Jotun: Valhalla Edition Review
Norse Mythology has gotten a lot of attention in movies, video games, comics, and books. You can barely escape Norse mythology! So a new game with this well-trodden mythology isn’t much of a surprise. However, just because its not surprising doesn’t make it bad. Jotun: Valhalla Edition is full of Norse Mythology and it is now on the Wii U eshop. Is the game any good? Read on to find out!
Jotun: Valhalla Edition has a very good story. There is a nice cutscene at the beginning and then most of the story is told via voice acting & subtitles. It is a very well done story and it uses Norse Mythology very well. Of course, it wouldn’t matter if the story was good or not if the gameplay wasn’t solid! Thankfully, Jotun is a lot of fun.
Jotun is, without a doubt, an action packed game, but there are plenty of puzzles and exploration to be had too. There is a lot to see in this game and you won’t always be fighting things. Sometimes, you’ll be solving puzzles or just taking in grand backdrops as you explore. You’ll need to keep an eye out for hidden powers as you dig into each other. Don’t get me wrong though, Jotun is a challenging game, the boss fights especially are intense, but the game is also really fun. One moment you’ll be failing to impress the gods and then the next you’ll finally beat that boss and the Gods will be so very impressed! I liked this game a lot. Though, I have to admit, I wish Jotun was more of a Wii U game.
Jotun has good controls, but it doesn’t take advantage of the Wii U much. There is a touch screen interface for using powers, but you don’t have to use it because the powers can be used via buttons. Although, I have to admit I didn’t like the powers being linked to the A button. I kept pushing the A button, forgetting it was for powers instead of attacking. Some people won’t mind this but I found it to be a small annoyance. There really isn’t a lot other uses for the Wii U gamepad other than the map.
Jotun’s gamepad map isn’t very useful. Your character isn’t tracked on the map, so its hard to tell where you are sometimes. The game also doesn’t have off-tv play! I think this was a big miss for the title because Jotun would’ve been fun to play just on the gamepad. Its not like you really needed the second screen for anything else. I did use the powers more via the gamepad touch screen than the buttons, but I could have easily just used the buttons. I’m not saying that Jotun isn’t an excellent game. It is a really great game. What I’m saying is that its not really a Wii U game. I’m glad its on the system, but I think so much more could’ve been done with the Wii U gamepad support. Off-TV play, at the least, would’ve been great, but a better map and more touch screen or even motion or amiibo support would have been cool.
That said, we are very lucky to have Jotun: Valhalla Edition on the Wii U. There is a lot of content in this game. The story and gameplay mode is pretty big and there is an extra Valhalla boss rush mode (if you dare take on the bosses again. Whew). Though to me, even better than the story and gameplay is the graphics and sound of Jotun!
Jotun’s graphics are jaw dropping. From the sweeping vistas, to the massive bosses, various puzzles, and run of the mill bad guys, Jotun Valhalla Edition is one of the best looking games on the Wii U. Even so, there is one thing that holds the graphics back a little bit for me. As you play the game, the in-game camera will pull back to show you more of the levels or show off the massive boss you are fighting. This looks great, but can be a problem too.
As the camera pulls back, you may find it hard to figure out just where your character is sometimes! Everything else may be big, however your character will remain small. This can really be a pain, especially during fights with giant enemies. It may seem like a small gripe, but its can be a frustrating problem. This is really the only problem I can find with the graphics because Jotun: Valhalla Editions graphics are amazing!
The sound in Jotun: Valhalla Edition is incredible and definitely better than the graphics! For me, the biggest standout in the sound is the sound effects. A bird cawing, a loud hammer hitting an anvil, and so many more effects just bring Jotun’s world(s) to life and make you believe you’ve fallen into the Norse realms.
And then there’s the music and the voice acting in this game, which are also fantastic! The music can be intense or subdued when needed and the non-English voice acting is just perfect for this game. I’m not a huge fan of reading subtitles but for this game it works. Jotun needs this beautiful language to be along aside its wonderful music and sound effects. Jotun: Valhalla Edition is an absolute treat for the ears. Jotun, overall, is a can’t miss experience.
Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a great game. The story, gameplay, graphics, and sound blend together into a fantastic experience. I especially loved the sound in this game and could go on about it forever. I do think there were some missed opportunities in the game however. Jotun doesn’t feel like a Wii U game because of its tacked on gamepad experience and while its graphics are great, your character will definitely get lost sometimes in the grander of the game. That said, Jotun: Valhalla Edition is an experience you shouldn’t miss on Wii U! I’m glad the developer brought the game to the system and I hope everybody goes out and plays it. The Gods demand it! You want to impress the Gods right? Then, download Jotun: Valhalla Edition right now!
Thank you to developer Thunder Lotus for providing a review copy of the game. Jotun: Valhalla Edition is now available on the Wii U eshop!
- Very good story
- Excellent Graphics
- Fun and engaging gameplay
- Fantastic soundtrack
- Tacked on Gamepad support
- Small characters in a big landscape
- No off-Tv play