Saturday, September 15, 2018

"Valkyria Chronicles 4" Review

After a mic-drop debut in 2008 on the PlayStation 3, the "Valkyria Chronicles" series had spread itself too thin, losing its focus in watered-down, sporadic spinoffs. "Valkyria Chronicles 4," though, marks a proud return to form.

The tactical strategy enterprise is just as much of a head-turner today as the original was a decade ago. The dev team at Sega has approached and largely achieved the vision set forth by the first game in the saga, marking a watershed achievement. "Valkyria Chronicles 4" matches an enchanting narrative with stylized visuals, a thematically enhanced score and sharp writing to an airtight combat, upgrade and resource management system.

It's the action-infused battles where the game's threads of tension, suspense and execution come to a head. Orchestrating your party's priorities as you systematically take down the opposition is a fascinating and often harrowing rush. This is a game that's dangerous for its ability to captivate you, making time and priorities slip away as you obsess over the next step in your path to glory.

Chapter after chapter, the plot changes the paradigm on you, forcing you to forget what you think you know and channel your creativity and gumption to forge new solutions on the fly, making use of your limited, often unbalanced forces to jury rig a ramshackle way to survive and advance.

To call "Valyria Chronicles 4" a surprise for its excellence would be something of a disservice to its heritage. So if the game doesn't shock you with its overwhelming competence, it certainly at least satisfies while slickly relieving any doubts that may have mounted over the years. "Valkyria Chronicles," like George Costanza, is back, baby.
Publisher provided review code.

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