Review: Valkyria Chronicles 4 (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewed by gameboy, posted Dec 20, 2018
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a game that I played for the Nintendo Switch, I'll try to make this a spoiler-less review. This is my own review as I have not look at scores or read another's review. I did not plan on writing a review for this game so everything is off the top of my head as I write. All scores are based on what I see with the performance and quality in accordance to what the Nintendo Switch has to offer and not in comparison to other consoles beside the Nintendo Switch.
Dec 20, 2018
  • Release Date (NA): September 25, 2018
  • Release Date (EU): September 25, 2018
  • Release Date (JP): September 27, 2018
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Sega, Media Visions
  • Genres: Tactical RPG
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Sixteen years and older
  • Also For: PlayStation 4
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a Tactical RPG made for the Nintendo Switch, PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox 1. It is the fourth installment to the Valkyria CHRONICLES series with a story arc that coincides alongside Valkyria Chronicles 1. Released on Sepember 25th, 2018 with a series of planned DLC that spanned until December 18, 2018.
gameboy
My Past Experience With The Valkyria Chronicles Series
Valkyria Chronicles 1 was one of the first games I bought for the ps3, I knew nothing of it beside just looking at the box art, i like cell shaded art, upon completing it I immediately knew it was a hidden gem and an all-time great. Valkyria Chronicles 2 came out for psp and naturally i gravitated toward it and it was also a hidden gem and one of the best games for that system too. The third never came to the USA sadly, and when they remade VC1 for the ps4 I went and picked up another copy. I ended up trading my PS4 for funds for a Nintendo Switch, but i didn't trade in VC1. When VC4 was announced for the nSwitch, I already knew I was sold.

The Video Game
To complete this game I would say it takes about 25hrs but This game took me 52hrs+ of logged time (not counting resets and standy) to 100% complete "blind" alongside all the DLC. Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a tactical rpg that is heavily driven by its story. Although it has the number 4 next to the title there is no need to play any other. You are given 7 units to control, each with their designed purposed with each soldier has his or her own personality and abilities. Take control of these units and roam across small maps to complete objectives and move forward with the story.

Gameplay
As I said before its very story driven so there are many cutscenes and narratives that add to it and the movies on youtube don't really tell the full stories to the game itself. Each soldier you control has a name and backstory with strengths and weaknesses that it makes it a very unique and complex experience. Depending on the situation a soldier may gain or lose confidence that can buff or debuff the individuals stats. When you select specific soldiers and partner them up near eachother it'll unlock a whole new story for which you can better find out those soldiers personality and their motivations. About 85% of the playtime is story cutscene, so if you like video games that put a lot of emphasis into its story telling then this game is for you.

Never did I really get tired of playing this game, the entire game is very simple and it doesn't really change. One of the downfalls for this is the "Enemy Turn" in which the AI sometimes seems to take forever to move and once they do move they either move with surgical precision or very clumsily, luckily there is an option to speed up the movement in the options menu (probably not good for speedrunners). Most of the missions seem to have the same goal, capture the flag or destroy all units on the battlefield, there is almost no variation at all alongside no bonus tasks to complete in each of the stages. The leveling system rewards the player based on the number of turns it takes to complete the goal and nothing else which can turn some people off for those that like to kill-grind

Difficulty
Valkyria Chronicles has two difficulties, Easy and Normal. The only difference is the damage taken. This game is rated TEEN only because of dialogue and war themes. The difficulty of the game depends on the nature of the player and how they choose to proceed. Typically with the Valkyria Chronicles games if you "play blind" a stage might take you 10-50mins, however the difficulty can be easily exploited by simply watching a youtube guide on them, making you realize that the game is super easy and very exploitable on all difficulties making this a game that 5 years olds can finish. The difficulty can be a mixed bag for a lot of people, its too easy, however this game is more of a story game and I can if the developers just wanted people to get to the end of the story instead of getting frustrated and quitting.




The Audio
Pretty close to all of the game is fully voice acted and there's even a free update to switch it to the japanese language if you so chose. The voice acting is actually pretty darn good and each of the 20+ soldiers you control has his or her own unique personality and voice that is easily distinguishable. Although the music is heavily derived from the first Valkyria Chronicles, its still beautifully arranged and plays well with all the scenarios that take place, rarely does any of the music seem out of place or lacking. Its well orchestrated enough that it doesnt get tired of hearing (badly worded phrase). When I plugged in headphones it sounded beautiful too.



