> First of all, I want to note this is my first time playing a game in
the Valkyria series, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect.
Revolution is a spin-off from the Valkyria Chronicles
games, rather than a direct sequel. I knew the series involved strategy
and turn-based gameplay, which is actually a genre I appreciate. Therefore,
I was quite pleased to learn Sega was going to release a
new Valkyria game on multiple platforms -- including
> The small country of Jutland is at war with the Ruzhien empire. Amleth
(the player) heads a special military team called the 'Anti-Valkyria Squad',
whose goal is restoring freedom to the (fictional) countries of Europa.
Ragnite is an azure mineral that drives the economy and military might
in this world. Naturally, the evil empire has taken control of Ragnite
mining to the detriment of all other nations. Throughout the game, the
story of Jutland's war against the oppression of the Ruzi Empire is told
retrospectively by Professor Richelle.
> Valkyria Revolution, known as Valkyria: Azure Revolution
in Japan, is the first in the series to be an action/RPG with a bit of
tactics. As far as gameplay is concerned, I would compare this game favorably
with the first Dragon
Age. The graphics have a unique 'painted' look that one doesn't
often see in games.
> There's a lot to like in this department. Sega always seems
to get magic right, especially when it comes to wielding, variations, and
impressive effects (check). The graphic art in Valkyria Revolution
is presented in a way that mimics an animated painting. An unusual effect
that's done very nicely (check). The third person view is another feature
that Sega always seems to manage properly. It's presented
in a free-moving manner during the action portions, and a locked perspective
when at Headquarters, Promenade (in town), Basil's Factory (customization
and upgrades), The Bumbling Bard (town bar) and Royal Cemetery. I would've
preferred a free-moving view everywhere, but it's still worthy (check).
Really the only beef, graphically, I have is the HUD map isn't quite big
enough for situational awareness.
> Sega nailed the gameplay too. Like I said in the intro,
plays a lot like Dragon Age. The player roams the field freely
(within bounds), and battles feature real-time melee action. The battle
pauses, and tactics come into play, when accessing the equipped magic and
secondary weapons (check). This is a good compromise to the overwhelming
number of button combinations the player would need to memorize in order
to wield all of the character's attacks. Other gameplay features include
pilfering weapons caches, climbing ladders, blocking, and dodging.
> While at the Promenade, one can talk to residents, read the newspaper,
shop for items, and craft items. The Bumbling Bard and Royal Cemetery are
just for talking and story cut-scenes. Basil's Factory is where to research
primary weapon upgrades, enhance character abilities with Ragnite, and
map character abilities/secondary weapons. Lastly, Headquarters is where
one can talk to various team members, get bonuses for numerous achievements,
and select Missions. There are three basic types of Missions: Story (advances
the storyline), Battle (a important side-objective), and Free (previously
completed and repeatable). Of course, one can select a party of four, adjust
palettes/tactics, and view character statistics before deploying.
> The Valkyria Revolution soundtrack largely consists of
orchestral and emotional tunes. There's nothing here to deter one from
keeping the music volume at a normal level. Overall, I wouldn't say it's
too memorable, but it surely enhances the experience.
> The sound effects are clear and effective. Magic, explosions, guns, machinery,
etc. have convincing effects. The English voice over track is initially
questionable, but quickly becomes well done. It's a good thing, because
the characters are constantly bantering during missions, and especially
in the heat of battle (a la Dragon's Dogma). The Japanese
voice track is optional as well.
> The developer, Media Vision, has done an excellent job on the storyline,
and there's plenty to be told. The player can review the highlights (via
cut-scenes) of all the chapters that have been completed. They've also
created an interesting story for the 'Valkyria', Brunhilde, which makes
for a compelling reason to play on. She's a sexy grim reaper that one encounters
repeatedly, and is tied to Amleth's past.
> The ability to toggle control of each party member on the fly is very
useful, especially when the 'white mage' isn't doing her job! I very much
like the fact that you don't have to worry too much about aiming your melee
attacks, as the gameplay adjusts to any nearby target automatically. As
for guns and grenades, those are easy to aim while the action is paused.
At any rate, the missions are satisfying to complete, there's plenty to
upgrade, and the gameplay is largely spot-on. Valkyria Revolution
> Congratulations to Sega for making an RPG that is hard
to shut off. Valkyria Revolution has unique 'painted artwork',
steam-punk-like mechanical weaponry, wonderful magic, excellent third person
mechanics, and real-time battles with tactical decisions. Although the
game is made to feel like a military operation that sways back and forth,
the outcome is set to the storyline. That's fine with me, because Valkyria's
story is a joy to experience and this is complete fiction. Besides, one
can skip the cut-scenes as desired. Lastly, the developer ended this game
perfectly -- the player's level/gear/magic is retained; dead character(s)
come back to life; one gain's access to all previous missions for replaying;
Free play of the current campaign is open; and the option to start a completely
new story with character progress in tact becomes available! Wow, nice!!
> RPG-starved Sega Fans in the West can rejoice. Valkyria Revolution
has come to the rescue of a console near you. At any rate, buy this game
to experience a wonderful action/RPG that fills the enormous gap created
by the multitudes of first-person shooters out there!
|Overall: 9.3 | Graphics:
9.0 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Fun: 10