nature despite the fact that it conflicts with the game’s sophisticated tone. My point is that Valkyrie Profile 2 absolutely nails the sophisticated feeling that they were trying to convey in the first game. Sure there are still a few catchy, dynamic tracks here and there but they do not feel misplaced. There’s also a bit of expository dialogue here and there but it doesn’t weigh you down as much as it did in the first game. It’s the subtle delivery of the game’s lore that makes Valkyrie Profile 2 that much more sophisticated than the first game as it doesn’t shove any needless information in the player’s face, yet it gives players the opportunity to seek it out should they wish.

 

“One word that defines the experience of Valkyrie Profile 2 overall is sophistication”

 

You see, the beauty of Valkyrie Profile 2 being a sequel is that the first Valkyrie Profile already explained so much that they had a lot of room to experiment with other means of world building. I think the developers simply saw an opportunity to try something new and ran with it, expecting players to appreciate it better than they did. Regardless, this doesn’t negatively impact the game in any way and I believe that there is some value to be had in the game’s world building despite the fact that many disregarded it.

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“I know you are there… come out and play”

Ultimately though, the storyline can be enjoyable but it doesn’t satisfy all tastes as while its narrative can be enjoyable to a degree, it can be rather monotonous at times. The characters are a mixed bag as while some are well-developed and likable, others are just along for the ride. This could be quite bothersome for people who expect a balanced cast of well-written characters as Valkyrie Profile 2’s cast leaves much to be desired for the most part, especially since many of the characters are einherjar who have absolutely nothing to do with the main story but even then, the main cast of characters are still a mixed bag though this is partially due to characters returning from the first Valkyrie Profile that do not get any further characterization.

On the plus side, the voice acting is done in a fashion which befits the sophisticated style of the game. Each line is delivered delicately and is heavily emphasized without being too flamboyant. Needless to say however, some are the game’s dialogue is hammed up to the max, however it doesn’t come across as cheesy like in the first game. There are a few lip sync issues here and there along with a few other oddities in the cutscenes but they are barely noticeable most of the time and when it is, the voice performances more than make up for it. Those that aren’t concerned with the flaws in the game’s story who can appreciate the direction of the narrative will have a good time, whereas those who are dissatisfied with the main story and are unable to appreciate the game’s subtle narrative backdrop may find the story quite boring, which is understandable.

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Put simply, Valkyrie Profile 2 is the opposite of Warcraft 3, the story is serviceable but the rest is absolutely brilliant. It brings together everything that makes a JRPG experience so enjoyable. With its subtle storytelling and its sophisticated tone, Valkyrie Profile 2 greatly differentiates itself from other JRPGs, for better or for worse. Put simply, Valkyrie Profile 2 is the videogame equivalent of fine dining. It’s taste may be too rich for some and may not fill the gap for others, however I do believe that there is an audience for this game as it offers a lot of attractive qualities, setting itself apart from other games in the genre. I would recommend Valkyrie Profile 2 to anyone who is looking for a JRPG that offers something different.

Valkyrie Profile 2 may not become one of your favorite games of all time but it will certainly leave a lasting effect on you should you manage to finish it. Therefore, Valkyrie Profile 2 shall the first game to receive my gold star of awesome as it is a game that went above and beyond my expectations, so much so that I believe it deserves extra recognition, a symbol that represents just how phenomenal this game is. Reviewing a game like this is quite daunting, after all, a game as classy as this deserves a review of equal standards and though that feat is a tough one to meet, It won’t stop me from trying.

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Plot/story: Great
Visuals: Masterful
Music: Masterful
Game play: Exceptional
Lifespan: Decent Length
Difficulty: Medium
Worth replaying? Maybe

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Overall score: Masterpiece 

Gold Star Of Awesome

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Value: £40.00+

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2 thoughts on “Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria Review

  1. Pingback: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria Review/Analysis | Cynical Gaming Blog

  2. Pingback: Valkyrie Profile Port Coming In 2018? Seems Likely | Cynical Gaming Blog

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