The Graphics and Other Good Stuff
This game is optimized for the handheld very well, its one of the best looking games that Ive seen in person in handheld-mode for the Nintendo Switch. There aren't many slowdowns that I noticed or lags that ruin the experience, as far as Ive experienced it might be better than a lot of other games that would require much less to run on a PC. However... Dont expect it to look like the ps4 version or the PC version, Once you put the switch in the dock, (depending on the TV) this game can look good or look like a pile of dirt. It runs at 720p in both handheld mode and tv mode, so when the image is put on the screen the picture is generally just stretched out and not much extra is added. I for one, mostly played this game in Handheld mode and rarely in TV mode (heck, thats mainly why i picked up a switch). I sorta already made another post on its graphics here https://gbatemp.net/threads/valkyria-chronicles-4-1-switch-graphics.522520/

this is what it would look like stretched out to 1080p
[​IMG]

The DLC
now down to the knitty gritty. This is kind of what makes or breaks the game. Some people, like me, want to play the complete version of games and we get fooled for garbage DLC like the stuff they made for this game. This game came out with "Planned DLC", if you bought the Collectors Edition of this game you received 2 of the 6 DLC... The two codes that are included are the very last two DLC, which released on Dec 18,2018... almost a full three months after release. None of the DLC are very good or even worth the asking prices for them. They include other playable characters from the first Valkyria Chronicles but without a NEW GAME PLUS its almost unnecessary to even purchase and it makes the extra playable characters basically useless. When I look at the price of the DLC and what was included is pretty much a ripoff, The DLC is nothing but a novelty and mostly doesnt add anything else important. To add to this, the PC version was basically complete and already on the interwebs when the console releases had just came out, making it very easy to see the full game and DLC before the game was even out.

The Cons
There are a lot of flaws with this game, but mostly with wildly varying degrees of the difficulties of this game in which once you see a youtube guide it makes you feel like an idiot at how easy the stages can be. There are a lot of plot holes in some of the important characters and, like a lot of video games, storylines and character progression move very slowly then just grind to a sudden conclusion. They try to tie some loose ends to the first Valkyria Chronicles but it doesn't really work out (similar to the La-Le-Lu-Lo-Li in Metal Gear Solid). This kind of ties to the DLC also, because the conclusion of the game (again like many others) comes to a sudden halt it leaves a missing sense of conclusion within it. Sure they add some text as to what happens after the events of the game but when 95% of the story is animated and voiced out but the endings of each character aren't, it makes me irked that the DLC add nothing to ending and instead added fluff that shoulve just been included in the game instead.

http://valkyria.sega.com/dlc.php

Fun Factor, Story,
This game takes place during a war and even though a lot of the themes are "depressing" and theres a lot of "tension", this game is actually very enjoyable and full with humor that adds a lot of comic relief to a lot of the side stories. Its a very funny and satisfying game, never did I feel like the story got dull or stale, and even though a lot of stuff was predictable, I was addicted and needed to see more. Each of the characters play well with eachother and its a nice combination. This game, for the most part, is really well written also. Again, this is a story driven game more than anything and its humor really made me have a fun experience.

CONCLUSION
Although this game has its shares of flaws, I am not holding this game in comparison with the previous Valkyria Chronicles games. Sure theres a desire for me to want more but I cannot ask for a perfect game and I have to judge for what is. I can however say that Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a must play for whichever system you own. The graphics, music, gameplay, and overall quality of this game is one of the best of its generation and for sure It'll most likely be getting a Complete Collection of a Remaster in the future. Although the graphics come up sort on the TV screen,With Valkyria Chronicles being one of a very limited amount of brand new current third party games that arrived on the Nintendo Switch, the portable graphics and gameplay are one of the best for the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode and I would recommend it to all.
Verdict
Pros
+ -One of the Best graphics you'll see in Nintendo Switch Handheld/Portable Mode
+ -The art style is sure to last for years to come
+ -The amount of grinding is very little
+ -The personalities of each soldier made the game feel oddly unique
+ -Easy to progress
+ -Progressive Story that offers a wide variety of humor and doesn't stale
+ -INCREDIBLE battery life in handheld mode, 4hrs+ on one charge
+ -one of the few new 3rd party games to arrive on switch
+ -FAST loading times
Cons
- -One of the worst graphics you'll see in Nintendo Switch Docked/TV Mode
- -Wildly varying degree of easiness
- -Little variety in Mission Objective (capture the flag, get to goal, eliminate enemy)
- -Timed DLC is un-needed, pricey and added nothing to the story,
- -weird plot holes
- -too few skirmishes and lack of variety
- -no new game plus
- -some storylines come to an abrupt end
9 Presentation
battery good, sound good, story good, voice acting good, japanese language good, characters good, humor good, portable graphics good, tv graphics bad
9 Gameplay
Story driven video game that relies secondarily on its gameplay. Very easy to learn and play. No experiences with anything "game breaking"-ly wrong in its programming.
8 Lasting Appeal
Has a lot of personality in the game and offers more things to do once the story is finished. Some story-lines and plots have weird holes and slowly build up to an abrupt awkward end that leaves a little wanting for more (but we aint finna git it.) DLC adds nothing to it without a "New Game Plus" mode or a "hard" difficulty. Once complete its hard to try and watch the whole story with no gameplay
9.3
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Although I can't deduct points for things that "could've make it better", I can judge was/is put in front on me. Without making it a comparison to it consoles counterparts, Valkyria Chronicles 4 easily gets a 9.3 for the Nintendo Switch. The only thing that dropped the score is the graphics in Dock/TV mode.


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