By Janelle | September 24, 2009 at 9:46 am
At the Lanseal Academy, the students nonchalantly chat after class, opening their lockers to remove grenades, rifles and rocket launchers. The image is funny, but it looks like Valkyria Chronicles 2‘s school theme shouldn’t distract from the original’s great gameplay.
I picked up the demo after a long series of briefing videos (much like End of Eternity/Resonance of Fate, this game has a battle system that requires a bit of explanation), and was immediately sent to a briefing screen, albeit a stripped-down one. For the demo, all the characters had been selected beforehand and there wasn’t any changing them, so all I could do was get a good look at the map and objectives and confirm.
The battles in Valkyria Chronicles 2 function in two modes, the command mode and the action mode. Command mode is an overhead map of the battlefield displaying player and enemy troops, terrain, obstacles and other information. Action mode occurs after selecting a character. The camera zooms down to ground level, and you can control that soldier to shoot, dash for cover, crawl through grass, whatever you like. Moving between the two is fast and easy. It costs a command point to move from command to action mode, and when the active character can’t do any more, simply press the Start button to return to the map.
This map had a windmill, a warehouse, and a few other buildings to move around in. There were enemy scouts, storm troopers and one tank. I was provided with a tank as well, and one scout, stormtrooper, sniper and support character each. There were also two anti-tank soldiers in reserve.
Aside from minor control differences to account for the game being on PSP, there was only one big difference to the system in the demo I was playing. Instead of the mission being on one large map, it was broken down into several smaller, segmented maps, joined by flagged bases. This was probably done because of the specs of the PSP versus PS3, but it was executed fairly well. Taking an enemy base at the edge of one small map allows the player to transfer troops from that map to the map that that base connected to. Once that edge base has been taken, you don’t have to haul every character on that map to the base to transfer them. Pressing triangle over a character on the command map lets you simply remove him from that map segment and call him up on a different one.
I beat the demo in three turns, which wasn’t too fast or too slow. The difficulty was just about right. I had a good ten minutes of fun with this demo, and it was easy on the eyes and ears. If you loved the first one, this game is probably for you.