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Platform

Playstation Portable

 

Genre

Action RPG

 

Publisher

Sega

 

Developer

Sega

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

August 30, 2010

 

 

- Nice graphics
- Lots of customization
- Lengthy game

 

 

- PSP canít fit as much content on screen as the PS3
- Good story, but couldíve been edited a little
- Music could use some more variety

 

 

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Valkyria Chronicles II

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

valkyria chronicles ii          valkyria chronicles ii

 

Sega released Valkyria Chronicles back in November 2008 on the PS3, and, as great of a game as it was, unfortunately it didn't sell very well. It's unfortunate since VC would make a fine addition to any RPG fan's collection. An anime was also made, but an English release never saw the light of day. Fortunately for the fans, Sega decided not to give up on the series and released the PS3's sequel to the PSP.

VC (Valkyria Chronicles) is a very unique entry to the RPG/Action RPG genre because of it's gameplay. It's an RPG at heart, but it also is a third-person shooter. Sounds weird and maybe even a little bit gimmicky, but it's a combat system that Sega has put a lot of heart and thought into and it shows. Before you start a turn

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you will see Command Points (CP) and the number of Command Points you have left means the number of turns you have before it's your enemy's turn to retaliate. After deploying your units and reading the mission objective, you can select a character and make him or her run around, climb towers, crawl through tall grass, etc. until that character's movement meter runs out. Before it does, you have the

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option to attack an opponent and if you still have any movement left, you can hide for cover. However, even if you still have some movement left, you can only attack once per turn and while you run around, enemies are able to shoot at you if you're in range. Another thing worth mentioning is that characters will begin to tire out after every turn using the same one, so using them in every single turn isn't in your best interest. Some enemies will hide behind a sandbag for cover so that's when grenades (which come in limited quantities of course) come in handy. Also, if allies are close enough they will try and support you with gunfire to help deliver extra damage. Like in the original, you can use the environment to your advantage and hide in tall grass, trenches, etc. Each character is assigned to a special class and each class has their own unique abilities. These classes include scouts, shock troopers, lancers, technicians and engineers. What's interesting is that each class can branch off to become something else. For example, a scout can become a sniper or shock trooper can become a Trooper while another shock trooper can branch off his/her own path and become a gunner.

VC2 has other additional elements added to battle. For example, when a mission requires you to capture the enemy's flag, there will be missions where there will be different sections of the map and each section needs a flag to be captured. You can view one map or the other by simply using the shoulder buttons. This adds a little more variety within levels. I have heard this was a way to keep things from being too simple since the PSP can only handle so much screen at once so breaking down 1 big map like its predecessor to multiple maps was a good move by Sega. It definitely beats a ton of lag holding you back while your time meter depletes.

 

valkyria chronicles ii          valkyria chronicles ii

 

VC wouldn't be VC without a tank, but this time you now have a choice to either use a tank or an APC which has its own traveling advantages, but is weaker than the tank. There is also a lot of weapon and tank customization that will surely keep you busy. If you don't feel you're up for the next story challenge, there are always side missions available and lots of them so you can gain experience and money for upgrading classes, weapons and tank parts. Another thing added in VC2 is the ability to play some coop missions with up to 3 additional players using the PSP's ad-hoc capabilities.

The story is on the level of something that you would see in a teen anime. It is not the best storyline you'll see, but for what it is, it's entertaining and there's not much to complain about. At first I found the characters like Avan (the lead) to be annoying, but they started to grow on me. Story is told through character portraits with voice acting during the important parts and sometimes there are some anime sequences. Like the original, there's a very cool watercolor vibe to the game. It stands out from the other RPGs and gives it its own unique sense of style. Of course the game does not look as good as the first game on the PS3, but it still looks great on the PSP.

The game's music could use some variety, but it gets the job done. Voice acting is pretty good (doesn't hurt that Crispin Freeman is involved), but just beware, you'll have to put up with Avan's "Ahahaha" laugh quite a bit and it does not take long to get on your nerves.

If you're looking for a lengthy portable game that will take you around 35+ hours with a lot of customization, then Valkyria Chronicles II will not disappoint. You will not regret a purchase and hopefully this series starts to pick-up a larger fan base.

- J'Tonello

(October 25, 2010)

 

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