Valkyria Revolution
Sega/Shin Force
Valkyria Revolution

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Valkyria Revolution / Valkyria: Azure Revolution :: Reviews
JP/NA: Sega
EU: Deep Silver
Media Vision
1x BD
 (USA) $39.99
 (UK) £29.99
3rd Person
Action / RPG
1 (XBL)
Content DL
Xbox Live
T - Teen
     > 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. Valkyria 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 Xbox One!

     > 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, Valkyria 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 defines fun.

Bottom Line
     > 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

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