I only just found out about JRPG July, and it turns out I’m already participating in it – quite by accident.
The other week, after reading reviews of the just-released Valkyria Revolution, I decided to have a go on Valkyria Chronicles Remastered, the first game in the series. I got it for my birthday last year, but this is the first time I’ve played it. And whereas Valkyria Revolution has met with generally terrible reviews, Valkyria Chronicles is already shaping up to be one of my favourite games ever.
I was delighted to discover that it’s a tactical turn-based game, which happens to be my favourite genre – games like XCOM (review), Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (review) and Fire Emblem are some of my most played. I was also delighted to find that Valkyria Chronicles stars Vyse and Aisha from Skies of Arcadia among its cast, which was a lovely throwback to that fantastic Dreamcast RPG. Seeing them again has made my yearning for a Skies sequel all the more keener.
I’ll post a full review of Valkyria Chronicles when I’m done – I’m over halfway through now, so I should be able to get it finished in time for the end of JRPG July. But it’s not the only JRPG I’ve been playing.
I finally finished Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest the other day. To be honest, it was a bit of a slog after Birthright, thanks to its much greater difficulty – even playing on Casual, it got really tough towards the end. I’m glad I didn’t play it with permadeath on, like I did with Birthright, as I’d probably only have half a dozen characters left by the final level. I’m interested to play the third and final Fates game, Revelations, if only to fill in some of the plot holes, but I’ll leave it for a while – I’m a bit Fire Emblemed out right now.
I also started playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. First impressions? Link is surely at his most beautiful in this game. What a handsome youth he is, in all his cel-shaded glory – the game seems to hit a perfect sweet spot between Toon Link and the more gritty Ocarina Link. But aesthetics aside, I’ve loved what I’ve played so far, particularly when the cook scolded me for breaking pots. Nice subversion of expectations there, Nintendo. I’m going to get straight back into it when Valkyria Chronicles is done and dusted.
So how about you lot? What have you been playing for JRPG July?