The new game by Arcen Games, A Valley Without Wind 2 is a curious mix of side scrolling RPG and a turn based strategy with a drizzling of semi-comedic narrative. The game play is fairly simple and the tutorial is short but informative. At the start you get to filter out the character types you’re not keen on and roll for your states, which is always fun. You then pick your type of magic and get thrown out into the world.
Your character starts out standing in front of the arch-demon Demonaica being given the Oblivion Crystal, which grants you immortality. You then return to you chamber only to realise that you’re character is actually a double agents, working for the resistance. You have been charged with the monumental task of infiltrating the enemy camp and to do the unspeakable to gain trust of Demonaica, and ultimately the gift of immortality. The big plan beihind this is that you can’t defeat an immortal enemy, so you’re going to become immortal too and even the odds a little. It is at this point that A Valley Without Wind 2 starts. It is time for you to turn the tide in the war against evil as leader of the resistance.
My thoughts, which you might not like...
I have a problem with this game. After the first few hours I decided that I was taking it too seriously, then after a few more hours I decided I wasn’t taking it seriously enough. It’s not that it’s a bad game, it’s a good game, the action is to the point and fun, the strategy feels dangerous and gets you thinking. My problem is that it took me 8 hours to realise it was a good game, and the only reason I stuck with it so long was because it was given to me for free to review, so I felt like I owed it to the game to give it a real thorough play through and a achieve some kind of outcome. I lost, which I feel actually adds to the game. I was good on the action and weak on the strategy and I lost.
Good, games should be challenging. I feel like A Valley Without Wind 2 presents itself wrong. You feel like you’re supposed to take it seriously, which just ends up frustrating you because the music is a bit silly and almost none of the states and achievements really mean anything. Your equipment lasts a few rounds then disappears, you can change your magic type at any point and you can’t actually die. So you give in and only do the fun parts, then you loose. So you try again only this time you try harder to find the balance, and it is there, but unless it’s pointed out you probably won’t find it.
Basically I think A Valley Without Wind 2 does itself a disserves by being to complicated and to simple at the same time. Also I feel like if the narrative was stronger or more obvious it could highlight the requirement for balance in play better. As it stands, it’s too easy to brush over and miss it.
It’s a good game; play it, read the narrative and go for balance, play the strategy game and the action game, give it the time it deserves to get into the game. If after 3 hours you still don’t like it, well what you going to do. I think it’s a good game, but it has some serious gaps that need sorting out. Again I like it because I really dove into this game and looked reasons to love it and hate it, and I found both.