Valkyria Chronicles Review by Hell Fire

The forty-eighth round of Articles of Excellence saw a nice spread of votes, but a victor emerged in the form of Hell Fire and his review of Valkyria Chronicles. Describing it as a delightful strategy-heavy RPG, they portray it as a near-perfect title only slightly brought down by balancing issues.

 Valkyria Chronicles     Score: 4.2/5
 Genre: Strategy RPG

 So there you have it; the beast named Valkyria Chronicles. This game is a must play for SRPG enthusiasts and definitely worth picking up if anything in the review sparked your interest.

quote Hell Fire
I’ve always liked my Strategy Role Playing Games (SRPGs) and in my experience, few have disappointed. There’s just something about the pre-battle planning and the (sometimes overly) lengthy battles revs me up as the console light turns green. Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem and Suikoden Tactics are a few beasts that have managed to steal many hours away from my life. Valkyria Chronicles however, is the new beast in the jungle. The combination of its amazing story telling and large scale war scenarios put it up there with some of the past greats. I, unfortunately, have a tendency to miss out on masterpieces such as this on their release dates, not due to ignorance, but because “there’s always something else to play”. If you are an enthusiast of the SRPG genre and haven’t touched this yet, then it pains me to say that you and I are alike. As a past Valkyria Chronicles virgin, let me be your sponsor and support you through your journey to the local gaming store (pfft, or eBay) and into the world of: planting your ass on the couch, losing your social life, gaining ten kilos and having fun kicking ass!

Good old Welkin, a creepy crawly, insect enthusiast (yes, that’s right) who seems more interested in those eight legged freaks than getting pimp on. All was quiet on the Eastern front, when all of a sudden; a group of soldiers cross the border and attack the small town of Bruhl. Welkin decides he should probably put his beetle collection away and help the town guards (commanded by Alicia) defend against the small invasion. Luckily, Welkin knows how to handle a gun, and helps save the day, unless of course, you are incapable of completing the first mission (which would be a grand ol’ way of embarrassing yourself among the cooler nerds). From there he Welkin enlists in the Gallian militia, becomes Lieutenant of his squad and helps defend the country of Gallia from the mighty opposing Empire.

For a game so focused on strategic gameplay, Sega clearly put a lot of thought into the narrative. Its unique method of comic book like storytelling and meaningful cut scenes make for some absolutely awesome moments that easily rival most JRPGs acclaimed for their plot lines. There’s plenty of mystery, twists and turns to keep the player motivated, and with a cast of outstanding characters who are incredibly well constructed, this game gets two thumbs up in the story department. While most of your squad have little to no personality at all, the main characters who accompany Welkin (such as Rosie, Alicia and Isaru) drive the story magnificently, and their development as individual characters throughout the game is something lacking in many RPGs of this generation. A rich story with deep, memorable characters is not something that I expected when buying the game, but it turns out that they are in fact one of the games strongest areas.
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