War never changes, it always brings with it calamity and disaster. This is exactly the case in Gallia, a small town caught in the cross hairs of a War between the Empire and the Federation, battling over the land resource known as Ragnite.
Valkyria Chronicles originally released in 2008 on the PlayStation 3 and brought a different look into playing tactical role-playing games. This turn-based RPG uses a battle system known as BLiTZ – Battle of Live Tactical Zones and allows the player to take control of individual units within their squad that allows you to control them in the third person view.
Upon starting each battle you’ll be briefed on the mission ahead. From here will be presented with a map where all your units will be shown in a top-down view represented by icons with their positions on the battle field as well as the enemy units, who are not hidden. Once you’ve selected a unit you’ll be taken into the third-person view where you’ll be able to control the unit across the battlefield by placing them into position or escaping from enemy fire. There are limits however as to how much each unit will be able to move as the game gives each individual unit AP points (Action Points) to move across the battlefield. Once the gauge, representing the AP points, has depleted your unit will be stuck on the spot. Being strategic of where to place each unit before the battle and during battle is of the utmost importance in aiding towards a successful battle, especially since approaching certain enemy units will trigger that unit to start firing at you automatically until your unit takes aim.
Each battle is also limited to the amount of CP points (Command Points) given to the player. The CP points are used when a player is viewing the overall map to begin a unit’s turn. Once your CP points have been used up it’ll be the enemies turn to take control of the battlefield for that round. As the commander you’ll also be able to use these CP points to issue orders to all or specific units that help boost stats such as attack, defense and aim to name a few. The game really forces the player to think about every move, punishing you whenever you let your guard down. This is truly more than just a game of Chess!
Valkyria Chronicles has its own class system where each class (namely Scout, Shock Trooper, Lancer, Engineer and Sniper) plays an important role in each battle. For example Scouts are weaker in attack power compared to the Shock Troopers but do make up in the aspect that they can cover twice the distance in movement on the battlefield. Scouts, Shock Troopers and Engineers can also attack automatically in the enemies round when enemy units approach, where as Lancers and Snipers cannot. Lancers are more your tank killers, Engineers are high-end support units able to restock other units ammunition just by running past them and also assists in repairing your own tanks and healing units. Snipers cover incredible distance on the battlefield thanks to their shooting range but, alas have truly weak defense and cover the least amount of movement with low AP gauges.
Valkyria Chronicles really does a great job on character development and creates an attachment between the player and each unit much like Fire Emblem does. If a unit is shot down out on the battlefield you’ll have a limited time to reach them and save them before they’re killed off indefinitely giving the player the added pressure of battle.
The game is full of content and delivers everything to you in the form of a story being told. The main menus within the game are presented to the player in the form of a book. Each chapter in the book represents the next stage. The book is also split into specific tabs such as Headquarters, Skirmishes and Weaponry apart from others. The Skirmishes page is for grinding in levels that you’ve already completed, although the Headquarters page is probably where you’ll spend most of your time (apart from the main book) in battles. Here you’ll be able to upgrade weapons, level up your units (yes, you’ll have to allocate experience points manually to each class, although all units within that specific class level up simultaneously), recruit or dismiss units hired into your squad and learn new ‘orders’ to utilize in battle.
Valkyria Chronicles is a masterpiece in the tactical role-playing genre and the remastered version really expands as to how beautiful the art style is in this game, not to mention that all previously released DLC from the original on PlayStation 3 is included in this version. The soundtrack is also superb to listen to and there is in fact a tab specifically for the music to be enjoyed post game. The story throws a roller coaster of emotions into the player’s direction and never slows down. The map designs are well thought out and the games difficulty level is well balanced. This heartfelt tactical RPG is a must play for all fans and if you have not played the original on the PlayStation 3 it’s an absolute must have.