Valkyria Revolution – Review
Follow Genre: Action-RPG
Developer: Media.Vision
Publisher: Sega
Platform: PSVita, PS4, Xbox One
Tested On: PS4

Valkyria Revolution – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Fun hack and slash gameplay
Bad: Too many loading screens
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Valkyria Revolution is an action RPG released by Sega in 2008, as the next link in its multimedia franchise. With the release of several manga and anime volumes, and a number of games across different platforms such as PC in 2014 and PS4 in 2016 and most importantly, four prequels, we can say the brand is still going strong. Will the new game in the series carry on a strong tradition, or will it turn the franchise in an unpopular direction? Join us, and find out!

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Story

As with all stories in the Valkyria series, you play through one of the resource wars that plagues the alternate version of Europe after the discovery of the mineral named ragnite. This mineral is used as fuel, and can be used in alchemy to create the spells you cast while playing. The game plays as a third person action RPG, where you play as a squad of knights defending the princess who has thrown herself into the war and is fighting the front lines. Along the way you’ll encounter the titular valkyria, and the new reaper enemies.

The story is mostly told however, through a teacher-student relationship, as a part of a book you’re studying. As you turn the pages of the story, you hear the tales your teacher obtained from her great-great-grandmother. Usually this means the teacher will start with a line or two while the screen fades into one of the game’s many (-many-) cut-scenes.

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Graphics

Just like a lot of J-RPGs, Valkyria Chronicles takes the look of a Japanese comic book (no, not manga, but a comic book). This suits the action-oriented gameplay really well, making it look good, while keeping the game vibrant and feeling alive. Along with this come the obvious ability to do more visually interesting attacks, like large sweeps of swords, or jump moves impossible if the game was rendered more realistic.

The visual-novel like art style is also a good continuation of the style its predecessors had. It looks like it has not changed much in terms of a graphical overhaul, while still suiting its action-oriented gameplay a lot better. Games in the Valkyria franchise have always had a great feeling for its art direction and this game does not change that one bit.

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Sound

The game is roughly based on our real world World Wars, and its soundtrack is reflective of that. When playing, you’ll enjoy a lot of grand orchestra pieces with lots of deep sounds with some high flute sounds for contrast. One of the odd things we have noticed in our testing is that if you turn down the music slider in the options, some of the cut scenes where the queen character is singing will be eerily silent.

Another thing that seems to happen a lot is overlap in character background dialogue. The quality of the voice-over work is really good, but it has its problems. In fights, characters can react to allies taking kills, or other events such as seeing bosses, or talking to named enemies. But the developers apparently forgot to put a cap on the amount of dialogue your allies can have every minute, leading to garbled speech as your characters will all talk over another. If you’re fast enough in killing packs of enemies, you may even be able to get one character to talk over itself for added hilarity!

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Gameplay

Valkyria Revolution is an action-RPG, where you fight your way through groups of enemies to your objective, be that a big boss, a capture point, or endless streams of enemy soldiers. Media.Vision is taking a big departure from its original format, by turning to the Dynasty Warriors engine. For the game, this means that it’s more action-oriented than previous games in its franchise. Instead of picking your troops, you only get to pick a squad of four, and instead of using action points to act as characters, you’re selecting one character to be for that mission. Your action points have been traded in for an action gauge, and you no longer have to pay attention to a looming movement range bar like in other games in the series.

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A typical session will look like this: You select a chapter from the story, as told by the teacher and student. She will introduce a couple of cutscenes, the game loads (quite a lot, unfortunately) in between those, and then you’re standing in a bustling shopping center. This is where you buy your armor and gear with the resource drops from bosses and strong enemies. Then you leave for the factory where you can upgrade your spells, and after that, you leave for your headquarters. This is where you select your missions. There are a couple of options. There are the obvious story missions, but because the game uses a leveling system, you need to be able to rerun older missions to gather EXP. The selection you have there is an incursion style mission where the enemy can take over your territory on the map and you have to prevent them from doing so, or side missions for extra drops and/or experience.

When you enter a battlefield, the game turns into a hack and slash game where you face hordes of the generic soldier enemies, with larger bosses and some medium sized walker enemies sprinkled in between. you fight by swinging your weapon, or casting spells from the spell dialogue menu. Attacks are chosen according to your enemies’ weaknesses, and can range from close range to mid range magic and melee attacks, and to firing guns or lobbing grenades at longer ranges. Most grunt enemies die really quick, but they blend in with some commander enemies that can break the morale of a squad to reduce your damage taken and that can make them run. Most of the bosses and mini bosses have weaknesses that you can exploit to break their cycles and do some extra damage. At the end of each mission you’re awarded your experience and item drops.

Valkyria Revolution is a game with a fun gameplay loop, killing the hordes of enemies is a lot of fun due to the all powerful feeling you get when hacking with your sword. This flow is only heightened by the tight controls and functional HUD. It has its quirks, such as the amount of overlapping dialogue you may get when you’re hacking through enemies too fast. The high amount of cut-scenes may also make you feel like the game is screeching to a grinding halt every time you kill that final enemy of the level.

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Conclusion

Valkyria revolution is an interesting departure from previous games in the series. Its hack and slash gameplay can be a little bit more monotonous than other games because of the repetition in the gameplay, and the amount of loading screens in between cut scenes and between levels. Especially when there is a cut scene in the middle of a mission it can feel like the game is bringing you to a grinding halt. The game does a good job to make you feel powerful though, and it can be intoxicating to work your way through packs of enemies in later stages of the game. Slashing them up can be truly fun, if that is your type of gameplay or when you’re unsure if this series is for you, Revolution comes highly recommended to check out the series.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Valkyria Revolution - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Brustenhoven
Brustenhoven


Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 24, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

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