Valkyria Chronicles Review
- Posted November 24th, 2008 at 07:21 EDT by
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Valkyria Chronicles is the JRPG experience that PlayStation 3 owners have been waiting for.
- The cohesive gameplay elements
- The engaging story
- The quality voice acting
- The lack of control during Enemy Phases
Every generation of console has specific titles that define their genre to the truest extent. The original PlayStation had Final Fantasy VII, Star Ocean: The Second Story and Suikoden II. Its older brother, PlayStation 2, had Final Fantasy X, Disgaea and Persona 3. Now, finally, PlayStation 3 has its first defining title within the roleplaying genre - Valkyria Chronicles.
Although it may seem premature to make such a bold statement this early in the console’s lifecycle, it should be apparent to anyone who has played this mammoth epic that it is indeed worthy of such praise.
The story follows the heroic tale of the leader of Squad 7 for the Gallian militia, Lieutenant Welkin Gunther. Gunther, who is the son of a Gallian hero from the first Europan War, is ultimately caught up in a second conflict upon returning to his hometown in the heat of an enemy invasion. Due to the Universal Conscription policy, Welkin is drafted into the militia as a Tank Commander over Squad 7. Serving alongside Gunther is his younger sister, Isara, along with fellow citizen Alicia, who hails from the nearby town of Bruhl. Squad 7’s objective is to drive back the invading Imperial force and return Gallia to the peaceful, yet neutral state it has always taken.
The entire world of Valkyria Chronicles plays out through the storytelling of Irene Koller and her novel, On the Gallian Front. This setting demonstrates the desire to have a story-driven title that will immerse gamers within this fictitious environment. Navigating the book is a simple process that utilizes a “Tab” system to find what you’re looking for. There are tabs designated for the main story as well as your Headquarters, Skirmishes (mini-game), Character Information, Weapon Information, Decorations (Medals) and other various details. Of course, you spend the bulk of your time within the story mode and Headquarter aspects of the title.
Following the main story involves going from section to section of the book and witnessing each part of the story in a visual setting. These take place in three different styles. One involves watching characters in full movement discuss a situation and carefully plan it out while another allows you to watch animated heads talk within squares to help push the story along. Regardless of which type you’re watching, both function efficiently in bringing you into the action and making you feel a part of Squad 7. While some gamers may find it a tad boring to sit through conversation after conversation, it is a lot more entertaining that your standard text bubbles without voice interaction. The third and final style is the strategic gameplay.
Each chapter of the book contains one or two battles that you must fight in order to defeat the Imperial Empire. Before the battle begins, your Captain will give you a layout and a general idea of what is expected within combat. Objectives are then listed and you’re required to meet a certain goal without allowing any of the failing situations to occur. Failing situations generally involve taking no more than 20 turns to win a battle or preventing Gunther from perishing in battle. While these objectives may sound relatively simple, they offer challenging experiences that will result in failure from time to time.
The combat revolves around a strategical, third-person shooter style of play that is rare within SRPGs. Each side is given Command Points that are utilized to take actions within your turn. Certain actions consume more CP than others. For instance, maneuvering around in the tank with Gunther will squander two CP while going in with Alicia as a scout only consumes one. Throughout the battlefield there are locations scattered where players can take cover or utilize flanking possibilities to overwhelm and overtake their enemies. Gunther can also issue out “Orders” from within the tank that can be relayed to specific or all soldiers. These can range from increased defense to accuracy boosts.
One of the larger strategy elements involves the Action Gauge. This is a small meter at the bottom of the screen that displays how far a soldier can maneuver before they’re stuck in one place. Each type of soldier has a different meter amount, making it ... (continued on next page)
- 3:26am EST - November 24th, 2008
dunno if its good ;s never played any
- 3:51am EST - November 24th, 2008
this game owns..
- 6:14am EST - November 24th, 2008
It really is a great game. If you're looking for something to fill some of that JRPG void and you dont mind a war game rather than people with huge swords fighting dragons.
- 6:48am EST - November 24th, 2008
i played the demo just i feel weird about it its like something missing :S
- 7:02am EST - November 24th, 2008
Have played the Demo over and over, and can't wait to add this game to my collection :D
- 7:35am EST - November 24th, 2008
What's missing is the full game... go get it already!
- 8:17am EST - November 24th, 2008
Awesome review! I'll be buying this hopefully this week or i'll wait for my birthday next week to get it. The skies of Arcadia devs need all the support they can get so I recommend that every rpg fan out there gets it. :D
- 9:15am EST - November 24th, 2008
very cool game!!!
im still playing the demo once a while.
- 10:03am EST - November 24th, 2008
i might just have to consider buying this. all these great reviews have me considering it even though im not in the rpg genre.
- 10:16am EST - November 24th, 2008
awesome awesome game i highly recommend it
- 10:16am EST - November 24th, 2008
@Dave (8): yeah I know. :D They look ace although I've only seen videos of Aika and vyse for now (japanese voices though). They will definately be part of my main squad XD I've also read that Vyse is powerful compared to others in the same class.
- 10:35am EST - November 24th, 2008
The demo makes me want this game bad(I think i will get it for christmas or when i get a new job)
If this had online play I would have bought it on day one
- 12:50pm EST - November 24th, 2008
@ Dave #8... not just cameos... Vyse and Aika can be ur part of ur squad the whole way.... as a HUGE Skies of Arcadia fan (also loved the Dreamcast, underrated console), this was a HUGE treat... until maybe Skies of Arcadia 2 comes out (just vague rumours as of now). And oh, this game is great too... amazing.
- 1:12pm EST - November 24th, 2008
i forgot about this game and now it's going on the top of my list
- 1:36pm EST - November 24th, 2008
Graet game demo doesn't do it justice as you don't see any of the great story so if you like the demo you'll LOVE the game.
- 11:11pm EST - November 24th, 2008
I've seen videos of this for months now and while I thought it looked good, I didn't expect it to be much fun. However, after downloading and playing the demo a few weeks ago I was surprised to find out that it was actually a lot of fun. I don't know if I would put it at the top of my list right now of games I want, but if I came into gobs of money, I would gladly add it to my collection.
- 2:23am EST - December 1st, 2008
I love this game >.<
The story is so forced on you but I still like it.
- 10:30am EST - December 1st, 2008
Baught this the first day it came out over here (Australia) it is outstanding.
- 8:25pm EST - December 3rd, 2008
i love successful games with cell-shaded graphics. After playing DragonQuest on the ps2, i hoping there are more good games with cell-shaded graphics.
- 1:18pm EDT - March 11th, 2009
I'd hail it as one of the greatest RPG's, and the best RPG for PS3 -at the time- (Demons Souls ranks pretty high up there in the RPG genre for me). Beautifully rendered cel-shaded graphics, a compelling storyline, and innovative gameplay. It's won multiple Strategy / Game of the Year awards; testament to another one of Sega's gems.
I especially enjoy the dialogue between characters. It really immerses you into the war, and develops a bond between player and characters to the point that you want to bring only your favorite ones onto the field of batle.
Now, I just have to get the motivation to pick it up again... hard drive wipes really, really maddingly... sucks.
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