Valkyria Chronicles II is the sequel to 2008's Valkyria Chronicles that was developed for the PlayStation Portable and released in Japan by Sega on January 21st, 2010 as well as North America on August 31st, 2010. The story takes place in 1937 E.C., two years after the original, in the city of Ranshiel and deals with students from the Gallia Royal Military Academy who are sent to deal with an insurgency in southern Gallia. The insurgences are known as The Gallian Revolutionary Army, who plan on wiping out Southern Gallia's Darcsen population.
Taking place two years after Valkyria Chronicles in 1937 EC, a rebellion has started in Gallia due to the revelation that it had been under the leadership of darcsens. The aristocratic Gassenarl family leads the rebellion under the direction of patriarch Gilbert and his children, Baldren, Audrey, and Dirk.
The game opens with the main character, Avan Hardins, receiving word from Hubert Brixham that his brother, Leon, had been killed in battle. Unfortunately, due to the top secret nature of the mission, Brixham could offer no further information about Leon's death. Avan, refusing to take that as his answer, decides to join the Lanseal Royal Military Academy so he can find out what really happened to his brother. Once at the academy, Avan meets Cosette Coalhearth and a darcsen named Zeri. All three are placed in Class G - the worst class in the school. Avan is chosen as the representative of Class G after being derided by Juliana Everhart of Class A for not having any leadership.
Avan Hardins is the main protagonist of the game. He joined Lanseal because his brother was killed on a top secret mission for the military and he wants to find out what really happened. Avan is a happy-go-lucky gung-ho kind of guy who never takes no for an answer yet he's very lazy when it comes to his schoolwork. He has the special ability to be any unit class.
Cosette Coalhearth is an engineer and is one of the main characters. After meeting Avan and Zeri during the application process at Lanseal they quickly became friends. She's a bit clumsy but has an always positive and cheerful attitude. Cosette joined Lanseal to help pay for her to attend medical school after she graduates.
Zeri is a darcsen student at Lanseal. He was stuck with Avan and Cosette during the application process at Lanseal and begrudgingly became acquainted with them. His no-nonsense, straight-forward attitude constantly clashes with Avan's lack of planning and his antics. Zeri states that he has a reason for coming to Lanseal but he won't give up the information easily. Zeri is a shocktrooper.
The BLiTZ system returns from the original Valkyria Chronicles, which mixes third person shooting with a turn-based strategy style of gameplay that gives you a view of the entire map. At the start of each turn, the player receives command points or CP. CP can be used to give orders or move units. Foot units require one CP while tanks and APCs require between one and three CP depending on the parts used on the vehicle. Orders can do a range of things such as revealing the location of all enemies on the map or increasing a unit's defense. Orders require between one and eight CP. Unused CP at the end of the turn carries over to the next turn.
Just like in the original game there are multiple classes for the player to choose from to use in battle. Some classes are all new and some are old with new abilities. Scouts, shocktroopers, engineers, and anti-tank lancers return while the sniper now an upgrade for the scouts. The new class, Armored Tech, is an armored soldier that carries a large shield and can disarm mines and repair sandbags (formerly the job of engineers). They can deflect rifle and machine gun shots and use a giant wrench for melee attacks. Just like in the original, the experience gained from battle can be used towards these classes to increase multiple stats and weapons. There are also tanks and APCs that the player can use in battle, customize and upgrade.
One major new feature in this game is the new set of advanced classes. Every base class can be upgraded into one of six different advanced specialization classes through a branching specialization tree. For example, as mentioned previously, the sniper class which was a separate class in the first game is now a specialization of the scout class. Snipers can be further specialized into anti-tank snipers with the ability to wield heavy rifles capable of penetrating a tank's defences or a sniper elite who carries an automatic sniper rifle that fires multiple shots. In order to be eligible to train in an advanced specialization, a squad member must earn credits by participating in a battle. Each specialization has its own list of credits as a requirement to upgrade to that class. While Avan has the unique ability to change to any class or specialization (as long as he meets the credit requirements) other characters may only change between the specializations belonging to their default class.
Since the game takes place in a school many events outside of battle focus on the daily lives of the students at Lanseal. By using each of the many classmates in battle players unlock cutscenes that feature those class members which delves further into their personality, reasons for being at Lanseal and can even unlock new missions and potentials for the characters. The school grounds is also where players can customize their tanks, outfit their squad and level up the different classes.
Another big change from the original game to Valkyria Chronicles 2 is the addition of multi-area missions. Missions take place on up to 5 different maps simultaneously. There are usually bases connecting areas. When you take the base in one area you gain control over the connected base in another area. Since the player has to manage their squad among many areas players can evacuate units located at any controlled base at no CP cost. Sometimes areas are connected by train tracks so units can go from one area to another without controlling a connected base.
There is a huge range of weapons available for the player to develop. Many of the six subclasses of the five main classes have their own specific weapon type resulting in 23 different weapon types such as swords and pistols. Each weapon class has between 10 and 60 different variations. Many variations require materials to be farmed in order to develop them. Each mission only rewards 1 weapon part which could be required for 7 or 8 different weapons. Other materials such as steel, rubber and gunpowder are required for most weapon upgrades. These materials are rewarded at the end of each mission and more can be earned by killing units with yellow helmets and ending the mission with all camps occupied. Since each material has 5 different levels and up to 4 different variations within each level, there are 126 different materials to farm. Due to the variety of materials required the game can become a grind when attempting objectives during the end game content.
There is a wider variety of available victory conditions in Valkyria Chronicles 2 than in the original. Possible victory conditions include escorting an APC across many areas, killing a boss unit, preventing any enemy from entering an area for X number of turns or collecting resources hidden throughout the areas.
The game also has local co-op and competitive multiplayer.
Valkyria Chronicles 2 was released in the US on August 31, 2010, and in the EU on September 2, 2010, on both UMD and PlayStation Network. Two extra missions, Skirmish vs. Class E and Skirmish vs. Class F, were given out as pre-order bonuses at select retailers. They will be released as future DLC. SEGA posted a " Freshmen Cadet Guide" on the game's home page on their site. Acting as a sort of extended manual, it features information on all of the Class G members, the requirements for each of the advanced Class Specializations, and included three codes to unlock bonus characters and tank stickers.
Released in Japan on January 21, 2010, a pre-order package containing "Valkyria Chronicles 1936: Gallian Front Memoirs" was released. This is a movie that sums up the events of the first Valkyria Chronicles as well as the events that took place between the games. It also includes "Gallian Journal 1936" which is a Valkyria news magazine that has articles about Valkyria lore and characters. A limited-edition game soundtrack was also be included. The pre-order will also include a code to unlock Selvaria Bles as a non-canon playable character in the game. Valkyria Chronicles 2 sold 98,000 copies in its first week in Japan.
The reasoning behind the PSP platform decision was to allow a greater amount of people to experience the game (the amount of PSP owners in Japan outnumber PS3 owners). Additionally, they wanted to include multiplayer gameplay, and in Japan, nearly all multiplayer gaming is done on handhelds. Finally, the shorter development time and lower costs of PSP development would allow them to make the game for less money and release closer to the televised anime adaptation of the first game.
Downloadable and Unlockable Content
In Japan, SEGA released 22 missions as separate downloads for 100 Yen (roughly $1.30 USD) each. In North America, they were released in a single pack for $5. SEGA was criticized by its users for not unifying the 22 downloads into a single download. Users had to download 22 different files and install them all individually.
There were also codes available on the Sega blog to unlock new characters, missions, tank emblems and tank paint jobs.