Valkyria Chronicles II

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Valkyria Chronicles II
Valkyria Chronicles II.jpg
North American cover of Valkyria Chronicles II
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Take Ozawa
Producer(s) Shuntaro Tanaka (chief)
Shinji Motoyama
Composer(s) Hitoshi Sakimoto
Series Valkyria Chronicles
Engine Proprietary "CANVAS" engine
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable
Release date(s)
  • EU September 3, 2010[3]
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution UMD, Download

Valkyria Chronicles II (戦場のヴァルキュリア2 ガリア王立士官学校 Senjō no Varukyuria Tsū: Garia Ōritsu Shikan Gakkō?, "Valkyria of the Battlefield 2: Gallian Royal Military Academy") is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Sega for the PlayStation Portable. Released in 2010, it is the sequel to Valkyria Chronicles.

Set two years after the onset of the Second Europan War, the game's story focuses on a military academy as its cadets seek to prevent an ethnic cleansing campaign by a ruthless rebel group. Upon release, Valkyria Chronicles II received mostly high scores from several notable video game publications.

A third game in the series, Valkyria Chronicles III, which is also on the PlayStation Portable, was released on January 27, 2011 in Japan. However, as the game takes place around the same time as the first game, it is a prequel to Valkyria Chronicles II.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

Customization screen for playable characters on playable classes.

Many gameplay concepts in Valkyria Chronicles II are carried over from the original. The BLiTZ system is used during combat scenarios, splitting the action between an overhead Command Mode and third-person Action Mode. By selecting allied units during Command Mode, using Command Points in the process, said units can move and perform actions until their Action Points run out. When the player has exhausted their available Command Points, or volunteers to pass control without using all of them, the Player Phase ends and the Enemy Phase begins. This progresses back and forth until the battle's victory conditions are achieved or the player is defeated. Valkyria Chronicles II uses a system of multiple area maps connected by enemy encampments.[5] When an enemy camp is captured by the player's forces, subsequent areas are made available, using the camp as a way-point to call in reinforcements and proceed.

Also similar to the original, the characters available for use by the player each occupy a specific class - an exception is the main character Avan who can freely move between classes. New to Valkyria Chronicles II are new class types and the ability of units to change their class based on a branching tree of upgrades.[6][7] All five original classes from Valkyria Chronicles reappear, some with slight modification. Scouts, Shocktroopers, Engineers,[8] and Lancers act as the base units that lead to more powerful and specialized promotions. Snipers, rather than being a starting class, are a part of the Scout's upgrade potential. The final base class is new to the series. The Armored Tech class can disarm mines and carry large shields that can deflect rifle and machine gun fire.[9] Armored soldiers do not carry a firearm, instead wielding a hammer to strike enemies. From these five base unit classes, individual units can use experience earned from completing missions to move into more advanced forms. Advantages garnered from upgrading class range from new weapon types to increased effectiveness against tanks to special abilities. The player has access to a tank. The tank has an increased amount of customization potential, being able to increase its firepower and armor, or be stripped down into a simple armored car.

The game's themes include school and war as the students try to juggle their responsibilities as military academy students and as soldiers. Each time a student's story is fully revealed, an optional mission featuring that character is unlocked, and clearing the mission usually replace negative traits that can hinder their progress in battle with positive ones that makes them more reliable.[10]

Plot[edit]

The game's story takes place two years following the conclusion of Valkyria Chronicles, in which Squad 7 defeats Maximillian in Gallia and destroys the Marmota, ending the war between Gallia and the Imperial Alliance. A rebel group of dissatisfied aristocrats and like-minded soldiers and citizens calling themselves the Gallian Revolutionary Army begins a civil war to wage an ethnic cleansing campaign against Gallians of Darcsen descent.[11] However, with the intense fight against the Empire having left Gallia's regular army in an exhausted state, there is initially little to stop the insurrection from gaining momentum. Laws preventing the formation of a national militia to fight fellow Gallians force the government to deploy military academy cadets to the front lines in order to combat and defeat the GRA forces.

Among the students sent out on the field is 17-year-old Avan Hardins, a young man who enrolled in Lanseal Military Academy after the death of his older brother, Leon.[12]

Avan meets two noticeable people in particular during his entrance exam: Zeri (a Darcsen), and Cosette. Avan is elected Class Chair. The three of them are placed in Class G and start academy life. At the end of the first month, rebels attack the village of Arlem and Class G destroy their tank to stop them (thanks to Zeri's observation). The class enters the Levatain Cup, a tournament held in the school, but most of Avan's classmates are unmotivated and do not believe that they can win.

