March 8, 2010

Review – The Challenges of the Edy Detachment

Valkyria Chronicles
The legend of Valkyria Chronicles’ sometimes crushing difficulty is a subject I’m well familiar with, but I was still surprised to take on the Shocktrooper challenge and find myself facing what seemed like the entire Imperial Army, gunning down poor Rosie before I knew what was happening.

When I first heard that this latest DLC would offer challenges from each soldier class within the game, I suppose I imagined it as a potential sampler for players who still haven’t caved to the peer pressure of the Valkyria faithful. For some reason this made me think that the game might go a bit easier on players, but rest assured that these six missions are every bit grueling enough to merit the word challenge.

Valkyria Chronicles
The thing to keep in mind is that these are six skirmish missions, which means you’ll be accessing them from the skirmish menu, which means it’s necessary to load a saved game and flip through the storybook and generally fiddle about in a way that is taxing for those wanting to jump right into these challenges – such as myself.

While you’re navigating menus you may want to switch over to Japanese audio in the menu settings, because this DLC installment unfortunately doesn’t include the superb English voice acting. So straight up, these are a few little aggravations to contend with, but something to be taken in stride since we’re fortunate to be getting DLC at all.

Don’t go thinking that I’m going soft or sympathetic on companies and their products, but all my love still doesn’t make Valkyria Chronicles a good enough seller to warrant even this consolation from a publisher – despite the increased sales from community efforts and the game’s status among critics as one of the most important PS3 games, period.

Valkyria Chronicles
Mind you, Valkyria Chronicles is only as important as I suggest if you enjoy the games we often play within videogames in some respects. Diving back into these strategy sessions has reminded me of how much joy the title offers through the feeling that I can bend the rules at times – whether it be hitting the aim button as quickly as possible to avoid enemy fire, or finding paths around obstacles through any seemingly impossible means, that sense of creative freedom in how players can go about tackling these challenges is as alive as ever.

These missions are very much puzzles in need of creative solutions, meant for those still burning a candle of the game.

And at the same time, these missions can also feel stern and demanding in their focus, which is always about balancing base defense with offensive might, whether holding back opponents with snipers, or hunting Imperial’s by crawling through the tall grass with scouts – all the while knowing that it only takes one lone Imperial to sneak by and ruin your progress.

Valkyria Chronicles
The best bang for my buck has been the Lancer and Engineer challenges, where the architecture and enemy positions still seems overwhelming and layered, but also offers enough potential pathways toward different solutions that I’ve continued replaying them this week to test my theories. And that’s really what this DLC offers to players, a set of intellectual puzzles and a chance to hear the music that pulls us back to familiar hunting grounds.

It doesn’t offer the unbridled joy of Behind her Blue Flame. It’s a tactical simulation, which largely gets straight to the point except for a very few precious lines from Gallia’s finest – no worries though, Jann still steals some spotlight.

Five bucks isn’t much to revisit a game that remains as fresh as when it originally released to me, given my well pronounced fanatical devotion to the game.

Once again, this isn’t a good way to get introduced to the series, and should be seen purely as stripped down strategy satisfaction for the faithful, the bulk of which could be set aside after a single playthrough. I’ll have to conclude that this DLC is best served to the hardcore fans, but seeing as those are probably the only people who own a copy of the game, I guess you don’t really need my approval in making a decision.

Valkyria Chronicles DLC – The Challenges of the Edy Detachment
System – PlayStation 3
Release Date – February 25, 2010

*A copy of this title was purchased by Gamesugar for review


  1. I guess if Sega has any consolation in bringing out DLC for this game… even though the game may not have sold anywhere near well enough… Sega is basically guaranteed lots of DLC sales, because as you say in your last sentence, the people who own this game are the hardcore fans.

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — March 8, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  2. This is just more great news for those of us that love Valkyria Chronicles. Too bad the sequel is for a system I have no plan of purchasing. Sony needs to get their act together and allow direct download (and play) of PSP games on a PS3 console. Don`t care if games aren`t 1080p, 480p is just fine.

    Comment by EdEN — March 8, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress