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Valkyria Chronicles DLC Reviewed

Valkyria Chronicles Downloadable Content for the PS3. Developer: Sega, Publisher: Sega

Six months ago, the parallel-universe-European country of Gallia was invaded by the Empire, and PS3 users were treated to one of the most unique and rewarding tactical experiences in modern gaming.  Valkyria Chronicles quickly gained a devoted following, but despite its beautiful CANVAS aesthetic and one-of-a-kind third-person strategic battle system, the game was never able to move more than a few thousand units stateside.  Valkyria Chronicles became the most tragically overlooked game of 2008.  Now Sega has released three DLC packs on PSN, at $4.99 a piece, to expand the story and the number of missions so that die-hard fans can spend some more time with their favorite game and perhaps convince some new-comers to join in the fight for Gallia.

Hard EX Skirmishes

The first DLC offering adds a new Expert difficulty setting to all of the skirmishes, after you load up a Clear Game save.  In this case, added difficulty is not another way of saying “more bad guys.”  In fact, Hard EX battles play out like an entirely new game mode.  Welkin’s Eidleweiss tank is not available, so the tactics required on every mission change dramatically.  Add onto that, the fact that there are seven new enemy aces with new weapons to collect, and you have an entirely new Skirmish experience.  All the things you’d expect from a new difficulty setting are there as well, including increased enemy stats and improved AI.

I am usually opposed to companies releasing a harder difficulty and charging for it, but in this case, enough extras come along with it that will make it worth the $5 price tag to fans.  A few of the new weapons (particularly the new sniper rifle) are downright amazing, and losing your tank makes the game feel fresh.  The Expert missions are HARD though, so if you struggled to finish the main storyline, you might want to hold off on this one.

Enter: The Edy Detachment

Next DLC on the list is called Enter: The Edy Detachment.  This adds on a new report page, which can also be accessed from the title screen.  The report follows a handful of secondary characters and what happens to them in between the 7th and 8th chapter of the main storyline.  The Edy Report follows the same formula as the rest of the side stories in the game: intro cutscenes, a single mission and an epilogue.  However, this report stands out because it attempts to flesh out some of your “faceless” soldiers by taking their personal flaws and applying them to narrative characters.  The cast includes Jann, who some might remember making a splash on the internet for being a ham-handed handling of a homosexual character in a video game, Homer the masochistic pretty boy and a handful of other less-memorable characters from the Gallian roster.  Although the story lacks the charm of the main characters’ tale, it is still nice to see your basic soldiers as something more than just meat-shields for once.

The mission only lasts 3 turns, but they are a hard 3 turns!  You simply need to defend your starting base from 2 tanks and an onslaught of soldiers with only 6 troops.  Sounds easy, right?  Wrong.
 
Depending on how well you do, there are four different endings to this report, so you’ll be playing for a few hours and getting your money’s worth if you play to see all four.  This DLC does not answer any nagging questions about Valkyria Chronicle‘s story, but it offers an interesting look at the members of Squad 7.

Behind Her Blue Flame

Probably the most anticipated patch of the three, Behind Her Blue Flame allows you to play as the Empire (the bad guys) and follows General Selvaria Bles.  The player views a large chunk of the Gallian Conflict from the perspective of Selvaria’s personal engineer, Johann.  Johann is just another faceless Imperial engineer, but through dialogue with Selvaria, he develops into a fairly interesting, well-rounded protagonist. 

BHBF adds four unique story missions where you control an Imperial force, a new weapon in the main quest and a bonus unlockable mission on top of new cutscenes and a new storyline.  The missions in this DLC pack are quite possibly the best missions in the game.  The maps are recycled from the Gallian campaign, but switch the orientation so that you fight from the other side.  Johann and Selvaria are given limitations that force the player to rely heavily on both of them to complete objectives.  Selvaria cannot carry grenades or ragnite, so Johan has to clear debris from her path while keeping her in tip-top shape; Johan has weak defenses, so Selvaria has to take point and defend him.  While the two protagonists try to complete one objective, the Gallians are relentlessly trying to steal the Empire’s base camp, so the player is constantly having to keep tabs on multiple fronts.  This makes each level feel like a puzzle that you are solving, rather than just another “send-Alicia-into-the-enemy-camp-guns-blazing” Gallian mission. 

Being able to view the story from the other side is a rare treat, and a great way to add to the Valkyria Chronicles experience.  The missions were a blast, and learning more about the Empire’s most badassed badguy was fun.  An expert player will truck through the entire campaign in about 5 or 6 hours, but most of us will die a few times, so expect to put some real time into it.  If you only have $5 to spend, spend it here.

$15 for 10+ hours of gameplay on a game I already love is a no brainer for me.  Those of you who picked the game up for $30, can buy all three without even approaching the full $60 price tag.  Still, if Hard EX mode doesn’t sound like the fun kind of kick in the teeth, Behind Her Blue Flame is still a must have for anyone who owns the game.  All three packs are available now on PS3 for $4.99 each. 

