|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: K2||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: XSEED / Marvelous||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 1, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Things get more interesting when you've collected enough gold to populate your party with up to five other adventurers. Each character can have up to two sub-classes, which is an interesting touch, and you can select which character you control at any time. There are literally tons of new items, spells, weapons, and abilities you'll pick up over time, so eventually your small band of warriors should be able to do some sizeable damage.
Combat itself is somewhat compelling. You'll deal extra damage by approaching you're foes from the side or from behind when traveling in the dungeon. Encounters then open up into real-time six-on-six hacking and slashing. Only one party member is controlled personally, but the rest can be assigned various action styles. Each class has its own advantages and special abilities that can be called on to help, but having a solid healer in the party is an absolute must. When you get to the fighting, you'll all run around in an open area flailing around and occasionally firing off a special attack or two until the group prevails or is mauled beyond recognition by you're snarling enemies. When you're sitting down for a few hours of grinding, you'll soon care less about the finer points of battle, since the same effect can be achieved by using the R trigger to target a nearby foe and mashing the attack button.
The difficulty curve in Valhalla Knights 2 is very steep. Even leveling-up doesn't seem to make a major impact on your success, unless you spend significant time on it. You can easily toil away in the dungeons for hours without really having a sense of making much progress. This is due in-part to the high level of challenge and the fact the central hub town where you'll save, upgrade equipment, gain new quests, and engage in other crucial tasks forces you to tread back and forth between the same turf ad nauseam.
Undoubtedly, there are quite a few aspects of Valhalla Knights 2 that action RPG fans will find very appealing, but it ends up being a wash when you look at the game's numerous faults. In short order these issues wear what little fun is to be had down to a dull point. There are definitely better games to play, if you're looking to dig into some deep dungeon crawling.
CCC Staff Contributor