Valkyria Chronicles III
|Valkyria Chronicles III|
Japanese cover art
|Genre(s)||Tactical role-playing game|
Senjō no Valkyria 3: Unrecorded Chronicles (戦場のヴァルキュリア3 Senjō no Varukyuria?), usually referred to as Valkyria Chronicles III, is a tactical role-playing game developed and published by Sega for the PlayStation Portable. It is the third game in the Valkyria Chronicles series and was released on January 27, 2011 exclusively in Japan. An expanded version of the game, subtitled Extra Edition was released in Japan on November 23, 2011. The game features an opening song もしも君が願うのなら (Moshimo Kimi ga Negauno Nara?) sung by Japanese singer May'n.
Occurring in the same time frame as the first game, Valkyria Chronicles III is a side story that follows the exploits of an unwanted and castigated Gallian Army squad during the Imperial invasion of 1935. Contrasting the previous games' bright outlook and recognition for their protagonists, Valkyria Chronicles III explores the themes of being outcast and the search for redemption. As described by its catchphrase, the game tells "The tale of nameless soldiers who, on the verge of despair, changed history."
The game was the first in the series to not officially be translated into English by Sega. However, an unofficial fan translation for the Extra Edition was eventually released in December 2013.
The main menu interface of Valkyria Chronicles III is styled after a strategic map of the local area the player's forces are currently active in, changing in appearance to match the shifting overall situation between the Nameless and their enemies. Points of interest are marked on the maps by pins of various colors and other symbols, indicating such things as the player's home base, the locations of currently selectable battles, and intermittent cutscenes. By achieving victory in missions and viewing events, the player advances through the game's story. At times the player may be presented with a choice between missions to complete or differing objectives to accomplish during battle. According to the choices the player makes in these situations, subsequent events are altered, ultimately leading to divergent game endings, a first in the series.
In battle, the game retains the major elements of the BLiTZ System used in both previous titles of the series. The player is given an overview of the current situation via an overhead map during Command Mode. Within a mission, each map is but one among a collection of areas interconnected by enemy encampments that can be captured and used by the player. Across all available areas, the player may have up to nine units actively deployed at any time. By spending their Command Points during Command Mode, the player is able to order individual allied units to action, directly controlling them in a realistic 3D environment in Action Mode. While in Action Mode, said units can move, attack enemies, and perform other actions available to them depending on their surroundings, such as crouch behind sandbag barriers or conceal themselves in tall grass. Command Points can also be used to issue Orders that can boost units' statistics, remotely attack enemies, or provide other special effects. When all of the player's Command Points have been spent, or the player elects to end their turn, the Player Phase ends and the Enemy Phase begins, with the game's artificial intelligence moving the opposing forces' units according to the same rules as the player's. Units equipped with appropriate weapons can defend themselves by laying down interception fire when enemy units step into their line of sight, as well as provide supporting fire for nearby friendly units during their attack. Brand new to Valkyria Chronicles III is the addition of character-unique Special Powers, accessible by Kurt, Imca, and Riela. Use of these Special Powers requires Special Points that are far less numerous than Command Points and do not replenish as turns pass, placing a strict limit on how they may be used during any one mission.
When at the Nameless' Home Base, menus detailing the growth and customization of the squad's infantry and vehicles can be accessed. Experience points and money earned by completing missions are used to improve characters' statistics and equipment, respectively. While in previous titles of the series infantry were confined to a specific class type, Valkyria Chronicles III enables players to change all characters' class by altering their equipment. When changing classes that character's statistics also change to match parameters typical to that class, but each individual has a preference for a specific class type or types where their statistics are boosted overall. Through use of experience points, general attributes for all infantry can be increased across four categories: Stamina, Marksmanship, Agility, and Anti-Personnel or Anti-Armor Combat. Experience can also be used to learn new Orders, if available. Each character also has a set of Potentials that can be divided into two categories: Personal Potentials and Battle Potentials. While Personal Potentials are unique and cannot be changed, Battle Potentials are learned through a new system called the Master Table, viewed as a chess board with individual pieces representing Potentials to be learned. By learning new Battle Potentials in combat by performing various actions, those Potentials' pieces light up, tracing lines around the board. More powerful High Potentials are gained by following paths where lines from different class types can intersect. The squad's tank can be extensively customized, with a number of armaments and other parts available to be equipped to the tank, limited by how much weight each part adds to the tank's chassis.
The game takes place during the Second Europan War. Gallian Army Squad 422, also known as "The Nameless", are a penal military unit composed of criminals, foreign deserters, and military offenders whose real names are erased from the records and thereon officially referred to by numbers. Ordered by the Gallian military to perform the most dangerous missions that the Regular Army and Militia will not do, they are nevertheless up to the task, exemplified by their motto, Altaha Abilia, meaning "Always Ready." The three main characters are No.7 Kurt Irving, an army officer falsely accused of treason who wishes to redeem himself; Ace No.1 Imca, a female Darcsen heavy weapons specialist who seeks revenge against the Valkyria who destroyed her home; and No.13 Riela Marcellis, a seemingly jinxed young woman who is unknowingly a descendant of the Valkyria. Together with their fellow squad members, these three are tasked to fight against a mysterious Imperial unit known as Calamity Raven, consisting of mostly Darcsen soldiers.
