Review: Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume

vpcoverdsThe premise behind the latest installment of the Valkyrie Profile series, Covenant of the Plume, is revenge. Players find themselves taking control of the angst-driven Wylfred in his quest to kill the Valkyrie who he blames for the deaths of his father and sister. He sells his soul over to the goddess, Hel, in order to complete his mission.

How does Wylfred do this? By collecting sin through sacrificing his allies in battle and overkilling his enemies (essentially killing the enemy twice). All of this has so much potential, but unfortunately this game doesn’t quite live up to… well anything.

In addition to Wylfred’s quest to kill the Valkyrie, players soon find themselves wrapped up in a very stereotypical political intrigue: brother versus brother in the quest for the throne. This second plot seems almost redundant when juxtaposed with Wylfred’s quest for blood, but it does allow him an arena in which to collect the sin he needs to defeat Lenneth. And the characters? They are disappointing and very one-dimensional, except for Wylfred who is a hateful emo-kid sporting not one, but two pony tails. 

I love special attacks!

I love special attacks!

The battle system is also very clumsy and unwieldy. Covenant of the Plume attempts to merge strategy with real-time battles. Battles are broken into maps which are incredibly similar to those found in Final Fantasy Tactics and each time you engage an enemy it starts a round of real-time, traditional Valkyrie Profile battle. In these battles, players gain advantages by flanking enemies in what is called a siege for extra damage and attacks. As interesting as all this sounds, it makes for shockingly long and involved battles. Players will, no doubt, find themselves replaying battles after being wiped out in the span of an enemy turn.

Like the first game in the series, Covenant of the Plume has three separate paths to follow and, as a result, has a pretty decent replay value. However, this game pales in the face of other well-executed strategy RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea. Fans of the series will be happy to see some familiar faces, but otherwise players should be prepared to be disappointed.

0 comments on “Review: Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume”

  1. Also, the game is shorter than this review. More also, anyone who posts on the internets that this game is terrible is a good person.

  2. Oh my god I am so happy someone else saw how awkward and disappointing this game was. When I finished it, I was ready to cry. It was just a lot of wasted potential.

    This was a great overview though, Thea! And I’m happy that someone else who likes VP saw some of the major issues with this game.

    Wylfred was a terrible lead. So, so painful… and so much wank!

  3. Well, at least it isn’t as bad as Revenant Wings or something like that. But still, it is disappointing to see it go this way. I know Thea was very upset that it turned out so badly.

  4. The potential for this conversation reminds me of the Argument Clinic skit by Monty Python.

  5. @Sam: I am a huge fan of the first Valkyrie Profile game, so I can definitely identify with the feeling of disappointment there. The game did have potential, but there was just too much wrong with it for me to be even remotely… satisfied.

  6. Revenant wings was kind of amusing but I lost interest part way through.

  7. @ Thea – I wanted to love this game so much, and considering the first VP is my all time favourite RPG, you perfectly described my feeling of disappointment in your review. I think for me, I really struggled with the plot – it wasn’t engaging and omg all Wylfred did was wank! I was ready to pull my hair out!

    Considering all the potential this game had, it’s just such a disappointment considering the concept they were working with. It could have been amazing.

    Considering VP’s strength has always been it’s vignettes and characters, I think that was the part I really struggled with the most. That and the clumsy battle system – they really should have picked one battle system over the other.