gamespot score:6.0(fair)

my score:7.3

(+)pros:-encourages lots and lots of stragetic play,- interesting characters,- many playthrough routes available,- destiny plume invoking helps in a pinch,- multiple endings.

(-)cons:- gameplay mechanics including siege attacks are hard to learn,- too hard,- battles take hell a long time to conclude.

gameplay time: 30-40 hours (above average)

Yoyo. Today Im doing valkyrie profile:covenant of the plume. Cleared it for quite awhile, so I may not remember every exact bit of the story details. Anyway, I did find gamespot rather harsh on this one. 6.0? Give square a break, it wasnt too bad. Though I have to agree this is a step down from valkyrie profile: lenneth for PSP. Never played silmeria though, couldnt find it at the time. Anyway here we go.

Covenant of the plume has a pretty good plot, though it doesnt quite match up to that of profile: lenneth. It speaks of a male protoganist, wylfred, though he is usually called wyll. Anyway wyll's father was one of the chosen, as in chosen by the valkyrie, lenneth. Apparently he isnt happy about it, since his father's selection means no work for the family, which led to the death of his sister due to lack of food. So he apparently curses the valkyrie. So one day he goes to join up in the mercenary with his best friend ancel. So they are one day attacked by a vast amount of monsters. Failing to keep up with the enemies, he is slayed and given another chance to live by the queen of hell, she also gives him the ability to invoke the plume, to give someone insane power, but makes him or her die after that. Needless to say he uses it on ancel in an upcoming battle, and his best friend is thus lost. With the death of his friend and the power to invoke the plume, he sets off his journey to battle against the valkyrie.

Covenant of the plume has some interesting battle mechanics. It runs by valkyrie profile: lenneth's play style in battle, with up to 4 combatants to chain up the combo and perform finishers. Except this time they put a little strategic twist to it, by adding turn by turn stragetic elements. Thus covenant of the plume is a strategic RPG hybrid following the old battle rules. This isnt bad, its kinda interesting. But still, there are still issues. In fact the only issues with the game come from battle. Well on to them.

So yeah before you head into battle, you go into towns and such to stock up on armor and tirgger event scenes. Triggered event scenes usually lead to battle, and thats where the stuff happens. In battles, the fights run as I said above. To engage an enemy in the classic battle system, 1st you have to send any number of your 4 units to surround the enemy, then have the last one to reach there attack the enemy. If you have 4 units around the enemy, battle takes place like previous games, 4 on 1. But if you send any less, then you only get that amount fighting. This kinda sucks and you have to probably wait for an enemy to come by and let all 4 gang up on the poor fella. If you so dare to fight one on one with the fella you are in for some dip shit, since enemies have collosal stats and are a pain to kill. This makes the game hard and unfair, your enemies are near godly, and you need to gang up on them. That means battles can take hours too. What a pain.

Aside from all that, learning the basics in battle arent as easy as you think. Before you jump into all that whatsnot, you need to learn about the complicated starting mechanics. All the nonsense about siege attacks and stuff are complicated as hell. Its kinda hard to understand what the game is trying to make out with the rules in battle, even at the start. Whats more with you trying to grasp the going ons in battle the enemies are already to strong then, making things...... annoying.
Overall the game itself is good. But it doesnt stand up quite as well as the predusuccors in terms of almost everything. The difficulty can get extremely annoying but if you're one to suck it up and play like a pro, you can take this. I kinda flunked this caused I got the freya ending...but hell.

Happy gaming.