From The Armchair: Accidental JRPG July

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.

Valkyria Chronicles is astonishingly good.

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?

What a good-looking chap.


  1. I too inadvertently have been playing an RPG in the form of Grinsia for 3DS. It’s a fun if unremarkable game that boils down the essence of JRPGs into a basic form.

      1. It’s a port of a mobile game published by Nicalis, but don’t let that be an indicator of a lack of quality! It won’t light your fire by any means, but it definitely scratches that RPG.

    1. No one! Although she flirted with Gunter outrageously. In fact, I didn’t unlock ANY of the paralogues – I was too busy just trying to get everyone through the levels to worry about pairing for support convos. Although Benny and Effie were on the cusp of matrimony right near the end…

  2. I’m chipping away at Ever Oasis, but that’s about it so far. That’s also more of an action RPG, with some town-building stuff to break up the fights.

  3. I’m all about Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age at the moment. I put around 100 hours into the original release and still had a minor laundry list of things that I never achieved such as getting the Zodiac Spear and defeating Yiazmat. So I’m aiming to platinum this version to get some closure.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying Valkyria Chronicles so much. I think I was around 10 hours in and really enjoying it when it got sidelined by the release of a different must-play game.

    1. Iv never been able to get into Final Fantasy, not sure why. I think the amount of cut scenes is probably what turned me off the most though. Still, I’ve heard really good things about Zodiac Age.

      I’m totally loving Valkyria – it’s like they made my perfect game. Reminds me a lot of Ring of Red on the PS2, which I adored.

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