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Archive for the ‘Recommended Games’ Category

Usually, if I were to try a new game, I’d first hear about it from people online. Various places, such as gaming forums, review sites and more are places where I, like many people, look for new games to play. However, that’s not the case with World of Goo; I had been so busy for the past few weeks that I didn’t look for new games to play. Yep, I’ve been a good girl.
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I have a bunch of friends who install games in the Final Year Project lab at the university. Of course, it’s not like they play all day and do no work; on the contrary, they go there to work and play games during breaks.
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That’s when I first saw a friend play World of Goo.
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It’s such a cute game; I mean, who could resist those cute little blobs of goo? They squeal when you accidentally drop them, and if you put them into a structure (more of the gameplay later on), they stare at you with big curious eyes as though wondering what you’ll do to them next.
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It’s a mind-tickling game too. It’s based on physics, as in building structures and making sure that they don’t crash before you reach the goal. Sometimes you’re required to do more than just building structures; you’ll have to wake sleeping goo up!
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But first, before I go more into detail about the game, here’s a trailer:

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Official World of Goo trailer taken from YouTube.
Note that I have nothing to do with the creation or posting of this video;
I merely posted it here in my blog.

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It’s actually the second official trailer. I didn’t put the first trailer instead because I didn’t quite like it; it sped all the gameplay up and confused new people (like it did my friend).
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But anyways, now I’ll go deeper into the details of the game, and my thoughts on it!

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Artwork / Graphics:

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The first thing you’ll notice from the trailer is the stunning colours of the game. Different chapters of the game will give a different feel to the atmosphere; the happy summer beginning is filled with greenery and blue skies, a nice happy start to the game’s early stages; brown desert colours as we approach the autumn chapter in a windy desert; and so on.

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The Colourful Design of the World of Goo.
Source: http://wii.ign.com/

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These colours are pleasing to the eyes, making the game an attractive game to see, especially to people who usually prefer 2D games like me.
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It doesn’t matter if it’s not incredibly realistically 3D like Devil May Cry 4; a game doesn’t have to be 3D to be attractive, right?

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Music / Soundtracks:

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From the trailer, after the artwork / graphics, the next thing you’ll notice about the game is the music. Dramatic, full of vocals, mostly orchestrated (or, at least, it sounds orchestrated to me) and sometimes touched with percussion, the soundtracks adds on to the emotions created by the game, just like the track used for the trailer.
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Of course, not all soundtracks are dramatic and orchestrated; Captain of Polka is a fast-paced song, giving the players the excitement of building the highest tower of goo; Drive Slowly has a slow, dangerous feel to it, cautioning the players to proceed with care; Wind Through the Willows, a slow sad song that shows the desolation of a windy desert; and so on.
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For people who like orchestrated or slow songs, World of Goo is a great recommendation, available for download for free at Kyle Gabler’s Portfolio: World of Goo Soundtrack.
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Geez, I sound like a promoter now. x_x

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Gameplay:

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And, of course, the gameplay of the game is important; after all, without good gameplay, a game is of little value. Fortunately, World of Goo has a great gameplay, keeping players occupied and entertained for hours to end.
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World of Goo is a puzzle game with strong emphasis on physics, where the players build structures to reach towards the goal, not completely unlike the flash game Fantastic Contraption. There are five chapters in the World of Goo, each with varying number of stages, and in every stage, the player is given a different starting structure with varying number of goo balls (you may get a little as four clickable ones or as many as a hundred), distance to the goal, and terrains and obstacles to the goal, which may include, but not limited to, spikes, fire, blades, and more.

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The Different Ways of Reaching the Goal.
Source: http://www.gamesradar.com/

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The players will have to use each set of terrain to their advantage and build towards the goal, which, in many cases, is the pipe where the goo balls are sucked into. The catch is; each stage requires a certain number of remaining / unused goo balls to pass.
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Can you build a structure and still attain the number of goo balls left?
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Not only that, there are also several types of goo balls; the black ones, which can only attach to two others at the same time; the green ones, which can attach to three others and be detached from the structure; pink balloons that help to keep the structure up; water drop-like clear ones that only attach to one; and more.
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Other than the stages in the five chapters of the game, there is another stage called the World of Goo Corporation, where extra goo balls gained from each stage will go. Here, players can build a tower of goo as high as possible and submit their score to the online leaderboard.

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Storyline / Plot:

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Usually puzzle games have little to no storyline, as the focus is often on the gameplay. However, in World of Goo, there is a short plot; which is told mainly through short cutscenes (which occurs between every chapter) and even shorter messages on signs left all over the stages, which are written by the mysterious Sign Painter.
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As the game starts, we are presented with the curious and naïve goo balls, and we follow them around the summer island in search of adventure. As they reach the highest point of the island, they tried to go even higher by floating high into the sky, and there, they are able to see far and wide; a world much bigger than just their puny little island, where they can meet new kinds of goo!
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But the World of Goo Corporation then opens… what lies in store for the goo balls? What is this organisation up to?
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The storyline is a little subtle; while the Sign Painter’s messages are hints to help the players on the stage completion, they’re also often subtle messages that hint towards the storyline. The storyline are humourous and creative, added with a degree of silliness that makes it fun and entertaining.
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Yep, the storyline has a degree of silliness in it, with happenings that don’t make sense in the real world. For example, who would’ve thought it was possible to leave an island by grabbing onto floating eyeball things (filled with helium, maybe?) that are strangely strong enough to support a whole structure of goo?
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Of course, I don’t mean that the silliness is a bad thing; in fact, it’s greatly welcomed, we do need some humour in our lives. Not unlike how I enjoy watching cartoons sometimes!

