Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
The Valkyrie Profile franchise has been going strong for over a decade now
- Addictive and accessible gameplay, fun-to-master battle mechanics
- Excessive text dialogue, formulaic presentation
Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume is an addictive RPG that is able to adequately separate itself from the me-too crowd with an accessible and unique battle system. It's surprisingly simple to pick up and play, but like any good RPG worth its weight in gold pieces, the real reward comes from mastering its finer points.
The Valkyrie Profile franchise has been going strong for over a decade now. Ever since the original debuted on the original PlayStation, fans have been looting and leveling their way through instalments of the Norse mythology-infused RPG series. DS owners have had to wait patiently to get their hands on a Valkyrie title but it was worth the wait: Covenant of the Plume is a deep, yet accessible experience that franchise fans can be proud of yet it's accessible enough that even newcomers will find it difficult to put down.
As Wylfred, a young warrior seeking vengeance against a god for his father's death, players embark on a battle-heavy quest, complete with the requisite lush fantasy lands, mythological beasts, and NPC's that like to talk a bit too much. Of course, angsty heroes that wouldn't look out of place in a boy band are also out in full force. The game's coolest feature, its battle system, is about 90% turn-based and 10% real-time, allowing for a compelling mix of cerebral tactical strategy cut with the satisfying ability to whack your enemies with giant swords. The system unfolds on an isometric grid, encouraging effective flanking attacks that make for some rewarding encounters, especially when your screen is brimming with baddies. Once engaged, you're able to unleash all members of your party-mapped to the four face buttons -- individually and in supported strikes for a variety of melee, ranged and magic-based attacks.
The Weight of a Quill
The titular feather also plays a significant role in the game's battling, as Wylfred can assign its power to an ally, granting him or her with near-invincible skills. The battlefield-clearing upgrade comes with a steep price, though, as the melee's conclusion will see the plume's host so overwhelmed by its power that they drop dead. This tide-turning mechanic really ups the ante when the odds are against you, forcing a weighty decision be made that could find you choosing success, but with deep sacrifice in the heat of battle.
Fantasy RPG fans will find a lot of familiarity in Covenant of the Plume's somewhat formulaic story and presentation, but the addictive battling and character leveling should keep them gripped till the closing credits. The title's refreshing accessibility also makes it a perfect entry point for those new to this under-the-radar franchise. Just be careful who you give that feather to.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 2 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
- 3 Asus Zenbook UX303LN Ultrabook
- 4 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 5 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro hybrid Ultrabook
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- IBM detects skin cancer more quickly with visual machine learning
- ICANN data compromised in spearphishing attack
- US agency sues Sprint for alleged unauthorized charges
- Top five smartphone disappointments of the year
- Microsoft helps crack developer problems with Bing-based tool
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.