Is BlazBlue’s Valkenhayn DLC worth $8?
A couple of months ago, BlazBlue: CS received its first downloadable character in the form of Makoto. She’s an awesome character to play as and is definitely worth the price. At the end of September, BlazBlue’s second downloadable fighter, Valkenhayn, was released on the PSN. Unsurprisingly, the DLC is once again priced at $7.99.
Don’t cry just yet. This butler is easily one of the most interesting characters in the game.
Back when Makoto was first released, there was an article that claimed that the DLC was a rip-off and that it should have been free of charge. This didn’t make sense to me so I thought it’d be nice to share my opinion and experiences. Aksys Games was kind enough to provide me with a Valkenhayn voucher so I could test the character out for myself. Is he as awesome as Makoto? Not exactly.
In fighting games, some characters resonate well with players, while others don’t. Valkenhayn just didn’t click for me. This doesn’t mean that he’s a bad character. Actually, Valkenhayn is really good. One of his more unique techniques is being able to transform into a Werewolf by using the Drive button. This ability completely changes up his gameplay and you’ll be able rush opponents with devastating combos before they can even react. Of course, that’s assuming you actually learn all of his mixups.
Valkenhayn is definitely not an easy character to learn, let alone master. This could be off putting to a lot of players but the end result is very rewarding. Just going through the challenges and seeing what Valkenhayn is capable of is pretty overwhelming. At times, you’ll need to change from his human form to wolf form mid-combo and it’s easy to make mistakes. His wolf form is risky if used improperly since he can’t block. Make a wrong move and it’s likely that you’ll be punished. Valkenhayn really shines when his opponents are in the corner. Since a few of his combos are situational, your opponents might be able to predict your next attack.
Despite not being a character I can see myself using long term, I absolutely loved the way plays. Some of his combos are easy to hit, do quite a bit of damage, and others requires a ton of patience and precision. Based on the reaction from the community, it seems like Valkenhayn is a bit broken. The arcade version location tests for Continuum Shift II show that Ark System Works are aware of the problem. As a result, he’s been nerfed. The console version of CS is supposed to receive a balance patch in the future but no details have been released as of yet.
In order to enable Valkenhayn you need at least BlazBlue: Continuum Shift ver 1.02 (and obviously purchase the DLC if you want to use him). However, this patch introduced a bug that freezes the game if you use the “In Queue Training Mode” with Ragna, Hazama, or Valkenhayn. To avoid this issue entirely, just don’t use any of those characters in that mode. Version 1.02 also improved the online mode and made it even better than before (who knew that was even possible?). On October 15th, a new patch (version 1.03) was released which fixed the game freezing bug.
The Valkenhayn DLC is easily worth $7.99. Included in the DLC are three new trophies, 10 new challenge mode missions, his unlimited form, and 24 costume colors. You’ll easily clock in a few hours just from the challenge missions alone. It should be noted that Valkenhayn is only playable in Versus, Training, Score Attack, Challenge mode, and Online (just like the Makoto DLC). It may seem a bit pricey but you’re getting tons of value with your purchase. Neither character was simply tacked on or purposefully held back to rip you off and you can really tell. Whether or not you’ll enjoy using Valkenhayn though is something you’ll need to figure out for yourself.
Valkenhayn was released on September 28th and is only available for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.