Review by baralaiex
"An outstanding game overshadowed by other overhyped games of its time."
Time to get serious. Valkyria Chronicles is an excellent game for those who like to strategize and enjoy a fresh new kind of game never experienced before.
Graphics - 9/10
The graphics look water colored, but are actually cel-shaded in disguise. Screenshots may discourage, but they truly do the graphics no justice. This is definitely cel-shading at its current best. Environments are vibrant and jaggies are barely noticeable. Character models are detailed as well, from their hair down to their boots. Even if you are not a fan of cel-shaded graphics, the graphics will not bother you because they are unique and detailed.
Sound - 8/10
The music could have used a bit of work. Nothing memorable comes to mind, but none of the tracks were particularly annoying nor were they spectacular. The tunes flowed well with the game, but they really lacked that pizazz. However, one thing I would like to point out is the voice acting. Many dread the English voice-overs of Japanese games, but the voice actors really did a nice job. Every voice seems to fit well with the main characters, from the gruff army men to the snobby aristocrats. There is a Japanese voice option though for those who really can't stand English voices for one reason or another. So either way, one should be satisfied.
For a game that's focused on a war between a small rag-tag team fighting a colossal evil empire, the story is actually pretty good. Without spoiling anything though, I just wanna say that there are some really cliche moments that kinda made me grab the barf bag. The dialogue is surprisingly deep and may even touch you on an emotional scale for a story that lacked originality though. I was really surprised by how well thought out some skits were.
Probably the best part of this game. The game is divided up into 18 chapters and you will play from cutscene to battle to some more cutscenes in each chapter. The whole thing is within and novel, so you will be playing through a page or two through every chapter.
The battles themselves are a perfect mixture between a third person and a strategy RPG. You position your troops at the beginning of each battle in set positions. You and your enemy will then take turns selecting your troops (on a 2d map which shifts into a 3D environment with third person view) ,shoot at each other and maybe take some bases when you're done running and gunning. It's kind of like an action packed game of chess on a massive scale. There are 6 types of units all with their strengths and weaknesses.
When you're not fighting, you have the option of going back to base and draft more soldiers (all unique characters) to your army, level up your troops, develop new weapons; a whole lot of other stuff which will appeal to RPG fans greatly and anyone who likes to customize their characters.
Total - 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/11/08
Game Release: Valkyria Chronicles (US, 11/04/08)
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