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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: XSEED Games
Developed By: K2
Genre: RPG
Players: 1-2
Rated: E10 (Everyone 10 and up)
Release Date: March 8, 2007
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screenshots: Link
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For a handheld that has been dominated by Action and Sports titles, hearing about Valhalla Knights is a pleasant and welcomed surprise for many gamers in North America. Though there have been several RPG titles to release on the title beforehand (Untold Legends, Legend of Heroes, Kingdom Paradise), none of been able to capture the true essence of the genre like Valhalla Knights. As lf late, several developers are seeing worth within the mighty handheld (Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth), so XSEED Games decides to show PSP owners that there is indeed a trend going on.

While adding to the RPG experience on the handheld, Valhalla Knights also pays out differently from the pack. The biggest draw to this title is that you know can decide what role your character will play within the game. Whether you want to be the lead attacker, or in the background launching magic attacks while your teammates did all thee attacking. You have a choice between five different races (Human, Dwarf, Halfling, Elf, or Mech controller), sexual preference, job classes (fighter, thief, mage, knight or priest). You can even customize the appearance of your character. The beauty of all this comes in the fact that you can do the same deep customization to all characters you add to your team.

The meat of the game comes from the story-line. No matter what character class, sex, features, etc. you choose, the story unfolds the same. You wake up not remembering anything that has transpired of the past few days. It seems that the Dark Lord has created havoc and chaos within the land by way of his minions. Your heroic ancestor help trap the Dark Lord away, but it was too late because the land was already swallowed with evil and darkness. Your role in all this is to continue the work of your ancestor and riding the land of evil, so everything becomes peaceful once again.

As you progress through the game, you will notice that you can transform your character into the ultimate player. Whether man or woman, human or elf, fighter or priest, you are able to acquire sub-classes, allowing you to learn new techniques. So if you start out as a fighter, but want to be immune to magic attacks, you would probably set mage as a sub-class, allowing you still fight head to head, but allow you to heal yourself and others, or even protect yourself from poison.

There is also the inclusion of side quests. The side quests donít have to be completed or even participated I to actually play through the game and beat it. These are looked at as jobs you can perform to acquire money or items. Before or after taking part within a quest, if you have enough cash, you can hire up to 5 more participants to help you throughout the game. Though you probably can get through it on your own, having the necessary backup, adds to the overall action presentation of the title.

The visual perspective is rather impressive. Though some of the monsters are copied over to create a since of massive battles, the atmosphere and environmental landscape produce an vivid and immersive world that is simply beautiful. The musical score is rather impressive to say the least. The music has its moments where it gets intense and gets you mentally and emotionally prepared for battle.

Another aspect that makes this title excel is being able to control up to six characters at once. You wonít directly control every single character, but you can decide which one you want to control and how the others will attack. Before you enter battle, to switch which character you will control, you would simply press the SELECT button. When you are in battle, you can decide which characters would attack the enemy head on, which ones would you long distant attacks and even which ones would heal or protect the team with magical spells. As you progress further into the darkness, the battles will get more intense, so being able to control several characters efficiently can be a huge benefit for you.

Valhalla Knights is shaping up to be one of the better titles to debut within 2007. So many aspects of the gameplay and story will keep gamers head-deep in the action until they get enough for that one day. There are a few problematic areas within the overall presentation, but nothing to series to kill off the over enjoyment of the game. The camera can be a problematic area, but by the game including an on-screen map, you will at least know where all the enemies are located before you walk into a room or dungeon. But based on what we know about this game so far, Gaming Evolution fully supports this title as a game for PSP owners in 2007.

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