Valkyria Chronicles Remastered PS4 Review
Feels like a 2016 game – highly entertaining
All DLC is included and looks gorgeous in HD
Getting one-hit killed from a random soldier can be frustratingly unfair
No newly created content
Standing The Test of Time –
Originally released in 2008 on PS3 and in late 2014 on Steam, Valkyria Chronicles is a unique tactical RPG you probably neglected, didn’t know about, or simply didn’t have a means to play it upon its original release. Sega is fixing this issue by releasing Valkyria Chronicles Remastered in both physical and digital formats for a low cost of $29.99. The biggest question to ask, does an early 2008 PS3 release still hold up today? The answer is a resounding yes!
From a fictitious Europe set in an off-dimensional WWII era, the main character of Valkyria Chronicles is minding his own business when he forced into war. While the game falls into many anime troupes, the plot remains engaging throughout and many battles become rather memorable due to player action, different character classes and even tanks. A big part of the story comes from the relationships built between the colorful characters and becomes more fleshed out through the optional side quests and the included DLC content.
One part tactical RPG and one part Gears of War-like 3rd person shooter, gameplay is a wildly addicting genre-hybrid that hasn’t fully be mimicked since; Intelligence System’s Code Name S.T.E.A.M. on 3DS or XCOM is probably its most recent competitors. A blend of action and strategy, the player and enemy troops take turns completing moves by traversing a battlefield. When in range, combat converts to a real-time 3rd person shooter where the player can try and take a risky but more powerful headshot or a higher hit percentage but weaker body shot. Further strategy comes into play by taking advantage of cover, environmental layout, and action points. Even more unique, the tutorial segment simply guides the player in the right direction and doesn’t specifically spell everything out, freeing the player to learn as you go.
Besides the creative concoction of action, strategy and RPG elements, Valkyria Chronicles contains a visual style all its own. Caught somewhere between say, Wind Waker and Okami, the water colored environments and seemingly hand-drawn anime characters not only hold up well for a 2016 game but also look great with the remastering support. Characters are animated well and bring emotion to combat and dialog. In a way, the game is almost like a moving comic book and really is something to see especially in the 1080p/60fps upgrade. The audio department also compliments the visuals with quality English voice acting and a soundtrack that merges well with the gameplay.
Like Fire Emblem, perma-death can be annoying or a little unfair at times. Since some battles can take over 40 minutes to complete and get more complicated when tanks and larger battlefields are involved, it is frustrating to get insta-killed from a reinforcement soldier that randomly appeared. Luckily, the player has the option to save during a battle and this leniency will need to be used to the player’s advantage to avoid occasional difficulty spikes. While some battles are more difficulty than others, pacing is set at a consistent rate not only gameplay-wise but also from a story perspective.
This Remastered edition comes with some major advantages over its original 2008 PS3 release. All DLC is included in this enhanced HD version so there is plenty of content to play through. Also, keep in mind that 2008 preceded Sony’s Trophy system so the original version was never patched with Trophy support. Now, for the first time, you can earn a Platinum Trophy for playing this cult favorite TRPG.
Valkyria Chronicles isn’t a perfect game but it is probably one of the best games you didn’t play during last generation. Even though it doesn’t add any new content, this eight year old game has stood the test of time and should be played by any tactical RPG fan.
Bummer That: the PSP sequel wasn’t included
Wait For it: a new Tactics Ogre or Final Fantasy Tactics
Also Try: Rebelstar Tactical Command (GBA)
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com