Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Review RPG Codex Review: Valkyria Chronicles

Crooked Bee

(no longer) a wide-wandering bee
Patron
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
15,048
Location
In quarantine
Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Tags: Sega; Valkyria Chronicles

Aside from a good number of new RPGs, 2014 saw the release of a few notable PC ports of RPGs that had been formerly only available on consoles. Of these, one of the most surprising and welcome was SEGA's port of the 2008 Japanese Strategy RPG Valkyria Chronicles (available on Steam). In this review, RPG Codex staff member WhiskeyWolf dissects the game to see what it has to offer.

Here's a snippet:

Probably one of the main advantages of Valkyria Chronicles is its unique tactical turn-based system that, while not diverging from the standard formula for games of this type, still manages to alter the perspective of certain elements radically enough to gain a dynamic never before seen in any turn-based game. The difference is profound and, what is more important, it works. Most of the time.

The Battle of Live Tactical Zones (BLiTZ) divides the battle into two modes. The first one is the Command Mode where you are able to oversee the battlefield from above, as if you were looking on a map. All your units are marked on it, as well as the enemy units that are within the line of sight of your forces. Apart from giving you the general feel of the tactical situation, this mode also allows you to issue Orders and allocate Command Points. Command Points are – as the name would imply – points which are issued every turn to you and the enemy. Each point allows one of your units to take action (two points are required if said unit is a tank). Orders are mostly, but not only, stat related boosts, and require various amounts of points to issue. You only have a few at your disposal at the beginning, but you can acquire new ones as the game progresses.

So far, this is pretty much the standard TRPG formula. That is, until you issue a Command Point to one of your units. As soon as you do that, the view shifts to a third person perspective, and the gameplay becomes sort of pseudo-real time where you are able to directly control the chosen unit. This is the Action Mode. Please note that this does not make it a third person shooter, as movement and shooting are done separately. Once in direct control, your unit is entitled to a certain distance it can move and a single action it can perform (there are some environment related events that do not use up the action). All this depends on the class of the unit you are currently using. Suffice to say, most of the ‘actions’ that you will be performing are about making the other guy die for his country. [...]

Now, if you are familiar with some of the classic western TRPGs – like Jagged Alliance or X-COM – you will be familiar with the term ‘Overwatch’ or ‘Reaction Fire’. The developers of Valkyria Chronicles decided to use a similar mechanic… minus the action points. While in Action Mode, if you get too close to an enemy solider that is facing your way, he will fire upon you even though it is not his turn (this does not apply to Lancers and Snipers). And he will keep firing until you get out of range, your unit takes too much damage and gets downed, or you shift into the aiming stance. This reactive fire mechanic, which applies to both enemy and player units depending on whose turn it is, successfully adds some dynamism to the gameplay and makes positioning crucial.

[...] Let's be clear, Valkyria Chronicles is not a perfect game. Its gameplay is noticeably flawed, it has limited replayability and a story chockfull of idiotic clichés. Yet even all those drawbacks combined cannot overshadow what truly is a good game. When it was initially released on the PlayStation 3, everything about it was new: the quasi-European setting circa 1935, the CANVAS graphics engine that resembles a watercolor painting in motion, the fresh take on turn-based gameplay. Well, maybe except SEGA’s marketing – which could explain the poor sales – that still aspires to the golden standard of ‘fuck all, why bother’ even after these six years, if this latest release is anything to go by.

Thankfully, this time SEGA only had to release the game and watch the money roll in. An established loyal fanbase and years of positive word of mouth made sure that on the first day, Valkyria Chronicles topped Steam charts ahead of blockbuster hits like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Assassin's Creed Unity that were also launched back then. Furthermore, the port was way, way better quality-wise than anyone dared to expect at the time, particularly based on previous experience. Now if only SEGA continues this trend, there could be a pretty penny for them to earn, and it would make a lot of people happy, myself included.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Valkyria Chronicles
 

Jaedar

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
8,769
Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Barely an RPG? Check.
Weeabo? Check.
Positive review? Check.

In before :mob:
 

HiddenX

The Elder Spy
Patron
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
1,653
Location
Germany
Divinity: Original Sin Shadorwun: Hong Kong
One of the best tactical games of the last decade - thanks for the review WhiskeyWolf!
 

Nomad_Blizz

Cipher
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
325
Good review, I agree about the rating system- the number of turns you take to complete a mission takes way too much precedence over units killed or losses taken. Also, the AI isn't the brightest cause they don't seem to shoot at your soldier's body instead of the head. That said, I'm enjoying the heck out of it and hoping its sequels make it to steam.
 

HiddenX

The Elder Spy
Patron
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
1,653
Location
Germany
Divinity: Original Sin Shadorwun: Hong Kong
I ignored the mission rating system most of the time.
 

Starwars

Arcane
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
2,803
Location
Sweden
This actually sounds interesting, might have to check it out. Thanks for the review!
 

APGunner

Savant
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
119
Don't care if the game is good. Will not play anything where Eastern Europeans are evil and main characters feel good about killing them.
:butthurt:
 

Deuce Traveler

2012 Newfag
Patron
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
2,865
Location
Stuttgart Germany
Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture
Don't care if the game is good. Will not play anything where Eastern Europeans are evil and main characters feel good about killing them.
:butthurt:

Umkay. I actually thought the game was more influenced on Belgium during World War 1, being smashed between Germany and France, but I suppose you can look at it in a number of ways. Poland stuck in between Russia and Germany, perhaps. But the tale of a smaller power stuck between two stronger powers has been repeated enough in history that the game could have an infinite number of parallels. This is just a work of fiction creating a narrative using real historical examples. No reason to get all political about it.

Your argument makes little sense, in other words. It's like not wanting to play Geneforge, because you see unkind implications towards real life geneticists.
 

Tramboi

Prophet
Patron
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
1,217
Location
Paris by night
I quite liked it but there is a big issue : they make you move in a 3rd person view and collision meshes are shit.
So sometimes you think you can get over an obstacle, then realize you have to take another path. Luckily you can save-scum to avoid being uselessly frustrated by this.
 

APGunner

Savant
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
119
But the tale of a smaller power stuck between two stronger powers has been repeated enough in history that the game could have an infinite number of parallels. This is just a work of fiction creating a narrative using real historical examples. No reason to get all political about it.
I fully agree. I would say something similar to devs of this game if I had the chance.
Story about a small country torn by war between it's bigger neighbours? I'm perfectly fine with that.
Naming the continent/area Europe, drawing a map really similar to the real one and then including a big bad scary red empire in the east? Nah, I'll pass. It's the devs who shouldn't have gotten all political about it.
 

Athelas

Arcane
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
4,502
The attack of opportunity/overwatch system in this game is really good.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the rest for the mechanics. The ability to stockpile turns on a single character combined with the separation of player and enemy phases can give battles a very lopsided and one-dimensional feel. Also for some bizarre reason they made physics purely cosmetical (an explosion that knocks an enemy off a ledge will only kill him if the explosion brings him down to 0 HP, if he has HP left it shows the animation of him falling off the ledge and warping back to his spot).
 

Zyrxil

Scholar
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
128
Every character is different – be it this side or the other – with different motivations and reasons for what they do.

All the characters are fucking terrible. It doesn't matter if the characters are flawed, because all their flaws are straight anime tropes, and their character developments are all anime tropes, and the plot in its entirety is all anime tropes. It is the most unbearably tropy Japanese game I've ever played.
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Top Bottom