Valhalla Knights 3 on PS Vita Launching October 15th

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Valhalla Knights 3 on PS Vita Launching October 15th
Valhalla Knights 3 on PS Vita Launching October 15th

Hey, everyone. Ryan Graff here, XSEED’s newest editor, writer, fetch-quester, and occasional dungeon master.

Ever notice how often JRPG heroes land in jail? It’s like a rule; the heroes can mow down any number of guards or soldiers (or monsters, or ancient cosmic horrors), but if anyone ever yells, “You’re under arrest!” or “Take them away!” or even just “Freeze!”, then the heroes have to drop their weapons and assume the position. Of course, they almost never stay in jail for long.

Usually, someone lets them out, or they find a secret passage, or they overpower their one inept guard, and then it’s just a short walk to the box with all their stuff in it, if the guards even took their stuff in the first place. Of course, you couldn’t have a whole RPG where the heroes stay in prison… or could you? And if so, what would it be like?

Valhalla Knights 3, 04

Vita owners can find out on October 15th, when Valhalla Knights 3, a game that takes that question and runs with it, comes out on both retail shelves and PlayStation Store. The whole action-RPG is set in a medieval prison called Carceron, a converted fortress surrounded by war-torn wildlands.

Prisoners roam the halls, grounds, and dungeons at will, with the guards walled off and watching from out of sight. Within the prison, the inmates run their own society, complete with shops, guilds, and… other establishments we’ll get to later. Ruling the prisoners are the Families — organized crime syndicates — each with their own laws and territory. Above them all is the Emperor, an infamous, warmongering tyrant. He believes that the prison holds a legendary treasure, one so priceless that he’s already torn down kingdoms in search of it.

The main character’s name, gender, appearance, voice, race, and job class are all up to you, with job classes ranging from traditional Fighters, Mages, and Priests, to more distinctive classes such as Ninja, Samurai, and Amazon. As a veteran from the losing side of the Emperor’s war, you’ve been forced into servitude by a magical curse called the Mark of Death. Your task is to infiltrate the prison — disguised as a newly arrived prisoner, aka “fresh meat” — and find the treasure before the Emperor gets there himself.

To do that, you’ll need to get in good with the prison’s most powerful Families, by carrying out their dirty work in the form of quests and favors. Build a reputation, and ordinary prisoners will ask for your help, too — sometimes to find a lost heirloom or clear out monsters, other times to kill someone who might not even know why.

Valhalla Knights 3, 03Valhalla Knights 3, 01

What helps Valhalla Knights 3 stand out is its harsh tone. Every facet of the game, from its mission structure to its steep difficulty and lack of an autosave (Save often!), reminds you that you’re trapped in a brutal system, under constant watch, forced to kill or be killed. You’ll carry out orders to hunt down your fellow prisoners whether they deserve it or not, and even when they do, they still have loved ones who’ll miss them.

Most of the time, you’ll have no choice — you’re under the Mark of Death from the start, and the Emperor can kill you with a thought if you disobey him — but is that enough of an excuse? Is even your life worth doing what you’re forced to do? Valhalla Knights 3 makes you question that, and if you’re into moral discussions, it’s worth playing for that alone.

After hours, you can soothe your guilty conscience by visiting the prison’s Light District. Carceron is co-ed, and some of its ladies are gainfully employed in the District’s classy guilds and shops. Find a girl you like, make sure she isn’t spoken for, frequent her business, get to know her, and bring her favorite gifts — and she just might help you find a brief escape from the prison’s harsh reality. Bond with her closely enough, and she’ll even follow you into battle. And it goes both ways, too; you can romance and recruit characters of both genders, regardless of your own.

Valhalla Knights 3, 02

Speaking of recruits, the gameplay revolves around party-vs-party brawls. No prisoner survives alone for long, and so as you go, you’ll be able to join with NPC prisoners to form your own clan. You’ll lead up to seven characters at a time, almost all of them customizable, into battle against enemy clans and monster packs. The 7-on-7 battles unfold in real time, with the player able to swap characters on the fly and issue group commands from anywhere on the field.

Each clan member also has his or her own personality, which affects their behavior in battle — so you might not want to make the team hothead your healer. You can take your party online, too, and fight other players’ parties in arena battles. (The North American version adds network play and leaderboards on top of the original Japanese version’s ad hoc play.)

As much as I love traditional JRPGs, it’s nice to see one do something different every now and again. I like Valhalla Knights 3 because it combines an interesting setting and atmosphere with the kind of tough difficulty I grew up with. As I write this, we’re just about set to launch in North America on October 15th on both retail shelves and PlayStation Store, for $39.99.

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69 Comments

19 Author Replies

  • @45 I know what you mean, I was complaining about it, but it seems you are sour because of Ys not being in Sept like it was initially put as the release? If so the date was actually changed a decent while ago, last time I went on the gamestop site they had the right release date and that was the beginning month.

