It's a rare occasion that, as a game critic, you find yourself not really sure of just what to make of a game you're playing. What's the point where a game is being unreasonably difficult? Where do you draw the line between difficult mission objectives or developers are forcing you to stick to one particular solution? These are the sorts of things that come up surprisingly rarely as a game reviewer and it makes those few situations where it is an actual issue somewhat frustrating.

Valhalla Knights 2 brings this issue up rather immediately. It's not that it makes or breaks this game, no there's no doubting that this is just a bad game. But it might not be considered as bad if not for the unreasonable difficulty level. Since this is yet another RPG with real-time combat that lacks a block button and has overpowered enemies you're going to find yourself in slugfests right from the get go that you will be on the losing end of.

So this leaves us with the fact that, straight out the door, Valhalla Knights 2 is purely about the level grind. You will go out into the dungeon, fight as many enemies as you can, retreat to town to heal up and then go back out. Keep on doing this ad nauseum until you've leveled up enough to actually stand a chance against the basic enemies and have enough money to start buying new party members. Once you have those new party members you will be trying to level them up as well which just perpetuates the cycle.

There isn't anything wrong with an RPG requiring heavy level grinding, all of the Shin Megami Tensei titles make copious use of it if you want to proceed without frustration, but Valhalla Knights 2 practically makes an art style out of it.

Of course this brings out the other problem that the game has, your party members are rather horrible at just about everything they do. You can vaguely set up what they're to do in combat beforehand but they're just rather terrible at doing anything other than just melee attacking foes. If you're looking to have a mage in the party its best if you just make that your primary hero and leave the spell casting to yourself rather than even trying to let the computer handle it.

Of course you can actually control each of your party members but trying to switch characters in the heat of battle is an absolute mess in and of itself. When you're fighting a hard enemy and you need to have your characters doing particular things it can be quite the mess to switch between your party members and assign them to do things. It's just not a very good system as it stands. Were it to actually pause the game or do something else to give you a moment to think it would be an acceptable, possibly even useful, system. Now it pretty much feels like an afterthought.

While the cutscenes actually look surprisingly good you will find yourself kind of surprised at just how bad the in game graphics are. Everything is blocky as heck and it looks like an early generation PlayStation One title. All of the characters look like moving collections of blocks and the animations aren't the most fluid either. Bad graphics are excusable if it makes up for it in a game running smoothly but that isn't the case here. When exploring dungeons and you have more than a few enemies crawling about you will find the game beginning to chug a bit every so often. Whether this is due to programming mistakes or overtaxing the PSP remains up in the air.

Nowadays we, as gamers, can be pickier about the things that we pick up. We shouldn't buy a title simply because we liked the first or to support the game developer. Games should be purchased because the game is actually a good experience and it isn't a mess of programming. Valhalla Knights 2 does nothing with the power of the PSP and is a rather bad game to boot. There's no reason to use your money on this game unless you already own all the good RPGs to be found on the PSP and even then it's a debatable purchase.