I've read that more than a few of you hoping that the upcoming sequel to Valkyria Chronicles II, aptly named Valkyria Chronicles III, would be a game bound for current-generation home consoles, rather than a handheld game. I myself have expressed such sentiment from time to time.
Unfortunately for you and for everyone who doesn't own a PlayStation Portable, Valkyria Chronicles III is a PlayStation Portable game. Sorry, guys. It's out in Japan on January 27th (both on UMD and PlayStation Network), so they won't have to wait too long, at least.
Once you're done wailing and rending your clothing in lament (or venting in the comments), know that Famitsu put out a ton of information on the game below, kindly translated by the fine folks at Andriasang.
The preview includes details about the story, characters, and even Sega's justification for their choice of platform. If you're concerned about spoilers, it might be best to hold off from reading it, though.
Its full Japanese title is Valkyria of the Battlefield III: Untold Chronicles. The story runs parallel to the original game (hence that "code1935" teaser domain), and follows Squad 422, a rough-and-tumble company made up of deserters, criminals and anti-heroes who conduct secret operations for the Gallian government. They're called "The Nameless", because they're referred to only by number. Sounds darker than the first game, and way darker than the second.
The protagonist is Kurt Irving, the dude in the center of the scan, known as "Number 7" (voiced by Kamen Rider Hibiki's Yuichi Nakamura). The only ranked officer in the unit, Kurt was once a rising star within the Gallian Army, but demoted to The Nameless due to an undisclosed incident. He hopes to fight well enough to leave this bad, "bad company" (ha ha, I made a reference).
Alongside Kurt is "Number 01", Imuka (far right), a Darcsen whose village was leveled by a Valkyria. Rescued by The Nameless, she became the unit's ace soldier and is still on the lookout for the original culprits. She's voiced by Masumi Asano (Marguerite from One Piece).
The third character previewed is "Number 13", Riella Marcellis (far left), an unknowing descendant of the Valkyur. The lone survivor of her unit's destruction, she was dubbed a "Goddess of Death" and shuffled off into The Nameless. Her voice actress, Aya Endou, also played Sheryl Nome in Macross Frontier.
The game's flow will be more directed, rather than mission-based ala Valkyria Chronicles II, and will not have wireless multiplayer. Producer Shinji Motoyama promised that the resources saved by cutting multiplayer options would be poured into making the single-player experience that much better.
Valkyria Chronicles III will have a tweaked command interface, and its real-time components will have more diverse actions to choose. The class progression will also be altered from Valkyria Chronicles II to reflect a "quality over quantity" approach and to better distinguish class roles. Maps are still be broken up into distinct "areas", but each area will be larger and more varied.
Expect a squad roster of about twenty-odd characters, though this number can expand considerably through guests, cameos, and secret recruits. Several characters will have "Super Modes" that unlock new strengths and abilities. Examples include Riella, who can transform into a Valkyria, and Imuka, who can power up her weapons.
So, what about the Big Question, then? Why the PSP? Motoyama acknowledged that many players wanted another PS3 release, but believes that a new HD entry would have to have some truly revolutionary ideas, ones that they haven't quite thought of yet. That, and there's room to expand and improve within the PSP space as well. He added that "In an era where everyone is busy, we felt PSP was best in order to make Valkyria Chronicles bigger."
Of course, a new PS3 release isn't off the books yet. The right idea just needs to come along.
A playable demo will be available at the Tokyo Game Show, featuring an original mission that shows off the game's new features. I hereby order anyone visiting the show (Hi, Dale North and Jonathan Holmes!) to fight their way to the booth and play it in my stead.
So, are you sad? Stoked? Both? Already preordering whatever "revolutionary" entry they'll eventually put on a proper console? In my opinion, having a Valkyria Chronicles game makes a much more convincing case for getting a PSP than anything Marcus could tell me.