PSP Previews: Valkyria Chronicles 2 Preview

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Valkyria Chronicles 2 Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q2 2010

Publisher:

Sega

Developer:

Sega

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Strategy/RPG

If you’re a strategy or role-playing fan, there’s a very good chance that you hold Sega’s Valkyria Chronicles in the highest esteem. The PlayStation 3 exclusive title took a little while to reach a good-sized audience – it needed a rerelease in this country about six months after its initial launch – but the critics have always backed this unique and wonderfully appealing adventure. Now, some of the fanbase were annoyed when they learned the sequel would only come to the PSP, although Sega hasn’t ruled out the possibility of giving the PS3 another effort. In the meantime, we take a look at this handheld iteration that is most certainly a true sequel; it’s not a portable remake or anything like that. This is good reason to be a PSP owner, even if you’re not especially psyched about the snazzy new PSP Go; Chronicles 2 won’t be missed by the hardcore faithful who still praise the original title to this day. The question is, will Sega have to water down the overall experience due to the game’s transition to lesser hardware?

Thankfully, it seems that – despite the obvious and expected downgrade in terms of visuals – the answer to the preceding question is a resounding “no.” Graphically, VC was never a groundbreaking production on the PS3 but it still had a beautifully-drawn charismatic charm to it, and the designers will attempt to recreate this in a handheld format. They called the visuals in the original “canvas graphics,” in that the cel-shaded approach should appear to the player as if the colors were quite literally “painted” on a virtual canvas. Well, it worked out very well and it’s not out of the realm of possibility to expect a similarly appealing atmosphere in the sequel. They’re scaled back but during gameplay, the edges of the screen sort of fade to white, which makes it look more like a game constructed from storybook cutouts. As for the time and overall setting, you will most certainly recognize your immediate environment.

The year is 1937 and a whole new group of students are enrolled at the Lanseal Royal Military Academy, which leads us to the anticipated gameplay, which should be very similar to that of the first VC. You’ll have the quasi-turn-based battles that can involve dozens of different units ranging from different classes of infantrymen to tanks, and you will spend CP (Commander Points) to execute actions in combat. One of the most intriguing aspects of this fairly straightforward approach was the ability to spend your CP exactly as you see fit; you can move one unit three times in a row or spread out orders to all different units. This will certainly return in VC2. But one thing that wasn’t in the original title are checkpoints, which will be included in this PSP iteration just because the battles can last quite a long time. And hey, you don’t want to abandon the entire battle just ‘cuz you’ve reached your destination and have to put the PSP away.

What will have to change just a little is the control scheme, but even that won’t be tough to grasp. You’ll use the d-pad to move your characters around, circle will let you use the weapon or item equipped, square switches to target mode, and both X and triangle changes the camera angle (you can also swing the camera about with the triggers). But perhaps above all else, PSP owners should get a charge out of the addition of co-op play, which has grown progressively more popular over the years. Up to four players should be able to join up in a single battle, and we really like the idea of teaming up to take down overwhelming odds. One last aspect we haven’t addressed is whether or not VC and VC2 will be connected in some way; i.e., if we play one, will we receive benefits in the other? If someone completed the original title, maybe you’ll get an extra piece of content in the sequel, or something like that.

Valkyria Chronicles 2 will – not surprisingly – release in Japan first; it’s slated to drop in January. But US gamers won’t have to wait too long, as VC2 is tentatively scheduled to launch during the second quarter of next year. Yeah, we still want the series to return to the PS3 at some point, but there are a lot of PSP fans out there who shouldn’t be ignored.

10/19/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (15 posts)

BigT_1980
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 10:39:14 PM
Reply

I can't wait for this game too come out. I really loved the original. With the addition multi-player that should greatly add to the replay value. I really wish Sony would bring Ad Hoc Party to the states.

Last edited by BigT_1980 on 10/19/2009 10:43:28 PM

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Banky A
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 10:43:43 PM
Reply

This franchise gives me the same feeling as my PS1 and PS2 RPG days.
I love it.
There's something about it's music...

Too bad I still haven't bought the first. It's only a matter of time.

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robinhood2010
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 6:17:20 AM

Music is by Hitoshi Sakimoto, and he contributed to FFXII too. I can see similarities.

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NoSmokingBandit
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 7:32:06 AM

You really need to get the first VC. Its one of the best games this generation and easily the most under-hyped.

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Banky A
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 11:45:55 PM

Well I don't like XII's music as much as this so he must've gotten a lot better or read my mind ^_^

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WolfCrimson
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 11:07:43 PM
Reply

(q) But one thing that wasn’t in the original title are checkpoints, which will be included in this PSP iteration just because the battles can last quite a long time. And hey, you don’t want to abandon the entire battle just ‘cuz you’ve reached your destination and have to put the PSP away. (/q)

Partially inaccurate Ben. The first VC had a save function during battles so you could save anytime and close the game. IMO that is better than checkpoints.

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Kevadu
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 12:43:04 AM

I completely agree. I loved that feature and I sure hope it's not gone...

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gumbi
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 11:09:33 PM
Reply

I'm playing Valkyria Chronicles right now and I gotta say, this is one of the best games I've played in a long time. I'm really looking forward to the PSP sequel. I think this game could translate to the PSP perfectly, without losing anything really.

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Scarecrow
Monday, October 19, 2009 @ 11:30:13 PM
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Looks freaking great!

Ah! Just wish it was for the ps3...

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___________
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 12:03:31 AM
Reply

i hate it when developers do this.
start a series on one platform than continue it on another, so if you want to follow the storyline you have to buy a different system.
like 1 ps3 isent expensive enough!
like this, or assassins creed bloodlines.
i really want to play that, but theres no way in hell im paying 300AUD just to play 1 game.
only if they would announce a sequel to GOW COO now that would seal the deal.

Last edited by ___________ on 10/20/2009 12:06:06 AM

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LowKey
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 5:09:46 AM
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stupid, its total effery, sick of psp getting better games than Sonys so called "flagship console"

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chucknasty
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 5:47:22 AM
Reply

Having not owned a PSP previously I picked up a go for his game mostly, also my PS1 downloads that look like hammered crap on an HD TV (playing thru FFVII yet again, coming for you ruby weapon).

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robinhood2010
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 6:18:05 AM
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I cannot wait for this game. I absolutely dote on the first. I was sorta hoping Welkin, Alicia and Squad 7 would be back though....maybe for VC3!

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Robochic
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 @ 9:49:49 AM
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I'll have to get a PSP again since my hubby loves the first and this is only out for PSP.

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sdg657
Saturday, November 28, 2009 @ 1:18:36 PM
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i really need to rebuy VC1, since I ended up selling it to get LPB (which ended up not really being that great), but I definitley, will NOT sell this one or VC2

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