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Author Topic: Valkyrie Sky  (Read 1313 times)

WarpRattler

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« on: January 18, 2010, 01:28:11 AM »
Alright, so I've tried a few free-to-play MMOs over the last several years, and most of them rub me the wrong way for some reason or another. MapleStory is a major grindfest, La Tale is completely unplayable on my connection due to the particular client-server model it uses, Astro Empires is horribly unbalanced and basically puts a cap on non-paying players, I can't go anywhere in town in Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine because of too many Jack Frost-run shops on screen...but Valkyrie Sky is different. Valkyrie Sky is a marriage of two genres you wouldn't think would work well together, but somehow do. It's an MMORPG...crossed with a shoot-'em-up.

So why do I like this game? Well, I love shmups, I love loot drops, and I love free games, so combining all of that is a great idea in my book. The other reason I like it is because unlike other free-to-play MMOs I've tried, it works as a game. It works for a few reasons:

1. Free-to-play. Duh.
2. Its client-server model works like this: everything in the shmup levels completely takes place clientside except for the game registering that an item has been collected. This means the game is playable even on my horrible connection, and it means it's not screwed up as a shmup.
3. You're not screwed over by playing solo. It's a multiplayer game, and so obviously the focus is on creating parties that take advantage of the synergies between different classes, but you can still play by yourself and not be overwhelmed by anything or be prevented from getting stuff by not playing with other people.
4. The fact that the level system works like a shmup. Each...well, I'd guess you'd call them dungeons, so: each dungeon consists of five levels. Levels three and five have bosses at the end. You get one extra life per level to start; this can be raised with certain equipment. When you die, you drop any items you've picked up, though you can recover them. If you lose both lives, you can use a continue, but you only get three of those per day (unless you buy more). If you run out of continues and get into a situation where you'd need to use one, you're not only booted out of the level, but you have to start back at the first level of that dungeon. No credit-feeding for you unless you're willing to pay for it!
5. Seriously, being able to solo your way through everything is great, and it helps it feel like a proper shmup rather than being weighted too much toward the RPG side.

There's one thing I've heard a lot of complaints about from other people who've tried this game, but it hasn't really affected me yet. The game uses a stamina system so that you can't just play the shmup levels all day. Starting a level costs a certain amount of stamina; this amount is doubled when it's nighttime (in-game cycle). It restores naturally over time, and can be restored more quickly by doing things like listening to people play music or going fishing.

Now, as I said, it's an RPG as well as a shmup, so you've got RPG elements here. You have four major class types. The Bowman is a straightforward character, and playing one is the most like playing a standard shmup. The Swordsman plays a lot like Chaos Field, using a sword to cancel enemy bullets and attack enemies. Summoners, as their name implies, summon creatures to fight for them, and I can't think of a good shmup comparison for them at the moment. Magicians play like RayForce and its sequels, using lock-on shots. Each class has several subclasses, each with different skills; you pick a subclass to start, and you can later pay (in-game money; I don't know if there are any that require you to pay real money) to switch to another one. You've also got your standard damage-dealing stuff, which doesn't really screw up the shmup stuff. It certainly doesn't remove the skill-based aspect of a shmup.

So, give Valkyrie Sky a try and discuss it here.

Glorb

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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 04:33:06 PM »
I didn't read most of your post, sorry. I had a minor cardiac arrest when I thought I was about to stumble onto another Astro Empires.
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