Valkyria Chronicles II Review
Valkyria Chronicles II is the sequel to the award-winning Valkyria Chronicles for the PlayStation 3. Following the successful release of the first game, Sega was quick to develop a sequel, but this time on Sony’s PlayStation Portable. When Sega announced that the sequel would be released on the PSP instead of the PlayStation 3, a lot of fans got skeptical and wondered if Valkyria Chronicles II would deliver the same experience as is HD original.
After hours of gameplay and completing the game, I can say that Valkyria Chronicles II manages to bring the original experience that fans craved on the PS3 successfully onto the PSP. Valkyria Chronicles II offers a lot of new features that fans of the first game and newcomers alike will love. Without further ado, let’s get on the HOTs and NOTs of the game.
Impressive Graphics and Presentation
For a PSP game, Valkyria Chronicles II manages to retain the same visual style that players adored from the first game on the PlayStation 3. The format and the design are exactly similar but since the title is on the handheld, there are some features that become limited. Not all scenes in Valkyria Chronicles II will have anime computer graphics. Instead, the story unfolds through a series of animated cut-scenes. The portrait of the character who is speaking will move and players are free to see their emotions, thereby making the characters feel connected to the player. The book-style presentation that we all loved in the first game is retained in the PSP version, but it won’t act as the main menu. Players can review all of the cut-scenes and CG scenes in a form of a yearbook.
Slow Start is compensated by a Deep Story
The story of Valkyria Chronicles II starts off quite slow. The game takes place two years after the events of the first game. A civil war has erupted in the country of Gallia as the Rebel army plans to overthrow the regime. As the students of the Lanseal Academy of Gallia, it is the job of the cadets to keep peace in the land. The player of the game will control a lot of Lanseal Cadets from the academy together with the three lead characters: Avan Hardains, Zeri, and Cosette. Similar to the first game, players will handle a whole squad and lead them to victory in battle. There are numerous characters in the Class G squad, each of whom will play a vital role in the game. The characters that Avan will be commanding will have their own story to tell throughout the game. Giving attention to their story will open up new missions and characters to unlock. As the lowest squad in the academy, watch Class G rise to become the great heroes of Gallia.
A Handful of Missions
Players can expect a handful of missions in Valkyria Chronicles II, totaling up to two hundred missions and counting. Twelve of those missions are story-based while others are key missions, DLCs, character missions, and a lot more. Since the game takes place in an Academy in Gallia, the game will have a full twelve month calendar. Each month will contain one story mission and before players can take those story missions, they must play at least three key missions first. For gamers who want to seek more missions, downloadable content will be available soon on the PlayStation Store chock full of new missions . To unlock the hidden character missions, the player must watch all of the character events of the squad.
Deep Customization and Leveling System
Similar to the first game, players will be able to fully customize the squad’s weapons and tanks. The R & D Development is the place where all customizations on the weapons and tanks can be done. Before any of the upgrades on the weapons are performed, players must gather materials that can only be obtained by completing the missions. It’s worth noting that you should play all of the available missions presented in the game, as completing them is the only way to gather materials. From the different classes in the game, expect a number of customizations for their rifles, field suits, sub machine guns and more.
Only in the sequel, players will now have the ability to evolve their characters into different classes. Forget about being a Scout or a Trooper throughout the game. In Valkyria Chronicles II, players are able to choose from different classes based on the starting class they pick. If a player starts off with a Scout, they are free to change class anytime (once the requirement is reached) to a Sniper or a Scout Veteran. Each of the advanced classes will have a boost in the overall stats and the only way to advance is by using the character a lot and obtaining certificates and required material in the game.
The Challenge Continues…
Just because Valkyria Chronicles II is on the PSP, it doesn’t mean that the game will be easy. For players who love the challenges they faced on the first game, prepare to experience them again as Valkyria Chronicles II is just as hard as the original. Despite having only twelve story-based missions, each of those missions will be a memorable one and will require a lot of patience and strategy. There are some missions in the game that will require a lot of strategic thinking while other key missions can be rushed through easily.
Improved Battle System
The battle system that was seen in the first game is here in Valkyria Chronicles II except with a few twists. In battle, up to six characters can be used. During certain missions, it can sometimes be one or two depending on the objectives. The movement of the characters is still based on the AP and CP of the game. Every good deed a character does in the battlefield (e.g. capturing an enemy’s base camp or killing a soldier), their morale will be boosted, thereby allowing the player to earn a lot of experience in the end. When the player allows the enemy to capture the player’s base camp, the morale meter will drop. When the meter reaches zero, the mission will fail regardless of what the circumstances are.
The objectives of each mission in the game vary from capturing the enemy base camp, killing the commander of the rebel army, escorting an APC, or acquiring a specific amount of goods. The player can expect to go through multiple areas of the game before the mission can be completed. With the advanced classes now available, expect to love the battle system of the game even more than the first one.
Impressive Voice-overs and Soundtrack
Together with the great graphics that the game has to offer, it is also equipped with phenomenal voice-overs. The voice acting done in the game is convincing and it does a good job of conveying the emotions of the characters. The soundtrack of the game is as mix of old tunes from the first game and new tracks. However, when an emotional scene is about to begin, players will know right away that it’s coming due to the awesome musical score.
Hundreds of Hours of Gameplay
There are a lot of missions to play in the game, so players can expect to spend a lot of time playing this game. Thanks to the downloadable content that Sega will release on the PlayStation Store, players will have a limitless amount of excitement and enjoyment with the game.
It is possible for characters such as Alice and Wilken from the first game to be playable in Valkyria Chronicles II. Thanks to the password feature of the game, characters such as Alice, Isara, Wilken, and Edy’s sister can be unlocked and used during the missions. Players who have a save file of the first game can unlock Isara Gunther and a sticker for the tank. By using the Japanese save file of Phantasy Star Portable 2, players can unlock two additional missions and a character named Emilia who will be an Armored-Tech.
It would be great if the multiplayer portion of Valkryia Chronicles II is done via infastructure instead of adhoc only. Players who are having a hard time playing the game can go ask a friend who also has a copy to help them out in co-op mode. Both players can bring their own squad and conquer any of the hardships they may have faced. As a solution to the ad-hoc only multiplayer, players with a PS3 can use the adhoc party and team up with players around the world. It requires a lot of effort, but the player will need it because the game is really challenging at some points.
Valkyria Chronicles II is hands-down the best game on the PSP this year. It would have been perfect if there was an online multiplayer but with Valkyria Chronicles III coming, players can hope Sega will introduce an online play mode then. With lots of challenging missions and more to come via DLC, players can expect to spend more than sixty or one hundred hours in the game. Being a PSP title is not a bad thing at all because Sega managed to keep the game intact and even made several improvements on the first one. Fans of the RPG genre should definitely pick this game up.Valkyria Chronicles II Review,