Dark Rose Valkyrie review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Publisher: Idea Factory
Developer: Compile Heart
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

While I’d hardly call myself a fan of the genre, I’ve probably played more than my fair share of JRPGs (thanks, Vita). And even if I’m definitely not some sort of expert, I’d like to think I’ve developed a feeling for what makes a good JRPG vs. what makes a bad JRPG. Consequently, with all “expertise”, I can say this about Dark Rose Valkyrie: out of every JRPG I’ve ever played, this is certainly one of them.

By that, I mean that it’s about as middle-of-the-pack as middle-of-the-pack gets. The story is exactly what you’d expect, and it hits all the usual beats of teenagers/students being called on to fight invading forces from somewhere else. The characters are exactly what you’d expect, and they fill all the usual roles you usually see in JRPGs.

The same goes for the combat: it’s your typical party- and turn-based combat. You manage your squad, you take on quests,you run around a generic city backdrop waiting for monsters to pop into view, so that you and your squadmates can kill them and collect whatever they drop. There’s nothing particularly distinctive or memorable about any of the attacks, and the monsters are equally forgettable.

There are one or two areas where Dark Rose Valkyrie kinda-sorta stands out: it makes fast-forwarding through the battles, the explainer screens, and the dialogue a breeze, which is nice, because the game features far too much of all three.

Unfortunately, the game is also lacking in enough areas that its positives are negated entirely. The camera is terrible; you may not have to use it that often, but when you do, you’ll probably curse its existence. Likewise, the main character has a weird habit of grunting when he runs. This may not sound like much, but when you hear grunts for a few minutes as you try to figure out where to go next, it gets more and more grating.

Neither of these issues are game-breaking, of course, but neither is the simple ability to fast-forward so amazing that it elevates Dark Rose Valkyrie into something special. Rather, they cancel each other out, leaving you with one of the most JRPGs you’ll ever play.

Idea Factory provided us with a Dark Rose Valkyrie PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: C