Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review: Return To An Instant Classic

Whenever a new console generation begins, there are always certain games that get remastered in order to take advantage of the new, powerful systems. Usually, these games are “blasts from the past” and sometimes, it even allows gamers who may have missed the games the first time around to finally get to experience the fun and excitement of a legendary title. Valkyria Chronicles is one of those games.

SEGA’s classic real-time strategy, or tactical RPG, as it is sometimes referred to, from the PS3 era has been remastered for the PS4 and the results are stellar from top to bottom. The tale of war over an energy source closely follows the events of the real World War II, even placing the conflict in a country called Europa. The Gallian militia is tasked with battling the Europan Imperial Alliance as they try to overrun Gallia for ragnite ore, a source which powers its massive war machines.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered follows the story of one soldier, Welkin Gunther, the son of a famous general and now a student of nature, who comes home to his small, but strategically important country, and is drawn into the conflict. Welkin is joined by old friends and new, and by taking his father’s infamous tank, the Edelweiss, he quickly rises to the top of the opposing forces, and he and his Squad 7 have to learn to work together to win the day — and the war.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

The game is broken down into chapters from a history book, with each chapter containing cinema scenes and side stories, and then a battle map that has to be completed before the page turns to the next chapter. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered utilizes a game system called BLiTZ, or battle of live tactical zones, for gameplay. Players choose the soldiers of Squad 7 from a series of classes (snipers, engineers, scouts, shock troopers, etc.) and then create a real time strategic plan, though the action is player-controlled in turns, reminiscent of XCOM:Enemy Unknown. Each battle is graded and spoils are awarded for how the objective(s) were completed.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

Of the many different named and backstoried recruits available in the game, Welkin has to earn their trust one by one to create a solid force for the many battles ahead. Certain characters work well with certain others, and balancing all of this out is part of the charm of the game. Players can even spend time at HQ upping skills and buying better weapons and armor. Each change in uniform, weapon, or even the tank (which is customizable) shows in the game play.

The story also takes some pretty twisted turns as it lumbers on, dealing with prejudices of certain races and creeds (again, this is loosely based off of World War II), and it makes peeling the onion a fun and exciting time, even as the battles get bigger and much more intense.

The music and voice work are both very well done, with the sweeping orchestral score setting the mood in both cinematic and in the heat of an intense battle. The characters are voiced about 80 percent of the time, and some of the performances rise above the usual game/anime fare, really helping to sell the story of this conflict and the underlying emotions happening throughout.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered includes all of the DLC (including characters and missions), as well as a full on remaster to bump the game up to true 1080p and 60 FPS. And the beautiful art direction, here made to look like watercolor paintings come to life, absolutely shine on-screen. I have found myself multiple times watching in awe as the paintings-come-to-life handled some pretty extensive scenes of death and destruction, and Valkyria Chronicles Remastered doesn’t pull punches. All of this just adds to the wonder of this game, and makes for one of the best looking games of 2016.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered does a wonderful job of updating the PS3 classic for the more-powerful PS4, and the 1080p/60 fps visuals make this a new experience, even for fans who played the game years ago. I missed the game the first time around, and have enjoyed my time with it here in the wonderfully executed remaster. SEGA has done a solid service to gamers by bringing this instant classic back, and hopefully it will find an audience of new gamers who, like myself, never got a chance to play it the first time around. It is definitely worth the time to give it a play through, or multiple play-throughs.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is available on the PS4 in both digital and retail versions. This review is based off a review code provided by SEGA.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review
out of 5

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