image Valkyria Chronicles 2, even though it’s on a handheld, is faithful to its PlayStation 3 predecessor. The PSP game may not be as gorgeous, but the gameplay is the same.

 

Avan and his fellow military academy cadets run freely on open battlefields and target enemies, as if you were playing a first person shooter. The action point meter limits how far you can move and you get one shot per turn granting command point. Just like Valkyria Chronicles you can spend more than one command point on the same character, but each time you reactivate a unit they get less AP.

 

That should sound familiar. What’s new? Zones.

 

When your start the Valkyria Chronicles 2 demo mission you can deploy five units. Any mix of snipers, tanks, and scouts is OK. After you clear out the enemy forces with Nicol, your sniper, and reach the flag you can move to the next area.

 

Let’s say Cosette makes it to the supply point first. You can deploy her in area two, which happens to have a tank. Cosette isn’t going to be much help there so let’s get rid of her. We’ll use Lune, one of the anti-tank troops, instead and put Cosette on the bench. Once Cosette gets to the next area you can place one unit, her or anyone in your reserve, in the new area.

 

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Meanwhile, her allies like Avan are stuck in area 1. You have to move them to area 2 before Lune can call for backup. Suddenly, Nicol is a problem. Snipers are excellent at taking out enemy troops, but they can’t move far. It’s going to cost a lot of command points to get Nicol to the area 2.

 

Back to Lune who’s about to takedown a tank. Once its blown to bits Lune isn’t as useful. You can swap her for Cosette by running back to the supply point.

 

At first, the multi-map system sounded like a solution to make the game work with the PSP’s limited memory. However, after playing the demo I believe this system has potential. Maybe I would have been better off if I didn’t use Nicol in area 1. He’s a hassle to deal with after the enemy forces are gone. Should I save my best units for area 2 so I can deploy them immediately? The multi-area system adds a new layer of tactics to think about.

 

Another quick note from the demo — Valkyria Chronicles 2 also has a data install option as seen in the game’s menu.

 

Can’t wait to see what kinds of scenarios Sega comes up with when Valkyria Chronicles 2 is released in Japan on January 21, 2010 and in North America next summer.

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