Valkryia Chronicles was considered one of the best strategy RPGs of the past console generation and a cult classic on the PS3. It has beautiful art and music, a compelling story, and some of the best gameplay in a strategy RPG ever. How do you improve a game like this and expose it to an even wider audience that might have missed it the first time? Sega’s answer to this question was to make to make a gorgeous game look even better and port it to PS4 at half the price of a normal game. Is this another great HD remaster or a messy port job?
I am happy to say that from a presentation standpoint this remaster is incredible. Valkryia Chronicles, eight years later, is still a gorgeous game, but this remaster takes its beauty to another level. The detailed hand-drawn watercolor art is jaw dropping. The game is now running at a resolution of 1080p, which means you can see every little detail. The game is locked at 60 frames per second without ever dropping which makes this gorgeous port run super smooth. Overall this remaster’s visuals are wonderful thanks to superb art and great tech.
The audio while not quite as impressive, is still fantastic. The music fits the tone of the game perfectly: it’s grand and triumphant during times of war, calm and soothing during touching character moments, and melancholy during defeat. The voice acting is mixed. Some characters are fantastic, while others are just so-so, and some are just straight up terrible. This is the case with most games brought over from Japan. Thankfully Sega added the Japanese voice track for those who prefer to experience the original voice acting or don’t enjoy the English voice-overs.
The delightful art and music would go to waste if they weren’t supporting a great story. Valkryia Chronicles takes place in the fictional country of Gallia in the year 1935, during a massive war between two of its neighboring countries. The Atlantic Federation in the west and the Atlantic Federation in the east, also known as The Empire. In-between these two giants is the tiny country of Gallia, a small country rich in a resource called Ragnite that is used to power machinery. The Empire needing the Ragnite to fuel their war, attacks Gallia and that is where the story begins. It follows a tank commander Welkin Gunther and his crew known as Squad 7, as they defend Gallia from The Empire.
The story takes a lot of interesting twists, and covers a lot of mature issues like racism and genocide. It has a lot of pretty good sub-plots like the love story between Welkin and one of his soldiers. I enjoyed the story overall and a lot of what it was trying to say, even if it is a bit heavy-handed. The only real complaint I have is there is no new content in the story. The DLC is included, but the main game is exactly the same. It would have been nice to get an extra chapter or some bonus content for those of us who already played Valkryia Chronicles.
Gameplay is exactly the same as it was when the game first appeared. It’s a turn based strategy game, where you have different units that work in a rock, paper, scissors like fashion. There are Tanks, Infantry, and Lancers. Lancers beat Tanks, Tanks beat Infantry, and Infantry beats Lancer. Infantry has multiple types of units such as snipers and engineers that all contribute something different to your team. Not only that but every team member has different traits that can hinder or help them in battle. So if you are fighting in the desert and one of your soldiers is from the desert they get a stat increase. Another example is if your squad members like each other, they get a stat increase. With that system in mind,you need to come up with clever strategies on the battlefield, but also keep up a team that gets along together. These multiple systems work well together to make a fun challenging game. In-fact it might be a little too challenging. There were multiple missions where I would get stuck and have to grind by doing side missions called skirmishes to move forward with the story. Skirmishes aren’t fun to grind and these tougher missions can interrupt the flow of a really entertaining story. For returning players there isn’t much new to see if you didn’t skip the DLC the first time around. These are minor nitpicks, but they do hinder the experience, especially for a returning player.
Valkryia Chronicles is still an amazing game, and the updates to the presentation make it even better. If you’ve never played Valkryia Chronicles and enjoy strategy games it is a must play. f you are a returning fan, though, there isn’t much to see besides updates to visuals and performance.
Final Score: 9.0/10