Are you playing Valkyria Chronicles on PC now that the PS3 exclusive finally made it’s debut on a different platform? If your answer is no, why not you silly soul?
We’ve already given you five great reasons that this game’s re-release is one of the best of the year. Even SEGA is surprised by how much everyone is loving this sleeper hit’s strut down the PC catwalk, with their sales expectations being blown out of the water. This is great news for lovers of the series. Despite receiving exceptionally high praise from critics, the game fell under everyone’s radar as an early release on the PS3. Those of us who supported our favourite soldiers through the trenches of the stylized World War II world knew that the challenging XCOM style of tactical RPG gameplay mixed with a fantastic art style, magical score, and huge cast of lovable characters was worth the dozens of hours the game had to offer.
But one thing that many of even the most die-hard fans missed out on were the sequels. Valkyria Chronicles 2 debuted as a PSP exclusive in 2010, much to the dismay of those who couldn’t or wouldn’t buy the peripheral console. I was definitely one of those folks. I was desperate to see the story continue, not to mention the high school theme of this sequel, which had optional missions for the array of new characters to further explore their stories. The sequel was also highly praised, and if only it weren’t locked behind a handheld exclusive, I’m sure it would have gained quite a number of sales. Alas, things were not meant to be, and although Valkyria Chronicles 2 is still out there, and there are methods of getting it onto a PS Vita, it’s still an inconvenient purchase for many.
And where to even begin talking about Valkyria Chronicles 3? Also a handheld JRPG for the PSP, this edition was never localized American or European shores. What a saddening turn of events that is! The game garnered high sales, surpassing sales of both of its predecessors in Japan, and received great critical acclaim. Featuring the best parts of past games, Valkyria Chorincles 3 also features multiple endings, starring a squad of ragtag ne’er-do-wells in the Gallian army known as The Nameless, who are forced into service as a penal military unit. Taking place at the same time as Valkyria Chronicles, the story explores these characters who are consistently sent into high-risk engagements since their squad exists under the assumption of plausible deniability. What a fantastic premise! An unofficial fan translation was eventually released, but that is little comfort for the rest of us who are looking for an official localization from SEGA.
The reality is that these games were never ported because the audience at the time wasn’t voting with their dollar for this fantastic series. The restriction to handheld consoles was also a logical decision for SEGA, as Japanese gamers far prefer mobile experiences to the Western audiences’ preferences for PC and console experiences. Perhaps the PS3 edition of Valkyria Chronicles was ahead of its time, while the new port is exactly on time, happily topping the Steam sales charts, duking it out with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Assassin’s Creed Unity despite Valkyria Chronicles being almost seven years old.
Does this mean we might have a shot at playing some official re-releases of Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3? SEGA is expectantly silent on the issue, probably still in shock that people are so enthusiastic about Valkyria Chronicles. But the better this edition of the game sells, the more that this will perk the developer’s ears and potentially sway them into porting the sequels over. It should also be noted that for Japanese developers, who have a tendency of not appealing well to Western audiences, re-releases are becoming big business. Square-Enix has capitalized on this with many titles in the Final Fantasy series, and have been met with great sales despite some of the ports being questionably optimized.
Since Square-Enix is generally seen as the leader for game publishing in the Japanese market, their decisions are likely influencing their peers, with Valkyria Chronicles likely following in their footsteps and proving once again, alongside releases such as Pier Solar HD, that American audiences are hungry for high quality JRPGs. The Valkyria series has a rich story and great games that deserve to see a PC release to western audiences. So if you want to cross your fingers with the rest of us, go support Valkyria Chronicles while you can!