TSM Episode 351: Valkyria Returns

Hurray for more Valkyria Chronicles! Sega still has a reason to exist!

Valkyria Chronicles is back in HD, with a sequel.

Download: Produced 2015.11.22

In a surprising development, Sega announces a high-definition remake of Valkyria Chronicles, and a long-awaited sequel for the PlayStation 4. Also, Mitchell Johnson hangs up his bowling shoes, England win an ODI series, and Project Setsuna looks glorious.

14 comments on “TSM Episode 351: Valkyria Returns”

  1. Clarification, gents: I did not say Radiant Historia was average or bad. I’ve never even played it. I only commented that it -looks- average based on the youtube videos I’ve seen. It could be as perfectly love a game as its rumoured to be for all I know, and I look forward to hearing back from one of the few people I trust on the matter. But yes, I unironically like Dragon Quest and Akira Toriyama. Cast your stones!

  2. Great show as usual. PS2 backwards compatibility will be sweet. I want to play Dragon Quest VIII, FFXII, and Valkyrie Profile 2 on my PS4! I’ll probably go ahead and get Setsuna when it’s released here in Japan. Thanks, guys!

  3. @Zoltan: I want Project Setsuna. :(

    @Wolfe: Gotcha! I think that was my initial supposition, too. But, I have only heard good things about it. I mean that quite literally. No one who has played it has said anything negative to me about it. So, I am hoping to have a few minutes to at least tinker with it this week or, failing that, maybe over the Christmas holidays.

  4. I always intended to get around to it myself, but it wound up never happening. Hopefully it’ll live up to the hype and I can add it to my never-ending backlog.

    Julian is absolutely right in regards to the abundance of Japanese gaming on the PS4. The year ahead is loaded with titles that delight me in a way I haven’t seen since the mid PS2 generation. Good times ahead, for certain. Stuff I never would have imaged we’d see over here. And Square Enix making things I unironically care about again. Good times!

  5. I’m gonna be honest, I’m not gonna get really excited about Valkyria Chronicles 4 or the HD remake until I have them both in my hands and on my console respectively. SEGA’s done this before when they announce something in Japan and not bring it overseas to the West (Valkyria Chronicles 3 and Phantasy Star Online 2 are some examples among others). It was interesting talking about Nintendo last week being anti-consumer, because you could actually say the same about SEGA in its attitude towards its Western markets. This is a company that has time and time again shown they actually have a great deal of disdain for the West in its actions, and has decided that the Japanese market is the only market they would care to market to. I say this as a consumer of SEGA products for my entire life (my first console was a SEGA Genesis and I have owned every SEGA console since), and as such, do have a great deal of love for the company and its brands. However, they are not perfect and these issues are something that needs to be brought up. I look forward to both new Valkyria games, and perhaps since the PS4 is on top this generation, maybe they’ll see things differently this time around. However, I can only work with what information is available at present, and because of that, I’m extremely cautious as to getting my hopes up for anything.

    Great podcast as usual guys, thanks for the entertainment!

  6. @ST: Caution is warranted in reception, but there is no reason not to encourage the development of a franchise which has demonstrated good principles so far. In fact, so doing is just as important as expressing discontent with poor business practises and development decisions.

    It was interesting talking about Nintendo last week being anti-consumer… because you could actually say the same about SEGA in its attitude towards its Western markets

    You will know that we have done so when it is appropriate: the decision not to localise Valkyria Chronicles 3, and the fait-accompli that they provided to explain it, were roundly criticised here.

    But at the same time, I’m not sure I follow the logic of “When Nintendo does something bad you should criticise them, and when Sega makes a step in the right direction you should criticise them.”

    We criticise what we believe to be poor decisions, not positive decisions.

  7. I will definitely concede that it is important to reward positive steps forward, as well as criticize negative steps back. I think SEGA has actually done extremely well working with its brands in Japan, where they release the grand majority of their games, and they market their games extremely well with multimedia crossover in the case of the “Sega Hard Girls” anime thing they did about a year ago, as well as their number of profitable licenses with Hatsune Miku and toys. Brands like Shining Force and Phantasy Star are alive and well over there thru several online games both on PC, console, handhelds, and mobile. Add in whole arcades filled with their games, SEGA has an ecosystem in the East that can’t be broken. To put it simply, as a lifelong SEGA customer, I’d like to enjoy some of that tremendous ecosystem over here in West. We all know its possible and its entirely theirs for the taking. All in all, I’m telling them to “shut up and take my money” but they act as if they don’t want my “filthy gaijin dollars”.

