Some games have a rather unusual way of conveying information and taking people on an adventure, and we then see that mechanic mimicked. Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution and GuitarFreaks led to games like Pump It Up and Guitar Hero. Tri-Ace’s Valkyrie Profile is a similar sort. It’s an RPG, but blends in platforming and a more active interface for engaging in attacks. But, as interesting as its ideas were, they didn’t really influence other games at the time. Rather, it took years for other titles to start picking up on the concepts and attempting to integrate them into their own experiences.
It is appropriate, then, that the sudden surge in games that are like Valkyrie Profile was kicked off by a title Tri-Ace helped to make. Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky has similar gameplay and thematic elements. A group of twelve people died in Tokyo, but they aren’t actually dead. They’re now on Protolexa, another world. These young people have unintentionally gotten caught up in the affairs of a god, due to having pieces of one named Yamatoga inside of them. They have to explore through a 2.5D world, platforming around its dungeons. You fight with a party of four, with each person assigned to a button and chaining combos being critical to success. You have the option to send people home. Plus, there are multiple endings. Norse mythology aside, this PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game can feel very similar.
Super Neptunia RPG dumps the typical combat system and perspective of Neptunia games for ones that has a Valkyrie Profile feel too. Seeing as this Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC involves console goddesses, like Neptune, Blanc, Noire and Vert, someone could say it has the mythological element covered. It has 2.5D environments, with Neptune visiting a city hub and exploring surrounding areas that are filled with enemies and possible items you’ll need for its endless fetch quests. The battle system has a bit in common with Valkyrie Profile, as you do have characters each tied to a button, but it is more turned base and the need to wait for an action gauge to fill keeps it from feeling like a true sort of spiritual successor.
Indivisible is the next game on the docket, and it seems like it could be closer than other attempts to make a Valkyrie Profile-like. Ajna is a young woman who can absorb Incarnations of past warriors, just like Lenneth can absorb the souls of fallen warriors. In each case, the heroine uses them to fight alongside her in battle. Four people are in battle at once, with a button connected to each one’s attacks. Given the somewhat spiritual nature of things, we could see if it ends up being an accurate successor when it comes to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2019.
Ironically, the game that should be the most like Valkyrie Profile is the one that isn’t. Valkyrie Anatomia: The Origin is available for mobile devices. Its isn’t completely dissimilar from the original entries. Lenneth is collecting the souls of the recently departed to turn them into Einherjar, warriors who will fight for Odin’s cause. The battle system still has people having four characters, with a virtual “button” assigned to each one to attack enemies. However, the world traversal, passage of time, character growth and other elements that helped make the console games so special are absent.
It seems as though Square Enix has largely abandoned Valkyrie Profile. We haven’t seen a true follow-up since Valkyrie Profile 2 for the PlayStation 2. The Nintendo DS Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume and mobile Valkyrie Anatomia spin-offs are far too different to be considered valid follow-ups. Fortunately, it seems like other developers are starting to pick up where the company left off, to see if the concepts and format could lend themselves well to new adventures.