Valkyria Chronicles takes place around 1935 in Europa. The autocratic East European Imperial Alliance has invaded the neutral principality of Gallia in an effort to seize its deposits of Ragnite, a precious mineral that powers engines, heals wounds and has a variety of military applications. Gallian forces are no match for the ruthless Imperial Troops. Volunteers from the general population join the Gallian militia to fight for their homes and loved ones: bakers, engineers, students, singers etc. Valkyria Chronicles follows the members of the newly formed Squad 7, lead by the newly promoted Lieutenant Welkin Gunter… These are desperate times. The storyline is loosely based on World War in Europe. Gripping and heartfelt tales of small victories against overwhelming odds, of loyalty and betrayals, of camaraderie and unspeakable horrors, deeply resonates with tales of human adversity.
Playability: As engaging and fluid as the animations
Valkyria Chronicles are a pleasure to read, to watch and to play. The tutorials are cleverly immersed in the campaign story and gracefully ease new players into the game’s mechanics. Despite the lack of hexes and grids common to turn based strategy games, the characters’ movements are fluid and free roaming. The extensive page turning campaign introduces gradually more difficult battles and skirmishes. On the more arduous missions, several attempts will be necessary and will require acquiring additional experience and upgraded equipment through quick play skirmishes.
Annoyance: Occasional Artificial Intelligence predictability
Line of sight is sporadically buggy: you have your enemies right on target, but your grenade gets caught in a protruding object. Enemies cross your path, but your characters do not detect them and cannot return fire. These are only minor irritations as Valkyria Chronicles is a near perfect game with exceptionally smooth gameplay.
Beauty: Japanese classic pencil drawings
Valkyria Chronicles offers anime fans the opportunity to not only watch characters on screen but to play them. Run, crawl, crouch, climb, hide, throw grenades, fire guns, set up ambushes… this is a rare pleasure. Sega’s CANVAS graphics engine produces superb pencil drawn paintings. Symphonic music and professional voice acting (also available in original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles) provide an immersive gaming experience with engaging characters and a moving storyline.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Gorgeous animated epic 9/10
Valkyria Chronicles is presented as chapters of a history book, and is indeed a page turning epic in the garbs of a classic anime powered by exceptionally fluid gameplay. It is a fun to play turn based strategy game that is easy to learn, and yet provides deep tactical complexity. Beautiful pencil drawings bring to life endearing characters and a dramatic storyline. Valkyria Chronicles is well thought out, well written, well painted and simply put a video gaming masterpiece.