We're sure everyone can remember back to roughly a year ago when the highly-anticipated Valhalla Knights was released. In just over a year, XSEED is on schedule to release the sequel to this dungeon crawler franchise that includes massive upgrades in terms of customization, monsters and control. Though we do admit that the first title in the series did not receive the warmest reception, the second title is looking to improve upon a lot of the issues that plagued the first title. In order to get a glimpse at some of these upgrades and changes within the world of Valhalla Knights, PSU decided to contact a couple of the game's designers to see exactly what was going on with the upcoming title.
PSU: With Valhalla Knights 2 being the sequel to your highly successful Valhalla Knights release, what steps did you guys take in order to build on the success of the original title?
K2 (Japan): We have new features such as “Action Skill,” “Dizzy,” and “Burst.” The content of the quests can now be viewed from within the menu. Monster groups that appear after beating the game and an extra dungeon (Tower) have been added for this installment, allowing the player to have more things to do in this game.
PSU: The first VK was home to nine different job classes throughout the game. Can we expect the addition of any new classes to be made available via VK2, and if so, which classes will come ready from the start and which will be picked up along the way?
K2: In Valhalla Knights 2 there are three new job classes on top of the nine from the previous Valhalla Knights. In terms of new jobs, the “Monk” class is a front line job specializing in hand to hand combat, while the “Enchanter” job class is the only one that can deal status effects such as poison or paralysis. There is also a “Guard” class which is a job that only dogs can have as their specialty is confusing the enemy with the dog’s distinct movements.
PSU: To expand on the previous question, are there going to be anymore races included within the game's world, and if not, what was the thinking going with the original five races?
K2: There’s a new race of warriors fit for battle called “Akatoki," as well as a new “Canine” race, which will act as the party’s mascot.
PSU: The original provided the user with over 150 style of monsters to commence battle with. Will gamers have a lot to look forward to in regards to new monsters from the sequel? Which new monsters seem to catch your eyes the most as developers?
K2: There are 222 types of monsters that appear in the Hostia Guide. The actual numbers of monsters surpass the previous game by a large margin. Personally, I love the Yeti that appears in Mt. Fibuledo because of how cute it looks. But still, they’re pretty ferocious so take caution when you go near them.
PSU: Can we expect to see the same option via co-op play where users have 30 quests to fulfill together or was there much more added to this process?
K2: There will be 30 wireless cooperative quests. But there are a lot more objectives that need to be cleared before the quest can be completed. We have prepared some equipment with effects that can only be obtained through these cooperative quests.
PSU: Will users still have the chance to battle one another or has this online feature been removed? Also, have you guys added any online elements to perhaps further the experience at all?
K2: We kept the entire Wi-Fi mode from the first Valhalla Knights so players can go head-to-head with other players or do a co-op quest together. Also anything acquired during player vs player or co-op will be transferred to single player as well. Over all it's more intensive so I’m sure everyone will be excited about it.
PSU: We've heard rumors that it would take around 140 hours to complete about 100% of the game, and around 50-60 hours to complete all of the storyline quests - is there any validity to these rumors? How long do you think it will take your average skilled player to work there way through this dungeon crawler?
K2: It should take around 40 hours to finish just the story elements of the game. But in Valhalla Knights 2, we provide many more things to play with. You can gather items, level up characters with new jobs, challenge powerful enemies, and much more.
PSU: What types of changes have you made to the combat system in order to improve on the system utilized in the last installment? Will the user have even more freedom within battle?
K2: We have added new features such as “Skill,” “Dizzy,” and “Burst.” Corresponding to these new features, we built specific AI from scratch just for that. The battles should take place at a much faster pace with more action elements as well. We also revamped the battle controls from the previous installment to make it much more user-friendly.
PSU: At E3 we had the chance to get some hands-on time with VK2 and noticed that our characters were significantly stronger than the enemy. Will this be a problem upon release or will the dynamic leveling system be full-integrated and prevent this from being an issue?
K2: For the E3 demo the characters were much stronger than the enemies to show different aspects of the game without dying. Though we did do some adjusting for the leveling system, we assure you that you will not feel that the game is too easy.
PSU: The original story featured a village and the vast world around it. What sort of new things can we expect from VK2 to build on from this atmosphere and was there anything you guys had to unfortunately leave out of the final build?
K2: The stories of VK1 and VK2 are not connected. We always choose to build an entirely new story so that there is no direct connection. The VK series puts a lot of focus on the fun of the player “cutting his/her own path in the world.” There are some quests that we could not include. We intend to add them in if there will be a sequel to the VK series.
One last question. Can you let us in on what's next for Marvelous Entertainment?
K2: We still cannot make any official announcements, but we have plans for PSP-related games. The American market is the most important market to Marvelous, so we intend to make more games for the users here.
PSU: Thank you for your time
K2: Thank you.