Valkyria Chronicles – hands-on

Reason 3: Fast-paced battles 

While other turn-based strategy RPGs are so slow-paced they risk being labeled as boring, Chronicles adds some much needed urgency to the fields of battle. 

While the battles are turn-based, with each side attacking the other back and forth, each turn happens in real time. You start a round with a set amount of Action Points (or AP), that are used to make a unit move and attack. Think of them as the individual “turns” most strategy RPGs use, except instead of giving each character in your party one turn per round, you get a certain number of turns per round to spread among your units however you like. AP is a hot commodity, but you don't need to use it all; save it and the AP carries over to the next round.

Once you choose a character and spend an AP on them, the attack starts and time isn't on your side. You move your chosen character around the battlefield in real time, just as you would in a third-person action game, and an action gauge in the lower screen shows how much energy you have left, ticking down as you move or attack.

Each moment spent in the open is time you are being shot at by the enemy. However, once you choose a target to attack, time does freeze for a few moments so you can aim your shot. The effectiveness of your attack is a mix of your character’s stats and how well you aim your shot at the other guy.

Cover also comes into play, meaning you’re going to want to find some quickly or risk being turned into bloody swiss cheese next turn. Finally, if your action gauge runs out before you’ve finished your task, your AP can be used to refill that same character’s action gauge, enabling you to use them again in the same round, though they do get less effective each time you choose them. 


Despite being an original series, Valkyria Chronicles has quite a legacy, with developers involved who made the wonderful Phantasy Star titles and Skies of Arcadia (originally for the Sega Dreamcast). In fact, you may even see some familiar faces from Skies among the game’s characters. If you have a PS3, you really don’t have any excuse not to look into this one.

Oct 14, 2008


  • 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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