Valkyria Chronicles, the original, was a well-received hit for SEGA – a turn-based JRPG hybrid with a heavy story and character focus in a fictional WWII-esque world. The sequels… they did not fare so well. Though not “bad”, the general consensus was that Valkyria Chronicles needed to be more like the original to move forward. And well, that’s just what VC4 aims to do with its launch today on all platforms. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a great, if somewhat slowly placed RPG with fantastic characters and solid turn-based combat. This is our Valkyria Chronicles 4 review for the Nintendo Switch.
This is a game that many would prefer to call Valkyria Chronicles 2, if simply to wipe the real 2 and 3 from memory. You needn’t have played any of the previous games to get the gist of this one, though. In fact VC4 treats every new player as real new player to the series, though you can opt to skip the training if you prefer. Visually and presentation-wise, VC4 looks and plays almost exactly like the recent release, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (reviewed on MMORPG.com here).
Without spoiling too much, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is set in the same war and at the same time as the original game. The campaign focuses instead on an elite tank squadron led by Claude Wallace as they push to the capital of the empire in a valiant (if foolhardy) goal of toppling the evil regime from within. The plot isn’t necessarily the greatest, but like all VC games, it’s the characters and their stories and the pasts that are slowly illustrated that make the narrative core.
Unlike previous entries, VC4 doesn’t try to mix things up or go hard on the off-the-wall new features. No, this one is content to mimic the original game with a new coat of polish, some new units, and a fantastic new cast of characters. And that’s OK, truthfully. Though sometimes the vignettes between battles can be a little drawn out of even corny, the overall presentation of the hand-drawn art style and the fantastic voice work in English and Japanese (if you prefer) make for an overall enjoyable affair.
The battles play out similarly to those in VC1 – a command view from an overhead of the map which shows your units and the enemies, and you select one unit at a time to move them and fire upon your foes. Once all your command points are spent, your turn is over and the enemy gets its shot to topple you. So fights are a mix of all-out assaults and knowing where to position your units for when the enemy gets to attack. It’s a wonderful game of push and pull, and it feels really satisfying when your sniper nails a headshot from afar.
Our Review was written with a code provided by SEGA Public Relations.