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About the product
- Taking place in an alternate world based on the European era of industrialization, players will band together with Jutland's elite soldiers as they fight against the merciless Ruzi Empire.
- Valkyria Revolution eschews the original series' traditional turn-based strategy for a new hybrid of fast paced real-time combat and tactical acumen across battlefields.
- The world of Valkyria Revolution is brought to life by the unique visual style provided by a new graphical engine and a vibrant soundtrack composed by the celebrated Yasunori Mitsuda.
- The powerful drama can be experienced in its original Japanese voice acting with English subtitles or in a brand-new English dub
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Sega of America Inc.
In the wake of a revolution, Jutland's elite soldiers, the Vanargand, must band together to defeat the Ruzi Empire and stop death itself—the Valkyria. With an engaging story full of political intrigue, a battle system that mixes real-time combat and tactical strategy, a gorgeous visual style, and more, Valkyria Revolution will immerse players into the frontlines of a desperate war.
Equipped with advanced mana weaponry and wielding powerful ragnite spells, this grizzled anti-Valkyria squad will charge head on to combat the terrifying threat of the Valkyria. However, Amleth Gronkjaer, the commanding officer of Vanargand, hides a terrible secret. Is he friend or foe to the country he has sworn to protect?
The Valkyria, the embodiment of death, is returning to the battlefield in Valkyria Revolution, and players will have to do-and sacrifice-whatever is necessary to liberate their homeland. With an engaging story full of political intrigue, a battle system that mixes real-time combat and tactical strategy, a gorgeous visual style, and more, the game will immerse players into the frontlines of a desperate war. In the wake of a revolution, Jutland's elite soldiers, the Vanargand, must band together to defeat the Ruzi Empire and stop death itself-the Valkyria. This grizzled anti-Valkyria squad is equipped with advanced mana weaponry and has the powerful ability to wield ragnite spells to combat this terrifying threat. The unit is comprised of soldiers who have a high affinity for ragnite, and even Jutland's own Princess Ophelia has joined the ranks. The princess carries the utmost love for her country and has answered the call of duty to liberate those who are suffering from the Ruzi's tyranny. However, Amleth Gronkjaer, the commanding officer of Vanargand, hides a terrible secret. Is he friend or foe to the country he has sworn to protect?.
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Revolutions is a game that focuses on Jutland. A land that has been at odds with Ruzhien. The nation of Jutland decides to fight for their own freedom from Ruzhien. The story is framed as being told by a professor, but centers on the character of Amleth more than anyone, who is out for revenge. The sounds like the most basic story setup in the world, but Valkyria Revolutions actually has a pretty good and rewarding story. It has political intrigue, drama and betrayal. The characters are often charming and relatable. It's just a shame the story isn't presented very well at all. The story itself is good, but the presentation lacks in so many areas it might be difficult to tell you're experience what amounts to a pretty good story.
To begin, the voice acting is a little shifty. Various characters speak in a monotonous tone, but what really makes it head scratching is how often the characters pause unexpectedly in dialog when delivering lines. This makes tense situations lack intensity, emotional situations lack emotion and often you get the sense that the only reason these abrupt pauses happen in dialog is because the game is loading the next line or cut. Several of the games cutscenes are also interrupted by loading screens in areas which a PS4 game should not have to tax itself with load times. Where as most games find a way to transition smoothly from one scene to another, Valkyria Revolutions always has to load. The load times themselves are not bad, but the frequency with which the game must load is a problem. It interrupts the flow of an otherwise good story and often times stops the momentum the story has going dead in its tracks. This includes moments where it might have to load a scene being shown from a different angle. In one instance I saw my characters talking, then the game loaded, showed a panning shot, loaded again, showed the villains talk for a few minutes, loaded again, back to my characters, loaded again, showed my characters from a different angle, loaded again and we saw other characters talking. That's five loading screens in a span of only five minutes. Where as most games opt to use fade ins and fade outs to mask loading times, Valkyria Revolutions does no such thing. It never uses any creative techniques to mask its load times and there are SEVERAL cutscenes throughout the game. This is a game that, cinematically at least, lacks a lot of polish.
This is also seen in how characters move and animate in cutscenes as well. They just aren't lively in anyway. Their animations look stiff, most of them assume only one pose during scenes, and the awkward pauses in dialog make these moments even more noticeable. And for a game that has so many scenes to show us, there's a strange lack of background music in many of them. If there was more background music in cutscenes I might not have even noticed the awkward pauses in dialog. There's a gem of a story hidden in Valkyria Revolutions but it's marred by these glaring faults. Again, however, it is more how pervasive these faults are more so than them just appearing. If the game loaded less frequently, the "Now Loading..." screen wouldn't be bothersome. If there was background music, the dead air in cutscenes would hardly bother me either. The game's story begs to be taken too seriously for the pervasiveness of these issues. The worst part, though, is that because of how sluggish and awkward dialog is presented you WILL be reading the dialog faster than the characters talk. But you can't skip lines of dialog if you read faster. Unlike say... Tales of Berseria, Valkyria Revolutions has you watching every last moment, but they're presented so stifly you'll wish the game had more gameplay to break up the cutscenes or at the very least that the cutscenes had more energy to them. I would surely not mind so many cutscenes if they were well voiced, well animated and had some heart to them. There are genuinely good moments in Valkyria Revolutions story, but they're few and far between largely because the presentation is so shoddy.
