Valkyria Revolution Review
It would be easy to call Valkyria Revolution a bad game when compared to Valkyria Chronicles and hedge my bets to allow any criticism to appear as simple bitterness over the two games’ many differences, but the simple fact is that Revolution is an abysmal game even when taken entirely on its own. It begins with an interesting premise, but squanders it almost immediately in order to instead waste your time with a slog through painfully contrived drama and overlong cutscenes featuring an inexplicably magical princess whose generic saccharine goodness inspires everyone despite her actual words being groan-inducingly trite. This is a game where the Valkyria that the series is named after is a token character whose back story is hinted at, but never actually delved into beyond awkward parallels with outside mythology that don’t really work. This is a game where the mechanics are so comically random and unreliable that even something as basic as attacks hitting the enemy can’t be taken for granted. This is a game where a solid 90% of the stuff that happens is meaningless filler designed to waste your time. Valkyria Revolution is a game lacking any semblance of entertainment value, an abject failure that should have never been allowed to happen. This isn’t just a bad game when compared to the rest of the series, but a game so wholly inept and loathsome that the other games would have simply never been made if it had come out first.
A tale of two stories
There are really two plots to this game: the initial one with promise that gave me hope, and the one that quickly took over and shattered that hope. The good plot is a cynical story about a group of five people—of which protagonist (and special character hoarder) Amleth Grønkjær is a member—who conspire from positions of influence to start a war in order to get revenge on a foreign emperor. Politics and the press are used to their benefit in a way that often evokes the run-up to the Iraq war. The true villains of this plot aren’t so much the foreign figures as the weak-willed general public and their capricious tendencies. I love how thoroughly dark this is. Sadly, this story really only exists at the very beginning and very end of the game.
Sure, the characters are the same for the second plot, but it’s entirely different. This awful second story is instead focused around the fate of the country and the efforts of its princess to give motivational speeches and magically fix things where appropriate. This includes instilling doubt in Amleth (which comes and goes like a light switch in order to create as much pointless drama with as many different characters as possible) while convenient events happen to weaken the resolve of other members of the five. Then more butterfly-rainbow-sparkles stupidity happens and everything works out through the power of belief and friendship. This is the story that ends with a deus ex machina and is generally devoid …read more