Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

TF9- Now To Be Spectacular Sensational And Ultimate

Phew, Lust wasn't being good or helpful after all. She was just being helpful for purely selfish means! And now she knows where a store of loot is on top of it... Certainly no Vice or Sin would be willing to bribe Lust for that information. No siree.
Man, little sad we missed out on the short pudgy antiques dealer as a host. No doubt there would have been karate action, explosions, and hot and cold running babes as is the standard for antiques collectors. Or so I've been told. By an antiques collector. Hey, waitaminute...

Spiral says he's gotten a good number of replies in the search for a new artist for Ascension, so thanks to everybody that's helping out! He's going to take proposals until Friday the 25th, so if you're interested, send him an email. Check the Ascension site for details and updates!

Long, Beaten until the stupid flows out of his/her body Review: Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume- From the very start, VP CotP is a ludicrous acronym but also a game that offers an interesting view of the characters compared to the other games in the series. The Valkyrie were always the heroes, but this one centers around the other side of their job. Unfortunately, outside of the main character's backstory, the game has almost nothing to do with the Valkyrie Profile franchise. The awesome dungeons are gone, the einherjar don't factor into it, and all the great mythology is tossed aside for some wholly uninteresting political intrigue involving people you couldn't care less about. When battles are just a straight up fair fight, the game is a lot of fun and you can pull off some neat group attacks with a little strategy. Unfortunately most of the fights throw in these stupid battle conditions that suck the fun out of the game. The too high sin requirements, the ridiculously overpowered bosses, or the always fun "keep the braindead wuss that keeps needlessly poking enemies that will kick her ass alive or else you die" missions. To build up "sin" you have to not only kill an enemy, you have to kill it two times over before ending a turn. A stupid idea no matter how you look at it, but it wouldn't be a huge problem if you had some control over your characters and you didn't rely so much on random chance. You can't not attack once you start a fight. The smartest thing to do is to get the enemy down to 1 HP, end your turn, and then on the next turn hit it with every attack as an Overkill, but the game won't allow you to do this. If you enter an attack with three characters that have two hits each, you're required to use every single character and every single hit. The game also throws some insanely unbalanced enemies at you. I was was sweeping through the game without any real difficulty and then I faced a boss that could kill any of my characters in two hits and every time he attacks, he gets four hits and one super move. You can't replay areas or run away from battles, so if you meet an overpowered enemy, there's really nothing you can do about it so you have to replay battles over and over until the magic dice falls in your favor and you dodge an attack or get lucky. You can't even save during battles, so it's all or nothing. I had to stop playing the game in the third chapter because the battle depends entirely on luck, which I apparently don't have. Here's how it goes: You have your four characters, one AI character is about mid-field away from you and if she dies you automatically die, and there are a bunch of enemies around her. In the first round, you MUST use a spell that allows a character to walk a few extra steps to get in position to perform two team attacks. If you're not strong enough to kill the enemy in these two attacks or if it dodges any of the hits, on the AI's turn, she'll turn around to hit the enemy doing effectively 0 damage and an enemy will attack her from behind getting double attacks for striking her in the back and killing her in one move. Assuming you killed the enemy in your first turn, you have to move one character close to the AI and use your strongest healing item on her because the damage she sustained in the first round has almost killed her and she's been poisoned. You have to move your hero closer and you MUST use a spell on him that draws the enemy attacks to him. From here on, it's complete luck. If the enemies focus on the hero, the AI may survive. However, every single time I played, two of the enemies would focus on the hero and the third would attack the AI, performing a team attack with one of the enemies that has already hurt the hero, during which the AI will get dizzy and be struck from behind giving the enemy double attacks and killing the AI in one move. To make matters even worse, I looked up the character on a wiki and she's an effing healer. The character that's too damned stupid to take two steps away the enemies kicking her ass and towards the people throwing themselves in harm's way and that dies in two damn hits could just heal herself! I'm not one to promote a link between entertainment and violence in real life, but whoever designed or approved this game should be beaten. Beaten until the stupid flows out of his/her body. I loved VP1 and it's one of the best PS1/PSP games you can play, but this entry in the series is complete and utter crap not worth the plastic wasted to make it. And the manual was completely in French for some reason.
Sins Committed: Bad level design, Escort missions, False difficulty, Unbalanced
Virtues Acted: Religious influence that isn't Christian, Chinese, or Japanese, Being allowed to sacrifice your whiny archer's soul to the dark gods and getting rewarded for doing so