Valkyrie Elysium Could Rekindle The Glory Days Of PlayStation JRPGs

While there are a handful of great Japanese RPGs on other companies’ hardware, it seems like Sony has had a monopoly on the genre for some time now. Of the wonder of Midgar in Final Fantasy 7 to the lesser-known story of Breath of fire 3, JRPG experiences on the original PlayStation were a penny, and more often than not were far more than the sum of their parts. Sony’s exclusive offerings are often criticized for their unique approach to AAA game design, with third-person action/adventure being the flavor of the generation, but the recent announcement of Valkyrie Elysee could be the catalyst for real change.

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Being the latest installment in the long-running franchise, Valkyrie Elysee has a lot of history he can draw on to ensure it’s a critical and commercial success. There are fewer JRPGs today than they were in the late 1990s, and while that’s largely down to other genres gaining popularity and gaining attention, titles like Final Fantasy 16 and Tales of Arise show that there’s a hunger for spikier hair, turn-based battles, and elaborate villains among gamers in 2022. Valkyrie Elysee may very well end up being just another game to cater exclusively to JRPG fans, but it’s in a prime position to do so much more.

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Valkyrie Elysium is the latest and (hopefully) the greatest

Officially unveiled at Sony State of Play in March 2022, Valkyrie Elysee is the fifth entry in the series, and while it shares similarities to what preceded it mythologically, it will likely be very different from its predecessors. Instead of a turn-based combat system that was beautifully implemented in the 2000s Valkyrie Profilethe new game seems to have more resemblance to later Tales games, with timing attacks and building a combo meter being far more important than selecting the right option on a menu screen.

This is a stark contrast to previous entries and could be a change that existing fans of the property will take some getting used to. Valkyrie 2 Profile: Silmeria uses a different system again, so Valkyrie ElyseeThe new mechanics don’t feel like they’re uprooting something that’s been proven and that fans have loved for years. Set in Norse mythology, recently popularized by God of the war, Valkyrie Elysee could provide some familiar elements to those who haven’t even heard of the property, meaning the mere whisper of characters like Odin, Thor, Baldur, and Freya could be exciting for those who don’t typically find pleasure in the property. JRPG genre.

PlayStation was a JRPG machine

Although Japanese role-playing games may have strong roots in the Nintendo Entertainment System with Final Fantasy and dragon quest released on console, it wasn’t until later that the JRPG formula was truly perfected. the trigger of a stopwatch, Earthbound, Final Fantasy 6and Super Mario RPG were all significant SNES improvements over past offerings, and many believe it was the generation that used the genre’s best games to date. However, the move to 3D environments was a leap that Nintendo struggled to make work for JRPGs, where the original PlayStation thrived.

It’s no secret that Final Fantasy 7 has visuals that leave a lot to be desired today, but its gameplay was everything fans loved about RPGs on the Super Nintendo. Subsequent entries into the Final Fantasy The series saw aesthetic improvements and the PlayStation gave Square Enix and other developers room to grow and improve, while the Nintendo 64 simply didn’t have the power to do so. . Valkyrie Profile was one of many standout JRPGs on PS One, co-starring Wild ARMS, wandering history, and Xenogearsamong others. Valkyrie Elysee being under the same banner could make it a fitting re-entry point into an ecosystem densely packed with great RPG titles, and better yet, could prompt a greater emphasis on like-minded games in the future.

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Declining popularity of JRPGs makes Valkyie Elysium unique

In the years following the original PlayStation, the volume of great JRPGs dwindled and never reached the same heights again. There were outliers, like rogue galaxy and dark cloud carried the load on the PlayStation 2 as well as some very good Final Fantasy entries on the system, but other genres seemed to take precedence. Killzone and Call of Duty sparked interest in first-person shooters on Sony’s system, and quality 3D platformers were coming out regularly. The PlayStation 3 and 4 launched the popularity of third-person adventure titles that Sony’s first game has become synonymous with, meaning there were even fewer iconic JRPGs.

Valkyrie Elysee has the ability to do the same as Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and personas 5 did so for their respective systems, being the entry point to an entire genre for a new group of fans. The PlayStation 5 has a litany of upcoming titles that are eagerly awaited, but the brand’s rich history with Japanese role-playing games means a big new one should never be far away. Square Enix’s relationship with Sony is stronger than ever because The DioField Chronicle seems ready to capture some of the fire emblem magic and Final Fantasy 16 remains a PlayStation exclusive.

Should Valkyrie Elysee reach its potential, there is every chance that it will attract the interest of casual audiences like personas 5 in 2017, but with the context of the games that preceded it, Valkyrie Elysee could be the final piece of the puzzle to rekindle the same level of love for JRPG games that was commonplace over 20 years ago. That’s a huge ask, as the original PlayStation was a significant hardware upgrade over the previous generation, but if Japanese role-playing games are going to thrive at the same level, they need a great title to ignite. the fuse.

Valkyrie Elysee launches September 29 for PS4 and PS5, and November 11 for PC.

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