For a franchise like Valkyria Chronicles, it’s no surprise that to this day, over a decade later, the decision to have released the sequel to the cult classic is still considered a huge misstep by Sega thus far for this franchise1

When Valkyria Chronicles 2 was originally announced for the PlayStation Portable (PSP), it was with the best of intentions of the development team to diversify the audience as their own internal study revealed that a vast majority of people who played the original game were male and in an older age group than expected. The development team’s decision was a reasonable direction to take; however, it is clear that they did not consider their audience outside of Japan as the PSP was, for all intents and purposes, an abject failure in North America and Europe. This decision had ramifications for the franchise as a whole, as its poor sales led to Valkyria Chronicles 3 never receiving an official localization despite it being better suited to be a follow-up to the original game.

In preparation to re-write my review of Valkyria Chronicles I ended up replaying Valkyria Chronicles in the Remastered edition for the Nintendo Switch, likewise I replayed Valkyria Chronicles 2 for my rewrite of that article.

My recent playthrough of Valkyria Chronicles 2 has been enjoyable; however, the story and some of the characters detract from the overall enjoyment of the game.

During this recent playthrough, I pondered what if Sega had gone down a different path. What if instead of releasing Valkyria Chronicles titles on the PSP, Sega had focused on creating Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the PS3? What if instead of a game that overly relied on anime clichés and tropes, we got a game focused on a more serious story about war and its ramifications?

If the development team had chosen the PS3 as its platform they could have invested the 2-3 years that was used to develop Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3 to develop a superior follow up experience to Valkyria Chronicles.2

While my recent playthrough of Valkyria Chronicles 2 has been enjoyable, I couldn’t help but notice that the story and certain characters somewhat diminish the overall quality of the game.

Throughout this playthrough, I found myself contemplating alternate possibilities. What if Sega had pursued a different direction, creating Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the PS3 rather than the PSP? What if they had delivered a game that delved deeper into the profound aspects of war and its consequences, without relying excessively on anime clichés and tropes?

After careful consideration, I have envisioned a reimagined Valkyria Chronicles 2 for the PS3 that would have taken a different direction:

Instead of continuing the story forward, Sega would have greatly benefitted from delving into the events of the First Europan War3, a crucial time period. In this war, Gallia successfully defended itself against an Imperial invasion, utilizing tanks as an emerging technology for the first time. The war was characterized by conventional infantry tactics and trench warfare.

Beyond potential gameplay mechanics4 exploring the lives of key figures like Belgen Gunther and Professor Theimer during the war would have been intriguing. The story could have shed light on Theimer’s journey as an inventor of Darcsen heritage. Additionally, players could have assumed the roles of familiar faces such as Largo, Eleanor, Musaad, Coby, Catherine, Roald (the seasoned strategist who mentored Welkin), and Calvaro (the trainer in VC1).

Such an approach would have granted fans a deeper understanding of the events preceding the first game, which were only briefly touched upon5.

Another significant event in the Valkyria Chronicles lore is the Gallian War of Independence, mentioned in passing during the initial game. The historical backdrop reveals that Gallia was annexed by the Empire a century prior to the events of the first game. Shifts in political dynamics in Europa incited Gallians to rise up against the Empire, fighting to reclaim their independence.

By exploring these distinct time periods the writers would have had greater creative freedom to expand the franchise’s backstory. They could have introduced new characters and stories without the constraints of adhering strictly to canon or predetermined character fates.

Moreover, there are several unexplored avenues that this game could have ventured into:

  • Delving into the background of the Valkyrias would have been captivating. The original game portrayed them as legendary figures, making it intriguing to discover the circumstances that led to their rediscovery and the Empire’s research into their extraordinary abilities.

  • Introducing the neighboring nations surrounding Gallia would have added depth to the game’s world. A focused exploration of the greater events of the First Europan War extending to other territories could have brought forth new gameplay elements, incorporating a fresh cast of characters, advanced technologies, and the utilization of allies in battles, special missions, and more.

  • Expanding the backstory and history of the Europan continent could have included the introduction of naval battles, providing players with exciting opportunities to engage in warfare beyond land-based combat.

  • Additional gameplay challenges, such as weapon degradation over time resulting in reduced power and accuracy, would have added another layer of strategic depth to the game.

  • Implementing a more realistic research system, where the development of new weapons would require time rather than instant availability, while minor upgrades could be achieved more swiftly, would have enhanced the authenticity of the game’s mechanics.

  • Incorporating online gameplay that allows players to choose factions or even allies for thrilling multiplayer matches, including capture the flag battles or battles with specific objectives like defeating enemy commanders or securing designated items on the battlefield.

  • Providing further customization options for tanks and the inclusion of character creation for online gameplay would have expanded the player’s ability to personalize their experience.

I wanted to clarify that I strongly believe that Valkyria Chronicles 3 (from the limited experience I have playing) should have served as the true successor to the original game, as it flawlessly carried forward the thematic essence established in its predecessor.

  1. Besides of course not releasing Valkyria Chronicles 3 with an official localization. ↩︎

  2. Which to this day has sold over 1 million copies worldwide, thanks to a price drop in North America for the original game which led to the game selling 631 748 copies. This doesn’t factor the sales of Valkyria Chronicles on Steam and the subsequent remastered versions of the game that were released for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. ↩︎

  3. A price drop for the first game had led to a strong increase in sales for the game. ↩︎

  4. These are some of the gameplay mechanics that could be explored with tanks emerging as a new technology: having to compensate for tank malfunctions in the heat of battle and limitations - for instance some of these early tanks could generate too much heat making them visible if they are too hide, or that they have limited movement and fire power. ↩︎

  5. The first examples that come to mind are Star Trek Enterprise, the Star Wars prequels, and the more recent Star Trek shows set before the events of the original series. Each of these properties have complicated histories with their fans, although in the case of Star Trek Enterprise the last 2 seasons were exceptional. ↩︎