Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

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It’s been seven years since I finished Valkyria Chronicles (I was late to the party and played it in 2009). Before Sega’s strategy role playing game, my experience with the genre was virtually non-existent. I ignored the flurry of SRPG titles from original PlayStation era and I never came into contact with the classic XCOMs and Syndicates of the PC world either.

I recall enjoying Valkyria Chronicles very much but it’s been so long that I don’t remember many specifics. I know the turn based and real time hybrid battle system was liberating and novel but I draw blanks whenever I think about the the WWII inspired story.

Playing through Valkyria Chronicles Remastered on the PlayStation 4 was revelatory; I was amazed how much this game got right and how similar it was to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. They both employed a strategic layer for upgrades, recruitment systems and cover based tactical gameplay.

Valkyria Chronicles differed in a number of areas though. For one, the soldiers weren’t generic fodder whom I can rename on a whim. Each recruit had their own quirks and personality and I would feel a tinge of remorse when certain ones died on the battlefield. I love Hershal’s non-chalance. I didn’t care for Noce though. His jealousy towards his superior officer, Lt. Welkin Gunther was too much. I just kept him around because he had other strong skills and was voiced by the same voice actor of Persona 3’s Akihiko.

Before I continue, I have to address the quality of the remastering. The game ran at a perfect 1080p60 and just as I suspected back in 2008, the CANVAS Engine aged beautifully. The only presentation blemishes were the pre-recorded in-engine cutscenes that reminded what the PlayStation 3 version of the game actually looked like. It turns out I was a lot more forgiving with aliasing back then.

I forgot how cutscene heavy this game was. Thankfully they were both skippable and charming. I actually found them more endearing now than before; I even got a little misty eyed in the end. My only complaint was the inability to auto-play through the lines of dialog. They’re all voiced so there’s no reason to have me button through them.

With experience comes confidence and with the likes of XCOM and Fire Emblem under my belt, I found myself attacking Valkyria Chronicles missions head on. I was no longer turtling and relying on Snipers to pick off enemies. I rushed Shock Troopers more often and used defensive Orders to buff Scouts to capture forward field bases. I was also more mindful of spacing and cover this time around as well. As a result I was coming away with higher mission rankings; I traded D’s for B’s and even saw some A’s this time around.

Better mission performances resulted in more resources to improve my squad which enabled me to continue my more aggressive style of play. I could have replayed Skirmish missions for more resources but it wasn’t necessary by the latter half of the game. I wasn’t able to develop every branch of weaponry but I had more than enough to fulfil my selections.

Another revelation which manifested itself due to personal experience was how well Valkyria Chronicles handled various topics and themes common to World War II media. Prejudice, political strife and the tribulations of war were all touched upon. Valkyria Chronicles wasn’t retelling World War II but it leveraged it to great effect. Characters grew as the war progressed and became hardened soldiers with a better understanding of themselves and the world around them, albeit through an anime lens.

Valkyria Chronicles was wonderful then and it’s just as wonderful now. Fans looking to revisit the game can do no wrong with this remaster; it’s just as I remembered it in my mind. For those who have never played it, they’re in for a unique experience that I’ve yet to see replicated. It treads familiar territory with World War II but it executes it better than most “authentic” World War II games that I’ve played. Just look past the overly busty silver haired woman wielding a lance.

I love it

Ratings Guide

Thanks to Sega for providing me a review copy of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered.

Checkpoint: Leicester City Champions Edition

Leicester City Football Club are champions of England. That’s a weird thing to say huh? I don’t have a firm grasp on the magnitude of the win but I get it. In my two years of watching soccer, I witnessed the modern day tradition of a big money club win in Chelsea FC’s victory last season and the greatest underdog story of all time with the Foxes claiming the 2015-16 this past Monday.

I’m far more intrigued with what they’ll do in the Champions League and how they will defend their title next season though. I want to see how this club will grow or falter. It would be amazing to see a team rise and remain dominant for years to come. It’s a feel good story now but it will be interesting to see if they will be able to keep that lustre in the future. Will players leave? Will they have the same drive? Or will they implode like Chelsea did this year? It’ll be interesting to find out.

I wrapped up Valkyria Chronicles Remastered for the PlayStation 4. The first draft of the review is done and I hope to publish it on Tuesday. I hope this isn’t a spoiler but guess what? It’s still a fantastic game.

I’ve played enough of the Overwatch to know that I want it. I don’t want to spend $79.99 for it though. Damn our dollar.

Checkpoint: New PC Woes Edition

I don’t expect every new PC build to go flawlessly but it’s still a hassle when it falls apart. Doubts creep into my head:

  • Is it the RAM?
  • Am I sure it’s the RAM?
  • Maybe it’s the motherboard?
  • Or maybe the CPU?
  • Did I mess it up?

My new PC is having memory issues. I know one DIMM is dead as it won’t POST at all while the other one is likely flaky as it doesn’t post reliably. I’m ruling it as a memory issue but I won’t be surprised if this is the beginning of a very long journey.

I saw the warnings NewEgg and about quality and compatibility issues but I decided to roll the dice on the Curcial Ballistix Sport anyways. I guess I wasn’t lucky.

Thankfully customer service is amazing. They allowed me to return the memory despite the fact that it’s outside of the 30 day window. I ordered a set of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 (2 x 8GB). They seem to be receiving a lot of love on NewEgg They’re cheaper and faster than the Crucial which makes me wonder if this is a blessing in disguise.

If the memory doesn’t resolve my issues, it’s onto the motherboard as a potential culprit.

My brother and I continue to play The Division but last night was the first time I felt I’ve had my fill. The Incursion, Falcon Lost, isn’t particularly fun or creative. Granted my brother and I undermanned for this mission but the wave based setup smells of laziness. Yes, it’s a free update but their portrayal of it made it seem like it was a ‘raid’ equivalent which it isn’t.

I’m chipping away at Valkyria Chronicles and continue to rediscover how great this game is.

Savestate: Driving to Wait

Valkyria Chronicles

Re: DRIVECLUB PS+ Edition Delay

Shuhei Yoshida officially delayed the DRIVECLUB PS+ Edition until further notice.

It’s understandable considering the networking side of the game has been a complete non-starter due to code issues. It’s been three weeks and if the tentpole feature of the game isn’t ready to go for paying customers, it makes sense to delay the freebie version.

I’m okay with the delay but I’m also someone who wasn’t waiting for DRIVECLUB to arrive in the first place. Some believe they’re owed this piece of shareware and claim their PlayStation Plus memberships were purchased because of it. It sounds ludicrous but I hope they learn their lesson: Never pay for potential unless you can exercise patience when something goes awry.

Re: Valkyria Chronicles coming to PC

Valkyria Chronicles was a fantastic PS3 title and now I can relive it with all the DLC that I never bought for $20? Sounds like quite the deal. I just need folks to confirm that it is a good PC port. If it is is, I’ll pick it up for $10 or so.

Now we just need Vanquish to make its way to PC. It deserves the 60 FPS treatment.

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