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Valkyria Chornicles Impressions

October 10, 2008

Developed by SEGA, Valkyria Chronicle is a Strategy RPG with lots of promise. The game has been out in Japan since April and it will reach the U.S shores next month.

Story

In the style of the Eternal Sonata Demo, Valkyria Chronicles reveal nothing about the story outside of a few names. As I said then, i am disappointed by this as RPGs are extremely story based and knowing something about the story would have been nice.

Gameplay

Unlike other strategy games such as Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, or Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, Valkyria Chronicles manages to merge the action shooter world and the strategy world into one, very fun package. The game has two stages, the Command and Action stages. During the command stage you overlook the battle field in the form of the map, with units on both sides visible, distinguished by color, and you are given command points(CP). CPs are used to start the action phase of a given character. Once a character is selected you enter the action phase which gives you personal control of the character you choose. Depending on the class of the character, the amount of ground you can over will change, and as you run around a bar will deplete and when it is at 0, you can’t move anymore. Aside from movement the characters can take advantage of cover and can attack with a variety of weapons. To attack you press R1 to enter aim mode which pauses the action around you(If enemies can shoot you, they will during action phase). From here you can then aim at certain areas of an enemy then let loose.
After you moved, and took a crack at someone, you must re enter command mode. From here you may either choose the same character or any other and get into the action again. It is unique blend of strategy and action that may sound confusing on paper(Fake Internet paper?) but works pretty seamlessly and is extremely fun. There are a variety of classes(Or soldiers if you prefer) to control each with unique strengths and weaknesses and using each one correctly can make of break a battle.

Graphics/Audio

Beautiful water colored graphics set this game apart from the CG world we’ve become accustomed to. One odd thing I noticed though, during mini chats with the commanding officer their face is avoid of emotion or movement. It made that little 5 second of face time seem very artificial and it is even odder when in the one cutscene shown in skirmish mode the character’s face(Not the same one) is filled with emotion and seems more natural. It is kind of disappointing seeing the lack of effort, even if it barely matters to the game. Audio wise the game has great battlefield sound effects and the few music scores sound pretty good, but nothing I’d want to download.

Conclusion

Being a fan of RPGs, Strategy games, and Strategy RPGs this game was already on my radar. Playing the game removed any doubts I might have had(It’s made by SEGA, its safe most of the time to expect bad things) and I found myself wanting to play more besides just the two scenarios. Based on the demo Valkyria is going to be a great Strategy RPG to play and I will definitely(Outside of any money issues) be bringing a review of this game when it is released in November.

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