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Is It Worth It to Get World of Goo?

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Of course! With great combination of colourful and cute design, expressive soundtracks, fun gameplay and interesting (though short) storyline, topped with humour and creativity like icing on a cake, who wouldn’t want to at least try the game?
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But hey, still not convinced? Well, here’s some extra resources for you!

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Reviews:

 

Downloads:

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Get it now! You’ll enjoy at least some hours of fun. =D

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~Estrelita Farr, who finished the whole game!

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Ta-da! Estrelita’s new story at FanFiction.net!!

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Breath of Fire III official art on the characters. Swiped from Wikipedia.org.

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Title: Breath of Fire III: Of Gods and Dragons

Based on: Breath of Fire III (PSX Game)

Type: Fantasy / Adventure RPG

Length: Twenty-eight chapters, one prologue, one intermission, one epilogue

Short Summary: Dragons. Great beings the Goddess deemed evil, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the heart of the bravest man. But they are now extinct, for reasons unbeknown to us… except for the last Dragon. This is his story.

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Read it here.

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A Partial Summary on the Storyline of Breath of Fire III:

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The world is advancing. People have discovered a new source of energy. Chrysm crystals, formed by the fossilisation of bodies of magical beings.
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Magical beings such as the extinct Dragons.
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Dragons, great beings deemed evil by the Goddess, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the bravest man.
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No one knows why they are extinct now.
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Deep in the Dauna Mine, two people discover a dormant Dragon whelp in the highest quality chrysm crystal they have ever seen. By their manager’s orders, they regretfully shattered the crystal to free the Dragon.
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Only to discover it is still alive.

The Dragon whelp, frightened out of its wits, is captured, but escapes as its cage rolls off the train and onto a cliff.
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A half-tiger and a young boy, hunting in the forest, discover a small, shivering boy hidden under the bushes.
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A boy, whose name is Ryu, who remembers nothing but his name. With nowhere to go, the duo take him in as their family, as brothers passing their days peacefully.
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But apparently these peaceful days are not to last long.
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They are targeted by strong members of the black market, whose attacks are intended to kill the trio.
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Ryu survives, and leaves the area in search of his family.
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Only to meet the attackers who have separated him from his friends.
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They try to kill him once more.
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He is pushed beyond limits. Filled with determination to protect the princess who saved him once.
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Unconsciously, he draws on the power of his heritage.
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He is not human.
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The blood of a Dragon flows within him.
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And there, the story begins.
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My Views on this Game’s Story, a.k.a. Why Choose This for a Novelisation?

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Back in my younger days when I used to play games all day long, the PS1 was my trusty companion. On that console was the platform for most of my favourite games; Alundra, Brave Fencer Musashi, Tales of Destiny, Azure Dreams, Legend of Legaia, Legend of Mana, Legend of Dragoon, etc… and of course, Breath of Fire 3.
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I’ve always loved Dragons. You could say that, among all races, Dragons are my favourite races. Hence, I’ve never liked stories with all evil Dragons (so I never quite liked the portrayal of western Dragons… too evil for my liking), but prefer stories with Dragons as legendary beings, powerful beings that humans can’t match.
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Dragons, in my view, aren’t actually reptiles, but actually avians – same category as birds. They don’t always breathe fire, they can also spew ice, lightning, and other sort of things, depending on the element they are. Even humans in the magical world have at least an element that they’re pretty good at, right? Same with Dragons. Not all will shoot fire or even use breath attacks – some may be good at speedy flying and clawing, some may be slow but really strong. But, even though I like stories with Dragon riders / trainers and such, I prefer them to be a noble race on their own, that can talk as well as humans do.
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But I’m getting rather sidetracked… the topic is, why Breath of Fire 3?
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Of course, the main reason would be: DRAGONS!!
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But there’s also Breath of Fire 1, 2, 4 and 5, you’d argue.
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True. But Breath of Fire 3 is my favourite one among all the BoF games. It’s the first Breath of Fire game I’ve ever played, and therefore my attachment to BoF3 is always the strongest. That’s why I chose BoF3 as my novelisation topic.
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By now, you’d think that my head works in simple ways, right? xP
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Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy reading my novelisation! I post new chapters regularly, around Saturday 12pm (GMT+8) every week, so you don’t have to hang on the uncertainty of wondering when a new chapter will be up!
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Also… please review. I take anonymous reviews, too. xP

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~Estrelita Farr, happy with Breath of Fire III!

