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Valkyria Chronicles – hands-on

Normally, we’d think that any PS3 exclusive from a third-party publisher would be well known simply because there aren’t very many. But Valkyria Chronicles, a PS3 exclusive from publisher Sega, remains criminally unheralded. That needs to change, because this quirky strategy RPG, with its lush graphics and weird, anime/sci-fi take on WWII, has all the earmarks of a sleeper hit in the making.

Reason #1: It’s freaking gorgeous

Unlike other strategy games this tactical RPG looks like it actually uses the PS3’s power for something. The graphics can best be described as watercolor in motion, a painting come to life. Valkyria looks great, but in more subtle ways than the crazy graphics explosions of today.

Sega pioneered cel-shading with Jet Set Radio, and again they're ahead of the curve with this graphical style that's sure to inspire plenty of copycats. It has an animated sheen to it with onscreen, comic-book-esque sound effects. However, it’s not cartoony, instead taking the battles and setting a bit more seriously.

Plus, should you lose, the screen degrades into black lines on a white background of what you can imagine it looked like when the cartoonist started drawing this work of art. Then you remember it’s a game.

FUN FACT #1

The serious tone of the game is set in the prologue, as your characters bury the scouts they killed. Plus, when a team member dies, they stay dead.

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6 comments

  • sniper430 - October 20, 2008 9:21 p.m.

    sonys answer to fire emblem and more, cant wait for it
  • anduin1 - October 20, 2008 4 p.m.

    this is up on the PSN ? I havent seen the demo anywhere yet
  • jayson_90210 - October 15, 2008 6:51 a.m.

    Must say I really enjoyed the demo. I agree the movement felt a little off but certainely not game breaking. Will probably be getting this one
  • thochaos - October 21, 2008 6:11 a.m.

    Liked the demo and the games looks cool. Kind of like a cross between Eternal Sonata (graphics) and that strategy war game on xbox 360, whatever the hell that was called.
  • Tikicobra - October 19, 2008 10:18 p.m.

    As far as graphics go, it's beautiful, but I'm not a fan of strategy games. I'll give it a chance, though, it could be my next favorite game.
  • Gonri 13 - October 14, 2008 9:26 p.m.

    Downloaded this on PSN and thought it wasn't that great. I agree that the graphics are beautiful and I love the "Alternative European War" feel but the gameplay didn't really stand out too much plus the movement of the character was, from my recolection, a little wonky. It was rather bland and dissapointing. However this was only a demo, the finished product could well be a far better experience.

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