Better Late Than Never: Valkyria Chronicles

The PC port has breathed new life into an overlooked gem. 
It is worth mentioning that, before we get into what makes it an incredibly enjoyable game, Valkyria Chronicles is possibly the greatest PC port in existence; the game was originally an exclusive for the PlayStation 3 back in 2008. SEGA have clearly put in the time and effort to deliver a well optimized and bug free experience in 1080p and 60fps. We can only dream that, one day, all PC ports will be as good as Valkyria Chronicles. The success of the PC port has resulted in sales numbers far exceeding the publishers expectations, far outstripping original release.

The quality of the port is important because the first noticeable thing about Valkyria Chronicles is its incredible art-style. It has the feel of a living drawing, with scenes sketched into life as the story unfolds. At its core, it is an anime set in a world that draws on the events of the Second World War, framed as a history textbook.

Incredible art-style, however, can't make a game an enjoyable experience on its own; the gameplay and story must back it up. Valkyria Chronicles is the full package.

Onomatopoeia is used to emphasize visual style. 
Valkyria Chronicles is recognized by the Guiness World Records as the best strategy RPG on the PS3. It features a cross between real time action and strategic positioning; it plays like XCOM: Enemy Unknown without the grid system. Occasionally, you may find yourself stranded in no-mans land as you've misjudged how far you can travel, but the satisfaction of free movement far outweighs the occasional frustration.

As console generations progress, and lack of backwards compatibility is becoming common, there is a real danger of losing certain titles to history. Unlike film, television, or print, the way in which videogames are categorized and segregated is an issue when preserving the medium; books are available through the medium of print almost anywhere; films are available through DVD, Blu-Ray or steaming. If you buy a (region free) copy of Seven Samurai on DVD, every DVD player will play it, but if you buy a copy of Valkyria Chronicles for the Playstation 3, you can only play it on the Playstation 3. It is encouraging that a film such as Seven Samurai, released in 1954, is available on Blu-Ray; PC ports of older games serves a similar purpose of centralizing and preserving the medium.

The PC version has sold over 800,000 copies.
Hopefully the trend of remastering and re-releasing classic, often missed, titles such as Valkyria Chronicles continues.

You can find Valkyria Chronicles on Steam here.

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