A lot of people haven't played the original Valkyrie Profile. Check around here and you'll easily see it going for more than $100. It's ridiculous to pay that much. Greedy gamers and collectors are like that, and they know some consumers will pay. However, if you're not up for collecting the original copy, you could easily shell out the money for this version. It's basically a port of the original Playstation version with a few tweaks here and there. It beats paying some greedy collector over one-hundred dollars, doesn't it? Valkyrie Profile is a unique RPG experience that if you missed six years ago, now you'll have your chance to play it.
Players of the original often express their love affair with this game and it isn't entirely hard to see why. Our main hero, Lenneth, is a Valkyrie. Lenneth serves Odin, the leader of the Gods. In the world of Asgard, a sacred war has broken out among the Gods. Odin needs brave souls from humans to form an army to fight. It's Lenneth's job to go to the mortal world of Midgard and find the brave souls of humans to send to Odin.
The game spans eight chapters to get you through the game. There is a time limit, however. Everything you do from resting to trumping through dungeons takes time. If you're feeling very brave and gutless, you could rest for all eight chapters and then take on the final boss. Your average gamer, however, doesn't want to do that, and so you just might opt to go and find those souls. You can recruit up to fifteen souls (despite that you probably won't need all fifteen), and only three can enter battle at a time with Lenneth.
As you crawl through dungeons, you'll get the feel of playing some kind of action/adventure game. For one, you'll go through dungeons running around, jumping on platforms and shooting ice-crystals, which can also be used to make platforms. Sometimes it just feels weird but you'll quickly adapt to it. Sometimes crawling through dungeons feels like a pain because some of the controls are so awkward. Each dungeon is also crawling with monsters. Battles are contact-based so if you touch a monster you'll be hurled into battle where you'll control each character with the use of the buttons on your PSP. Each button controls one character. The battle system feels refreshing and original at times. It also calls for a bit more strategy. By timing button presses you can string together combos, and you can also use magic by pressing the select button in battle. You won't use magic often (and pressing the select button to use magic just feels weird), and stringing together combos is usually enough to thwart any opponent.
Experience points are divided among your characters how you see fit. You will, of course find it better to spend them on your current party. Although, you might want to consider spending some experience points on your outside souls because Odin will be wanting strong souls. Not weak ones. Depending on how you do this may also affect the ending of the game. To get the better ending you will have to send Odin strong souls. There are a multitude of endings for you to get as well. Seeing as how on average it'll only take you twenty hours to complete the game, going for the different endings is pretty worthwhile.
The best thing about Valkyrie Profile is the music. Some of the best I've heard in an RPG before. The soundtrack, beautifully conducted, is what makes this game really worthwhile in the end. It always has the right music at the right time.
Valkyrie Profile also has multiple endings and diffculty levels. Your actions make a difference in the ending you get. Even better, some endings and souls can't be obtained unless you're willing to play on different difficulty levels. This brings Valkyrie Profile's replay value way up.
There are a couple of things that keep Valkyrie Profile from being as fantastic as other RPGs. For one, the story, while fantastic, is very slow. A lot of cutscenes are long and spend a lot of time talking and rehashing conversations that have already taken place. Some cutscenes have voice acting. Some voices are really good, sounding just the way you want them to sound. Others sound a little too over-dramatic and over the top at times. Still, for what it's worth the voice acting is perfect.
However, my biggest gripe with the game is how the recruiting system works. I didn't play the originl Playstation version, you see, and the game does a horrible job at explaining how to recruit souls. They do a horrible job at explaining how to organize and manage your party. In other words, the learning curve to this game is pretty steep. You may need some outside help to get you going. By the time you yourself learn the bells and whistles of recruiting, you'll come to see that your team isn't nearly as good as they could be. Luckily though, once you get it down you can really make a power house team. I just wish that they had explained it better.
The game also takes a very long time to load. Several PSP games suffer from this, but Valkyrie Profile suffers a great deal from it. It takes a few seconds to open the menu and to get things going within the menu. For example, the game has to load every time you equip a character, use an item, etc. The load times are horribly long, but they stack up really quickly, especially with how much you're in the menu. To accompany the often annoying load times, you'll also be faced with slowdown at some parts. So while it's a port it isn't a fantastic port. Some of the mechanics didn't make it over to the PSP all that well. Still, it beats shelling out more than one-hundred dollars from a greedy collector.
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is a fantastic experience for those who want to re-experience it and for those new to the game itself. It's not as good as the Playstation original, and it may be another port for the PSP, but it's still an overall rewarding experience.
On the Positive Side
+A port of one of the Playstation's most sought after RPGs
+Engaging and perplexing storyline
+Great Gameplay Mechanics...
+Multiple endings and difficulty levels make for replay
+The games short length also makes for replay value
On the Negative Side
-Long load times
-The gameplay mechanics don't get an in-depth explanation making for a steep learning curve
-Long drawn out cutscenes make the pacing of the story really slow