Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Impressions: Valkyria Awesomeness (Darcsen… really?)

Posted by deckard47 on January 19, 2009

Two things. First, I’m loving Valkyria Chornicles. The gameplay, upgrading and leveling are so very perfect for a person like me, and I can make myself care about the story every five minutes or so. BUT. Whoever decided that “Darcsen” would stand in for Jews in this version of Europe made a bad call. I’m not sure what’s so fucked up about it, but it comes off as trivializing and insulting. I’ve no idea how you tackle such a topic in your alternate universe games, but this is not it. Still, great, entertaining gameplay, something I’ll stick with until I’m fully leveled at least.

Secondly, the Brainy Gamer has an interesting post up about heroes and their darkening/virilifying in the sequels to games. Of course, I care the most about the changing of Nathan Drake, from the first game’s happy-go-lucky Indiana Jones/Malcolm Reynolds guy into something more along the lines of (boo) the Dark Prince! I hope that Naughty Dog knows what they’re doing here. It’s quite possible that they’re just going with a darker tone for the game, and maybe a darker personality for the character. I mean, look at Empire, that was all about dark times, but Han Solo was still Han Fucking Solo.. He didn’t become “Dark Han” or some shit, just because things were “dark” around him. It’s quite possible to show Nathan as a jerk and an imperfect guy (like our guy Solo), and still make him a fundamentally good person. I hope that’s what they’re doing.

It’s interesting how the two (story and character) have to be the same, for games. Movies have been able to make that distinction for a long time. It’s why the second movie in a trilogy can be the darkest: the next one will make things happy again (see Star Wars, LotR)! Why the main character has to undergo a transformation as well is beyond me. There’s a difference between responding to bad things (look, Han, Aragorn, Gandalf, Leia and Luke are all sad now!), and becoming darker. The first is realistic, the second is a cheap, lazy plot device that makes what should be an internal struggle a physical transformation. It assumes that we silly readers, watchers or gamers can’t fathom that people and characters can change their personalities or actions based on outside stimuli. Give us some credit. But, again I have to say that I trust Naughty Dog, they made me so happy with the first game. Do right by our Drake, guys, he deserves it.

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One Response to “Impressions: Valkyria Awesomeness (Darcsen… really?)”

  1. Takekaze said

    Thing is, that particular chapter (Jews and Holocaust) is as present in history lessons in Japanese schools as the Pacific theater is in German or other European schools: pretty much zero.

    It has no connection to Japanese history. Just like European history teachers don’t go into Asian history. When I was in school what we learned about Asia in history was: Pearl Harbor, Midway (we were lucky), Hiroshima, Nagasaki, end of war. The end. Nothing else. That was more than 15 years ago, it’s worse today.

    So they substituted the Jews poorly from a western point of view. Big deal. Devs are Japanese.

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