Parents' Guide to

Valkyria Chronicles 4

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Talky, engaging, turn-based tactics with some lewd dialogue.

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This is an ideal game for fans of turn-based tactics or manga-style characters and storytelling, but it may prove off-putting for anyone else. Valkyria Chronicles 4's strategic combat makes it feel like you're playing multiple roles in a turn-based third-person shooter. The fun of combat comes in understanding how to put units with varying abilities to the best and most efficient use. That means taking out pillboxes with tanks and rocket launchers, anti-armor guns with mortars, and entrenched infantry with grenades and rifles. It's all wonderfully balanced and open-ended, with players typically able to call in the specific types of reinforcements they need when they need them. The threat of permadeath creates a bit of drama in fiercer battles, and while it'd be nice to be able to grow the strengths and abilities of individual characters, leveling up entire classes at once is a reasonable substitute. You'll still come to know and care about each separate trooper under your command.

What could trip up some Western players, though, are the lengthy story sequences. The dialogue and acting aren't terrible, but they're also not particularly clever or refined. Messages about why its wrong to, say, steal from the dead, land with all the subtlety of a sack of rocks. And these scenes typically aren't presented in full animation, but are composed of talking heads that pop up in little boxes, which makes it feel like a lightly animated manga. Spending 10 or 20 minutes wading through dialogue that made its point in the first 30 or 40 seconds can be a bit of a buzz kill. You can skip through it pretty quickly if you like, but a tighter, cleaner story would have been better, especially for those who simply want to get back to Valkyria Chronicles 4's terrific tactical action.

Game Details

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