Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Helloween4545 Reviews Valkyria Chronicles

Earlier today, thanks to a little twitter conversation with Helloween4545, I was reminded of something that I meant to do up a little post about last week.  You see, Helloween did up a little review of Valkyria Chronicles and since I made a post about the review he made for Nier, it's only fair that I write a little something here about this one as well.  I make no secret of it, but I love Valkyria Chronicles and Nier both dearly, so whenever I can point out something for either of them, I will do just that and happily so.  Funnily enough, during the post I made for the Nier review, I mentioned that he was doing an A-Rank (because I am pretty sure it's A, not S) Run of Valkyria Chronicles and manage to absolutely forget that between then and now.  Presumably because I can be a bit thick at times which we've all seen at various times, but regardless, due props to the man since he actually pulled it off which is certainly something I did not do.  Maybe it will be a goal to strive for next time I play, in the off-chance that I ever, ever find a cache of free time somewhere, but personally, I think I'd just be happy to play the game all over again, no matter what.

I'm going to do my best here to not review the review, but I'm making no guarantees, as I do want to point out some things said in the review.  Nothing really to argue -against-, but maybe just expanding a bit on what's said or voicing how I agree instead of just nodding my head and going "yep, yep, this is also how I feel" like a twit.  I like to add substance to things that are substantial already, as you know, which is honestly not a rare thing either.  A few things of note did pop out that are things what I could comment on, including the burning question of "Why didn't this game sell well?" to which I might have an answer to!  Perhaps several answers!  Because it is a thing that I spent a lot of time thinking about while playing the game, playing the sequel and dealing with the heartbreak in knowing that the sales of both games were not enough to ensure Valkyria Chronicles 3 safe passage to the states.

I would not be surprised whatsoever if the art style, while beautiful, put some people off of the game, since they took a look at it and scoffed.  "Oh, just another anime thing", they likely said and it's an infuriating thought, certainly, but one I probably couldn't put past a lot of people.  If not the art, then probably the story on that front since, regardless of how good it was, and it really was, some people just don't pay attention, they grab on to pieces here and there and use those pieces to just toss the whole thing aside.  I honestly cannot see anyone really disliking the game for the actual gameplay of it unless they just don't really grasp it and don't make an effort to do so, because the itch it scratches is a broad one, and it scratches that itch in the best, best way.  Though maybe, just maybe, the system they had to play it on might've been a breaker as well since it came out when there was still (hell, there -is- still) massive distaste for the PS3, which means being exclusive to that meant losing a lot of sales from people who could not or chose not to buy it for that reason.

I was honestly a little surprised by the comment that the soundtrack was beautiful, but forgettable because I remember the soundtrack being, well, really nice to listen to, certainly.  I also realized that I could not recall a single song outside of maybe a few beats here and there.  It was a pretty strange revelation and I even took a dip into some of the OST tracks on youtube to sort of reconfirm or at least refamiliarize myself with them.  Even still, I could hear the tracks, I could feel 'familiar' with them and such, but I could not remember how they went, nor after I listened to them, could I keep the tune without a bit of difficulty at least.  It's still got me a little surprised and I feel like there are one or two tracks that I am overlooking that are ingrained in my memory for good reason, but whatever they are, I simply cannot recall them right now, even though I really want to, clearly.  So I can't help but agree completely on that front since there is absolutely no way I can refute it, despite feeling like I should be able to.

Really, the review is something that I do encourage you to listen to because it pretty much reaffirms what a lot of us feel about the game already.  Not that we exactly need the constant reassurance that the game that we liked, that I liked, was liked by others, but it's nice.  Especially since there apparently aren't -that- many of us who bought and loved the game, despite it seeming otherwise sometimes.  It's hard saying just what's going to come from Valkyria Chronicles as a series in the near future and if we'll even get to enjoy whatever that is, thanks to the sad truth about VC 3.  Currently, the 'thing' about the series is Duel which will burn bright and fast before it's passed over for the next bright candle, and after that any number of things could happen.  An attempt to revitalize the series with a bundle deal that might actually hit the West, a new installment for any given system across the board, hell, maybe just a steady mange/anime thing that will be missed out on by most of the fans regardless.  We just don't know.  And it's a real shame because VC1 really was as brilliant, as wonderful as people like Helloween, like Chance or even myself would have you believe, but the series has simply found itself caught in hands that aren't as steady as it requires.

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