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First, let me start off by how I found the video. xP

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  • Early this year, my boyfriend bought a PSP with his group of friends and got Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (and recently he started playing MH Portable 2G, using the unofficial English patch). Since I’m also a gamer, I played his PSP occasionally when I’m bored, though the games he had then wasn’t of that much interest to me (and since I have a PS2, I don’t see the point of getting a PSP so I didn’t o_o)..
  • He asked me a few times to search for some PSP games that I can download to play on his PSP when I’m bored (and when he’s not using it!), so I bounced off to GameFaqs (doesn’t everyone? xP) to search for a list of PSP games. Then I gave up and read reviews on RPGFan instead. =D.
  • And then I saw THREE pretty good reviews on FFT: WotL (which is a port of the original PS1 game), and since I loved the original, obviously I had to get it!.
  • Upon finding out that FFT:WotL has some new cell-graphics cutscenes, then I went off to YouTube to look for some videos (not afraid of spoilers since I already completed the original a few times!)..
  • THEN I FOUND THIS!! =D.

It’s a GMV (game music video) made using cutscenes from FFT:WotL, and I think the lyrics fit very well in the portrayal of Ramza and Delita’s friendship!

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(And yes, I do like certain Japanese songs, I do like anime songs after all. xP)

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Here, watch it!

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Oh, before that:

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Wallpaper of the Period

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions (Game)

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Gotta update the wallpapers and you know why I choose this. xP

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Presenting… the GMV!!

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**Edit: Hey, I dunno why the author took this out just a few days after I wrote this on my blog!! I’ll keep looking for it, but so far, zilch. T_T

Nice, wasn’t it? Made me so hyped up over FFT:WotL, then I just had to bug my boyfriend to get it ASAP. xP
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Now I wanna make a music video too!! Though I’ve no artsy idea at all now. T_T
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Disclaimer: I DID NOT MAKE THIS GOOD GMV!! Credits go to the maker. o_o

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And now… a very mini FFT review!!

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Upon starting FFT:WotL a little after reading lots of reviews, I thought I knew what to expect… but no! It blew me off!

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The Pros:

The conversation translation of this PSP version (compared to the PS1 original) is much better now – everyone speaks in funky Shakespearean English!! Yep, the English is a little difficult to me too, the grammar is confusing for me! And that’s a good thing, because it makes it interesting. xP

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But hey, the characters come back in 3D cell graphics, with GOOD voice actors! This isn’t one of those games with ridiculous sounding English voice actors; it’s pretty good!

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The Cons:

Though unfortunately, it’s still just a PS1-to-PSP port, so the actual gameplay and off-cutscene graphics are still the same (I was kinda hoping to see different graphics outside cutscenes… oh well o_o). The icky part is, whenever you use a skill (as in, anything that turns the background dark, INCLUDING using potions!), the animation slows down a lot! The sound effects of those skills don’t match the animation most of the time, and I didn’t think it was that bad. T_T

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Still, it’s a pretty good game to play, and I look forward to seeing all the cell-graphic cutscenes!

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And hopefully you feel like playing the game now. xP

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~Estrelita Farr, signing out!

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According to Dictionary.com, a mythology is “a body of myths, as that of a particular people or that relating to a particular person“.
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Mythology is interesting, and I’m sure you’ve heard of some before. Even now, there are a lot of stories (either short stories or novels or otherwise) and movies/cartoons that use mythology as their plot. For example:
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  • In movies such as Disney’s Hercules, which is based on Greek mythology.
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  • In computer games such as Age of Mythology (even the name has it xP).
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  • In video games such as Okami (PS2, which has all kinds of stories relating to Japanese mythology).
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  • In Japanese manga/anime such as Spirited Away and Inuyasha (seriously!).
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And, of course, our topic today: Valkyrie Profile, which is based on Norse mythology!
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Valkyrie Profile was originally a game on the PSX, first released in 1999 (Japan), and later a manga adaption with the same name was released (no idea when O_o).
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Here’s a short (self-written) summary of the storyline:

Ragnarok, the end of the world, is approaching. Odin, the king of the gods, sent Lenneth Valkyrie, the Battle Maiden, to the land of mortals to collect the souls of human warriors to fight for the gods. All seems to be fine, until Lenneth meets a man who stirs unknown memories inside her, which leads to a series of unpredicted events. And the land of the gods is not as peaceful as it seems, for a plotted betrayal lies within.
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Or something like that. xP
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Valkyrie Profile’s story in both the game and manga are about the same, though because the manga only has 12 chapters, I find that the story is a little rushed. =(

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Some pictures from the original game: [Source]

Valkyrie Profile PSX screenshot Valkyrie Profile PSX screenshot 2

Valkyrie Profile PSX screenshot 3 Valkyrie Profile PSX screenshot 4

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Some pictures from the PSP remake: [Source]

Valkyrie Profile PSP screenshot Valkyrie Profile PSP screenshot 2

Valkyrie Profile PSP screenshot 3 Valkyrie Profile PSP screenshot 4

^ Don’t ask me why this is in Japanese?!!

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Cover page of the manga: [Source]

Valkyrie Profile manga cover

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Some external links for more info:

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Don’t all the pictures and info make you want to play the game or read the manga now? xP

Now I wanna play the PSP remake!

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~Estrelita Farr, signing out!

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