For all the hubbub surrounding the latest console generation, players are finding the software libraries for them packed with dozens of high-definition remakes and remasters. Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles Remastered adds to this ever rising section of games, offering up cleaner graphics, tighter controls, and trophy support. However, does the game hold up well nearly eight years after its initial release on the Playstation 3?
Valkyria Chronicles was often known as two things in the gaming world: a fantastic game, or a fantastic game you’ve heard a lot about. Since its 2008 release on consoles and subsequent re-release in 2014 on Steam, Valkyria Chronicles has never run short on praise from players and critics alike.
Chronicles revolves around a fictional war between Gallians and the invading Imperials. The story is focused on Welkin Gunther, a tank commander, and his assignment of soldiers dubbed Squad 7. After losing ground to the militia soldiers, the Imperials eventually unleash their secret weapon: an incredibly powerful commander of magical Valkyrian descent. Welkin and Squad 7 must find a way to band together and fight, or fall to the Imperials’ power. If all that was confusing (and no one would blame you for finding it so), just think of Valkyria Chronicles as an alternate retelling of World War II done in an anime style.
The story holds up surprisingly well, with nicely developed characters and emotional punch. Even though the game does carry more of a lighthearted overall tone, it still has events that bring on a serious tone. That being said, Chronicles very much feels like an anime series in both art style and delivery.
Game play is honestly where all the amazing things you’ve heard about Valkyria Chronicles makes itself known. Players deploy out a squad of hand-picked soldiers from a map view, then guide them through enemy territory during turns. Squad members are allowed one movement and action per turn and are controlled individually in third-person view. The revamped controls are a boon in that the characters run into fewer invisible barriers and respond to action triggers much more quickly this time around. Chronicles still feels like a traditional tabletop board game with an added element of intensity.
Other new features found in the remaster include boosted graphics, included downloadable content, and trophy support. Even though Valkyria was already a pretty decent looking game for its time, the increased 1080p/60fps visuals make it rather nice to watch on the PS4. The trophies are a long asked for feature and the inclusion of all the original DLC is a much appreciated addition.
While many high definition remakes are mostly geared towards players that want to relive some nostalgia, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered feels truly like a second chance for folks to experience one of the PS3’s gems. Meanwhile, the retouched visuals and trophy support serve are great incentives for returning fans. For the prior players vying for the platinum trophy, or folks that have never played it, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is definitely worth the purchase at its roughly $30 price point.
Final Score: 4/5
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered will be available May 17 on disc and digital download on the Playstation Network. Both versions are priced at $29.99 USD.