Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria - hands-on

If you're in the mood, you simply slash them with your sword and head into battle. Each skirmish takes place in an arena that's large enough for your entire party of characters and a number of enemies to move around in real time. You can walk, or dash using the R1 button; the ground is marked with red squares wherever an enemy will attack. By leapfrogging these dangerous areas, you can sneak around your foes and start wailing on them.

In case you're not getting the picture, the battles blend action and strategy in a way that you'd never expect - unless you've played the first game, anyway. The feeling you get when the attacks connect is as crunchy as any good action game, and you can't just mash buttons or you're going to totally screw up. In fact, if you're really careful and quick, you can defeat most enemies before they get a chance to attack.