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

48 comments

  1. I was hesitant to purchase this before. Not it looks like I’ll be dropping some cash.

  2. Waiting for gamestop to send my copy still. WHATS the HOLDUP?

  3. I’ll probably buy this soon. $4.99 seems a bit high though. They should sell all for $10.

  4. Awesome,awesome game.I haven’t gotten the DLC yet but after reading that think im gonna these 3 up(or 2,cause I just bought flower not even 5 mins ago :P)

  5. How much gametime does the EDY pack offer altogether?

  6. Need this now!

  7. I will probably get at least one of these.

  8. Just picked this up this week for $27 at Gamestop. Thanks for the info on the DLC.

  9. Elf Shot the Food

    I will be getting at the Blue Flame one at least. Thanks, I was looking for info on this.

  10. RocksontheScotch

    I ordered on last Sunday, and just got my copy today.

  11. Are these up right now on the PSN?!?

  12. Three for ten would get the money outta my pocket.

  13. Bought one and I might have to splurge on the other two. For anyone that hasn’t played VC, the game kicks ass. Pick it up a GS!

  14. I know I’m in the minority, but I wasn’t crazy about the game. It was good, but not excellent enough to spend more money on.

  15. I haven’t heard of the game. Its PS3 only?

  16. I still need to pick up the Disgaea 3 stuff…Anyone know if that worth the admission price?

  17. Can you gameshare content?!?

  18. campaigne is spelled campaign, unless you’re from Jolly Old England.

  19. yup,it’s a damn shame it didn’t sell well either :/

  20. Thanks, now I’m on the hunt for this game. $30 poorer due to this damn site.

  21. You do like strategy games, don’t you?

  22. Downloading two of them as I type this. Man, Sony downloads are SLOW.

  23. Good overview

  24. Everyone seems to gush over the game. Looks like I will have to see if the hype is deserved.

  25. Great info. Bookmarked.

  26. You guys should give away some codes, as you seemed to have the only review I could find on this. How about it?

  27. The multiple grades confused me at first…

  28. looks like a pretty good title, liked the overall grade. Might have to check this one out in the future.

  29. NICE LOOKIN’ GRAPHICS.

  30. Valkyria Chronicles is one of the best PS3 games available if not the best if you’re a fan of the genre. I do hope Sega makes a sequel. This DLC does shed a positive light on that possibility especially if it does well for them.

  31. I just went out and purchased Valkyria Chronicles today for $30 from Gamestop (thanks to their Game Days Sale). It’s a fantastic game, I really hope the fan base picks up and the game gets the attention it deserves so it warrants a sequel in Sega’s eyes. Can’t wait to try the DLC after I finish the game.

  32. Ok can anyone tell me excatly why i cant DL this stuff it keeps giving me an error ive already set my router to the ip adress it gets to 20% then it stops downloading if anyone can help that would be great.

  33. TideGear (Adam Milecki)

    Congrats on your first(?) review, sir! ^_^

  34. I JUST D/led it with no problems. Try again. Could be a router issue, I’m thinking.

  35. We spell it campaign over here too…
    Nice ignorance.

  36. LOL. THIS made my laugh!

  37. The Edy mission last more that 3 turns. Maybe you can do it in 3 but it can be more. The Selvaria missions: I played 2 misions. Where are the other 2?

  38. i’m getting this today, loos really good, i still think i’ts on the expensive side but it’s cool

  39. It is very well deserved. There is a charm to this game that absolutely hooks you in. There are a few flaws such as occasionally frustrating aiming (pointing a lancer at a tanks radiator at point blank range and still missing for example) and most of the music is serviceable but not truly memorable, but the characters suck you in to the game, the cutscenes are incredible and the depth in the gameplay is astounding. Its sort of a cross between a SRPG, a third person shooter and Howl’s Moving Castle and a storybook. I have all the best PSone, PS2 and PS3 games and this ranks up in the top ten of my all-time favourite games along with the likes of MGS1, FF7, FF Tactics and Gran Turismo 4, ICO, ZOE2, Shadow of the Collosus, MGS3 and GTA SA. It’s that good!!! Whoever doesn’t own it needs to buy it because I want a sequel 🙂

  40. dude this looks like such an awesome game I have to have it!

  41. There are 4 Selvaria missions: in the first one, complete it by destroying Daemons Tank for mission 2A. Do it without destroying his tank and you get 2B. The 4th mission is a bonus you can unlock by getting A rank in ALL of the previous 3 missions. You apparently get a full power Selvaria to play with and can just go nuts clearing the map. It also gives you her Ruhn gun as a Shock trooper gun in the main game. But, the 2A and 2B missions are practically impossible. I have completed the game 3 times and I still cant even complete either of them, even with a walk through, let alone ace it. The Edy missions are not that hard, I got that after a couple tries. These are really awesome levels tho, just wish the Selvaria ones weren’t so insanely hard.

  42. that’s how much it costs now

  43. Those games are very nice…

  44. I like this game.There are 4 Selvaria missions: in the first one, complete it by destroying Daemons Tank for mission 2A. Do it without destroying his tank and you get 2B. The 4th mission is a bonus you can unlock by getting A rank in ALL of the previous 3 missions.

  45. I Really enjoyed your blog. I just bookmarked it. I am a regular visitor of your website I will share It with my friends .Thanks.

  46. I think the game was ok but it can’t beat my all time favorite which is Counter Strike

  47. $4.99 is a very fair price for a game. Hope all companies try to decrease the prices

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