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Welcome to Level 02 of Level-Up Fridays. There has already been quite a bit of great RPG related news since last week so lets get right into it.

This may be coming a bit late but Valkyria Chronicles will be getting more PS3 DLC in early 2010 with Challenges from team Edy. It’s nice to see that Sega is continuing to support the game will DLC and I hope to see it continue for some time seeing as the sequel will be coming to PSP only. Speaking of Valkyria Chronicles 2 There has been quite a few game play videos of the game making their way around the interwebs.

Valkyria Chronicles

The game is looking far better then I expected which is a very good thing. The game play looks as smooth and in depth as the PS3 original and will probably have a bit more depth that we have yet to be told about. The game runs well and doesn’t seem to be slowed down at all because of the move to PSP which is always a welcome. This isn’t to say the team hasen’t had to make some compromises though. It seems that most of the in game cut scenes will be replaced with either Anime movie sequences or static dialog sequences ala Disgaea or Persona. This is a good thing however as I would much rather have better alternatives then a half hearted cut scenes due to the PSP limitations.

The next little bit of news is the one that excites me the most and that would be the announcement of Disgaea Infinite. NIS has announced a new Disgaea game and it will be coming to the PSN however there is quite a bit of confusion as to which system it will be for. Sony themselves list the game as a PS3 game while gaming magazine Famitsu lists the game as a PSP title. It can be possible that the game will be for both and will function similar to how PSone classics function however at this point anything is possible. The game is set to be shown at Tokyo Game Show so it won’t be much longer until we know for sure what to expect.

Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories

Finally it has been confirmed that Start Ocean The Last Hope International will be released day and date with the Japanese release on Feburary 9th 2010. New content has been added however not much news on what that content is. The game will support both Japanese and English voice over and will obviously be on a single disc which is a big plus as the original game would have you switching discs while exploring the worlds and that could be quite the annoyance. Rumors abound that the PS3 version will run 1080P native and will feature new content however until Tokyo Game Show rolls around treat all this as rumor.

Star Ocean 4 The Last Hope

Now Today I would like to talk about one of the first great PS3 games to ever see release and it was unfortunately extremely overlooked. The game of which I speak of is Folklore. Folklore was the first game of the new generation that truly wowed me. It also proved that you didn’t need a incredibly power engine to create a incredibly beautiful game. No when you look at it Folklore graphics engine isn’t the most technically impressive around but what was impressive was the artistic touch the game had.

Ellen of Folklore

Throughout the game you would travel from various different worlds in the Netherworld as Ellen and Keats. These worlds run the gamut from a Fairy like world to a War two world to a under the sea world all of which are very beautiful and all have there own little effects to make them beautiful. A nice example is the Fairy world in which there are many beautiful fields of flower which many petals blowing in the wind or the palace in which when you walk down the stairs a musical tone sounds and butterflies spring forth from the ground. There are little touches like these throughout the game that really add to the beauty of these worlds.

The other key thing that made the game so great was the story line. You will play the game as one of 2 characters and you eventually have to play both to get the full story, as they experience much of the same events you will be getting different perspectives on various events. Many great twists and turns throughout the game make it very difficult to guess what will happen next and by the end you will truly care about what happens to Ellen and Keats. In fact I would go as far that Folklore was one of the first games this generation in which I truly cared about the characters.

Keats a character in Folklore

The game was also in my opinion the first game to successfully use the Sixaxis controls and it really added a feeling of depth to the game. You would have to follow various movements with the controller to pull the souls out of enemies. Motions like pulling up and down and moving the control from left to right to slam the soul into the ground to knock it senseless. These parts where really well done and it really worked. The Sixaxis mimicked what Ellen and Keats needed to do on screen so it brought you into the game a little more as well as added a bit of variety into the already great combat.

So why was the game overlooked? Well the game was developed by Game Republic who prier to Folklore had developed the poorly received Genji: Days of the Blade. It can be said that after Genji most didn’t give Folklore a second thought assuming it would basically be just like Genji with a different setting. Folklore received mostly positive reviews however despite this the game didn’t sell as much as most would have liked to see.

The game wasn’t extensively Japanese either as it was heavily based in Irish Folklore hence the name. In fact some may be surprised to know that the game never even had a Japanese voice track recorded for it’s release. All the characters speak English with Irish accents and the only option for the Japanese release was sub titles. This was done to keep the feeling of being in the Irish village of Doolin and added a lot to the game. However still the game seemed to not appeal to the gamer audience at large.

I would like to use to opportunity to say that if you own a PS3 give Folklore a try. It’s easily one of the best games on the platform and having been around for a while now you can probably pick it up are dirt cheap.
That’s it for Level-Up this week. Be sure to give me your feed back in the comments section. No registration required.