Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

Format: PS2
Square Enix

5 060121 821835
Age Restrictions: 16+
07 September 2007

The valkyrie Silmeria once served Odin loyally, but after an incident ignited a conflict between them, Odin forcefully reincarnated her as a human. The human soul that would carry her spirit was that of Alicia, Princess of Dipan. Ordinarily, Silmeria's consciousness would have been sealed, her spirit dormant until she was next summoned... However, the forced transmigration causes Silmeria's spirit to awaken within Alicia, leaving two souls to inhabit a single body. The spirit that should have been sealed has awakened - a situation Odin will not ignore for long. One day, he will bring divine retribution down upon her...

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria borrows from Norse Mythology for its backdrop. The game follows the life of Princess Alicia, from the city of Dipan, and the renegade Valkyrie, Silmeria. Silmeria is banished to the mortal realm after defying Odin, lord of the gods. Here she is sealed inside the body of Princess Alicia. However, Silmeria is still conscious in Alicia's body. The result being that Alicia's father sends his daughter away from Dipan, because he believes that she is going insane. When Odin learns that Silmeria is awake inside of Alicia, he dispatches Silmeria's sister Valkyrie, Hrist, to eliminate Alicia and bring Silmeria back to Valhalla. In order to survive Silmeria and Alicia must work together to find a way to return things to the way they once were.

This follow up to the, hard to find, PSOne game introduces the new Photon Action System to the classic side-scrolling action format found in the original. Projecting photons grants players more freedom to explore and expands the action, resulting in challenging puzzles with clever solutions. Also included are "sealstones" that affect the laws of nature in dungeons. The unique battle system of the previous game has also evolved into the Advanced Tactical Combination (ATC) battle System.

Here you can use a number of characters at once to attack your enemy. You can even split your team into different groups (so you can attack from different angle). Battles take place in real-time, using the ATC battle system. Instinctive to use, but challenging to master, allow you to control four characters simultaneously in combat. Perform multi-character combos in real-time - fight with skill and be rewarded with unique finishing moves. The combat system is fairly easy to pick up - you get a basic tutorial when you are confronted with your first enemy.

Another area where this game differs from your average RPG is that inns and stores don't just provide all the equipment that you'll need. A big element in this game is finding various items on your travels which can then be combined to create an item of much more use to you on your quest.

To be honest, exploring your surroundings is a little restrictive. You are shepherded around a little too much. To be honest though, this is not such a problem, and is about the only flaw we could find with this engaging offering.

If you are a serious RPG player, then you might find some aspects of this game a little too easy. But then this is much more user friendly for casual gamers.

Nick Smithson

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