Dark Rose Valkyrie
Top Critic Average
Developers: Compile Heart, IDEA Factory
Dark Rose Valkyrie - Announcement Teaser Trailer | PS4
Even though Compile Heart had a couple interesting ideas with this game, its execution failed to bring out its true potential. And despite having two Tales of series members on board, their involvement couldn't stop Dark Rose Valkyrie from wasting people's valuable time. At least Fujishima's character designs continue to look gorgeous.
Despite the promising names behind the title, Dark Rose Valkyrie stumbles over its own ambitions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the parts of the game that were the responsibility of the Tales series veterans, the art and the writing, were the most successful, but where other collaborations have been able to balance each party's strengths an diminish their weaknesses, that's not the case here. Rather than find collaborators who could help balance Compile's consistently lukewarm gameplay design, this joint effort substitutes Helvetica for Times New Roman instead of fixing 10 pages of typos.
Dark Rose Valkyrie doesn't blow the doors off the hinges, but it does serve as a much improved JRPG over what has been a largely tepid series of releases from Compile Heart and others. The story is fine, the battle system is fun and unique, and exploration is a large part of the adventure. While there are some cliches and rehashed elements throughout, Dark Rose Valkyrie represents what a top end-formulaic JRPG can be.