Jump to content

Valis: The Fantasm Soldier Collection -- Switch -- Short Review

Recommended Posts

A few days ago I did something that was decades in the making, and that once seemed neigh impossible...

I completed Valis II

An accomplishment made only possible due to the release of the Valis Collection I for the Nintendo Switch!


Japanese company Edia crowdfunded in 2021 to bring the first three Valis games to the Switch -- they obviously succeeded!

Valis has a long and interesting history -- it's different than most games in many aspects, arguably the most notable is that the protagonist is a girl, a high school girl with magical and hidden powers, and the world needs her. Well, no one ever said the plot is unique! But, at the time, the visuals were unique and magnificent, and in many ways they still are. The Valis series has seen incarnations in many systems, but it is the TurboGrafx-CD version which is iconic. Cinematic cutscenes with real voice-overs! Jaw-dropping back in 1989 --


The guy above is "Megas" -- the final boss in Valis II. He might be a "dark emperor" but he's got style! Animation as seen above seemed light-years ahead of the NES or even the newly released Sega Genesis. As for the game itself. Valis is hard. VERY HARD. Arguably, unfairly difficult. Like many games of the time, the playtime was greatly extended by making the game extremely challenging. For example -- although you had multiple lives, if you perished in the hands of a boss, you would respawn at the boss battle. HOWEVER, all your power-ups were gone, so good luck! Basically, for most people it was all but a death sentence if you died at the hands of a boss -- especially the final boss, and ALL Valis final bosses are exceptionally challenging and frustrating.

Play control is by today's standards decently atrocious. Yuko (the protagonist) feels heavy and sluggish. It also seems as if you have an exceptionally large hit box. But at the time, you might not have noticed because many games had similar issues. Besides, the graphics AND music are breathtaking! Indeed, the music truly completes the game, and again, it was light-years ahead of MIDI pieces so many people associated with video games --

As awesome as the game was, it was arguably far too challenging. What does the Valis Collection do to alleviate such frustration? You can

1)Save at any time.
2)Reload at any time.
3)Save and reload as often as you want at ANY TIME!!

With the save and reload feature, it makes going through the game, well, possible! That said, if all you want to see is the visuals, you do not even have to play the game. You can watch ALL the visuals for the three TurboGrafx-CD games from inside each game's menu -- the menu also allows you to see the manual and listen to the soundtrack, plus a few other small features --


So, after spending a few hours completing each game (thanks to the save and load at any time feature) what do I think?

The games are frustrating and cheap by today's standards! But, also very artistic, visually and audibly striking. I high recommend the game for someone who enjoys "classic" albeit classically difficult games, and/or someone who is into gaming history. That said, in general I doubt most people would be interested. Also, the collection has a few negatives as well --

--The games have English subtitles, and quite honestly the Japanese voice acting is superb! The English voice acting, well, not superb. HOWEVER, why was it not included? That is a shame, because good or bad, the English voice acting is part of gaming history and would be most welcome.

B)Rewind button?
--The games have a rewind button... Honestly, a rewind button would and should be useful, but the way its implemented makes it basically useless. Still, not a major issue.

C)There are a few other "small issues" -- for example, when the credits roll there are no English subtitles, although there should be. However, if you go into the Visuals menu and watch the credits from there, the English subtitles appear as they should.

D)No Valis IV?
--It's included in Valis Collection II. And to be fair, there was never a Western localization of Valis IV for the TurboGrafx.

At the end of the day, as a fan of the TurboGrafx system and games, this is an easy "YES" despite a few shortcomings. For anyone NOT interested in classic gaming, you should pass. That said:

Fan of Classic Games: 9/10

See you Yuko!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...