Review by Omisan771

"A great game with some glaring flaws."

I love Valkyria Chronicles, but the game has a couple of issues which prevents it from being perfect. I will not point out all the positives about the game since other reviews have clearly done it.

While it has dozens of very different playable characters, only 7 (minus the villains) of them are seen in the game's hundred cutscenes. It would have been nice to see other members of the squad say something or at least make an appearance outside the battlefield.

The units are not well balanced, mainly the scouts, which benefit from a ridiculous mobility that easily makes up for any downsides they might have. On the other hand, some unit have such limited mobility, that it's often easier to just leave them behind instead of moving them up to battle.

You are rated for each battle you fight, but this scoring system is based solely on speed. It doesn't matter how much damage you caused or received. Or how well you used each of your units. All that matters is speed, even if it means stealing victory by using a single scout's mobility to tag a flag without killing any enemies. As if touching a flag surrounded by sandbags was all it took to stop a dozen soldiers and a few tanks from fighting you.

The game's battle engine and its physics are rather strange.

A lot of focus is placed on firing at your enemies from the shortest possible distance and from behind if possible. This leads to some ridiculous situations where shooting at an enemy's head from the front will only cause minimal damage, but doing the same from behind will instantly kill them. As if seeing who was firing at you affected the lethality of bullets. Crouching behind sandbags also cancels headshots, even though the head is clearly visible from the front.

The tanks can roll over people, but it only makes them bounce out of the way without taking any damage. Explosion can also send people flying down a cliff or in the water, but they magically re-appear right on the edge of where they fell from.

The biggest problem in my opinion:

The battles are heavily scripted and linear. You rarely have an open battlefield where many choices are available to you. Instead, you are often forced to use one predetermined path to reach your objective. The enemy AI will also repeat the same predetermined actions every times you replay a battle. This often makes the levels feel more like elaborate puzzles rather than battles. Once you know how to solve a puzzle, there is little interest in doing it again.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/23/08

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

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