    Let me also reiterate that I am tremendously happy that VC4 and the HD remake are coming soon, and if and when they are localized, I will have nothing but the most lavish praise for SEGA’s actions in their release, not to mention I will spend money buying both games, and perhaps even multiple copies to give to friends, like I did with VC 1 (PS3 and PC) and 2. (Hell the whole reason I bought a PSP in the first place was to play VC 2.)

    I guess in short, I wanted to state that my criticism was directed at SEGA ignoring the West in its releases, not at the fact they are making a follow-up to Valkyria Chronicles. I apologize for any confusion as to that point on my part.

  8. @ST: That makes much more sense. Thank you for the clarification!

    I think part of Sega’s reluctance to release games in the West stems from a very conservative ethic which took hold in the company after the Dreamcast debacle. And, if you think about it, it is understandable–they likely felt (and perhaps still feel) that they took a gamble on the West and the result was a busted flush.

    Since then, as Sega’s fortunes have waned (some of it on the back of negative reviews in the West for their poorly made games–a situation in which the fault lies entirely with Sega), they have become increasingly relucant to release things in the West. They likely still see the market as a gamble; and as they perceive their situation to be more precarious, they gravitate towards surer markets.

    This doesn’t mean that it is all simply a byproduct of ‘market instability’, as I’ve asserted above. Sega chose to release Valkyria Chronicles 2 in the West on UMD only at a time when Sony was actively pushing the PSP Go and preparing the launch of the PSVita: both devices which could not make use of UMDs. This was coupled with a design for the game which Westerners (not entirely justifiably) felt deviated widely from the original game. When the game failed to sell up to expectations, Sega pointed at this situation and said, “This is a sign that people don’t want Valkyria Chronicles.” They then refused to release Valkyria Chronicles 3 for PS3 on precisely those grounds, when that game would have been as much of a success (if not more so) than the original game!

    I’ve never been a huge fan of Sega: I haven’t owned their consoles, and haven’t cared much for the majority of their games. But at the same time, I think it is probably a little bit uncharitable to hasten to the conclusion that they hate western gamers. I think the reality is more prosaic than that: conservative business sense coupled with a suspicion that western audiences are fickle (this is another reason that they seem only interested in localising games that are part of long-standing, proven franchises).

    Some people online are now suggesting things like, “If you want more Sega games, make sure to buy VC HD and VC 4!” I don’t think this is true at all. Sega would probably take the lesson that VC is ‘currently hot’, and might lean towards more VC development, but I cannot see them extrapolating out from VC purchases the idea that Western games want more Sega titles (even if it is true).

    But it’s not all hopeless: the Sonic the Hedgehog twitter account demonstrates a willingness to engage with their core audience ‘on the level’, one might say. Whilst this is an West-only thing, it may represent a way of thinking that could get back to Sega Japan HQ, and one day lead to a greater trust in the Western market. Here’s hoping!

  9. You will know that we have done so when it is appropriate: the decision not to localise Valkyria Chronicles 3, and the fait-accompli that they provided to explain it, were roundly criticised here.

    IMO Sega’s poor decision making was more evident in choosing to follow up VC with two PSP sequels rather than their decision to sit on VC3. VC had a Western audience on the PS3, but this clearly wasn’t the case with the PSP.

  10. @Lusipurr- I would agree with you on the notion that simply buying VC4 and VC HD won’t promise more SEGA games in the West. I would encourage people to go out and buy it however, since I would like to see more Valkyria Chronicles stuff out in the West. On the bright side, SEGA released VC for PC as well, which seemed entirely aimed at the Western market, since PCs are a much more profitable platform here than in Japan.

    @SiliconNooB- I get the sense that was entirely a Japan thing. The PSP was much more popular there than in the West. I would be interested to see the numbers for how well VC 2 and 3 sold, particularly since now they are going back to releasing VC 4 on PS4.

    I will say on another subject that I have enjoyed the pleasant discourse of this discussion, one of the things I like about Lusipurr.com and TSM. Intelligent, no-BS discussions about video games.

  11. The vast majority of sales for VC1 occurred in America, while VC2 saw fewer sales in America than in Japan. In fact for VC2 there were even fewer sales in America than there were in Europe, which really puts things into perspective. Sega went from selling 1.25m copies to selling roughly 500,000 copies worldwide. I doubt the decreased development costs were worth shrinking that pie.

    http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=valkyria+chronicles

  12. @ST: I would encourage people to go out and buy it however, since I would like to see more Valkyria Chronicles stuff out in the West.
    Absolutely. As long as VC is good, more VC is good.

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  13. @Lusipurr – Lusipurr.com is Amazing! They’re the Internet’s only source of Video Game, Cricket, and Anime News!

    @SiliconNooB – After seeing the sales figures for 2 and 3, I can see why they are moving back to a home console with VC 4. Hopefully they will also follow through and release the next game worldwide.

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