Date: 10-02-2010 22:11
Reviewer: SilentWyvern

Type: PSP
Genre: Turn Based Strategy
Developer: SEGA

Combining aspects of RPG, tactical turn based combat and pseudo third person shooters, Valkyria Chronicles 2 makes it's way onto the PSP as a full fledged sequel to the hit PS3 title. But is this a move worth taking a look at? Or should it withdraw from the field?

Story: 2 or so years have passed since the events of Valkyria Chronicles and Gallia faces a new threat. The Gallian Revolutionary Army has begun a campaign to drive Darcsens out of Gallia by whatever means necessary. Gallia's army however is still in a exhausted state from the war with the Empire. And with Gallian law prohibiting the formation of a national militia the Gallian government turns to the Lanseal Military Academy to combat the rebels and put a stop to the civil war.

The bulk of the story follows 17 year old Avan Hardins, a cadet at Lanseal who enrolls at the academy when he had gotten word that his brother was killed during a "Special Mission". Avan enrolled initially to find out what exactly happened to his brother as nobody can say for sure due to legal restrictions. But to be honest, that story arc isn't fully presented early on, so its easily forgotten.

The rest of the story is based on Avan's relationships with other students, and how students interact with other students. The more you deploy a character, the more of their story is revealed. It can be a lot to follow but its given to you in manageable portions. You'll never feel overwhelmed by the plot in this game. And while you may not remember a part right off the bat, you should remember it later when something ties it into the game's story.

Presentation: Taking a heavily anime styled presentation the game has a very unique look to it. The graphics, art all looks very unique and very good. Character models look good from afar, faces seem a tad off when you get REALLY close but you really don't ever need to get close enough to notice.

The music reminded me ALOT of Final Fantasy Tactics, but its still very good. Voice work is phenomenal. Granted its all anime influenced, which may not be everybody's cup of tea. But the voices sound good and the dialogue feels natural.

Gameplay: Valkyria Chronicles 2 plays like a turn based strategy game with shooter and RPG elements. Battles are usually fought on 3 different maps so you need to watch a lot of different things. There are a number of different units to pick:

- Scouts: Can travel long distances, uses rifles and grenades.
- Shocktroopers: Heavier troops that can take more damage than a Scout, uses machine guns and grenades.
- Engineers: Medic/support units, can heal both human and mech units. Uses a handgun.
- Lancer: Anti tank/mech unit, uses a rocket shooting lance.
- Tech: Heavy unit that can disarm landmines. Uses a shield and pickaxe, incapable of ranged combat.
- Tanks: A customizable tank that is used to deal heavy combat damage. Costs 2 CP to move and uses an array of weapons depending on the equipped turret.
- There are more units that are unlockable by upgrading from one of these. Such as a Sniper is an upgrade from a Scout.
- School: The school plays a big role in VC2's gameplay.
- Avan's Room: Avan's dorm room, (duh), you'll return here after every mission to sleep. You can also check notes and edit group and tank names here.
- Store: The store sells extra missions, abilities and newspapers.
- Drill Grounds: Already explained, this is where you level up units and also change a specific character's class. Note that only Avan can change unit type. (Ex: Scout to Engineer)
- R&D Building: Here is where you'll develop new uniforms, weapons and tank parts. And if your tank is destroyed this is where you'll have to go to pay for it to be fixed.
- Briefing Room: This is where you'll select the mission you want to undertake. You can also edit your class group. Be sure to cycle your classmates every once in a while, each classmate will unlock a mission for them, so to unlock all classmate missions you have to use all them.

At the start of your turn you see a map of the current battle field. R and L cycle through the maps in that battle. You have a certain amount of CP that is used to move units. Units can be moved twice if there is enough CP and not every CP needs to be spent in 1 turn. Any left over CP is accumulated for the next turn. Tanks use 2 CP and all other units use 1. Once you've selected your desired unit you then go into a third person view of that unit. You can then move them so far until a yellow bar at the bottom of the screen runs out. Once your in position to can target an enemy by pressing square and then aiming with the analog nub. You can use R and L to quickly select targets in range.

When in combat the attacker goes first, and if the defender is still alive they go second, if the target is in their range. Aiming for the opponent's head decreases the number of rounds needed for the kill but you are more likely to miss. If you have an ally who is also in range they can assist you in combat, but only if you're shooting. Allies won't assist units who are throwing a grenade. Things like angle of attack, range of attacker, distance between the 2, the attacker's own accuracy and number of rounds shot all help determine how much damage you'll do and whether or not you'll even hit the target. Keep in mind units like techs can't be damages by gunfire from the front and tanks need firepower than a Scout's rifle to be taken down.

After a battle you'll gain EXP, which can be spent at the school's drill grounds to level up a unit class. Don't worry, if you level up Scout, ALL scouts you have will level up at once. Also, you can not put so much EXP towards a unit and then come back and pay for the rest of the level up, if you don't have the needed amount for the next level up, you will not be allowed to give that unit any EXP.

Final Notes: This is a game that I really have no gripes with. Its a very well made game, no real glitches. Almost no lag in game, I've only encountered it once when I had 1 unit surrounded by 10 enemies. Combat is very addictive, and very tactical.

Gamplay: 9
Graphics: 8
Replay: 9
Sound: 8
Overall: 9
Copyright 2007-20XX PSPdemocenter.Com. All Rights Reserved.