The Valkyria series hasn’t seen a proper release in the West or in Oceania since last official title, Valkyria Chronicles 2, came in 2010 on the PlayStation Portable. Poor sales of that title led to the third title not being released outside of Japan. Renewed interest after the successes of the PC release and subsequent PlayStation 4 remaster of Valkyria Chronicles has now led to the first release of a new Valkyria title in 7 years. Does Valkyria Revolution meet the standards of the previously released entries in the series, especially being the first Valkyria title on any Microsoft home platform?
Game Name: Valkyria Revolution
Platform(s): Xbox One (reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Price: $39.99 (Amazon)
To preface everything I am about to say in this review, I must disclose that Valkyria Revolution is a stark departure from previous titles in the series. Valkyria Revolution is meant to be a prequel to the original trilogy, as well as the start to its own series. The story takes place over 100 years before the start of Valkyria Chronicles and is recanted through the eyes of a Jutland student who is doing research on the Five Traitors and his teacher, Richelle. Best believe things begins to go completely off the rails here.
Those who remember Valkyria Chronicles will remember the style of storytelling that the games entail. The stories are told via chapters, however, there is always something to do within the chapters outside of the main story. Not in Valkyria Revolution, my friends. Between each chapter, we are taken back to Richelle and her student, with nothing to go back to. No side missions, just cutscene…after cutscene. The first 20 minutes of the game…you guessed it…cutscenes.
Before you say “It looks like you’ve never played Valkyria,” stop it. Stop it now. Here are the main differences between Valkyria Chronicles and Valkyria Revolution: time and context. While we do get the idea behind the story, it takes too long to even get to a point where it could be considered, and even then, there isn’t any context. So Amleth (the story’s protagonist) killed a Ruzi general over a woman. Why should I even give a damn at this point? Twenty minutes of absolutely nothing. Where and what are the stakes? Hell, to quote Megaman X4…WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOR?
The gameplay does no favors, either. Instead of the traditional tactics RPG style of the Chronicles series, Valkyria Revolution eschews this for a real-time free movement battle mechanic with its own problems. Battles feel staggered, as you have to wait to become ready between attacks. Press A, run around until ready, lather, rinse, repeat, use the occasional spell, gun or grenade, go insane. Did I mention GO INSANE? Albert Einstein was definitely thinking of this game when he said: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” Believe me, this game definitely pushes one to the brink of that.
Valkyria Revolution is a visually beautiful game. Stunning, even. In lieu of that, I wonder why the hell the technical aspects of the presentation came out so bad. The dialogue is piss poor and the voice direction is much worse, dare I say cringeworthy at times (easy peasy lemon squeezy? Quoth The Miz: “Really? Really?!”) The story is about as shallow as a rain puddle in the middle of a sunny summer day. War is bad, unfounded? Nah, forget that, Valkyria Revolution‘s story seems to find a reason to validate war every single chance it gets. Remember when I mentioned Amleth killing a Ruzi general just over a woman? Yeah…no. Oh…and you can’t really skip through the dialogue unless you press the menu button. I found myself skipping through a lot for the sake of my own sanity.
Review Disclosure Statement:
Valkyria Revolution was provided to us by SEGA of America for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
Valkyria Revolution tries so hard to be different, yet it falls on its face. There are so much of what made the original series great in this game, but all of that gets eschewed for a disappointing title unworthy of the name “Valkyria.”