Valkyrie Profile (Lenneth)

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth logo Valkyrie Profile was originally released on the PlayStation in 1999 in Japan and 2000 in North America. A PSP port of the game, renamed Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, was released in 2006. Valkyrie Profile is the story of a valkyrie whose task is to recruit human warriors, called einherjar, for Valhalla's army in preparation for Ragnarok, the end of the world. The game takes place in eight chapters, each with a set amount of time alloted to recruit warriors and train them in dungeons. The game has three possible endings depending on Valkryie's performance at her task — the bad ending (C) if she does poorly, the B ending if done normally, and the A ending if special tasks are completed to see the "best" ending.

Valkyrie Profile has a unique battle system. Dungeons take place in a 2D, platformer setting, with no random battles (all enemies are visible and are manually engaged), while battles are in a more typical turn-based system. Each party member is associated with a button, and pressing it causes the character to attack. Naturally, different character specialities and varying weapons make chaining attacks essential. There is of course much more detail to the battle system (which takes time to really master), but playing it is much more rewarding than reading a description of it, so if you're interested I recommend you check it out.

The story of Valkyrie Profile is incredibly interesting and immersive. Recruting each einherjar involves Valkyrie watching the end of their life and how they die and join her as einherjar. Beyond that, though, is the path the A ending takes, which looks beyond Valkyrie's job description and what really matters to her. Couple this with addictive gameplay and a fanastic score by Motoi Sakuraba, and you have the recipe for one of the greatest games ever made.

Tip: If you're playing for the first time, play on Easy. No, you won't get the full experience, but it's a lot easier to get the hang of the battle system that way. If you pick it up quickly, restart and switch to Normal or Hard and go for the A ending; otherwise, just beat it on Easy and get the B ending, then go for a replay.

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