One would think the gameplay would more than make up for this, but not exactly. Rather than utilize the innovative tactical combat of Valkyria Chronicles, Revolutions opts for a more Dynasty Warriors like approach. You mostly run around hacking and slashing at your enemies on the field. You can use magic, or switch between your AI characters, but largely you will be running around the field hacking and slashing. The game will hardly present a challenge, though. Most enemies won't see you coming, and more than that, most of them hardly do any noticeable damage. Most missions are easily completed in a matter of minutes thanks to enemy AI that doesn't put up a fight. While encounters with bosses can be difficult, there isn't much in the way of strategy here. You can cast magic, throw grenades or shoot guns, but all of these options feel rather ineffective when compared to your melee weapon. Guns in particular feel useless because they neither do as much damage, nor are as accurate as your melee weapons. The limited supply of ammo you have in them will ensure you don't use them as much, but using them is the only time the gameplay comes close to its brethren. While magic and grenades are far more useful, there just aren't many moments when combat calls for their use. Likewise, while guns aren't very powerful, magic and grenades are. While those are also in limited supply, it's not hard to make use out of them.
So there is variety in the gameplay, but the game doesn't do a lot to encourage players to play that differently. Dynasty Warriors can get away with this approach because it's fast paced and arcade like in its style. Valkyria Revolution, however, is fairly sluggish in its gameplay, and is a spinoff from a genre that has often required a far more meticulous approach. Slow paced gameplay can most certainly work in games. The original Valkyria Chronicles or any tactical RPG shows just how well slow and methodical can work. Valkyria Revolutions is slow, but it is most certainly not methodical. But even combat is also interrupted due to dreaded load times. You'll have to go to certain objective points only for the flow of gameplay to be broken up by a "now loading" screen, a cutscene and a "now loading" screen to return to your characters. Even Dynasty Warriors figured out a way to mask the loading and make the transition feel smooth as far back as its second installment.
Technologically, Valkyria Revolutions isn't a great game. This even pertains to its visuals. I can appreciate the art style, but a lot of the environments are rather bland and empty. It has an interesting style, but it doesn't do much with it, and that's a shame. A game need not be a graphical powerhouse to be engaging visually, but it would be nice to see developers really utilize the style they've got to really bring the world they've created to life. Valkyria Revolutions rarely does this. Like everything else, it's not really bad, but it is far less pervasive than the problems with the presentation of its story. You'll settle in to the game's visuals and not really mind so much. Likewise, when you actually get to hear music it's a great soundtrack. If there's one thing Valkyria Revolutions provides that I have no criticisms of it's the soundtrack. It's a beautiful soundtrack. While there isn't music heard much during cutscenes, it plays a lot in battle and it's great music.
It's hard to judge Valkyria Revolution. It may seem like it falls short in comparison to the Valkyria Chronicles series, but really, it just falls short on its own. Not because it's an actively bad game--it isn't. But it is pretty close to being the definition of mediocre. There is a lot of potential here for a good game, it just never lives up to it. There's so much the game does that is never really bad, you just get the sense that there's little reason they couldn't have done it better. The story in the game is good, but it's presented in such a sloppy manner you may not realize that it's good. The gameplay is competent, but sluggish and doesn't encourage the player to play in a variety of ways. Much of what Valkyria Revolutions does is competent... it could just be better.
The gameplay is a weird combination of a hack-n'-slash and a strategy game. It's like the developers wanted to do a hack-n'-slash, but because it's Valkyria they had to keep some of the essence of the franchise's staple strategy gameplay. The result is either a hack-n'-slash that's too slow and has too many mechanics that distract you from the hacking and the slashing, or a strategy game that's too fast-paced and hectic to let you do any kind of strategizing. It's not completely horrible, though; upgrading your team and learning new spells is satisfying. And as many flaws as the battle system has, it can be fun to bring down an entire army. When the game is fun, it is indeed fun... it's just not always fun.
The game looks alright, but it lacks variety. You'll be fighting the same enemies throughout the whole game, only some come in different shades of red and black than others. The environments don't get much better; you'll either be walking through some fields or traversing through buildings, that's about it. It's fitting for the subject matter, but that doesn't make it any better.
And last but not least, the sound design. The music is very much like the presentation - it's not bad, but it severely lacks variety. The English dub is fine; I'm not too picky when it comes to dubs, but I didn't notice anything particularly terrible. And the sound effects work well enough. Nothing in the sound stands out, but nothing is necessarily bad, either.
Overall, I think there is some fun to be had here, and I'm hesitant to say the game is terrible. But it could use A LOT of work. If you can find it super cheap, then it might be worth it. But even at $40 instead of the usual $60, I just can't recommend this game at full price. And unless you're a collector or you REALLY, like REAAAAAALLY want that pin and soundtrack, it's not worth it to shell out extra bucks for the Vanargand Edition.
Disclaimer: this is my first experience with a Valkyria game. Most people like to compare it to Valkyria Chronicles, but I can't do that; I'm judging this game based on how it stands on its own.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm less impressed by the narrative and the characters.Read more