'Valkyria Chronicles,' the underrated PS3 strategy game from 2008 exclusively returns on the PSP in 'Valkyria Chronicles II.'
In our original review of 'Valkyria Chronicles' for the PS3 we wrote...
This statement used to sum up 'Valkyria Chronicles' in 2008 could also be used to sum up its delicious sequel, 'Valkyria Chronicles II.' Ranking up with the original, 'Valkyria Chronicles II' takes on a new platform, the Playstation Portable with conviction.
Now, you might think that 'Valkyria Chronicles II' has been downgraded because it’s running on the PSP. However, this is not the case. Surprisingly, 'Valkyria Chronicles II' retains all of its stellar production values and all of its hybrid strategy/role-playing mechanics. If anything, 'Valkyria Chronicles' suits the PSP more then the Playstation 3 because you really don’t need the "big screen" experience to get enjoyment out of this game. Valkyria is all about the experience over the spectacle, and SEGA's sequel delivers big time.
Welcome to the Odd Squad
For a prose, ''Valkyria Chronicles II' picks up two years after the original game adopting Avan Hardins as the main protagonist. Avan comes into this role when the militia informs him of his brothers (Leon) death. Without any more knowledge, raging with disbelief, Avan joins the 'Royal Military Academy' to find out the truth behind his brothers death. This leads you into a nice training camp tutorial where you will meet two more main characters when you are thrown into the odd squad-- 'Class G.'
In this oddball classification you will meet your first two allies in Cosette Coalhearth, the ditzy blonde trainee who wants to become a doctor, and Zerti, the cool arrogant assault trooper trainee who becomes your good friend as grow to become a full fledged soldier. These two characters set the tone of the game, which is a more juvenile this time around. Of course that is the tip of the ice-berg as Valkyria has a lot more characters that come in and out of the plotline. The story (which I won't spoil) has a lot of depth and richness as it develops, and despite its eccentric comedy, still keeps a serious overtone. Even with the jokes, 'Valkyria Chronicles II' has a good story that reflects the seriousness and “human” quality about war. If you enjoy a little campy laughter once and a while mixed in with some true emotion, then you will love this new chronicle of Valkyria.
As Slick as Ever
'Valkyria Chronicles II' presentation is spot on capturing the same feel as the original with its washed out water-based art style and blocky line drawings. The interactive pictogram nature still applies, with the best interactions coming to life in with animated cut-scenes. When you are not watching slick animations, Valkyria defaults to your partially voiced text/avatar presentation, which also looks exquisite. All in all, Valkyria continues perfecting its own style, one that doesn’t feel overdone like basic cell-shading. The music and voice over quality is also exceptional, the characters fit their profile, and the music upholds the big-battlefield sound. If Valkyria had a weak point, it would be the gun-shot effects and such, but that’s a minor point that really isn’t worth fussing over.