Originally released on the PlayStation 3, Valkyria Chronicles is the story of Welkin Gunther, son of Belgen Gunther, who returns to his hometown of Bruhl as The Imperial Federation is invading the country of Gallia , where his father was a hero. As he appears in town he is forced to help fight, alongside Alicia Melchitt, captain of the town watch, to save Bruhl. Together with Welkin’s adopted sister Isara piloting the Edelweiss, Belgen’s Tank from the first War, they escape and eventually make it to the capital city of Randgriz and join the Gallian Military. Welkin is given the rank of Lieutenant and control over Squad 7. Can you and your elite squad turn the tide of battle? Or does the Imperial Federation have a few other weapons up their sleeve?
Combat plays out very smoothly. It’s easy to get into and tricky to master. There are 6 base types of units. Scouts, Shocktroopers, Lancers, Engineers, Snipers, and Tanks. Each turn you are given a number of “Medals”, and each unit cost’s 1 medal to move (except for the tank, which requires 2 medals). Each unit has its own amount of stamina determining how far they can move, and a certain weapon type, which seem to correlate to each other. The scout can move the most but has just a basic, average 5 shot rifle, meanwhile the sniper can move the least but has a far reaching, powerful rifle. Shocktroopers are closer range machine gunners, Lancers are best against tanks and gun outposts, and engineers, while the weakest, are able to repair tanks and disable mines. Every character gains abilities as they grow in level and these abilities can be triggered by certain conditions such as terrain type, type of troop around them, etc.
Tank’s have 3 basic types of artillery, Anti tank shells, Mortar shells for use against groups of ground troops, and a machine gun for use against a single enemy. When you take over an enemies base camp in battle you can retreat members and deploy new ones, each member costing a medal. Battle ends when either you capture their main base camp, or one of your loss conditions is met.
Let it be known that much of the story of this game is done through cutscenes. Though you play longer than you watch, because of the number of cutscenes you click on, you feel like it’s a lot longer.
Visually this game is stunning, even for being a game from 8 years ago. It may not be the best up to today’s standards, but the visual style of being pencil drawn is something I find very fascinating and incredibly beautiful. I find the voice acting incredibly well done and very believable to belong to the characters. As for sound design, the music is well done and many of the sounds are spot on, but a few of them, such as machine gun fire hitting a certain type of unit was laughable and I couldn’t stop making fun of it.
This game is incredibly re-playable for enjoyment. As you complete chapters of the story, skirmish battles open up. These skirmishes are battles that you have played during the main campaign and are re-playable to accrue experience and money used for upgrading soldier classes and upgrading weapons and tank parts respectively. Each battle, story and skirmish, has a ranking, so one of the big challenges is getting the best rank on every battle.
Remastered is a word heard very often this generation, and has a negative stigma around it. That being said, I give Valkyria Chronicles Remastered a “PLAY” due to it being fun and hitting the 3 main criteria for remasters that I like. First, it comes with all DLC that was released back on the PlayStation 3. Second, It brings trophies to a game that never had them. And third, and most important, it is releasing at a mere $30. You are receiving a full fledged game that will give you dozens of hours of fun, and all of its DLC, for a meager price. I can’t emphasize this enough, if you are a fan of RPG’s, you should play this game.
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered releases on the PlayStation 4 on May 17th, 2016