Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valkyria Chronicles

Developer: Sega WOW
Publisher: Sega
Release Date: Nov. 4, 2008
System: PS3
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: War is hell. Charming, well written, strategic hell.

0:00 I've heard lots of vague praise being bandied about for Valkyria Chronicles. Could it be the first turn-based strategy game to draw me in since Advance Wars? We'll see...

0:01 The preview screen eschews music and flashy graphics for a simple message: "The year is EC 1935. As the outbreak of the Second European War transforms Welkin Gunther's homeland into a battlefield, he and his ragtag militia squad fight to protect what they hold most dear in this active simulation RPG." Well, now we don't need an intro cut scene, right?

0:02 This minute spent mostly loading that intro cut scene we don't need. A hand-drawn tank starts as a rough sketch, then gets color and ink amid languid string music. Two people ride atop the tank towards a windmill. A HUGE battle-tank bashes through a wall. A phalanx of armored men (robots?) appears in a smoky city. A girl releases tiny points of light towards the windmill. A king speaks to his generals. A glowing blue woman stands atop a tank, guiding her troops. A sniper fires at a bunker. A tank-rider sends up a flare. Soldiers salute. Tanks fire. A tank emerges from the water. A drawbridge raises. Black-and-white photographs of war scenes ... and a beach? A woman hugs her comrade. No sound effects throughout ... just those lovely, lovely strings. Very touching.

0:05 To the title screen, with a fire kicking up flaming ash in the background. The strings are replaced with horns. The menu has an "install" option that's thankfully optional -- I don't want to waste 10 minutes of my hour installing. *cough Metal Gear Solid 4 cough*

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer

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