Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review: Not Enough New

It’s been nearly ten years since Valkyria Chronicles was first unleashed onto the Playstation 3 back in 2008 and the RPG world has never been the same quite since. Part strategy simulator, part role playing with elements of a third person shooter, Valkyria Chronicles is a different experience. Now fully remastered in HD quality for the current generation, the question begs to be answered, is another trip through the terrain of Gallia worth the effort? The answer to this statement can be found in the lack of new material inherent in this title, which is little.

A fresh coat of paint and some trophy support aren’t enough to warrant a release on newer platforms. Experienced players see this right off the bat as the supposed 1080P HD graphics are lost on the game’s paint style of graphics.

Much like Okami, which bore a strikingly similar visual aesthetic, an HD upgrade to Valkyria Chronicles is like placing a new engine on an old car, it does little to enhance the overall quality of the product. For those of you haven’t played this game, the story begins in the pastoral landscape of a town called Bruhl in a highly fictionalized European setting circa 1935. Your main protagonist is Welkin, a University student who is caught between the warring factions of the Eastern Empire and the democratic federalist states of the Western provinces. Galia, a Western province, is rich with a rare mineral called ragnite, which is highly sought out after by the imperialistic forces of the Crown Prince Maximilian. Welkin isn’t alone in this fight, as his companions along with help the protagonist discover his own inner strength in a world taken right out of a Miyazaki anime. Everything that made the original version is present in this remastered edition.

The story progresses like a novel as each chapter in the tail representing a new faze of the arch. From its call to arms section in chapter one to the awe dropping revelation as to what actually are the Valkyrians, this re-release delivers everything and slightly more than both the Playstation 3 and the PC steam engine incarnations combined. Textures are beautifully rendered in 1080 P high definition and are delivered through Sega’s Canvas graphical style engine. Every movement, every glance through this brilliant and vibrant animated adventure feels as if the player were guiding Welkin and his cohorts through an anime film. Trophy support and redigitalized audio track are nice touches to an already nearly perfect game. Included in this remastered edition is all the DLC including the Edy and Silverick’s mission packs, along with the almost impossible Hard Ex mode for more advanced players.

All the DLC is available right from the beginning along with the option to choose between Japanese and English audio tracks. Experience points still give players cash which allows you to upgrade your characters through the long campaign. The combat system is extremely innovative with its “Blitz” style of fighting, giving players complete control during battle sequences. The voice acting is still cheesy in some parts with little being done to clean up the muddy dialogue. One still cringes when hearing Martha call Welkin and Alicia “Welkies” in the barn scene from chapter two.

Still, this JRPG has little to offer in new material and for anyone who has beaten it the first time around, the land of Galia can remain a far off place for many years to come. But for anyone seeking a grand adventure through a world rich with zeal and pomp, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is definitely worth picking up for its meager price tag of 29.99

In the end, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered was a fun trip down memory lane for me. The world with increasingly lush visuals, an audio track as authentic and as its Japanese origins, and DLC that gives the player hours upon hours of extra gameplay. But all this still wasn’t enough for me.

Ultimately, a return to the land of Galia wasn’t necessary considering how good the game looked when it was first released on the PS3. Unlike other HD quality remasterings like Zelda Twilight Princess, Valkyria Chronicles seemed dated and empty. Playing through the story again was as mechanical as brushing your teeth in the morning. Nothing much has changed since 2008 and it shows on this release. What was new and exciting the first time was lost the second time around? Even with the new DLC, the side quests aren’t enough to want to lead squad seven into combat yet again against the imperial forces of the East.

Fans who enjoyed the title the first time around should avoid purchasing it a second time. But if you haven’t played any of the games in the series, then its definitely worth the price. Valkyria Chronicles great in and of itself and Sega should have let this game remain as it was, the greatest JRPG on the Playstation 3. In an era of gaming dominated by such monolithic series as Gears of War and The Witcher, what the JRPG genre needed wasn’t a rehashing of old material but a new series that could push the aesthetics of this style of gaming even further.

Out of all the series Sega could have remastered it seems like a strange decision to bring back a title that did everything right the first time. Fans have been foaming at the mouth for a new Shinobi or Shining Force since the glory days of the Genesis.

It’s clear now more than ever that the once-mighty gaming giant has run out of ideas. You’ll find more pleasure in playing through the Sega Genesis collection on my Xbox 360 than rummaging through hours of tedious story dialogue in Valkyria Chronicles. Trophy support and the inclusion of all the DLC from the previous American and Japanese game was a cute touch make no mistake about it, but the overall product was devoid of new life and lacked the depth of what a true HD remastering should have had. To go back and reissue a game on modern platforms that was so perfect to begin with is like remaking a masterpiece film like The Godfather or Citizen Kane, it was doomed to fail right from the outset.

Overall, if you haven’t played Valkyria Chronicles yet then this is the perfect time to pick it up for your PS4, but if you’re a veteran of the series you’ll find yourself asking for your thirty dollars back.

-HD quality graphics running at 1080P at 60 frames per second
-DLC is amazing and is unlocked right from the very beginning
-Trophy Support including both Japanese and English voice acting
-Canvas style graphics still hold up today
-Battle system is spot on mixing 3rd person action with strategy based combat

-Offers little to new players
-Stilted dialogue and cheesy voice-acting
-DLC lacks depth

About Anthony Frisina 83 Articles
Anthony Frisina is a graduate of the City University of New York-Brooklyn College with a BA in Political Science with a minor in Psychology. After finishing his undergraduate degree, Anthony went on to attend Brooklyn College's Film Academy and Writer's workshop program, achieving an interdisciplinary degree in Screenwriting and Film theory in the Fine Arts. Transforming his love for classic American cinema, Anthony went on to adapt a number of his own works into different mediums, including his well-received Western novel The Regulator. Anthony likes to spend his free time writing articles for magazines and periodicals that cover a wide range of topics, from science fiction to popular culture. As a screenwriter, Anthony has had his screenplays featured at numerous spec script writing competitions across the country where he one day hopes to write the next great American film.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.