Review: Assault Suits Valken Declassified – A Great Mecha Classic Treatment

Review: Assault Suits Valken Declassified – A Great Mecha Classic Treatment

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

Steps away from the world of Assault Suits Valken Declassified, it’s immediately apparent that something else is going on. This is because the steps themselves look different.

Compared to traditional run ‘n’ guns like Metal Slug, for example, the movement in the Assault Suits Valken remaster is considerably more deliberate, physical, and powerful. And that’s how it should be. This is a game about piloting a powerful robot in a conflict that spills over into space as humanity fights for the few fossil fuels left on Earth.

As such, instead of traversing your steps with the pace and energy of a prolific Nintendo plumber, your mech stomps, barges, and kicks, and all of these actions feel surprisingly physical. Propelled by thrusters, the jumps become lifts, but the weighty feel is still there and the landings are oddly punchy. So managing to convey such a distinctive sense of physicality and brute force in an arcade-leaning 2D game is a remarkable feat, and lies at the heart of what makes Assault Suits Valken Declassified such a rewarding game.

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

In fact, it’s not really a purebred run ‘n’ gun. Fans of the Assault Suits series will rightly insist that they are “mecha action games”. In the brilliantly sharp, atmospheric, and even cinematic case of Valken, you’ll find scrolling shooter sections and arena shmups, along with plenty of surprising set pieces that tiptoe beyond the traditional platform genre setting. . And as much of a focus as it is on moving through levels to take out enemies and their infrastructure with various ranged weapons (and an eternally reliable strike ability), it’s also a title that wants you to linger in the game. story, screenplay and script.

Before we drop other Assault Suits Valken Declassified panels and examine its innards, a bit of historical background. Originally developed by Masaya and released as a SNES exclusive between 1992 and 1993, Assault Suits Valken was billed as an enhanced sequel and prequel to its predecessor, Assault Suits Leynos. Valken assault suits came to the West as cybernetics, but with considerable censorship and localization changes. Over time, Leynos and Valken have benefited from a good number of ports, but each has been fairly simple, if not a bit flat.

Now, however, Rainmaker Productions and streaming house M2, famed for their exquisite modernization shmup series ShotTriggers, have endeavored to bring today’s gamers the Assault Suits Valken release we’ve always deserved.

Valken Assault Suit Declassified Review - Screenshot 3 of 6Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

As for the game itself, Assault Suits Valken Declassified is an eShop exclusive for now. As a general package, it doesn’t offer the variety of revamped modes and finicky extra features that ShotTriggers like ESP Ra.De throw away. psi serve. And yet, you get a deeply engaging and carefully crafted port of the complete Japanese original, complete with new translation and an impressive selection of archival extras.

There’s only a scattering of basic display customizations in the area of ​​CRT barrel and scanline configuration, but what you get is a very polished port that looks and works well on modern screens (although scanline scans don’t translate well to screenshots, so keep that in mind when browsing the paired shots throughout this review – they look great on large screen). And as with the original Assault Suits Valken, Declassified offers a very good game, with an irresistible style that seems inspired by anime and sci-fi action films of the 80s. Everything spins together to form a world defined by the power of the military. industrial complexes, the flight of humanity into space and global conflicts. It’s a pretty irresistible place to hang out.

Valken Assault Suit Declassified Review - Screenshot 4 of 6Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Offline)

The focus is almost always on combat, with plenty of evocative exploration of Castlevania and its class tying things together. It is full of interesting and varied level designs, and the aforementioned sections that inherit many conventions from other related genres. The result, for players, is that there are always new ways to strategize and play with the basic mechanics of multi-directional fire.

The pacing through seven reasonably large stages feels crisp and momentous, even with the mecha’s near-heavy physique, though some may find that distinctive presence a little too imposing. New sections constantly demand new approaches, which makes them interesting. The difficulty is up there, and sometimes you will need perseverance and resilience to overcome it. He wants you to work to progress. Luckily, Assault Suits Valken Declassified isn’t too undermined by any of its foundational modernizations; namely save states. They can feel so close to cheating that they can undermine a simple arcade shmup, but save states here seem like a great way to progress and improve if you’re not lucky enough to pass. countless hours.

Valken Assault Suit Declassified Review - Screenshot 5 of 6Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

The inclusion of original and rearranged music injects more tone, energy, and vibrancy into the experience, and visually it’s a gorgeous piece of work. From the menacing interiors of a large enemy ship, to beautiful rural landscapes, to moments where the entire color palette turns into a wave of fiery oranges and reds, Valken continues to throw in plenty to turn heads.

Unfortunately, there is a flaw among all this quality. Too often the screen is cluttered with scenery, enemies, explosions and artillery to the point that it can be difficult to read. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to tell exactly what damaged you, why something hit you but didn’t damage you, or generally to track hazards and collisions. Over time, it may feel less overwhelming, and some might say it replicates the feeling of sitting inside a mech targeted by full energy force. Too often, however, being disconnected from exactly what was happening on screen caused a sense of detachment from the game, dulling the sense of immersion.

It should be noted that these moments are occasional rather than defining; a sporadic disappointing element of a great game, rather than something like an undercut.

Declassified Valken Assault Suit Review - Screenshot 6 of 6Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

Besides the game itself, the files, largely managed by Rainmaker Productions, include awesome pre-recorded gameplay from a world-class player, a jukebox for the two included musical scores, a surprisingly charming recorded interview with the designer original Satoshi Nakai, a remarkable extension. of concept and production art that affirms the efforts made to create characters and worlds, the original SNES manual, new artwork by Valken character designer Satoshi Urushihara, and a translated recreation of the original 80-page guide. So and then some, and brilliantly presented. We would have liked to see ShotTriggers-like arrangements; one of M2’s polished “super easy” modes, perhaps, or one that incorporates entirely new mechanics.

And yet, we still have a very good port of a very good game that never reached the West in its original best form. The quality of life improvements are a welcome addition, and the files are a delight that seem presented and compiled with genuine affection for what Assault Suits Valken is all about.


It might not be perfect, but if you like mecha and anime culture, classic action games, or shooter and run-time games, Assault Suits Valken Declassified is worth getting hooked on. Weird quirks aside, it’s a very well-thought-out creation, defined by tight controls and movement, neat level design, and a wealth of ideas. And then there are all those beautiful archival documents. However, be careful. This robot is a beast.

Brent Dubin
Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming world you are looking for.Work Email: