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Valkyria Chronicles 2 E3 Impressions

I must admit I was one of the first to speak my disappointment with SEGA’s choice to take Valkyria Chronicles 2 away from PlayStation 3 owners. While I still feel that way, I put that all aside and got some hands on time with the soon to be released game and I was very surprised with my experience. Read on below to find out just what PlayStation LifeStyle thought of this portable war.

Valkyria Chronicles 2 brings you back into the world of Gallia two years after the events of the first one and it seems like this small nation just cannot escape war. This time around you are in the shoes of 17-year-old Avan Hardins, a military cadet from the Lanseal Military Academy. Young Avan is enlisted with the rest of his Academy to stop the Gallian Revolutionary Army, a group of rebels who have taken arms to cleanse the world of Gallians of Darcsen descent.

The demo available at this year’s E3 was very similar to what PS3 owners saw with the demo available for the first game. Basically, we were able to participate in a fight to gain a hold on the combat system, which has remained unchanged from the original. At the start of the battle you will have a set number of command points, with each member of your squad requiring different amounts of these points to be used in action. Move your character near the action and fire on your enemies, but be sure to finish each characters turn behind cover or they will be exposed during the enemies turn. All five of the original classes return except that Snipers are now part of the Scouts upgrade abilities and not a class on its own. The game also features a brand new unit called the Armored Soldier, though we were not able to try out one of these during the demo.

The game will also feature the ability to upgrade different characters and change character classes based on a branching tree of upgrades. While we were not able to test this feature in action, it does sound like a great addition, adding for more customization of your squad then before. Its not just characters either as tanks are more customizable now, so expect to see more options then just buying new parts. Tanks will also no longer have a grid to set upgrades inside, instead going by weight of the upgrade, with each of the two tanks having different weight limits. The main tank will also provide the ability to carry 2 soldiers in it should you choose that upgrade.

Also changed in this game compared to the first is the storyboard mission style, replaced now with the Military Academy, which is where you will spend most of your time when not fighting. Though again it was not playable as part of this demo, we were told it will be a huge part of the story as you try and balance your soldier life along with your life on the battlefield. The game will also show increased attention towards your social interactions with characters, opening up new potentials as you progress certain social links. Valkyria Chronicles 2 will also feature new battlefields for the player to enjoy from night time battles to snow battles, giving players many more types of battles to enjoy.

All of this adds up to what sounds to be a complete experience on the PSP when it releases this August the 31st in North America. The combat has mostly been left alone and works surprisingly well on the PSP, which is great news to those who doubted the move to the portable system. Though I personally would still love to see this series return to the PS3, I cannot help but be impressed by what they have done with this game and look forwarded to picking it up in August.