As the Nameless officially do not exist, the upper echelons of the Gallian Army exploit the concept of plausible deniability in order to send them on missions that would otherwise make Gallia lose face internationally. While at times this works to their advantage, such as a successful incursion into Imperial territory, other orders cause certain members of the 422nd great distress. One such member, Gusurg, becomes so enraged that he abandons his post and defects into the ranks of Calamity Raven, attached to the ideal of Darcsen independence proposed by their leader, Dahau. At the same time, elements within Gallian Army Command move to erase the Nameless in order to protect their own interests. Hounded by both allies and enemies, the 422nd desperately move to keep themselves alive while at the same time fight to help the Gallian war effort, until the Nameless's commanding officer, Ramsey Crowe, who had been kept under house arrest, is escorted to the capital city of Randgriz in order to present evidence exonerating the weary soldiers and expose the real traitor.
Partly due to these events, and partly due to the major losses in manpower Gallia suffers towards the end of the war with the Empire, the Nameless are offered a formal position as a squad in the Gallian Army rather than serve as an anonymous shadow force. This is short-lived, however, as following Maximilian's defeat, Dahau and Calamity Raven move to activate an ancient Valkyrian super weapon within the Empire, kept secret by their benefactor. Without the support of Maximilian or the chance to prove themselves in the war with Gallia, it is Dahau's last trump card in creating a new Darcsen nation. As an armed Gallian force invading the Empire just following the two nations' cease-fire would certainly wreck their newfound peace, Kurt decides to once again make his squad the Nameless, asking Crowe to list himself and all under his command as killed-in-action. Now owing allegiance to none other than themselves, the 422nd confronts Dahau and destroys the Valkyrian weapon. Each member then goes their separate ways in order to begin their lives anew.
In September 2010, a teaser website was revealed by Sega, hinting at a new Valkyria Chronicles game. In its September issue, Famitsu listed that Senjō no Valkyria 3 would be arriving on the PlayStation Portable. On September 16, the game first appeared in playable form at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show.
The game was not officially released in English, which Sega explained in 2011 that it was due to the poor sales of the prior game in the series, Valkyria Chronicles II. However, an unofficial English fan translation was eventually released on December 25, 2013, for the Extra Edition.
On its day of release in Japan, Valkyria Chronicles III topped sales charts both for its native PlayStation Portable and across multi-platform statistics. While second overall to The Last Story, the game sold approximately 100,000 units during its premier week, surpassing the initial sales of both its predecessors. Famitsu gave the game an overall score of 36 out of 40, based on four reviewers rating it 9 out of 10 each.
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) reviewed an import copy of the game, giving it a 9 out of 10, stating: "Normally, when a game feels this familiar, it’s tempting to mark it down for lack of originality. But, three games in, Valkyria Chronicles simply isn’t tired at all. The combination of turn-based strategy and action, the beautiful visuals, and a story that carefully skirts the border of typical anime rubbish to deliver something occasionally profound, is just not on offer anywhere else." PlayStation LifeStyle awarded it 8 out of 10, stating; "The exciting battles, interesting growth system, great visuals, and entertaining characters make Valkyria Chronicles 3 a fantastic handheld strategy RPG."
|Senjō no Valkyria 3: Taga Tame no Jūsō|
|Genre||Action, drama, military|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Nobuhiro Kondō|
|Produced by||Shinji Motoyama|
|Written by||Hiroshi Ōnogi|
|Music by||Hitoshi Sakimoto|
|Released||June 29, 2011 – August 31, 2011|
Two OVA episodes based on Senjō no Valkyria 3 were released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011. The first episode was released on June 29, with the second following on August 31. Both volumes of the OVA were made available in two separate editions, a "Black Package" and "Blue Package," each with their own distinct cover illustrations and bonus contents. While the first episode of the OVA was planned to have an advance release via the PlayStation Network and Qriocity in April 2011, the outage of those services prevented its digital distribution not long after it began.
There are two manga adaptations released by Sega in Japan. The first one released is titled Valkyria Chronicles 3 Namo naki Chikai no Hana (戦場のヴァルキュリア3 名もなき誓いの花 Senjō no Varukyuria 3 Namo naki Chikai no Hana?, lit. "Valkyria Chronicles 3 The Flower of the Nameless Oath"), drawn by Naoyuki Fujisawa and was serialised in Dengeki Maoh from May 2011 to April 2012. The story is loosely based on the game, with emphasis on the blossoming relationship between the game protagonist Kurt Irving and one of the main co-heroines, his subordinate, a Darcsen called Imca. Volume 1 was published on 27 October 2011 and Volume 2 on 27 March 2012. The second manga is titled Valkyria Chronicles 3 -Akaki Unmei no Ikusa Otome- (戦場のヴァルキュリア3 -赤き運命の戦乙女- Senjō no Varukyuria 3 -Akaki Unmei no Ikusa Otome-?, lit. "Valkyria Chronicles 3 -The Valkyrie of the Crimson Fate"), illustrated by Mizuki Tsuge and serialised by Comp Ace. It focuses on the relationship between Kurt Irving and the other of the main co-heroines, Valkyrian Riela Marceris, during the course of the events of the game. It was published on 25 February 2012.
Hobby products manufacturer Good Smile Company has released two Nendoroid figures based on the two co-heroines of the game, Riela Marceris and Imca, both sculpted by JUN(E.V.). The Nendoroid Riela figure was released in June 2011, while the Nendoroid Imca was released in August 2011.
Kurt, Riela, and Imca all appear as playable characters in Project X Zone, a crossover video game for the Nintendo 3DS featuring characters from Capcom, Sega, and Namco Bandai. Selveria Bles also appears in a non-playable capacity.
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- Official website (Japanese)
- OVA website (Japanese)
- Valkyria Chronicles 3 Translation Project - Website for the English translation patch