Review by z026445

Reviewed: 12/11/01 | Updated: 12/11/01

Platformer with anime school girl!

Once upon a time there was a system called Turbo Graphx 16. It was a good system and after a bit of time they produced a CD add-on for their system. Making CDs available to a console audience was an enormous step forward for the industry. With the release of the CD system many good, many terrible, and many middle class games were released. This is the story of one of those middle class games, Valis 2.

Valis is series of games revolving around the Japanese school girl Yuko and the sword Valis. All together there are five Valis games. Four of them are platformers, the other one is a ''visual collection.'' Valis 2, 3, 4 were released in America. Leaving out the first game was strange, but it's not too uncommon these days. Anyway, Valis 2 was one of the earlier games released for the Turbo Graphx CD. An interesting note, Valis 1 was released for the more powerful Duo system before Valis 2 came out, making me confused! It featured all the hallmarks of early CD games, and was quite fun.

Gameplay: 6 of 10
Valis 2 is your standard, run of the mill platformer. Look! It's spikes, jump over them. And over there! Is that a moving platform? And what's that? A floating spike ball! All of this is not so great. You control Yuko as she runs, jumps awkwardly, and swings her sword. The levels are designed interestingly, but are usually quite short. The fourth level is an exception, and is much longer than all of the other levels, and significantly more difficult.

Control is another bother to this game. Getting Yuko to successfully perform jumps is semi-difficult, but gets easier with practice. Firing the sword is another control that needed some work. Yuko attacks by swinging her sword, which in turn fires a special wave or bullet. The sword attack is pretty slow and takes some getting used to. Moving back and forth is no problem though.

Valis 2 is also quite an easy game. After you've first played it, the game may seem hard, but that's just because you haven't gotten used to the controls. Once you get the hang of those, it's really pretty easy. The easiness factor is mainly due to the lack of level length. The levels are usually two or three platforms of running left and right. For example, the first level is three large platforms. At the start, you run all the way to the right and drop onto the next one. Then you run left and drop onto the final platform, whence you run all the way right again and fight the boss. Most levels are like this. Levels 4 and 6 are more unique though. Level 4 plays very much like an old Castlevania level, and 6 is very shooter like. The bosses aren't too difficult, but not too easy at the same time. The hardest boss in the game is rightfully the last boss, but the effect is cheapened by the mass amount of lives usually collected by the time you fight him.

Story: 5 of 10
The story really isn't that bad. It's just really hard to follow. This might come from the fact that Valis 1 wasn't released in the US. We have no previous information on the world of Valis except that Yuko killed the Logless King in Valis 1. Everything we know is picked up on the spot, which is why the game is hard to follow. Once you do a bit of thinking about the story, it makes sense. The way the story is delivered is also very nice. It's all anime cut scenes. Granted, it's all that early 90s mouth-only movement kind, but it's still pretty cool. Another difficulty is the fact that the voice actors pronounce everything strangely. The say Rogress, when it says Logless in the credits. The Japanese was completely skewed in the translation.

Audio: 8 of 10
Really good. This is one quality I've found in early CD games. The music is really, really good. The music matches the levels perfectly. The video on the other hand...

Video: 6 of 10
...Is not so great. Yeah, it was from the 1990, but the graphics still aren't nearly as eye-catching as some of the other games from this year, such as Ys. The colors are too dark, and they seem to bleed into each other too much. The bleed isn't horrible, and isn't very bothersome unless you play your games three inches from the screen.

Replayability: 2 of 10
Nope, you wont want to replay it after you've beaten. There's just no incentive. No extra quests, no new difficulty levels, nothing, nada, zip. Play it if you want to practice your l337 Valis skills.

Buy or Rent? Well...
The thing is, you probably wont be able to rent this anymore. It is only 11 years old, maybe older. I'd suggest trying it out first at a friend's house, if you can. There are some rabid Valis fans out there who still pay 20-30 dollars for a copy. This isn't a platformer for everyone.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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