"A Real Grind"
The Vita is continually building its library of quality games, and it seems to be a system that is running strong on indie and niche games. Valhalla Knights 3 is one of those niche titles: an action based JRPG.
Valhalla Knights 3 offers eight classes, all fairly generic feeling, though the character creator feels somewhat robust. Even so, this is where VK3 shows its problems, because there are plenty of graphical limits on avatars. There is also absolutely nothing new here during the beginning: pick your class, customize, roll stats, start the game. From there, Valhalla Knights 3 throws you right into a fantasy story which treads old ground, and a fantasy world with fantasy characters we’ve seen a hundred times.
Being an action-based RPG, you’ll chain combos and slash / blast your way though most of the game, while switching between up to 7 party members. Combat here isn’t bad, but it doesn’t break new ground. Even if the combat is the best part of Valhalla Knights 3, I feel the fighting in an action RPG should be of at least this caliber, so it’s not really saying much. Another major part of VK3 is that you can go online and battle your party against others player’s parties. Despite that being about the extent of Valhalla Knights 3’s online connectivity, everything feels like an older MMO anyways. Why so? Because quests in the game feel like they were plucked up from games like WoW or the first Guild Wars. This amounts to mostly kill / hunt quests and general grinding.
That will be your extent of gaming time with Valhalla Knights 3: grinding, killing, leveling up, selling items, and grinding some more. When you take a look at the rest of the game as far as graphics, there is plenty left to be desired. For a Vita title, which has great potential to make games look great, Valhalla Knights 3 hardly pushes the system or tries in any way to look phenomenal. Voices are even worse, making the entire soundscape feel like a PlayStation One era game.
At first glance, Valhalla Knights 3 seems like a basic action JRPG, and it is, but now we get to the wacky side of things. There is an additional "dating-sim" in which you can attempt to get female clerks into "Sexy Time" situations after physically fondling them with the Vita touch screen. Now, I understand this is much more common fare in Japanese games, but it still seems very misplaced here. Still, I guess for some gamers it might be a welcome relief to see brightly colored lingerie between the monotony of grinding. I guess for your J-gamer purists it’s good that they preserved these elements instead of cutting them out, so you get the game in full.
This all makes Valhalla Knights 3 a very hard game to recommend to people. Will you like it if you like JRPGs? Not necessarily, because it tries hard not to be one. It loses a lot of the charm across the board and leaves the J-Gaming moments to sexual wackiness. Is it the type of game RPG fanatics would love? No, because Valhalla Knights 3 is nothing new and not very exciting. However, there is a reason to play Valhalla Knights 3: It’s on a portable device, and while it fails on many levels, it’s not a terrible game. That means you can waste a few hours grinding while on the bus or on your break, then quickly put it away and come back to it later. There’s no real story to stay on top of, or enough fun to warrant huge long sessions, so it’s what I would say a grind-on-the-go game. Other than that, if you’re a fan of the series, then welcome back!
GameDynamo's Score for Valhalla Knights 3 (PS Vita)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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