Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga

November 23, 2009

Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga is not a bad game. It is a horrible game. It’s also not a buggy or incomplete game. It feels like it was finished about 13 years ago–for the Playstation 1. Valhalla Knights wouldn’t even have been a good game on the Playstation, but it would have been more tolerable on it. On the Wii, it is simply an unforgivable game.

Valhalla Knights doesn’t really explain its story very well, so I’ll explain it better for you here. A thousand years ago civilization was almost destroyed by a war between monsters and the four races of Eldar- human, dwarf, elf, and halfling. An alliance of the four races managed to drive off the hordes of monsters. Soon after, however, conflicts between the races soon ended the alliance and they all secluded themselves from each other. Now, one thousand years later, the monsters are returning to finish what they started. This story isn’t that intriguing to begin with, but the fact that it is never really explained very well in the game makes it even worse.

Your part in the story is to reunite the four races to combat this returning menace. However, the character you create and customize, the character you’ll spend hours building up, will disappear halfway through the game. Once you unite the races, you’ll be told to pick a wife from one of them. This choice will influence the entirety of the rest of the game for you because once you reach this point decades will suddenly pass and you’ll continue playing as the child of your character. The abilities and stats for your child are directly dependent upon what race they are, be it human/elf, human/dwarf, human/halfling, or full human. The problem is you are never told this, so you won’t find out until it is too late to change anything.

There is no tutorial to speak of in Valhalla Knights, and there is absolutely no direction given in the game. You will be told to do something and thereafter will be expected to remember exactly what it is and exactly where you need to go to do it. No hints, no reminders, no breadcrumb trail. There is also no map to speak of, other than a minimap showing vague outlines of the current area you are located in. Additionally, when you die, and you will die…repeatedly…because the difficulty ramps up insanely fast, you are sent back to the last town you visited. You will then have to traverse the entirety of the world back to where you were trying to go. And it will be a long journey back because the distances you have to travel in this game are vast.

The controls are awful and laggy. If you push the attack button three or four times while attempting to attack an enemy, you will slowly perform those attacks in the direction you were facing when you hit them, regardless of where the enemy has moved and with no option to stop the attacks. There is a lock-on option, but it makes you so slow and vulnerable to attack that it’s almost worthless.

The graphics are bad…real bad. They look as if they were made for the original Playstation, but even then they wouldn’t look good because of how bland everything is. The landscapes are uniformly grey, the buildings are grey, the trees are dead and grey, and the enemies are grey.

The soundtrack is the best part of the game simply because it isn’t grating or annoying; however, it is still subpar compared to the soundtracks of other RPGs. The voice acting is appalling; luckily there isn’t much of it. The worst part of the sound design is definitely the sound effects. Nothing sounds remotely close to what it should sound like. Dragons roar like squealing pigs (seriously); death screams sound like laughter; running people thud like horses galloping across stone; and birds flapping their wings sound like plastic bags rustling. Yes, the sound effects are that horrific.

Finally we come to the multiplayer. You can link up with a friend to play Valhalla Knights co-op by using friend codes, though why you would want to subject a friend to this kind of misery remains to be seen.

There are surprisingly few RPGs on the Wii, but despite this, no one should ever consider this a game worth playing. The entire thing is ugly and confusing, and there are absolutely no redeeming qualities about it.

ESRB: T for Alcohol, blood, and fantasy violence- if you can play any kind of action RPG fare, you can play this

Pros: With the right mindset, the sound effects are hilarious; You aren’t forced to play this game

Cons: Everything

Score: 1/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.