Review: Valkyria Revolution

What would you get if you crossed, Fire Emblem, Dynasty Warriors and Valkyria Chronicles together? You'd most likely get Valkyria Revolution.

Hey everybody, I'm Bamidele Ojo with GameTyrant and I'm bringing you my review of Sega's latest entry into it's Valkyria series, Valkyria Revolution.

 

Following the exploits of the anti-valkyria unit, Vanargand. Revoltions introduces us to a wide range of characters with various mannerisms each with their own personality and fighting style. Though this tends to take a back seat to the over arching story of a war started out of revenge.

While it's not exactly House of Cards level of political intrigue, Revolution's story does its best to try and get you to be emotionally invested in it's characters through lengthy cut scenes punctuated by load screens.Which at times often left me itching to get back into the action instead of just watching characters talk to each other.

Revolutions stays true to it's Chronicles lineage through it's graphical stylings. The art style that was present in earlier games is still mostly intact, just a bit more polished. So you basically know what to expect.

You'll be taking the fight to the enemy in bases, forests,factories and city streets. After sometime these places begin to blur together and start to lose their shine after the first half dozen times you run through them.

What did get me through some of the more tedious missions was the game's phenominal score. I often found myself tapping my foot to the music or humming along during missions. I never got bored of the soundtrack.

Now let's get to the real meat and potatoes of Revolution- The Gameplay


Revolution differs greatly from the first three Valkyria games by shunning it's turn based roots and opting for real time combat. When this game originally launched in Japan, this change in direction caused a bit of an outcry among Japanese fans.

You take a team of four soldiers,outfit them with the appropriate gear and weaponry at an HQ and embark on a mission. You have access to the entire map and are free to move about it's confines, there's no movement limitation like there was in previous titles.


The enemies presence during the current mission is summed up by a battle gauge at the the top of the screen, red indicating your foes and blue indicating your forces. If there are more enemies present, the red portion of the gauge will build and this can have an affect on your troops morale, resulting in status effects. Conversely As you beat down your opponents, the blue portion of the gauge fills and can have positive affects on your team.


The combat,despite being more action focused, still has elements of strategy involved. You can arm your soldiers with rifles, rocket launchers and grenades and when selecting any of these time freezes and you can take your time aiming your attacks.

Another interesting addition is the ability to use alchemy as magic attacks. Besides their weaponry, this is what separates the anti valkyria squad from the rest of the regular military. With the addition of magic you get a more traditional JRPG feel.

Another added layer to the gameplay as is that can customize your attacks through the game's "Battle Palette". Each palette can be changed for anyone in your unit adding strategic depth to the gameplay while giving you more options on how to attack a mission.

Characters gain experience as they defeat enemies,, don't worry about not having a lopsided team, experience is spread to character's who you didn't play as during the mission, keeping everyone pretty much even and leaving no soldier left behind.

You can switch between the other members of your team on the fly or issue orders to them instead. Orders can be given to your unit as a whole instead, switching between offensive,defensive roles as well as allowing your group members to act freely or to back you up. You can even determine how each character acts before a mission through choosing their personalities.

With all that being said, you can't just attack willy nilly. There's a battle gauge that must be filled up before attacking, issuing orders or using a firearm.

Making timing of your attacks crucial. However despite all this, the game does feel a bit like a dynasty warriors game in such that groups of enemies will circle around poking at you with their weapons. However, taking them lightly and rushing into a situation where the odds are against you can have dire consequences.

Revolutions has Permadeath, losing a character during battle will mean all events tied to that character are locked off. Fortunately there's a 60 second timer that immediately starts counting down when a character has been felled, giving you time to rush to their aid and attempt a revive. Revolution's difficulty can go from fairly easy to getting one-shotted and having your entire wiped out if your'e paying attention. Revolutions does its best to keep you on your toes.

In a nutshell, Valkyria Revolution is different. Being that it's a spin off rather than a main-line title might bring comfort to those who were appalled at the idea of the game shunning it's strategic roots for a more action oriented outing. Revolution will more than likely end up being a divisive title for the Valkyria fanbase but is that a bad thing?

I don't think so, despite the dramatic changes, I found Revolution to be engaging and unique enough to be able to stand on its own. Is it perfect? No, the story is interesting and but has been done before, the characters, while colorful, fit common JRPG tropes we've seen for decades and the game's difficulty can go from 0 to 60 and back to 0 in the span of a few missions. None of these are negative for me to turn my nose up at the game.

Where gamers in the West stand with Revolution is yet be seen. As for me, I'd say this is an interesting entry to the series and I look forward to seeing what Sega will do next.

You can purchase the title physically and digital on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and digitally for the PlayStation Vita.