This is not your average gaming website. I am not your average gamer. This is not your average game so I am not going to write the average review. Are you ready for this? Okay, here we go.
I really wanted to go in depth with the gameplay descriptions and strategic elements of Valkyria Revolution, but there is just no point to it. You won’t enjoy reading about it and will likely just ignore my warnings. Instead, let’s talk about some feelings.
I have intense, happy feelings when I get to hear new music from composer Yasunori Mitsuda. You may know him from his work on Chrono Trigger, Xenogears and a plethora of amazing games that his music has graced. If you’re like me, and music is a huge deal to you, you might just want to play this game anyway. It’s what kept me in it for a while. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough to make me want to play this for extended periods. My nipples were never hard and I never punched myself in the face from boundless joy while playing this game.
Back to feelings, ever feel like time is moving very slowly? If you haven’t, try sitting down and watching a cut-scene, controller in hand, waiting for your chance to play and then the game sends you to a menu where you select the thing you think is going to have you finally fight something, only to have to sit through another 5 minutes of cut scenes. Yeah, that frustration is going to piss you off, even more than reading that giant, run-on sentence just did. Oh, yeah, that was totally on purpose. I’m crafty.
Okay, so let’s talk about how this game plays for a bit. If you love the old Valkyria games and you’re getting this one to get more of that strategy fix, I’m sorry, but you’re going to need to get your crack elsewhere. This is more of an action-rpg game that reminds you of the Dynasty Warriors style than it does any kind of strategy or tactics game. Granted, there are strategies involved, but half of the missions you play you’ll be able to get through just spamming your melee key and casting spells, aka “using your Ragnite.” And boy, do they love their Ragnite. They talk about it so much you might expect to start using it in the real world.
Also, if you’re not into historical fiction, lot’s of talk about strategies of past wars, war propaganda, the economics of war and using menus in situations where you feel like you don’t need a menu, this game may not be for you. If you’re all about long-winded talking and useless interactions with NPCs, well, I have found your porn.
Now, I know you’re going to look at the scores I’ve given the game and think that this review sounds harsher than the grade, but it isn’t. There are some great humorous moments in this game that made me laugh out loud, particularly with some of the squad members and their personalities. Brigitte, especially, has this deadpan Daria thing that made me laugh more than a few times. Other than that, the dialog does get quite stilted and has bad Anime translation written all over it.
Still, the controls work just fine, the graphics can be very pretty at moments, despite the terrible dialog animations that offer no expressions and poor speech timing. It almost feels like the game’s cast is populated with nothing but sex robots. The overall story is pretty expansive and would be very engaging if it didn’t all seem to be part of what feels like 300 hours worth of cut scenes. There is a point where the game opens up to a lot more missions and gameplay options, but it takes so long to get there that I fear most people will give up by then or have died in the real world. You can die, you know? Real people do it all the time, but you’re not a real person, are you. You must be an android. I smell the oil on you.
Overall, it’s not a bad game but it’s so far from what people generally love about the Valkyria sequel, that I think it’s going to get a ton of hate for that. Be mindful that this is not a full price game at launch, so there is at least the bang for your buck aspect. This is not a short game, though it probably would feel a lot shorter if you skipped all those cut scenes. There is still plenty to do, lot’s of stuff to develop, collect and buy for your squad and story elements to ponder, provided you haven’t fallen asleep waiting for your next turn to fight. It’s got a winding yarn of a story, but it might be too much for just about anyone who rather play a game than watch one.
With that being said, if you’re a completist, really need to have this game in your library or absolutely can’t go without hearing this soundtrack, you could do a lot worse for yourself. If you’re in love with the previous Valkyria experiences and want more of that, this isn’t going to make you very happy. Still, what makes you happy, anyway? Probably, not much. Your standards are too high and every day is more painful than the last to wake up from. Treat yourself. Go get a massage and have a nice meal. You deserve it.
Valkyria Revolution - PS4
Valkyria Revolution is a somewhat bland entry in the series that is neither a reboot nor a sequel. While there are some decent options for upgrading your characters and elements that would usually be addictive to me, the intense amount of time spent with cut-scenes and loading screens killed the momentum for me, nor did it really make me salivate at the chance to play more of it. The best thing about this game is the music, for sure, but that won’t make the average gamer want to play the whole thing.