Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

In recent console generations, companies such as Square-Enix have been content in putting out high-definition rereleases of their major titles, for instance, with remastered versions of Final Fantasy X and its direct sequel X-2. In 2016, Sega jumped aboard the remaster train, putting out a high-def remake of its tactical RPG Valkyria Chronicles entitled Valkyria Chronicles Remastered, is just as solid as the original version, even if pretty much one particular aspect alone is somewhat better.

Combat remains essentially the same as in the standard incarnation, with a combination of turn-based and real-time elements, alongside the ability to save mid-battle, and mercifully, load times for these saves are much better, even if they aren’t instantaneous, providing plentiful room for error in battle. As with before, characters don’t level individually, with the player increasing a class’s levels outside the battlefield with experience obtained through victories. A pause feature would have been welcome during the real-time portion of combat, skippable enemy sequences would have been welcome, and the final boss is still fairly tricky, but even so, strategy RPGs nuts will definitely eat up the game engine.

The aforementioned mid-battle saving makes the remaster ideal for those with busy schedules and constant real-life interruptions, the menus outside battle being easy as well, alongside upgrading equipment and leveling characters. Only the aforementioned inability to pause mars interaction, which is otherwise solid.

The game mostly weaves a good yarn about a country invaded by a superpower for its resources, although players don’t exactly see the leader of the eastern Empire, with its Prince Maximilian serving as the chief antagonist, alongside the titular Valkyria. Furthermore, while the remaster like the original features a massive playable cast, not all characters get closure when the game is over, just the personae central to the plotline. The translation is good, but there are quite a few glaring punctuation errors, and while the localization is probably the remaster’s weak point, the plot luckily doesn’t suffer grievously.

Hitoshi Sakimoto, as always, provides a sweeping epic soundtrack, and the voice acting isn’t half bad, with bad performances rare.

The high-definition anime-style visuals look nice, too, and while they seem largely the same as in the PlayStation 3 version, even then they didn’t leave much room for improvement, and overall, the remaster is definitely a treat for the eyes.

The main campaign will last players one to two days, with the occasional need for grinding and a replay mode upon completion adding further playtime.

Ultimately, Valkyria Chronicles Remaster is for the most part a solid high-def port of what was already a great game, retaining elements such as the strategic battle system hybriding turn-based and real-time elements, tight control, a decently-narrated plot, a sweeping soundtrack with top-notch voicework, pretty graphics, and plentiful lasting appeal. There are rare rough spots such as the somewhat tricky endgame, but those that missed out on the initial incarnation very much owe it to themselves to check out this upgraded version, perhaps encourage high-def ports of its two sequels.

The Good:
+Strategic battle system leaves plenty room for error.
+Tight controls, with mid-battle saves loading faster.
+Decently-told story.
+Superb soundtrack and voicework.
+Beautiful visuals.
+Plenty replay value.

The Bad:
-Slight repetition.
-No pausing.
-Tricky final boss.
-Enemy sequences unskippable.
-Large playable cast doesn’t get closure.
-Spotty localization.

The Bottom Line:
A great remaster.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: PlayStation 4
Game Mechanics: 8/10
Controls: 9/10
Story: 8/10
Localization: 7/10
Music/Sound: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Difficulty: Moderate
Playing Time: 1-2 Days

Overall: 8.5/10

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