Review by Drinkmorewater
Valkyia Chonicles: A story of metrosexual warfare.
Introduction: Valkyrie Chronicles looks petty, but has a boring storyline, light gameplay, and a quick finish.
Story: Not spoiling much, one country decides to invade another country for precious resources. Also, instead of black or white race, peoples racial hatred comes from hair color. Yup, that is about it in a nutshell. Oh, there is also an absurd love story, mythical powers, and the story of a pig with wings. Now, if you are like me and dislike anime, you will hate every single charecter in this game. There is a wide variety of them, but they all fit the anime stereotypes quite well, so who cares?
Gameplay: This is where things get a bit better. You assemble a squad of various classes, which, of course, there isn't that much of. You can pick scouts, engineers, snipers, assault, and rocket men. Oh, you have tanks too, but you have to use them the majority of fights. Scouts are fast soldiers who can cover the whole map, engineers fix/remove things, snipers snipe, anti-armor blows up armor, and assault are heavy duty. You can level up classes to make them powerful with experience gained with each map, but the process is boring there is not really much customization. The variety of each character comes with different bonuses and traits they have. One solider may like standing on grass which gives him a slight attack bonus, another solider may like the anime baby faced sexy female solider next to him more which gives him a chance of attacking twice in a row when by her. All in all, you don't really get to customize your guys at all except for when it comes to inventory.
Difficulty is odd in this, some levels are very tough while some are absurdly easy. On the whole, the majority of the game you can breeze right past. There really isn't much strategy as one would think. I beat the game pretty much just using only scouts and anti-armor.
Combat is boring. You have action points which limit how many steps soldiers can take. Once you fire or use a item, turn is over and on to the next solider. How many soldiers you get to move in a turn depends on how many commander points you have, which are gained/refreshed with each commander you have in control on the field. Yes, while not forced, the game really guides you to use the main characters in the story in about every battle regardless if you like the class/perks they have just because of commander points.
Tactics are buffs/debuffs/attacks you can issue out from the field that drain commander points. I never used them or felt the need to do so in order to beat the game, so take from that what you will.
After battles, one can go back into town and use war profits gained after battle to buy side missions, better equipment, change the squad, or learn tactics from a creepy old man. There is medals in the game which is kind of like mini-trophies too, but that is about it.
The game isn't that long, expect to complete it in only a few sittings.
Graphics: The graphics are actually pretty good. It's a interesting effect for sure, the watercolor like textures are really pretty to look at. The explosions... eh... not as good, but the backgrounds and fields them selves are quite breathtaking.
Sound: Anime voices, decent music. The voice acting is pretty bad, but what can you expect from sega?
Conclusion: Valkyrie Chronicles wants to be a movie more then a game, which it succeeds in doing. The strategy element is light and gameplay is dull, but if you love anime, and I mean, really love anime, you will like this game. Everything in this screams out to be into a cartoon. If you are a strategy loving nerd like me and dislike cutesy big eyed goofy creatures belting out terrible broken English lines, you won't find much here. Trying not to be biased, I skipped every single moment involving the story and just focused on the gameplay. It was bland, sorry.
It's not a bad game, it's just not good either.
Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Product Release: Valkyria Chronicles (US, 11/04/08)
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