However, they win the Quarter-Final which raises their morale, but Juliana, the chair of Class A, says that they cannot win the final and they are the worst class in the school. During March, it is revealed that there are four people leading the rebels: Gilbert Gassenarl, his son Baldren, his daughter Audrey and a mysterious person known as Dirk who does not seem to be human.

Class G is ordered to escort a VIP but they are attacked by rebels and battle Dirk. A mysterious girl appears with a woman wearing a labcoat and destroys the rebel forces, helping Class G win the battle. It is revealed that the VIP is Archduchess Cordelia who is visiting villages to see the extent of the damage and help the villagers.

Class G liberates a Darcsen village which is under attack by rebel forces led by Baldren Gassenarl. He is ordered to fall back by his father. However he is suspicious about the mysterious girl and thinks that she is a new model of Artificial Valkyrur (such as Dirk). He orders Dirk to see him. Back in the Darcsen village, Zeri is affected by the killings of Darcsens and says that he will become a hero to get Gallians to accept Darcsens. Avan and Cosette meet Aliasse who says that she is a real Valkyria, and Cosette helps her plant a flower called Lion's Paw.

Yuell is attacked by rebels and Cosette seems to be affected by this: Yuell is her hometown and where her parents were murdered. Avan says that they can help the army, but Zeri tries to stop them saying that they cannot win. Avan accuses Zeri of cowardice and leaves with Cosette. Zeri changes his mind and gets the rest of Class G to help them. They defeat Audrey Gassenarl and retake Yuell.

Class G wins the Levatain finals, but their celebrations are interrupted by a rebel attack. The rebels steal research data from the old campus and fight the Lanseal forces. Class G are aided by Juliana who has turned into a Valkyria. She fights Dirk. During the fight, Dirk's helmet comes off and he is actually Leon. However, he does not seem to be himself and orders the forces to retreat. Juliana is mortally wounded and dies after telling Zeri that she hoped that they could rebuild Gallia together and giving him her bracelet as a good-luck charm. Professor Brixham, the teacher of Classs G, realizes that the Headmaster was experimenting on students and that is why Leon and Juliana were turned in Valkyria. The Headmaster seems to have become crazy with grief after the research data is stolen and he commits suicide after throwing Brixham and Avan out and locking the Old Campus door.

Avan and Cosette meet Aliasse again and the Lion's Paw flower Aliasse planted has grown. The woman in a labcoat comes and crushes the flower, saying that any organism that is for just decorative purpose is useless. Her name is Clementia Forster. She orders Aliasse to come away with her but Aliasse wants to stay with Avan and Cosette. Forster threatens to shoot Avan, but when he doesn't back down she leaves Aliasse, saying that Aliasse will never get a normal life. Avan and Cosette take Aliasse to Class G and Cosette tells Aliasse that she will be like a big sister for Aliasse and will make sure that Aliasse will get a normal life. Aliasse joins Class G.

Randgriz, the capital, falls and Gilbert Gassenarl becomes the Archduke, arresting and imprisoning Cordelia. However, his intention to make Gallia far too dependent on the Federation (with the cooperation of a Federation Ambassador, Jean Townshend) is opposed by Baldren. Baldren shoots Gilbert and claims the title of Archduke by himself. He orders Audrey to take a squad of V2s (artificial Valkyrur) and attack Anthold Harbour. Class G, led by Avan and Zeri make a plan and blow up the aqueduct, causing a flood and destroying the rebel force - also killing Audrey and destroying her tank, Geriolul.

Baldren is furious when he receives the news of his sister's death. He decides to flee to the Federation for the time being and claim the throne of the Federation Council. He boards the Dandarius along with Townshend, who is now more of a hostage, and tries to flee. Avan sees them and orders Class G to battle them. He uses his bird Jarde to send a letter to Cordelia, who has regained the title of Archduchess, to mobilize the Gallian Navy and attack the Dandarius. At the harbour, Class G fights Dirk, but when they are about to lose Aliasse turns into a Valkyria, saying that Class G are her friends and she will not let Dirk hurt them. She fights Dirk and mortally wounds him. Dirk turns into his human self, Leon, again, but there is no hope for his survival. He tells Avan to forget that he had an older brother, but Avan says that he will never forget. Leon succumbs to his wounds and Aliasse apologizes, but Avan tells her that she set him free. When defeat for the rebels is near, Baldren uses the research data he has taken to turn himself into a Valkyrur. Class G defeats him and he says that they themselves stripped their nation of its defences and there is no hope for Gallia to survive now.

The Dandarius sinks and the rebels are finished. Gallia starts to rebuild itself again. However, Lanseal Academy has to be closed due to the news of experimentation of students. Class G holds a graduation ceremony and Avan says that he will see his friends again in the future.

