Valkyria Revolution Xbox One Review
Long load times and even longer, boring story
Combat is little more than pushing one button
Lack of any animation makes pretty much everything visually awkward
A Casualty of War
Valkyria Chronicles was a cult favorite on PS3 and played even better with the Remastered version on PS4. When a new entry was announced for the series, fans like myself immediately got excited for another quality hybrid tactical action RPG. Unfortunately, Valkyria Revolution is a total slog at best, marred with horrible pacing issues, boring story scenes that go on forever, and combat that is little more than mashing one button.
The thing is, I could look through the empty combat and tedious UI if the story was actually good. Each cutscene, and there are about a million of them, is filled with characters you do not care about doing things that just are not that fun to watch. Part of the reason why the story, cutscenes, and dialog between characters is so painful stems from the overall lack of animation. In short, the presentation is just creepy. Characters do not move and are basically mannequins. This awkward lack of movement makes every scene a chore to watch. Making matters worse, the player will eventually reach of HUB city in which to purchase items and upgrade equipment. Since the player is the only thing moving with animation, there is no reason why this city shouldn’t have been removed and replaced with a simple menu interface. Why should the player waste time walking around a dead city when clicking a menu button is way faster and easier?
If you want to see how much tasteless story is in this game, watch my stream below. My stream is nearly an hour. In this hour, I was only in combat for a few minutes and this is with me skipping most cutscenes.
Combat is a relief in Valkyria Revolution because it breaks up the horribly long story segments. However, this relief is short-lived as combat is mindless and actually a slog. Fighting is technically real time as the player initializes an attack animation by hitting the attack button but plays like an automatic version of any Dynasty Warriors game. The player’s four-man team usually goes up against a large amount of mindless enemies that fall after a couple basic attacks. Each battle is usually nothing more than walking up to a pack of bad guys, press the attack button which auto attacks 3 times, wait a few seconds for the attack button to recharge, kill everyone in a few seconds, walk to the next pack of guys and repeat. Occasionally a large mech or commanding officer will get in your way and the player has access to special abilities, but none of these things actually make combat any more fun. In fact, adding these elements actually make the pacing stutter and becomes tedious way too fast. The player has access to features like crouching in the grass to stay hidden or gain cover by leaning against a waist-high wall, but doing these things doesn’t ultimately provide a benefit to the player from a functional or entertainment stand point.
The only redeeming feature in Valkyria Revolution is the sound track. Even with some voiced singing tracks, the musical score probably won’t get the recognition it might deserve as the player needs to trudge through the wickedly slow paced, lame gameplay.
Valkyria Revolution is a letdown not just because it is a boing game, but because it is bad sequel to a beloved series despite having a small catalog. Instead of fighting a revolution, players are better to revisit the chronicles.
Not As Good As: Valkyria Chronicles Remastered
Also Try: the Wild Arms series or Code Name S.T.E.A.M.
Wait For It: Fire Emblem Warriors