I went into this review really wanting to enjoy Valkyria Chronicles Remastered having not played any of the previous games in the series. After watching a trailer and learning a little about the back story of the game, it sounded unique and interesting. After playing many of the Final Fantasy games I’m actually a fan of turned based fighting. Also being kind of a history buff I was looking forward to getting into this one. Unfortunately, there were too many mistakes that kept me from really enjoying this game.
Let me start with some of the things Valkyria Chronicles Remastered got right, because there are quite a few. First off, even having not seen the previous game, the visuals in this game are amazing. Not in the super realistic 4k goodness that is Doom and other new games but in a very artistic Japanese anime kind of way. The colors and the characters are very classic in that way, but they look amazing. The game’s score adds this large feel to the game in all scenes, much like a blockbuster movie like the original Jurassic Park did (still one of my favorite soundtracks). To add to that experience is a plethora of great voice acting all the way around. All of this also follows a great immersive storyline that draws you in from the very beginning cut scene. If you enjoy history, especially world conflicts this will draw you in.
The game play was surprisingly enjoyable and challenging. The first time tutorial does a great job of explaining the turn based system and controls. This is definitely a game of strategy, if you try to treat it like a first person shooter and go in guns blazing, it will quickly remind you of your error.
Now on to the misses. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine to be excited about starting a new game and get bombarded with cut scenes right out the gate. This game does exactly that. I think in the first 20-30 minutes of playing the game less than 5 was actual game play. On top of that I wasn’t a huge fan of the chapter type system used to move through the game. Just as I would start to get into the story it would pop back out to this simulated book and “unlock” a new episode or chapter. This was very distracting and removed greatly from the cinematic feel of the game. The final straw for me was the lack of difficulty settings. For a modern game not to have the ability to control the game play is a huge deal breaker for me. This makes a game fit such a larger audience by letting the player decide what kind of experience they want to play.
In conclusion, possibly if you went into this game knowing exactly what to expect it could be enjoyable. I would also imagine that fans of previous games would also enjoy this remake with the enhanced graphics. But if you go into this game expecting some kind of fast moving high action war drama, you will be sorely mistaken. Think more cinematic experience that you’re along for the ride with the occasional battles that you get to participate in.