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 Valkyria Chronicles Review

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Blitzsword
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PostSubject: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:04 am

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Never before have I been awed, let alone brought to a tear in my eye, with a game as powerful as this. At first, I looked at that game as just that; an ordinary game. It was on my "get list," but not at top priority as the others that came out during that time of year (Fall 2008). I finally managed to pick it up after buying all the other games that were on my list but kept it in its wrapper for about two months. I had a ton of other games to play and I didn't like to have more than three incomplete games at a time. I like to focus on story and enjoy my games rather than rush through them to get to the next one. That aside, I finally opened the plastic wrapper and popped the disk in my PS3 console. I had to wait for the usual installation to finish which took only about five minutes. Finally, the opening played and to my surprise, I was captivated. The music and the cel-shaded graphics were gorgeous and this being only the intro. It left a very good impression especially since I was skeptical of the hype the game had been getting from my peers. Even so, I asked myself: Is the gameplay and story any good?

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Two months later, I finished the game. Wow! I was left wanting more, in a good way mind you! The story and gameplay met, if not, exceeded my expectations in everyway! Never have I been so into an RPG that I had to buy all of the DLC's available for the game. To this day I still crave for more. But enough praise for now, let me tell you about this game. The entire game is in a book format in which is how the story progresses. Within each chapter, there are various "episodes" that you have to view, which are cutscenes by nature, in order to get to the mission. The whole book format is later explained at the end of the game but it plays out in a very interesting way.

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The gameplay is very unique. Being that this story takes place in a war-ton era, you take command of your platoon known as Squad 7. You are given a list of members you can choose from to join your platoon. There are only 20 available spots in which four of them are already filled with default but important characters. Make no mistake, these 16 charaters that you choose can be switched for newer members as the story progreses. Each member has personality traits that could benefit you or hurt you on your missions depending on the senario. They are also divided by skill and weaponry; Scouts, Shocktroopers, Lancers, Engineers, and Snipers. What I found very gratifying is that all of the members you choose have personality and character. You just can't help but fall in love with whatever character you end up choosing to fight alongside you. Keep in mind that these are not important characters in the story but rather characters that make up your platoon in the fight for Galia. Well, as you are to embark on your missions, you are given a briefing and a map of the area where battle will take place. At first, you can only choose up to nine members to fight with you, four in which are already filled leaving you with five to actually choose from. When you are ready, you begin combat but can only move one member at a time. Keep in mind that you are limited in how far your character can move. Once you've spotted an enemy, you can either shoot him or just stay put until you think it's the right time. It sounds simplistic, and my words do it no justice, but it's rather fun and unique. Here's a video of the gameplay:

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That aside, The story is one that stands out the most in this game. It takes place in an alternate universe in an almost similar WWII era. Two countries are at war over a special resource known as ragnite. The Imperials began it's first onslaught toward the Federation ultimately invading many nations. Galia, the country that attempted to stay neutral, was dragged into war when its capital was invaded by the Federation. During this time, Welkin, the story's main character, is back in his homeland, Bruhl, to visit his family. He is unaware that there are Imperial forces in Bruhl so he casually walks around the lake admiring nature. He has a huge facination for nature so much so, that he begins to draw the creatures around him. This catches the attention of the townwatch members that are close by where he is mistaken for an Imperial spy. Among the group is Alicia, who is also a main character of the story. As she places Welkin under arrest, the two of them finally realize the enemy is drawing closer, ultimately causing the two to join forces and save the villagers. It goes without saying that the two join the militia and fight for their country which is what the story is about. It's a very entertaining and fluid story with a lot of humor and action. Make no mistake, this is a war-torn era and there are some very deep moments that will cause you to put your controller aside to think. It's done so poetically that you can't help but forget you're playing a video game in the first place. The intro itself, or at least the music, is very significant in the storyline which is something I admire in games; significance. There are moments that will stick to your head as you progress. As I've mentioned before, I've never been brought to shed a tear when it comes to games. This accomplished just that. Truly a masterpiece in terms of story is all I can say without giving away so much.

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As far as audio goes, you have the option of having it in english or Japanese. I've yet to try out the Japanese so I can't really comment on that. The english in my opinion is top-notch. Many JRPGs get bagged on for the english iterations but I say this one is a true winner. The voice acting is perfect in my opinion. The musical score is supberb! It breathes more life into the game itself.