Development[edit]

In July 2009, Famitsu released a statement that a Valkyria Chronicles game was to be developed for the PlayStation Portable.[13] On July 17, 2009, the official Valkyria Chronicles II website was launched to the public with the developer's blog and pictures of the game.[14][15]

In a blog post on the official website, chief producer Shuntaro Tanaka has revealed that the game will keep the BLiTZ system with wireless ad hoc to be implemented.[16][17] In addition, Tanaka said that the game's development for the PSP was done "to allow a broader spectrum of users to discover and enjoy what makes Valkyria special." with the possibility of the franchise returning to consoles eventually.[18]

The staff in the development of the game were pulled from the Valkyria Chronicles staff, mainly chief producer Shuntaro Tanaka, character designer Raita Honjo and composer Hitoshi Sakimoto with Take Ozawa being posted as the game's director[19] with previous work done on Valkyria Chronicles as its main planner.[20] Shinji Motoyama is the game's producer, having done production work with the Sega-made Bleach games, as well as Nightshade and Blood Will Tell.[20]

Sega revealed at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show that the popular J-Pop duo Chemistry will perform the game's opening theme, titled "Our Story".[21]

Release[edit]

An extensive amount of special material was produced by the Valkyria Chronicles II staff as bonus items for those players who pre-order the game.[22] First is a reel of bonus footage titled "Valkyria Chronicles 1936: Gallian Front Memoirs." Narrated by Cordelia gi Randgriz, the video summarizes the events of the first game, as well as happenings in the time gap between the two. Similarly, "Gallian Journal 1936" presents background information in the form of a news magazine, with such articles as an interview with the game's antagonist. A limited-edition game soundtrack will also be included. Those who pre-order will also have information with which to unlock Selvaria Bles as a playable character within the game.[23][24]

Further hidden characters were also made available including Welkin and Alicia, Ramal Valt from the anime, and Mintz and Julius from the Valkyria Chronicles: Wish Your Smile manga.[25] However, Welkin, Alicia, and Ramal are available as a DVD bonus from Volume 6's release in Japan while Mintz and Julius are available after using a special password.[26] It was further announced that Isara, Maximillian, Selvaria and Faldio, also from the first game are hidden characters as well.[27] In addition, by either a special password or linking the game with Phantasy Star Portable 2 save data, Emilia Percival can be unlocked as a playable character, though she doesn't wear the same outfit as she does in that game. This also unlocks other content (including stickers and missions inspired by the game). Unlike its predecessor, the ability to play with Japanese voice-overs was removed in the US and EU releases.

A playable demo of the game was made available on the Japanese PlayStation Store on November 2, 2009, with an online download of the same demo following on November 5.[28] The demo was translated and released in the US PlayStation Store on August 10, 2010.[29]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87[citation needed]
Metacritic 84[citation needed]
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 35/40[30]
Game Informer 8.5/10[citation needed]
GameTrailers 8.4/10[citation needed]
IGN 9.0/10[citation needed]

Valkyria Chronicles II received a positive critical reception. The game was given a total score of 35 out of 40 and a "Platinum Award" from a panel of four reviewers in the Japanese Famitsu magazine.[30] It was the second best-selling video game in Japan during its release week at 94,000 copies sold.[citation needed]

IGN praised the game for its replay value in particular and listed it as the seventh best PSP game of all time.[citation needed] GameSpot called it 'a worthy sequel' and awarded it three emblems: 'Get More Than Your Money's Worth', 'Great Sequel' and 'Outstanding Gameplay'.[citation needed] Destructoid gave it a near-perfect score of 9.5, one of the highest scores on the site, and the second highest-rated PSP game after Persona 3 Portable.[31]

Legacy[edit]

Valkyria Chronicles II
戦場のヴァルキュリア2
(Senjō no Varukyuria Tsū)
Genre Action, drama, comedy, romance, mlitary
Manga
Written by Sega
Illustrated by Watari
Published by Kadokowa Shoten
Magazine Comp Ace
Original run October 2010September 2011
Volumes 2
Manga
Valkyria Chronicles 2 Sōkō no Aliasse
Written by Sega
Illustrated by Daisuke Shido
Published by ASCII Media Works
Magazine Dengeki Maoh
Original run June 2010June 2011
Volumes 2
Manga
Valkyria Chronicles II: Our Only Days
Written by Sega
Illustrated by Mekki Kuroyama
Published by Enterbrain
Magazine Comics B's-Log Air Raid
Original run January 31, 2011September 2011
Volumes 2
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Three manga adaptations were released by Sega in Japan.[32]

The first one released was Valkyria Chronicles 2 Sōkō no Aliasse (戦場のヴァルキュリア2 蒼光のエイリアス Senjō no Varukyuria 2 Sōkō no Eiriasu?, lit. "Valkyria Chronicles 2- Aliasse of the Blue Light"), drawn by Daisuke Shido and serialised in Dengeki Maoh from June 2010 to 2011, in which the story follows the developing friendship between the Valkyrian Aliasse, and her Darcsen classmate Magari. The first volume was published in January 2011 and the second volume was published in 27 May 2011.

