Review by MARl0

"Without question, the best game on the ps3 so far."

After investing roughly 35 hours in the game, here are my final thoughts on Valkyria Chronicles.

Let me just start out by saying—wow. I was seriously blown away by this game. It was the biggest surprise on any system for me this year. I mean, I was looking forward to it for a long time, but the game and concept looked so unique at the time, that Valkyria Chronicles could have gone either way (really good, or really bad). But nothing would prepare me for the incredible game and experience Valkyria Chronicles turned out to be. I kid you not, when I say that this is not only the best ps3 game on the market today (yes, better then MGS4 and LBP), but it may even be my favorite single player game on any system this generation so far, period.

It's a really unique strategy war RPG, taking various elements from Fire Emblem and Battalion Wars, and turning it into something completely its own. When controlling your troops, the game utilizes a 3rd person style camera, much like that of the 3D Zelda games, or that of a 3rd person shooter. And the game basically plays out by starting with the "player phase", and then going onto the "enemy phase" for each turn in battle. And you're allotted so many "command points" for each turn, which you use to control each individual in your squad. It all comes together to form some of the most engaging strategy gameplay I've ever seen in a game. It's not too complicated, and you're not swamped with menus. It's just pure strategy, making you use the best of your squad's strengths and weaknesses.

Visually, the game is phenomenal. The artistry is top notch here. It uses a combination of cell shading and a "hand drawn sketch" filter, making for some breathtaking in-game visuals and cutscenes. The character designs are also excellent.

The voice acting is excellent as well. I didn't come across even one character that didn't sound natural. And if the mood strikes you, you can even use the Japanese language track. No doubt thanks to the extra space provided by the Blu-ray disk the game is printed on.

The music, not surprisingly, is also great. It uses orchestrated music that really fits the mood of each battle. Going up against a massive dreadnaught? The music definitely lets you know how grave the situation looks. There was also one cutscene in particular, that featured one of the characters singing (I won't spoil why), but I'm not embarrassed at all to admit that it had me in tears.

And speaking of which, the story for the game was excellent. With emotional highs and lows that really ran the gamut. Sure, some may call it a typical war drama. But when you become so invested in these characters—the events that surround them have that much more meaning and impact. And yes, the characters in the game are great.

And finally, as an awesome tribute to Sega's Skies of Arcadia—Vyse, Aika, and Fina, all make appearances in the game as members of your squad as a shock-trooper, scout, and medic, respectively. Even better, this isn't something that they make you earn by completing the game, or making you go jump through some crazy hoops to obtain. Only a few hours in, and all three are fair game for adding to your squad (well Fina is always the medic, so you don't actually add her).

In conclusion, this is easily Sega's best game since...well since Skies of Arcadia on the Dreamcast quite frankly (and not surprisingly, it's by the same director). It's a must play experience in my opinion, and 100% worth buying a ps3 for. There is nothing else quite like it out there Sega, I tip my hat to you, as I have renewed respect for you as a developer and publisher.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/02/08

Game Release: Valkyria Chronicles (US, 11/04/08)

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