Above: Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth preserves its PlayStation-era visuals and addictive gameplay on the PSP, due in July
The Valkyrie Profile series draws its story from Norse mythology, with gods like Odin making prominent appearances. According to Yamagishi, though, that's just a way to deliver the story the developers wanted to tell. "The importance is not the interpretation of this mythical world, but the Valkyrie’s position and role in the mythology, which we decided was a newer outlook for the motif of the game." That led to the art style. Its lush, traditional fantasy artwork is very different from what we've seen in Star Ocean - or in king of the hill Final Fantasy. "We decided on this styling after putting into consideration [Valkyrie Profile's] mood and story content," is all Yamagishi offers.
With the Valkyrie Profile games, Yamagishi believes that "It is important that we provide a structure that is always fresh and exciting." The first features a unique game flow that forces you to make the best possible use of your time if you want to find all of its secrets, the game progressing in "periods" as each event is completed. There are only a limited number of periods available, so if you don't make good use of your time... you're hosed. Valkyrie Profile 2 follows more traditional lines, but its physical structure - side-scrolling gameplay that recalls the original game - is still unusual.