Valkyria Revolution - GoingSony Review

Putting this on the front page for anybody that missed it

Valkyria Revolution is an action RPG developed by Media Vision for the PS4 and PS Vita. I decided to review the PS Vita version of the game, as I assume most reviewers chose the console version, so I wanted to provide some insight into the handheld version of the game. It is also my first Valkyria game, so my perspective will be unique in that regards as well. And as usual, this review contains no spoilers. 

Starting with combat. In a bubble, the combat of Valkyria Revolution isn't bad. Missions can be accepted through an NPC. Before a mission is accepted, players can choose which characters to bring with them, as well as some other smaller details. Having options like this is always nice, especially since it allows players to only bring the characters they like. The combat itself is live action, meaning characters can move freely, and execute moves whenever they want. Those actions include normal weapon skills, as well as ragnite actions that can be upgraded and swapped out amongst characters. 

There were also battle effects that I thought were nice. As an example, if a commander is taken out in front of his squad, they may become “scared” or “petrified”, making them easier to fight. It is a really neat mechanic that makes it important for players to think about who to attack first. 

On the other hand, the live-action nature of the game made some fights messy. For instance, when there is a singular enemy or boss, all of the party members converge on him which doesn't make for a very theatrical fight. Too much stuff flies around the screen, and it can be hard to enjoy the moment. 

But while I believe the combat overall is fine, I do hate that the developers decided to make it an action title, instead of keeping the turn-based combat that the series is known for. Especially on the Vita, the game would have benefited greatly by having turn based combat. There are not enough turn based games around anymore, and I know that shouldn't be Valkyria Revolution’s responsibility, but I can’t help but feel that Media Vision made a mistake here. 

There are a few areas that can be visited outside of combat, but unfortunately, they aren't anything special. My biggest issue with these areas is the lack of camera control. Even the Vita is plenty powerful enough to handle an explorable city, so there should be no reason as to why the non-combat areas couldn't be more interesting. I know that Valkyria Revolution is mostly about combat, but that shouldn't mean other areas of the game should be lacking. 

Moving on to the story. Before I talk about the actual story, I’d like to start with talking about how much story there is. There is so much of it that I almost feel like I am watching more cutscenes than actually playing anything. And long time followers of the site will know how much I hate that. Cutscenes in a game are fine, especially when there is a large focus on the story. And even long cutscenes in a game are not always a bad thing. But when cutscenes are bordering on overtaking gameplay in regards to play time it becomes absurd. There is so much of it that I am honestly shocked that Sega paid for all of the voice acting that was required. 

Excusing the amount of cutscenes in Valkyria Revolution, the content of the story isn't so bad. Like other Valkyria games, the setting is war, and the story revolves around a group of people that start a war to take back their country’s independence. The story focuses on five specific individuals, but many other characters are featured. I would actually argue that the characters are the strongest part of the story. They are all unique and stand apart from each other, which is something that a lot of games struggle to do. I will say, however, that there is one character whose design bugs me. She is a princess who has decided to fight in the war herself, something I have no problem with. But she does it in a poofy dress. Maybe I am not the target audience for this sort of thing, but I can’t stand it when games depict female characters like this. It isn't a reason to not play Valkyria Revolution, but I did think it was worth mentioning. 

All in all, Valkyria Revolution is a game that hits the middle of the road for me. There is nothing in it that I think is overly exceptional, but at the same time, there is nothing that I hated. And considering the offerings that the PS Vita has, I would definitely recommend it for people looking to play something on a great handheld. 

Note: This will be my third review here on GoingSony, and I have been trying different things with each of them. I am working on finding a good style, so if anyone has any suggestions for things they would like to see me do in the future, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email. Thanks!

Categories: Top Stories, Reviews


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