Thursday, January 21, 2010

La Valeur


La Valeur is quite primitive. It's one of those wrinkly old-school RPGs that make you use a menu command just to talk to people, and its visuals are, to be generous, antiquated.

But after a tedious first couple of hours (your character starts off very weak), it actually becomes a fairly fast-paced and enjoyable game. There are no load times for battles, and you'll be able to take out entire parties of monsters with single swipes if you make sure to level up and buy new equipment regularly.

The title takes after Ys, which one can tell from certain scenes in the opening and closing sequences, the in-game look of the main character, and the poor man's Dalles who transforms the hero into a monster.

Kogado tried to do some innovative things with LV's magic and combat systems (item scavenger hunts must be completed to earn spells, and three different brands of weapons must be acquired and made use of regularly). As a result, it can be tough to figure out how the systems work. Also, some of the puzzles will be really hard to solve if you're not proficient in Japanese; I was very lucky to get by the most troublesome spots. Of course, the walkthrough I wrote will ensure that you won't need to rely on luck if you play the game.

La Valeur is not great, but it's not Astralius either. There are lots of other cheap PCE RPGs you should play before this one, but if you experience stuff like Neo Metal Fantasy and the Tengai Makyou games and you still want more, this is a decent, inexpensive option.

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