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All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who has a PS3 and is willing to invest in some good entertainment. Unfortunately, it's a PS3 exclusive which is a bummer since not everyone will be able to enjoy this piece of win. If you're skeptical, give it a rental and see for yourself or download the free demo on the PSN Store. Even vids don't do it justice. You have to be apart of the game, not just watch from the sidelines to understand the beauty and greatness this game has to offer.

Here's the opening, enjoy:

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StarRoadWarrior
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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:48 pm

very nice luis its funny how the games we dont think much of turn out to be the ones we like the most. very nice review now i see why you push the game so hard i can see myself playing this game in the near future.

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Blitzsword
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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:04 pm

Thanks man. It truly is a gem among gems. It's something I would like the whole gaming community to experience. It's a really underrated game.

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waaar81

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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:27 pm

Didnt you make this review already a year or two before? confused

But I got this games thatnks to you and I really loved it, specially since its a half rpg/3rd person shooter and half strategy game


My guess is this game wasnt underrated but more like it wasnt heard here in North America
Personnaly I never heard of it until you talked about it
I never had heard about Fire Emblem either since the older games only appeared in Japan
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Blitzsword
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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:04 am

waaar81 wrote:
Didnt you make this review already a year or two before? confused

But I got this games thatnks to you and I really loved it, specially since its a half rpg/3rd person shooter and half strategy game


My guess is this game wasnt underrated but more like it wasnt heard here in North America
Personnaly I never heard of it until you talked about it
I never had heard about Fire Emblem either since the older games only appeared in Japan

You're absolutely correct! I did make this review before, but it was under my old profile - which I deleted. I thought I'd go ahead and bring it back while proofreading and adding some more content to make it a different reading experience. It was logical since a few members have been picking up or are considering a PS3 purchase. This review would be a great help in their selection of buying a masterpiece Smile

Anyways, thank you for your comments Waaar! I'm glad that I helped you find a great game to enjoy. Like you said, this game wasn't well-known here in the US when it launched. The series's popularity has recently increased over the course of its lifespan due to word of mouth from players who have played the first one. Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the PSP has also proven to be a great title for the handheld and sold exceptionally well here in the states. With that in mind, Valkyria Chronicles 3 is slated to come out sometime next year. Back to VC2 though, once I finish it, I'll make a review for it.

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waaar81

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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:47 am

Blitzsword wrote:
waaar81 wrote:
Didnt you make this review already a year or two before? confused

But I got this games thatnks to you and I really loved it, specially since its a half rpg/3rd person shooter and half strategy game


My guess is this game wasnt underrated but more like it wasnt heard here in North America
Personnaly I never heard of it until you talked about it
I never had heard about Fire Emblem either since the older games only appeared in Japan

You're absolutely correct! I did make this review before, but it was under my old profile - which I deleted. I thought I'd go ahead and bring it back while proofreading and adding some more content to make it a different reading experience. It was logical since a few members have been picking up or are considering a PS3 purchase. This review would be a great help in their selection of buying a masterpiece Smile

Anyways, thank you for your comments Waaar! I'm glad that I helped you find a great game to enjoy. Like you said, this game wasn't well-known here in the US when it launched. The series's popularity has recently increased over the course of its lifespan due to word of mouth from players who have played the first one. Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the PSP has also proven to be a great title for the handheld and sold exceptionally well here in the states. With that in mind, Valkyria Chronicles 3 is slated to come out sometime next year. Back to VC2 though, once I finish it, I'll make a review for it.


Now thats some really great news cheers
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SmashedBrother
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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:28 am

Excellent review, Luis!

I have to admit, learning about this game is the main reason I've been leaning towards the PS3 (granted I have other reasons now as well, but that's hardly a bad thing Wink )

Between hearing that it was made by the developer of my own all-time favorite game, and the acclaim it has achieved in it's own right, including Luis's own review (which is almost exactly how I would describe SoA, except Luis is far more eloquent than I) I can't wait to try this game. This is almost definetly going to be my first purchase after I acquire a PS3


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Blitzsword
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PostSubject: Re: Valkyria Chronicles Review   Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:51 pm

I've said this before, but I really hope you get around to purchasing a PS3 soon. This game is definitely something I know you'll enjoy playing even after you beat it. I do look forward to a review about Skies of Arcadia from you sometime Wink

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