JAPAN: January 19, 2017
NA/EUROPE: Spring 2017
DLC REGISTRATION AND DEMO BONUSES:
If you registered with your email on the official Japanese website for the game, you got three pieces of DLC for free. This only applies pre-release.
1) Fully-voiced story DLC regarding Brunhild and Emperor Claudius.
2) Story DLC introducing the Vanargand Anti-Valkyria unit (also comes with first print copies of the game).
3) 30 Ragnite capsules for restoring RP.
If you downloaded the pre-release Prologue and have a clear Save file...
1) You get a starting magic attack, Rush Blaze+ which puts you a step ahead of the magic ability gain curve.
2) Your save carries over into the full game so you can start Chapter 1 right away.
Jutland Kingdom is under an economic blockade from the mighty Rus Empire, starving their ragnite supply and limiting their ragnite research potential. The "Five Grave Sinners" take advantage of the Empire's aggression and lead Jutland into war against the Empire. However, the Sinners are aiming for a secret, secondary goal... to find out the location of Mrs. Maria, and to seek revenge against those who dared to abduct her years ago. Included with their revenge plans is to eliminate all of the Empire's main enemy commanders who orchestrated the burning down of the orphanage (and killing their orphan friends inside) that was the Grave Sinners's home many years ago. The question the game puts forth is whether the Sinners were heroes who saved Jutland, or manipulators that steered Jutland into bloody war for personal gain.
CHARACTER REFERENCE IMAGES:
If you look closely in the images, you can see the (sometimes hilariously spelled) romanized name behind each Japanese one. Names are listed left to right, top to bottom for your use.
Jutland Kingdom | 5 Grave Sinners: Amleth Glenkaer, Suleyman Karlenberg, Basil Sabanci, Fleat Eriksen, Violette Szand
Jutland Kingdom | Royalty and Royal Guard: Ophelia A. Jutland, Miranda Vilfort
Jutland Kingdom | Vanargard: Godot Vilfort, Blum Tomasson, Jordur Rvist, Isaac Berggreen, Daryl Rommedahl, Helena Andersen, Brigette Ulrich, Sara Benner, Tilda Gaze
Rus Empire | Antagonists: Claudius Powlovich Kiev, Brunhild, Gilouche Benckendorff, Viktor Jimashev, Gustav Meckenburg, Balthus Greppenberg, Maxim
Other Characters | Misc: Maria Schmeichel, Richer Laudrup
ARPG. You can take a squad up to four members onto the battlefield. Attack button does an autocombo. You have a roll and a guard button. The menu button, which will be signature to the gameplay, is a "timestop" mechanic where you can choose many actions while time is frozen, such as throw grenades, fire your rifle, use an item, use magic, or give your teammate a direct order.
This game has character leveling and magic upgrading. Each character has a magic-type affinity, meaning that you'll get bonuses for using the proper elemental magic with certain characters. This game contains a central hub in Jutland where you can buy magic, swap out your comrades, purchase one-time materials and more. In addition to the hub it also has a magic factory, command center and graveyard.
Q: So why did Sega make an action RPG rather than a strategy RPG?
A: Please read these two interview threads.
Q: What relation does this game have to Valkyria Chronicles?
A: Different universe, different characters. Borrows some aesthetic (warfare in particular) and borrows a few overarching concepts like base capture and ragnite medicine. Of course, we cannot forget the Valkyria themselves who will join the battlefield.
Q: A Japanese RPG in 2017 that's also on the Vita? Where's the seedy uncomfortable fanservice?
A: Surprisingly the entire main cast is adults (18+), and the fanservice seems limited to the overall massive Brunhild who seems more determined to kill you than go into the hot springs with you on a school trip using bonding points while you stumble in on her naked... you get where I'm going with this.
Q: The music in this game is GDLK, who is the composer?
A: Yasunori Mitsuda, who many people know as the composer of Chrono Trigger.
Q: Where's the Xbox One version? The PC version?
A: Xbox One version is NA/Europe exclusive. This OT is for the Japanese release. This is also why there's no information about a PC version.
Q: How does the Vita version run?
A: According to reports from the demo, very well. They made a lot of graphical sacrifices to make sure the framerate would stay steady. Final verdict is still out on the whole game though.
Q: Fun trivia?
A1: In VC1, Sega wanted to include a living hub world for you to do things like level up, check out the factory and visit the princess on foot with Welkin in 3rd person view. Unfortunately they ran out of time to implement it which is why it's just a menu system in the final game (If you look carefully at the background in VC1's HQ menu you can see the town street which was going to be your hub). Azure Revolution has finally allowed them to achieve this goal with a fully interactable hub world and base.
A2: There's always been a religious undercurrent in VC games, but VC3 was the one that had it the most prominently featured in the plot compared to the rest (and even then, it didn't really come into play that often). This game however is looking to push this theme directly to the forefront with public recognition of Valkyria as gods, Mrs. Maria looking distinctly like a churchwoman, and religious contracts.