XSeed has been awfully quiet after releasing Shadow Hearts: From the New World last year, until they announced they picked up Valhalla Knights. Marvelous released the game in Japan last summer and it’s coming out in North America in just a few months. To find out more about XSeed’s latest project we spoke to Jimmy Soga, the assistant localization producer of the game.
Siliconera: What made Valhalla Knights stand out as a game that XSeed wanted to work on?
Jimmy Soga (Assistant Localization Producer): There were a lot of things that impressed us in the title such as the stunning graphics, seamless transition to the real-time battles, and unlimited options to create the character and party you desire. Also you are able to switch the character you are controlling on the fly which brings many strategies into the battles. All of us here enjoyed playing it and think the US gamers will have a blast as well.
The title suggests tie-ins with Norse mythology, are there any?
There really aren’t any direct tie-ins with Norse mythology such as Odin or Thor making an appearance, but it does have a similar theme with the presence of supernatural beings.
How does Valhalla Knights play? Is it an action RPG? Dungeon Crawler?
It’s an action RPG with plenty of dungeon crawler elements. You’ll have all the traditional RPG mainstays such as Elves, Dwarves and Halflings playing as fighters, mages, and priests, among other job classes, as they explore dungeons, forests, castles, and even some unique places such as a machine city and an old ninja village. All the non-boss enemies are visible on the field map and each enemy has a field of vision. You can avoid detection by staying out of an enemy’s field of vision in order to try to surprise attack them or to avoid battle altogether. By checking the map you can figure out the best way to move forward. And as I mentioned before, the battle is in real-time so you really don’t have time to relax in this game.
The battle system looks interesting where you have control over the type of strikes. How does this work?
The basic actions you can perform during a battle are physical attack, magic, use an item, and special attack. The strikes of attack will depend on the type of weapons your characters have equipped. Also depending on the weapon type and how many you have equipped (i.e. one hand or both hands), you will perform different special attacks as well. Since you can control any of your characters on the fly, if there’s a specific command you want a certain character to perform you can simply switch to that character and do it manually.
There are five different races players can select from what are the advantages / disadvantages between them?
Different races indeed do have different strong points. Humans are the most balanced, Dwarves are a rough group with strong physical attributes, Elves excel in magic, Halflings have great dexterity and quickness, and Machines can do serious damage with their weapons. However this doesn’t necessarily mean that all Dwarves should be just fighters and all Elves should be only magic users. In Valhalla Knights you are able to have one main job and 2 sub-jobs which enables you to create the type of balanced character you really want. For example, a Dwarf mage with fighter strength or Elf fighter with healing power can be created.
What kind of party would you recommend for people starting out?
If you start off as a non-healer then your first party member should be a priest. In the beginning you will be out numbered in many battles so a member with healing ability will come in very handy.
Can you share a secret with our readers? How do you unlock the machine race, I want a mixed party of halflings and robots!
I see that you’ve done your homework. Machine is a race that you cannot hire (create) from the start. As you progress through the game you’ll come in contact with them so can’t really tell you how to unlock them quite yet. And as for your fantasy party, as long as you have willing party members at the guild or money to hire (create) your own party members, you can make the team however you please as long as the main character stays in the party too.
Did XSeed make any changes or enhancements to the game?
No major enhancements but rather resolve a couple minor issues that came up in the Japanese version. None of the core gameplay has been changed.
When will we be able to pick up Valhalla Knights at the game store around the corner?
Valhalla Knights will launch on March 6th, 2007. It’s a great game so please check it out!
Thanks for having us.
And thanks for answering our questions! We’re going to be checking out Valhalla Knights real soon so stay tuned for some hands on coverage, hopefully with Android