Written by guest Dashing Nerd, Kelsey Hansen!
HUGE thank you to SEGA for providing us with a review code for Valkyria Chronicles Remastered!
War is raging once more in Valkyria Chronicles Remastered…and it’s beautiful. The world of Valkyria is back in our lives again today, May 17th, this time on the PS4.
Good stories remain good stories, regardless of how many times you experience them.
In Valkyria Chronicles, we are introduced to a fictional Europa where war has broken out between the neutral nation of Gallia and the East Europan Imperial Alliance. A mineral called Ragnite ore, reality’s equivalent of petroleum, has become a rare and sought-after commodity. We, as the player, take control of a Gallian Militia, zeroing in on a young man named Welkin Gunther.
War has never looked so beautiful.
When it comes down to the differences between the original on the PS3 and the Remastered on the PS4, we get to experience Valkyria Chronicles in all of its 1080p-resolution-at-60 frames-per-second glory. If you’ve never had the joy of playing this game or its sequels back in 2008, here’s your chance to be wowed by its unique battle-style, beautiful canvas artwork, and classical soundtrack, similar in tone to Studio Ghibli’s NI NO KUNI and Ubisoft Montpellier’s VALIANT HEARTS. Other than the obvious higher quality of the visuals on the Remaster, the two things I noticed were the option of Japanese and English audio versions available in the Remastered, as well as the addition of Playstation Network trophies.
Turn-based strategy with a fast-paced twist!
With all of the hundreds of ways games incorporate tactical maneuvers, this game features a truly unique battle style called BLiTZ, in which the player can view the battlefield in an overhead map COMMAND MODE, zoom onto each unit on the ground, and then control that character’s turn in ACTION MODE. Strategy is paramount. Watching your character’s AP Gauge deplete as you run makes each turn limited in movement. If you use up your AP gauge before reaching cover, the enemy can open fire, causing the inevitable death of that character. Before your turn begins, you receive a list of objectives ex. KILL THE LEADER and a list of things to AVOID. If your main character dies, your turn is over and you must start the level again.
As characters join your team on the journey, five classes are introduced (Scout, Lancer, Engineer, Shocktrooper and Sniper), each with unique strengths and abilities. Deciding how to use them in battle is key, particularly in Command Mode with the use of scouting the field and location of your soldiers and setting up your attach. Choosing your Scout to take down a tank probably isn’t the best idea for example, and you’re better off with placing a different specialized class in a strategic position.
Regarding controls for the game, I found they didn’t feel very organic. Each movement is very step-based and it becomes a bit repetitive: Move, Line up Crosshairs, Hold R2, Finish Turn, Repeat. The upside of this is that the length of your turn will vary due to the AP Gauge of your character, how large the field is, how many enemies there are to kill and how many people are in your militia, etc. The deeper you go into the game, the more strategy and upgrading is required, and the less repetitive it feels. The difficulty level is based on how well you strategize on the battlefield: if you rush into battle, you will fail. The game can be beaten in 30 hours, but that’s cutting out cut-scenes and speeding through (gameplay also depends on how much of a completionist you are…).
**Note: I found a glitch and will mention it here because it affects gameplay immensely and it’s to do with the cut scenes and ACTION MODE. I planned my attack accordingly in COMMAND MODE and placed my soldiers where I wanted them. It was then the enemy’s turn, and after we go to the cut-scene, suddenly my soldiers were not where I placed them…Needless to say, I died. It happened only a handful of times so it wasn’t too dramatic, but it is an annoying glitch nonetheless.
Through the use of visual chapters and missions given to us in the form of a large storybook, the player is able to manage their troops and level up their equipment, ranging from grenades to guns to tanks as the story propels us forward. Before beginning the next chapter, you can visit the SQUAD BARRACKS and upgrade your armor and weapons. Stats for each character are shown as: AIM, RANGE, VS PERS, VS ARMOR, AMMO, AREA AND EFCT (the VS attributes simply tell you how effective that class is against that type of attribute: armor vs person). A COMBAT SUIT and a type of GRENADE will also be equipped, which you can upgrade as well.
What is different about this game is that you level up the entire squad as opposed to each individual character. You can visit the R&D Facility to develop your weapons (rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, anti-tank lances, blast suits etc) and outfit your tanks. Upgrading weapons costs a certain amount of dct’s (Ducats: a currency you win after completing missions). The upgrade system is very straightforward and the learning curve almost non-existent. What requires more attention is learning how to work the battlefield.
A war worth returning to.
As for whether or not you should repurchase this game if you’ve already played it or its sequels, the moderate price tag of $29.99 makes it totally worth it. The visuals will knock your socks off, the strategic unique battle style is a breath of fresh air, and the story, although not intensely in-depth, is completely satisfying and endearing.
Written by guest Dashing Nerd, Kelsey Hansen!
- Gloriously Remastered Visuals
- Satisfying Tactical Play
- Cut-scene Glitch
- Gameplay Starts As Repetitive