    Thanks for the answer on ACE. I do agree release dates should be done better though, I was pissed when I went to pick up Ragnarok and it wasn’t in the store till the thursday, I ended up buying it midnight right when it turned wednesday on the PSN cause I didn’t wanna wait for my preorder cause my friends in different areas had the game and started it and we were all planning to go through together co-op.
    Request: Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Flash & Zero Evolution (Mainly Flash, would be definitely more successful)

  • Cannot wait for Ys: Memories of Celceta
    Love the Vita support, also I recently watched a video, maybe it’s from XSEED or some team, but it was explaining the localization process after it is greenlit. After I seen that, it makes it hard not to buy a XSEED game.
    I think I will get VK3 since I am not buying anymore PS3 games this year hopefully (Getting everything for either PS4 or PS Vita)

  • I also am a big Legend of Heroes fan & started playing Ragnarok on PC 10 years ago, great games. Its awesome that you guys are bringing all these games to the portable systems. Especially now that the Vita TV is going to be released. When that happens I’ll love it even more!

  • Xseed you are the men…

    Even though so many reviews missed the point of Valhalla Knight, it was one of my favorite serie on PSP… Really can’t wait to buy this one.

    Excellent choice to bring it to western shores.

  • did that Archer just shot a behind the back arrow rain?? wat?!

  • already pre-ordered it, i really liked dragon crown but this is gonna have most of my attention

  • Looks a lot better than i thought it did… the video makes me want to buy it… the freeze frames or the random pics are choppy but the video says it all… this will look great on the Vita! I was trying to hold out for Ys but i think i might put this back on my pre-order list… Great job XSEED!

    Now… GET ME A TALES GAME ON MY VITA BEFORE I BLOW A FUSE!!!

  • Been waiting for this game since it was announced.

    I’ve been curious about how the combat works.

    Also the games other full features.

    Also how detailed is the game world? We talking alot of small side story’s or one massive main story?

  • Pre-ordered about two months ago :D Will there be a pre-order bonus for early buyers? Please say yes, I want to bring more attention your way over at NSFW Gamer!

  • @10, your ignorance is astounding, Dark Souls was not hard just to be hard, it was a part of the core design of the game and it works brilliantly, especially with the best combat engine ever made.

  • I was just hoping for more jrpg’s and here XSEED comes to save me from boredom. The games look awesome. Looking forward to Valhalla Knights 3 and YS.

  • good awesome game!!!! f**k ye!! uu==D

  • Looks Nice.

    But…., $40 bucks for a game with these graphics is very steep.

    Even Killzone was at $35.

    ……Will be waiting hopefully for a price drop and a ps plus discount eventually.

  • This is gonna be my first time playing both a Valhalla Knights and a Ys game. Getting both on the new PSVita I bought earlier once the price dropped. Hope these kinda games can keep coming out, kinda sad it won’t get any type of pre order bonus. Hopefully in the future they will though.

  • Well how interesting.. its the 12th today and I have my copy in hand… Thanks Gamestop! lol… Not sure how I got it 3 days early, but in stock it was.

  • Definitely going to buy this game in 3 days (When it’s released), Can’t wait. I just love games that has lots of customization and items. The cool part is that you can play online in it.

  • I saw my friend playing this game, he said he got it from gamestop. I was like what! it’s in stock already… Oh well.. Just waiting for 3 days still.

  • Ok, I like this char customization…
    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RIVBL2fadVU/Ulolgjhn_II/AAAAAAAAAo4/cAyqB5ACU6Y/w960-h544-no/2013-10-13-002600.jpg
    and
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-UFObxPyCm2Q/Ulolgsl-ayI/AAAAAAAAAoQ/2H-aKdMd2cc/w960-h544-no/2013-10-13-002623.jpg

    Tho I wonder what this in game config option for “Panties” are. Has different types for the option to turn on or off.

  • Already paid off the game at the beginning of october. I’ve been following this game closely the last 2 months and I’m excited to play it. My only complaint is the fact that even now there isn’t that much info that has been posted or revealed on the web. Not sure if it was a marketing ploy to draw interest to the game by obscuring a lot about it or your PR guys just dropped the ball.

  • If there are a lot of characters and actions on the screen at the same time, it uses a significant amount of RAM and gpu. If you want the best possible graphics, you will only see a few characters on the screen at once. Far too many games hold back on potential because of computing limitations and artistic expectations.

    I loved managing a party in Dragon Age. This looks incredible and really fun! I just hope it’s not too hard…

  • I sooooo wanted to like this game, but right up front (in the initial outside quests) it’s sooooo clunky. If you’re not exactly on top of the corpse, you’re attacking and have to wait for that animation to end to try to position to search again. And WHAT’S UP with engaging enemies? I have NEVER had such a hard time trying to fight something in an rpg! =/

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