Don’t you know that you can count me out?
Set in the critically acclaimed universe of Valkyria Chronicles, Valkyria Revolution is a third person action game with RPG elements. Developed by Media.Vision and published worldwide by Sega, Valkyria Revolution is a story-driven game with tons of in game lore. Released on June 27th, 2017, Valkyrie Revolution tells the story of a band of misfits who exact revenge on an imperial ruler by sending the world into a revolutionary war.
Visually underwhelming, Valkyrie Revolution seems to have had no understanding of what it means to “meet the standard”. The overall imagery used in the game is very unflattering and bland. Character design is very anime-like cookie cutter pieces. It’s as if the formula for creating a JRPG was found covered in donkey poo. After finding the instructions, the development team happily grabbed said formula and did everything they could to follow it at the most basic level. Even the cutscenes look like they were pulled from an abandoned PS2 project and quickly slapped into the HD upscaling magic bullsh*t. Unfortunately, nothing about the visual presentation of this game is inviting, believable, or interesting. [Editor’s Note: It looks like a PSP game.]
The story of Valkyria Revolution is told through a very unique lens. Narration is shared between a student studying the events that took place during the war and the great grand daughter of a teacher to the princess during the war who he interviews. Although the character development isn’t very strong, the overall story told is incredible. “The Five Traitors”, as they are labeled in the game, take advantage of economic struggles and imperialistic strongholds over their impoverished, to mask their revenge plot in revolutionary war. The dynamic of playing through the story as a student’s text book is fascinating enough. Add in the recounts from the great grand daughter and it inspires twist and turns in all directions. At times is easy to understand the motives behind certain individuals while other times evoke terror knowing this could very well be what happens in real life war. Overall, ignoring the lack of connection to the cast, the plot was very well written.
Poorly written reason to connect with the cast is not the fault of the voice acting. Emotions were shown through heavily, even if the characters fumbled to have personality. The sound track was absolutely well composed enough to merit the collectors edition album that was included with the purchase. The orchestration on loading screens felt epic enough to keep interest levels high and direct enough to truly feel when one moment was ending and another beginning. And although the graphics struggled to provide a sense of realism, the sound effects did everything they could to make it feel like an actual war was taking place. Explosions, footsteps, and the sound of the people walking through the plaza, were all incredibly immersive.
Vakyria Revolution felt like a warriors game clone. Gameplay was very underwhelming, in the same way that most Super Smash Bros. clones fall short. It’s as if the development team played a few games of Dynasty Warriors and then decided they could replicate it based on their short experience. Characters move sluggishly and the active time battle slows down the fast pace action a warriors veteran would have expected. Battles are vastly underpopulated to account for the slower action events due to the battle system, however navigating the RPG element of having tactical skills wasn’t awful. Any character could conjure up a magic spell, pull out their assault rifle, or throw a grenade all from the same menu. One small gameplay element made things extremely interesting. Real death or perma-death. Anyone on the team, except the main character Amlet, could be killed in action and never return. That small element forces a tiny bit of strategy and awareness into a game that is completely lacking elsewhere. The flaw again returns to the lack of emotional connection any character which makes it difficult to care beyond losing the valuable time put into strengthening that character.
Is Valkyria Revolution fun? Truthfully, for the type of gamer that loves a well told story with interesting plot twist, this game is stellar. It will be super easy to enjoy the vast world that the development team obviously put tons of effort into. For anyone looking for an exciting gameplay experience with a great story to go along with it, stay far away. As described previously, the teams attention to detail was impeccable for the story gameplay fell way off the wagon. In fact it might not have ever gotten on. To sum things up: interesting history, deep story telling, lackluster character development, and mediocre gameplay mechanics do not a fun game make. Great movie though.
Originally a tactical strategy RPG, the Valkyria series definitely took a major turn for the worst with Valkyria Revolution. An incredible story was not enough to save this game from its boring and repetitive gameplay. The lack of graphical exploitation also makes it really difficult to remain interested in whats happening on the screen. To many standard RPG team tropes remove any possibilities of connecting with the cast on an emotional level. Ultimately, this game failed to keep the value of a great series alive by spinning into something it doesn’t seem like it was ever meant to be.