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.


February 21, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Production I.G To The Rescue

Halo Legends
Last night I took time out to watch Halo Legends, because despite my dickish reputation I am, in earnest, a fountain of eternal optimism. Thematically and structurally Legends is chasing after The Animatrix, no surprises there, and while it misses that mark it is also littered with sequences and ideas that make the work hard to dismiss entirely.

Rather than a focused and stylish effort, Legends is more like a sloppy bomb that leaves just enough shrapnel embedded in the subculture it wants to wrap itself in to find extended life, not unlike the Skeksis. Repeated viewings turn up interesting pieces, but it’s clear from the first run through that Production I.G is in many ways without peers, with The Duel easily standing out from the pack both for its visual challenge and narrative focus.


February 14, 2010

Lazy Sunday – Valkyria Chronicles Is Still My Valentine

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 10:05 am

Lazy Sunday
So it occurred to me while slurping the necessary amount of coffee to spark my bones to life for another day that I spend quite a bit of my Sunday morning half-mindlessly checking out websites, and that perhaps I could make a thing out of that. Time will tell if this continues or not I suppose.

Anyway, it’s Valentine’s Day, which would be incomplete without some game related cardness in Japanese, so says I, and the girls of Valkyria Chronicles 2 have me covered via Famitsu. Famitsu also has a very sweet page for 100mt, or Patchwork Heroes for those of us in the land of poorly named NA PSP games.

As always the good Rebels at 4cr have the best Valentine’s Day Cards. Though Mitch didn’t have time to do it up right and proper this year, the choice between Snake’s two greatest admirers from MGS is much appreciated – though a third one with Liquid might have been an additionally nice touch.

In other news, and to wrap this up so I can get back to my coffee, I came across yet another comparison between game box art releases in different regions, which is entirely important because I had no idea that the Japanese cover for Batman Returns was so incredibly awesome – so much so that I have to use the word awesome. Near the bottom of that same page you’ll also find Shadowrun, where the Japanese cover definitely feasts on a rich Blade Runner vein to really capture how I thought of the game back when it released.

Happy Valentine’s Day, if only so that I can offer much love from a guy named love.

December 13, 2009

Review – Valkyria Chronicles

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 11:45 am

Review Valkyria Chronicles
Not long ago I began to view Sega as a failed state.

Certainly the name would remain a cherished memory for gamers, but as a company Sega has squandered any notion of serious relevance in the current market. In my defence, I still argue that showing up at E3 with Sonic Unleashed, Golden Axe : Beast Rider, and a serious face, demonstrates that Sega suffers from a deficit of direction. And yet with Sega’s release of Valkyria Chronicles, I’ve found myself eating many of my words while experiencing a solid strategy RPG that titans of the genre could learn from, should they ever grow tired of cash grab ports and increasingly lacklustre sequels.

Equally as surprising that Sega has delivered such a well-crafted title is that the game emerges from a hurricane of restructuring that has seen several key names leave the company. Valkyria Chronicles was developed by Sega WOW, itself a new studio resulting from the merger of WOW Entertainment (House of the Dead, Vampire Night) and Overworks – WHICH… Wait for it – used to travel by the moniker of AM7 (Streets of Rage, Phantasy Star, Skies of Arcadia). And despite the time passed since the appearance of such titles and the great deal of changes Sega has undergone, Valkyria Chronicles’ overall design and unique charm strongly acknowledge that pedigree. The game simply shines with a character reminiscent of Skies of Arcadia, presented with the polish and core design gamers are expecting from current releases.


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