The next manga is called Valkyria Chronicles 2 (戦場のヴァルキュリア2, Senjō no Varukyuria 2). The story was written by Daiki Saito and the artwork was done by Watari. It was serialised in Comp Ace from October 2010 to September 2011, and its storyline is loosely based on the game,with emphasis on the relationship between Avan and his brother. The first volume was published on 26 January 2011 and the second volume was published in September 2011.

Another manga, named Valkyria Chronicles 2 –our only days- (戦場のヴァルキュリア2 -our only days-, Senjō no Varukyuria 2 -our only days-), was illustrated by Mekki Kuroyama and was serialised as a webcomic by comic B's-LOG. The story is focused on Zeri and his changing relationships with his schoolmates over the course of the events of the game. The first volume was published on 31 January 2011 and the second volume on September 2011.

Japanese band Chemistry performed the theme song of the game, "Our Story". It was released as part of their album "Regeneration" on 24 February 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Information". Sega. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  2. ^ Alexander Sliwinski (2010-06-16). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 ready to move out August 31". Joystiq. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Valkyria Chronicles II for PSP - Valkyria Chronicles II PSP Game - Valkyria Chronicles II PSP Video Game". Gamespot. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  4. ^ "Valkyria Chronicles 3 confirmed for PSP". Siliconera. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  5. ^ "Valkyria Chronicles 2 - TGS Trailer Vol.3". Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  6. ^ 戦場のヴァルキュリア2 突撃取材・その3 (in Japanese). Sega. 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  7. ^ Spencer (2009-08-07). "A Glimpse Of Valkyria Chronicles 2’s Branching Class System". Siliconera. 
  8. ^ "Valkyria Chronicles 2 - Infantry: Engineer" (in Japanese). Sega. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  9. ^ "Valkyria Chronicles 2 - Infantry: Armored Soldier" (in Japanese). Sega. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  10. ^ Keane Ng (2009-07-15). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 Coming to PSP". The Escapist. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  11. ^ Kevin Gifford (2009-07-15). "Valkyria Chronicles Sequel Announced for PSP". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  12. ^ John Shepard (2009-07-17). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 Website Opens". PSX Extreme. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  13. ^ "Valkyria Chronicles 2 officially announced". 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  14. ^ Jem Alexander (2007-07-17). "Official Valkyria Chronicles 2 site launches". Joystiq. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  15. ^ Kris Pigna (2009-07-18). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 Website Opens with New Screens". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  16. ^ Spencer (2009-07-17). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 Has Ad Hoc Play". Siliconera. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  17. ^ 戦場のヴァルキュリア2 突撃取材・その1 (in Japanese). Sega. 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  18. ^ Peter Haas (2009-07-16). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 Announced For PSP". Blend Games. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  19. ^ 開発スタッフ (in Japanese). Sega. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  20. ^ a b Anoop Gantayat (2009-07-14). "Sega Formally Unveils Valkyria Chronicles 2". Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  21. ^ "Sega Reveals New Valkyria Chronicles 2 Info". 2009-09-27. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  22. ^ "Official Site: Information" (in Japanese). Sega. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  23. ^ 『戦ヴァル2』予約特典でセルベリアが使用可能に!! 体験版も配信 (in Japanese). 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  24. ^ "Official Blog: Revolutionary Army Trembles!" (in Japanese). Sega. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  25. ^ Spencer (2009-11-11). "Look Who’s In Valkyria Chronicles 2". Siliconera. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  26. ^ Chun. 「戦場のヴァルキュリア2」に前作の主人公やヒロインが登場することが明らかに! ゲストキャラが手に入るキャンペーン情報が公開 (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  27. ^ Spencer (2010-01-07). "Valkyria Chronicles 2 Has Even More Valkyria Chronicles Cameos". Siliconera. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  28. ^ "Playable Demo Download" (in Japanese). Sega. 2009-11-05. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  29. ^ "Valkyria Chronicles II Demo Available on PSN Today". Sony. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  30. ^ a b Gifford, Kevin (January 13, 2010). "Japan Review Check: Valkyria Chronicles 2". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  31. ^ Remo, Chris (January 28, 2010). "Mario Once Again Returns To Top Japanese Sales Slot". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  32. ^ "『戦場のヴァルキュリア2』コミックスフェア タイアップステッカープレゼント!". Sega. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 

External links[edit]