Valkyria Chronicles II Review

When Valkyria Chronicles released on the PlayStation 3, the art style and RTS gameplay of the title made fans out of many owners of the system. While many were expecting Sega to release the sequel again on the PlayStation 3, instead it was dropped that Sega would be developing Valkyria Chronicles II for the PlayStation Portable.

This late into the life cycle of the PlayStation Portable, most developers have found how to best utilize the ability of the PSP to produce impressive graphics without sacrificing much. Sega has done that with Valkyria Chronicles II, releasing a title that looks visually impressive and retains the solid gameplay of its bigger sibling.

Story-wise, Valkyria Chronicles II deals with a civil war inside the nation of Gallia where Avan Hadrins learns of his brother’s death and begins attending the Lanseal Royal Military Academy to find out more about his brother and the secrets that aren’t being shared.

But from that plot emerges a narrative that is interesting, but otherwise a bit secondary to the strengths of the gameplay. Sega successfully imported the gameplay of the console title and revamped it to work with the controls of the PSP. Along with that they managed to add even more to the title in terms of units, and customizations.

There is a good amount of audio in the title, both voice acting and gameplay audio. While I would prefer to read more the text on-screen than listen to a lot of voice acting, Valkyria Chronicles II does a good job of not forcing annoying voices into your ears. The title uses dating sim-like visuals during conversations merging one-sheet expressions with a little bit of animation to convey emotions.

But obviously, the RTS gameplay is where the strengths of the title lie and it feels just like the original. The successful move of the controls helps the title feel solid without any problems. But since it is so similar to the original, the difficulty that was in the PlayStation 3 original does rear its head here as well. The title does take careful planning and utilization of units to successfully complete the missions.

The difficulty with the title is that the load times are long, especially if you do not install the data of the title. But while it should be faster with one of the newer generation PlayStation Portables, my first generation does take some five to ten seconds to load scenes and somewhat longer to load levels.

That is really the only detriment to the title, the long load times break up the flow and action of the title, but the portability of this great RTS title does belay those issues. Though the UMD drive does get a bit loud when loading.

Buy it because it’s the same great gameplay, but portable

Review copy provided by publisher