PS3 Previews: Valkyria Chronicles Preview

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Valkyria Chronicles Preview

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Scheduled release date:

November 11, 2008

Publisher:

Sega

Developer:

Sega

Number Of Players:

1 Player

Genre:

Strategy/RPG

PlayStation 3 owners have been waiting a good long time – it probably seems like an eternity – for a decent RPG to come their way, and while they will get Eternal Sonata this month and White Knight Chronicles in early 2009, we can’t forget about Sega’s promising offering. It’s called Valkyria Chronicles, which is a unique, pretty, strategy/RPG that should appeal to those who enjoy a great story and an engaging, even dynamic combat system. However, we did notice something artistically similar between Valkyria Chronicles and Bandai’s Eternal Sonata: the latter focuses on the last moments of composer Frederick Chopin’s life, and you actually spend time negotiating his dreams. In Sega’s title, you play through an adventure that resides almost entirely within a fictional book entitled, “On the Gallian Front,” by Irene Koller. Every facet of the gameplay and all the storyline cut-scenes fit snugly into the book like chapters, and we have to admit, that’s a very clever concept.

Essentially, Valkyria takes place in an alternate dimension of 1930s Europe, where a war between the Imperial Alliance and the Atlantic Federation threatens a neutral province called Gallia. There’s this very precious material called ragnite, and apparently, there’s an abundant supply in Gallia, which unfortunately sits directly between the Alliance and the Federation. But even though it’s neutral, the province isn’t about to lay down and let the invaders tromp through their homes; they start to build up their military in an effort to repel the offending forces. You will follow along with the adventures of fresh recruits Welkin Gunther and Alicia Melchiott, and yes, all of this is the plot foundation of the aforementioned book. As with most games that have a strategy angle to the gameplay, there’s a war involved – doesn’t really surprise us – but we’ll be interested to see how this particular story plays out. Considering that Gallia is supposedly neutral, are they eventually going to side with either the Alliance or Federation? And what the heck is ragnite, anyway? Is it magical?

Speaking of gameplay, the foundation of the strategy lies in the individual and very distinct character classes, and the fact that there are more playable characters than usual. Furthermore, one has to consider more than just a unit’s inherent abilities; they also have unique traits that may become crucial during tricky combat situations. A few media sources have already gone hands-on with the game, including IGN, who gives the example of Catherine O’Hara, a Sniper who is also a “Pessimist.” Because she holds that label, if her HP drops below the halfway mark, her defense will fall. “Well, I’m getting nailed…guess I’m gonna die.” That must be her mindset, and something you have to realize if you bring her into the fray. Then again, her Sniping ability could be well worth her defeatist attitude, and as you can see, that’ll be a big part of the strategy for all available characters. On top of which, those colorful environments will dictate your decisions on the battlefield as well, so you’ll have to pay attention to multiple factors. We wouldn’t expect anything less from a strat/RPG title!

There aren’t a huge number of classes, but you can always recruit and train your team whenever you wish simply by hitting the Headquarters tab in the book. There, you can head out to the Training Field and using the experience you accumulated in battle, you can put your units to the test. They’ll come out of the experience stronger, faster, more educated. Heck, you can even upgrade equipment by visiting the Research & Development office, which is a very cool aspect. How come we can’t have a R&D feature in other games? It’s how new stuff comes into the limelight in the real world, isn’t it? Also, even though the game is deep, it won’t strip your life away due to insane time requirements, like Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice.  Here, you actually level up classes rather than individuals. This way, even new units won’t have to start from Square One, which means you won’t have to spend hours upon hours training every single character on the fighting roster. But we imagine if you ignore certain classes for too long, they’re gonna be useless some time down the road…

Valkyria Chronicles is slated to release on November 11 in the U.S. and not surprisingly, Japanese gamers have had a chance to play it since April. Reviews from the Land of the Rising Sun have been solid, and we could definitely use a quality RPG for the PS3. And hey, if you want to pick up Eternal Sonata on October 21, you’ll have several weeks to work through that one before picking up Sega’s intriguing strat/RPG. You know you want both after all this waiting, role-playing fans. You know it.

10/7/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (14 posts)

AceTatsujin
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 @ 11:02:09 PM
Reply

You damn right I'm getting this game. I'm pushing hours and countless of hours till I beat it!

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Daedusian
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 @ 11:13:34 PM
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I hope they release a demo somewhere down the road. Or maybe I'll give it a rent first, idk. I've been watching this one for a long time and I can't decide...

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Kiengo
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 10:18:30 AM

The demo is coming with episode 5 of Qore on thursday. I'm buying it because I want this game so badly.

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Daedusian
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 11:36:47 AM

Good to know. Well now I have something to look forward to this episode. =)

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Advent Child
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 12:46:15 AM
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I have this preordered and I am really looking forward to it.

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www
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 7:35:21 AM

Aaay!:) Advent child......soooo,how many games u got pre-ordered,it's like u've pre-ordered basically every impendin game,dude u stackin bundles? better throw some this way..lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 1:04:55 AM
Reply

Hoping for a demo cuz Strategy doesn't do it for me, but the RPG aspects of this game look strong. I could see why people loved Disgaea, but I just don't have the patience for tiled boards and ultra intricate gameplay, nor do i prefer action rpgs, I sit squarely in that area where no one wants to develop anymore: turn based. So although this title excites me, I remain unclear on the battles. If it is what it looks like in the trailers: deploy units, engage enemy, control individual units via commands to characters that arent overly lengthy, then I'm on board big time. On that note, Last Remnant's battle gameplay descriptions seem unsatisfactory as well. This is a strange time for us old schoolers who aren't used to extreme genre mixing within the gameplay style.

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BigBoss4ever
Sunday, October 19, 2008 @ 1:50:25 AM

I am on the exact page with you for this RPG thing. I am a JRPG lover, and not only that, I only love turn-based JRPG the most, those old school classic series, ie. FF 7,8,9,Chrono Trigger. But this is not the era where turn based rpg flourish, I hope they do something right with FF 13, WKC is big for me too.

P.S. I was fortunate enough to play Lost Odyssey on my xbox360 ( i bought the 360 basic console just to play that single game. lol), and I love it so much and it became my favorite JRPG in this generation and will remain so for a long while i think. so if you do come across opportunity, do play Lost Odyssey, and you will like it -- the story, the music, the emotion, the game play, and the battle system are just so fun, all old school classic turn based plus great graphics.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 10/19/2008 1:54:18 AM

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www
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 7:37:17 AM
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Is anythan from Sega really dat good.....they not really bad n not too good,always sumwherre in the middle...hope dis good.

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clowangel
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 @ 3:40:43 PM
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And another game added to my 'Must Buy' list. ^-^

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, October 09, 2008 @ 12:49:59 PM
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I played the demo, i couldn't stand it, though i dont like strategy games, So i guess its unfair for me to judge.

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Elfen-Lied
Monday, October 13, 2008 @ 11:24:16 AM
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The demo is coming out with Qore?
Then it will cost something, right?
Damn...

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Deleted User
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 8:12:21 PM
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it looks like my kind of game!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 11:24:04 PM
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Hope they release a demo for this, I also look forward to PSXE's review in just a few short weeks.

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