Valkyria Chronicles managed to stay sincere and pragmatic when it came to its benevolent and unforgettable story. In other thematically similar games surrounding its original release on PS3, interpretations of war in gaming could come across as melodramatic (Metal Gear Solid 4). However, Valkyria Chronicles garnered well-deserved attention through its homely atmosphere and tepid aesthetic. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is the definitive way to experience what many consider a cult-classic. With updated textures, DLC extras, and trophy support–this revitalized edition of the classic proves just how well SEGA’s somewhat unconvential strategy RPG holds up almost ten years later.
I had never completed the 50 hour campaign in Valkyria Chronicles during the games original release on PS3. And with this remaster I finally managed to finish what was ultimately a game consisting of charming and unforgettable characters, juxtaposed by an inviting backstory that consisted of faux History Channel-like documentaries. These cutscenes added flavor to a world which was repeatedly making me care about a fictitious Europa and its inhabitants. Its character-building took cues from popular RPGs that consisted of seminal rosters, specifically creating genuine quirks for each soldier that never became obnoxious. And while Squad-7 never managed to reach the heights of other groups of soldiers in fiction, Valkyria Chronicles by-the-books approach is endearing with how much respect and attachment you end up donating involuntarily to Squad-7. A lot of this takes into account the seminal voice acting from talents such as Laura Bailey (Tales From The Borderlands), Dave Wittenburg (Resident Evil), and Colleen O’Shaughnessey (Spirited Away). However, recycling actors make characters sound almost exactly alike and occasional misdirection for voice-acting creates somewhat of a disingenuous intention for otherwise great writing.
As for the Gameplay, Valkyria Chronicles takes obvious influence from other Strategy-RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics and X-com; siphoning their core concepts into a system that’s much more transparent than either of those series could be alone. However, there’s nothing cheap or overtly-simplistic in Valkyria Chronicles. The game forces you to be completely thoughtful with each move you make since every step drains away a rapidly depleting meter that when run dry means that a unit’s turn is over. Another great mechanic is that each attack requires pinpoint accuracy from the player themselves via over-the-shoulder action. It’s a great battle-system that deepens itself as the game progresses and continues to remain fresh and exciting almost 50 hours in. What also helps is the OST that’s presented during the game, as each orchestral piece tonally fits with the set-pieces and moods retaining its whimsical aesthetic even towards battle themes.
While many will consider Valkyria Chronicles Remastered to be somewhat of a bare-bones rerelease considering the fact that it’s almost ten years old and was just revitalized by a new coat of paint. Take into consideration the amount of content your getting for about $30 and the quality, it becomes evident that Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is indeed a bargain for its price. And while added features or at the very least a demo for Valkyria Azure Revolution would’ve been a nice incentive for owners of the original release, if you are one of those unlucky to have experienced Valkyria Chronicles when it first came out on PS3. Then this is the perfect opportunity to snatch it up. Even if you have already gone through Valkyria Chronicles, the added trophy support is worth at least another play-through (if you’re into trophy collecting) and if you’ve already played the game then you already know how incredible it is enough to give it another playthrough.