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Valkyria Revolution Review


See PixlBit's Review Policies On 06/27/2017 at 09:00 AM by Casey Curran

You Say You Want a Revolution We All Want to Change Valkyria
The Bottom Line: If you want another Valkyria Chronicles, you won't get it here. But there's enough for RPG fans who can see enjoy it for what it is.

I have very limited experience with the Valkyria series outside a bit with the second entry I mostly forgot about. I know past titles were turn based strategy that has to player take control of each soldier individually, where it controls more like a shooter. And I can say that Valkyria Revolution is nothing like that, instead going for an action RPG approach while still trying to hold onto its identity.

For fans of strategy RPGs, I can say that Revolution still feels like a strategy game, just more like a real time strategy than a turn based strategy. It controls more like an action RPG, but the structure is reminiscent of a strategy game. Missions begin with the player deploying a party of four into an arena often with simple goals of eliminating all forces or capturing a base. However, unlike most RTS titles, the game lacks base building, instead relying more on ambushing enemies and combat itself.

Fortunately, however, the combat is an absolute blast. Party members have diverse weapon sets and strengths, yet can be customized in many different ways thanks to magic. A good chunk of combat will be hack and slash, but this is complemented by a wheel to fire a gun, throw grenades, use items, and cast spells. Each character has up to four spells to cast, each of which can be customized before combat. These spells offer damage, support, and a mix of the two, giving the player a lot of options for team building.

Guns and grenades also play a major role, functioning to pick off enemies from a distance before they spot the party. This can often be crucial as party placement is crucial to ensure they won’t get overwhelmed by too many enemy forces noticing them at once. Once in battle, there is an option to switch between all four party members on the fly, with options of indirect control over the other three. The party both has options such as “Offense” or “Support” for general ideas, and tactics to micromanage what each character should do in certain situations, similar to the Gambit System in Final Fantasy XII. This gives a good amount of control over party AI,

While side missions and certain story missions remain fairly run of the mill, ones containing big plot moments are by far the best part of the game. These mix up the structure in several ways such as deploying several parties at once and limiting party size to focus more on stealth. These shake up the gameplay in a very fun way, with the exception of boss battles. Generally, a boss’ challenge is more based around taking a large number of hits than utilizing fun or interesting tactics, which gets boring two minutes into a fight over fifteen minutes.

The story itself ends up being far more engaging than I first anticipated. Don’t let the anime artstyle fool you, this is a game about war. The politics, strategy, and morality of war are front and center throughout the entire tale, even with characters casting spells against steampunk bipedal tanks. It’s a move that works overall, even if all but two of the characters are lacking. Most of them just boil down to one or two traits that they will remind the player of when they speak over a big event. The two main characters get a good arc and amount of development, but I found the cast lacking overall.

While the mechanics of Valkyria Revolution are a lot of fun and the story is compelling, what keeps it from being a surefire recommendation is there is hardly anything beyond these two elements. Crafting and wandering the game’s town hardly break up the formula, as they end up feeling as more a means to the end of assisting in combat rather than an engaging experience on their own. This would be fine in a shorter game, but 60-80 hours of cutscenes and battles with little to shake things up in between is a tall order for games.

Still, Valkyria Revolution is worth a look. The combat offers enough depth and scenarios have enough variety to pull a number of gamers into the game. I would recommend a rental first to see if this is a game you can commit that much time to. If you do not find the gameplay compelling enough for the length of the title, just know in addition that the story is broken up by optional, but in depth recaps if you want to come back to it later. While it is a strong departure from past games, as someone who was new to the series, I enjoyed Revolution for what it is.

This review code was provided to Pixlbit by the publisher Sega in exchange for a fair and honest review

VERDICT
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Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Halochief90

08/14/2017 at 01:38 PM

60-80 hours? honestly, you might have sold me on the game. especially, if the combat is actually really good. i was wary of this one as a departure from the series, but now i know it will give me quite a bit of bang for my buck.

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