Dark Rose Valkyrie (PC) Review

By Ofisil 18.05.2018

Review for Dark Rose Valkyrie on PC

Developed by Compile Heart, which is known primarily for the Hyperdimension series, Dark Rose Valkyrie is a JRPG that involves talents such as writer Takumi Miyajima, and illustrator Kosuke Fujishima (creator of Ah! My Goddess manga), which is certainly a good omen, but, to be honest, two swallows do not make a summer. In many ways, Dark Rose Valkyrie is the perfect example of the many problems that plague the JRPG "genre" these days, as it cares more about being just a game, rather than a ROLE-playing game, and it does so in a not so graceful way. Read on Cubed3's review of the PC version to find out why this is a 30+ hour journey that is better avoided.

Whether a loot-fest like Diablo, or a D&D-inspired odyssey like Morrowind, besides the gameplay, such a title must care a lot about the story, the characters, the world building, and so on. Dark Rose Valkyrie is nothing like those. For starters, while the premise is interesting, at the same time it's kind of... stock: just another typical tale of virus-turning-humans-into-monsters. Of course, what matters the most is the execution, and this isn't at top form in here, either. One reason for this is how it looks more like a generic, "fluffy" visual novel, rather than a post-apocalyptic adventure.

Screenshot for Dark Rose Valkyrie on PC

Starting with Asahi, the main lead, and captain of the military group that combats this, so called, Chimera threat, this is a character that doesn't look or act the part - in other words, he is another typical weakling thrown onto the pile. As for his comrades, who are mostly women (because of course the Chimera virus tends to target men), they are team of walking stereotypes; the coy one, the military protocol-fanatic, the rich one, and so on. Are these any likeable? Surprisingly, yes, but they never really go the distance, and remain the stereotypes they started out as.

At least, is it a good game? Sadly, no. Starting with the battle system, which, evident by the many, immersion-breaking tutorial screens that appear during the first hour or so, is a needlessly complex one. Firstly, the amount of things that can be done here is a lot to take in, especially so soon. Secondly, encounters are depressingly slow. There's a skip button available, but it's only useful when no one else is acting (as this uses a semi-real-time system), yet once someone starts pulling off an attack, it is a case of just sitting there and waiting for it to finish - even when the enemy is already dead...

Screenshot for Dark Rose Valkyrie on PC

In fear of this article becoming a manual, it won't go into all the details of the combat system, but know this: while there are lots of things that can be done on the battlefield, nothing really makes it any less unexciting - plus, some techniques soon become useless. To give an example, the party is able to pull off an all-vs-one attack combo, and unleash their full fighting capabilities in the process, but this tactic loses its value after the first couple of chapters - a perfect example of how many of this game's mechanics can soon fade into the background.

Screenshot for Dark Rose Valkyrie on PC

Even if the battles themselves weren't mind-numbingly slow, and repetitive, the grinding required will make them feel so. You see, while strategy is surely required, raw power usually turns out to be the best tactic. Unfortunately, from gathering experience to level-up the team, or scrap for upgrading the weaponry, the whole process is very time consuming, as well as expensive, especially when taking into consideration that that has to done for eight, freaking, people. Is that all there is to do here, then? Fight, grind, and then fight some more?

Well, there's also this find-the-traitor shebang. Is it so good that it turns out to be the saving grace of Dark Rose Valkyrie? Of course not! Sure, it's not bad, but it's nothing groundbreaking, either. The player will basically have to expose the liar by talking with the characters, but only after raising Asahi's trust level with them in order to do so (with even more talking). It's nice, it's simple, and the only catch is that the culprit is random in each play-through… but then it all goes back to the sleep-inducing fighting.

Screenshot for Dark Rose Valkyrie on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

From beginning to end, Dark Rose Valkyrie feels as if it has every flaw of the JRPG genre combined into one package. The characters are stereotypical instead of memorable, the story sort of… sits there, and the battles are slow, and depend more on grinding than tactical thinking. Apart from all this, Compile Heart's creation is audio-visually unimpressive, a technical mess, and feels as if it hasn't spent the right amount of time in the oven.

Developer

Compile Heart

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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