A huge, strategic success….
Game: Valkyria Chronicles Remastered
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
(Review code provided by publisher)
Let’s go back in time to 2008. Valkyria Chronicles, a strategic, tactical RPG was released for the PlayStation 3 from the folks at SEGA. This RPG achieved, maybe surprisingly somewhat, massive critical success. Although I sadly missed out on the initial PlayStation 3 release, I’ve heard tag lines such as ‘one of the greatest RPGs to be released on the PlayStation 3’ and other such lines offering high praise. Now, there was some fantastic RPGs that were released on the PlayStation 3, so what things like that kind of went over my head a little. However, after playing the remastered version on the PlayStation 4, it seems they were right, very right indeed…
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is a game that was worth remastering and bringing out on the PlayStation 4. I don’t want to spoil the story at all, so I’ll just give you a little background to get you started. You take on the role of a young man called Welkin Gunther, known to his friends as simply ‘Welks’. Welks is an aspiring artist but has vast military background, in which he must use when he is caught up in a war between two factions. The town of Gallia is known for its vast resources needed to power the cities, and Welkin with his ‘Squad 7’ team are urged to stop the Alliance from getting their hands on the resources. It is clear from the start, it is a very powerful story, one that will give you a mixture of emotions throughout and one I really cannot recommend enough.
Moving on to the visuals, this is another area of the game that has been improved vastly. I am a sucker for anime-type visuals in games, especially RPGs, and Valkyria Chronicles delivered on my expectations. What is rather interesting (looking at videos of the original, it also had this effect), is that throughout it has a kind of artistry effect on the anime visuals in cut scenes. The 1080p upgrade definitely helps the graphics have that more refined feeling to it, but again, from looking at the original close up, there wasn’t much that they had to do in order to bring this across to the PlayStation 4. Of course, playing through the game the first ever time, I was witness to the game’s sound for the first time also. The sound on the most part was great, I thoroughly enjoyed the background music. However, I can’t help feel that the voice acting could have been a tiny bit better. There wasn’t anything wrong with it to stand out and say, but I just felt at times the voices acted out a little bland.
Bland isn’t a word you can use about the battle system present in Valkyria Chronicles. Tactical and strategic are two words that perfectly fit when describing the battles, rather missions that you go through in the game. For those who haven’t played it like myself, not to worry, as the game does ease you in quite nicely with a sort of tutorial mission, in order to teach you the basics. The main parts of a mission and how you do are through Command Points (CP) and Action Points (AP). You get a number of command points to use each mission to maneuver your units or tanks (tanks use 2 CP each turn). As you use each unit or tank, your movement is decided through an Action Point, which will get lower throughout your movement, so be extra careful where you deploy your units to avoid getting beaten quickly from the opposition forces.
You have different classes for you to use, and before each mission you are given a briefing on what that mission will entail. Each class has its own advantage over the other. There are five classes available to you, Scout, Shock Trooper, Lancer, Engineer and Sniper. Each mission will require you to use different classes at different times. If enemies are hidden on the map, it is beneficial to use Scouts, who have a much better vision ability in order to pick out the hidden targets; allowing you to better prepare your approach to the mission. As the missions are turned based, be sure to fully prepare and make sure you have the right team or you will find yourself restarting the mission completely, a feat that can get very, very frustrating as I found out quite frequently.
What is good is that although you can have a squad of 20, you do not have to level up your units one by one. Each of your people are leveled up at the same time as the other people through the experience points you have earned through missions. You do this at the Squad 7 headquarters, which can be accessed anytime outside of a mission. Here you can also upgrade your weapons, armor and tanks. There is the ability to grind through test missions, all which you can obtain experience points in order to improve your squad and your arsenal available to you whenever you feel like the game is getting that little bit harder.
I can honestly say, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered really did surprise me. It has one of the best stories that I have played on an RPG, and a very deep, turned based battle system lets you pan out your moves the way you want to, not just some pre-determined attacks that you see in RPGs of today. I wouldn’t say the game is ‘perfect’ as for me, there are sometimes too many cut scenes between missions. However, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is an RPG that SEGA have done brilliantly to bring over to the PlayStation 4 for newcomers of the game to enjoy, with even past veterans of the game getting a great experience out of it. If you have a PlayStation 4 and you are looking for a fantastic, strategic RPG, Valkyria Chronicles is one purchase you won’t regret.