Spin-offs are often money-grabs that fail to capture the magic of the original, though fans will still undoubtedly flock to it as they would any other entry into the primary franchise. Exceptions to this do exist, but Valkryia Revolution is not one of them.
What I Liked
Doesn’t Require Previous Knowledge: As a spin-off title in an alternate part of the world, Valkryia Revolution requires little to no background knowledge on the previous titles for players to jump in and play. As tactical RPG titles, the franchise can be a little intimidating and, aware of this, Revolution has completely new characters in a completely new land that will make the title more accessible for new players.
Fun to Destroy Parts of Giant Mechs: Rather than simply being more difficult to destroy or bearing more health, larger, more imposing enemies actually have to be dismantled part-by-part. It requires that players not only take a more methodical approach to these larger enemies, but one that is definitely more interesting than enemies who just have a larger health pool.
SO MANY CHOICES: The equipment choices in Revolution can be the most intimidating aspect of the game. From weapons to spells and skills, it can be a difficult task to pick out the “perfect” loadout. Add to that the possibility of different roles and the multitude of possible group mates, and the choices are nearly endless for every possible battle. Almost every piece of equipment has a purpose for different playstyles, so players will definitely have fun experimenting with them.
What I Didn’t Like
Boring Cutscenes: Somehow, despite being in the PS4 era, or perhaps due to the Vita platform holding the title back, the game’s cutscenes have little activity in them. They are filled with static characters, talking and gesticulating only occasionally.
Skipping Cutscenes for DAYS: Furthermore, not only are the cutscenes boring, but they are long and plentiful. Players who may want to skip to the gameplay will find that they may have to skip three or four cutscenes at a time, which only feels unnecessary.
Terrain Makes No Sense: Once the game begins, players will find that much of the terrain feels unnecessary as well and offer nothing to the depth of the title. Although plenty of cover spots exist, there are plenty of spots where players will not be able to hide and are simply running against a wall. Even worse, cliffs act as barriers rather than opportunities for players to jump down and ambush enemies, despite what the tutorials say. Get ready to backtrack and run around these barriers quite often.
Combat Gets Repetitive: Parts of the action, such as issuing orders and planning an assault, are quite interesting. Once players get into the nitty gritty of it, the action boils down to blocking, dodging, and mashing on the attack button or casting spells whenever possible.
There are some interesting design choices in Revolution. However, the execution of the title is spotty at best, with the meat of an RPG – the combat and story – being its weakest components.
Reviewed on: PS4; Also Available on: Vita, Xbox One; Publisher: Sega; Developer: Media.Vision; Players: Single Player; Released: June 27, 2017; ESRB: Teen; MSRP: $39.99; Official Site
Note: A promotional code was provided to Denkiphile for review purposes by the publisher