“The Principality of Gallia, a small neutral country between two superpower nations, suddenly faces invasion at the hands of the Empire. In the face of an overwhelming military power, the Gallian army has lost all hope. However, a ragtag volunteer militia has risen up against all odds to fight off the invading Imperial Army! Through various situations born of the extreme nature of war, this large-scale strategy RPG depicts themes such as living life to the fullest and the importance of human relationships.”
– The official Valkyria Chronicles Remastered website (www.valkyria.sega.com)
– It’s one of the Playstation 3’s hidden gems –
Valkyria Chronicles was one of those games that never got the appreciation it deserved. Sure, there’s a decent fan-base online, but it’s not the sort of game that hit high levels of popularity. Publishers SEGA took notice of this too, something evidenced in their decision to keep the sequels exclusive to Japan.
It’s a shame since Valkyria Chronicles was one of the Playstation 3’s hidden gems. It’s great to see that it’s getting a second chance on consoles with a new and improved release on Playstation 4 though, especially considering the lack of backwards compatibility on the Playstation 4.
With the vast improvements made to the game and a new audience to appeal to, hopefully it’ll sell well enough that SEGA may think about bringing future entries in the franchise to the West… we can hope, right?
– The game looks and plays better than ever –
Valkyria Chronicles always looked great with its beautiful art style. It’s like a hybrid of cel-shaded graphics and watercolour paintings, with a few scribbles from a pencil added in for good measure. It sounds odd when I write it here, but believe me, it looks great in-game.
This remastered release makes it look even better though. The game runs at 1080p and at a super slick 60fps. Valkyria Chronicles has never looked so beautiful, offering another reason for old players to return and for newcomers to give the game a try.
– The engaging story that tackles multiple dark themes –
Whilst the story of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered doesn’t really do anything new, the premise is pretty neat. It’s set in Europa, a fictional Europe that’s currently facing the early years of World War II. There are two superpowers (the East Europan Imperial Alliance and the Atlantic Federation) who are warring over a precious mineral known as ‘Ragnite’.
Of course, war is never simple – especially for the smaller neutral towns that get caught up in the middle of it all. This sees Welkin Gunther, the son of a War Hero, get involved in the war and eventually lead his own Squad.
The plot expands much further than this and offers and intriguing tale that you’ll enjoy from start to finish, but it’s the way that Valkyria Chronicles Remastered tackles so many dark themes that I appreciated the most. We’ve seen plenty of games that haven’t been afraid to explore taboo subjects, but Valkyria Chronicles Remastered shows the dark side of politics, the horrors of war, race discrimination – it’s actually pretty surprising what topics arise throughout the game. It’s a bold move but it paid off, making the game’s tale feel like more than just another RPG featuring a war.
– Enjoyable, satisfying tactical battles –
I’ve not always been the biggest fan of strategy/tactic RPGs, but there’s something about the battles featured in Valkyria Chronicles Remastered that I find so satisfying. You’ll take it turns with you opponent as you command all of your units in battle with action phases offering full control of each character in your squad. Each of your units have a limited amount of action points though, so there’s only so much you’re able to do during each turn.
Whilst tactical RPGs typically have your characters perform their actions automatically, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered instead gives you the freedom to freely move your character as well as manually aim each of your character’s shots. It mixes up tactical thinking with third person shooter action and it works really well – it certainly brings a lot more action and excitement to what’s often a slow paced genre.
Characters each feel unique in battle too, bringing with them their own individual skill sets that have both their own advantages and disadvantages. What each character brings to the battle actually really adds to the strategic feel of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered – there are a ton of different missions and battles to fight and your team choices before hand can be the difference between victory and defeat.
– The drawn out nature of the game may not appeal to everyone –
Let’s face it – RPGs have been known to be drawn out affairs that offer almost as much reading as they do actual gameplay. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is very guilty of this with plenty of long cutscenes taking place in between battles. Whilst it wasn’t really a big problem to me (I love RPGs after all), it may put off newcomers to the genre – especially when they just want to get stuck into the action.
Whether you like action-packed battles or smart-thinking tactical showdowns, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered brings plenty of both with its epic battles. They’re both enjoyable and satisfying, making sure your plight through the game’s war is as much fun as it is devastating.
Add in the intriguing, dark storyline as well as the fantastic visuals and you’ll find that Valkyria Chronicles Remastered really is something special. There’s something here for those lucky folk who played the game the first time around with all DLC included as well as the 60fps frame-rate and 1080p resolution.
If you didn’t play it the first time around then shame on you – here’s your chance at redemption.