Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga Preview: Making The Jump To Home Consoles

The Valhalla Knights games (all two of them) have been confined to the PSP since 2006, but now they're finally making the jump to home consoles.

The big plus here is the larger screen size. Back when I reviewed Valhalla Knights 2 for PSP and one of my biggest complaints (no pun intended) was that playing as a dwarf or recruiting one took up half of the screen.

What Is It?
Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga is the third game in an action-RPG series developed by Marvelous Entertainment. Players take the role both of a boy who then fathers a child that then becomes the main character for the second part of the game.

What We Saw
I played an early level of the game where my male character only had enough money to afford one companion character.

How Far Along Is It?
The game is due out in fall 2009.

What Needs Improvement?
The World Needs Color: It seems like all the Valhalla Knights games adhere to a dirt-and-slate color scheme. Eldar Saga, sadly, is no different and after a while, you get tired of looking at various shades of brown and gray.

Navigating Menus During Combat Is Still A Pain: You're getting jumped by a band of rabid armadillo creatures – you do not have time to open up one menu and then two sub-menus to find a magic recharge item and then cast a healing spell.

Why Is This On The Wii…? There are no motion controls in Eldar Saga and the game supports the Classic Controller (which will probably make navigating menus easier). So why exactly is this game on the Wii and not on the PlayStation 2 or something?

What Should Stay The Same?
Complexity Is Preserved: Valhalla Knights has always been one of those RPGs where you have to pay money to have the items that you find in the world identified before you can use them. Nuances like these annoy some people because they seem like throwbacks to the dark days of Japanese RPGs; however, die-hard fans consider them necessary complexities that make gameplay richer and more challenging. That second camp will be pleased to know said nuances are very much a part of Eldar Saga.

Multi-Generational Play: At first, I balked at being forced to play a guy for the first part of the game, but then I found out there's a courtship system where you have to get one of three lady characters to like you. That lady character then becomes the mother of your character's child who you play as for the second part of the game – and that character can be a girl if you so choose. Yay!

At Least There's No Flailing: If nothing else, ignoring the Wii motion controls means you won't be throwing your arm out trying to win sword fights.