Take A Long, Hard Look at Valkyria Chronicles

Gamers got a long hard look today at the game play, mechanics, and characters of SEGA’s upcoming reinterpretation of the traditional RPG when a seven minute-long promotional trailer surfaced over at Gametrailers. Valkyria Chronicles is set to release exclusively on the PS3 in Japan in late April, and the folks at SEGA of America and SEGA Europe are expecting such a positive response, they’ve slated to have it hit stateside and across the pond sometime this autumn. No doubt, this latest video release is to whet the appetites Japanese gamers, and even though the entire promo is voiced-over entirely in Japanese, it’s broken down simply into easy-to-swallow bits for non-native speakers, and is chock full of content from both the story mode and in-game battle.

What we see in the trailer is what SEGA promises to be a completely new approach to the classic RPG genre by melding it with aspects of RTS. Combat focuses around the newly-developed “BLiTZ” mechanic (Battle of Live Tactical Zone systems), in which the player moves from a more strategy-focused Command Mode of unit placement on the given field to an over-the-shoulder RPG-style Action Mode when moving and acting as a chosen unit. Those of you who might be wary that this new system might be too much RTS and not enough RPG, fear not, as there seems to be a lot of familiar game elements still in the mix. Unit skills and equipment upgrades seem to work much like other RPGs, with subsequent enhancements unlocking as individual units level up. Action points — check. Party customization — check. That throw-a-blue-green-light-up-in-the-air healing animation — check.

It seems with this latest promo that SEGA may make good on its promises and deliver a totally new RPG experience: an exciting mash-up of FFXII-style combat and war games tactics, manga-styled cel-shading and 3D environments, WWII tanks and magical, mystical glowing bad guys…or was that a girl?