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Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive Paperback – August 9, 2011
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Even with the cover, the design archive doesn't binge on quality. The cover actually folds in on itself to have a dustjacket-like design. However, when unfolded, it reveals a panorama of all the key characters of squad 7, along with about 2 dozen squadmates, marching into battle. This instantly makes the book a treat just to look at.
For those who have not played the game or wish for more clarification, the plot of the games is excellently presented in the first section, with in-game photos to help illustrate key points. Even the DLC stories are covered.
The next section covers the characters of the series, and there design processes. It begins with an extensive overview of the main and side characters of the story, containing tons of developer commentary and concept art for each character. Afterwards the non-story-important characters are grouped to a few a page, with a developer's note or two tacked on to there in game model and bio.
The next section covers the machines and weapons of 'Valkyria Chronicles', and gives extensive insight about all the vehicles of war that do and don't appear in the final game.
Then we move on to the Mitary affairs and Natural history section. This covers the pre-game status of Europa, and covers everything related to the infantry, from their classes to uniform sketches. In addition, this section covers the symbols and medals throughout the game.
We then move to the geography section. This covers every location in the game to a staggering level, revealing settings or subsections never truely seen in the game, along with commentary reflecting on the creation and use of said locales.
Next, the illustration section. Probably the largest section of the book, it contains most of the promo and concept material used in creating the game which has not been previousky shown. It even includes the standard developer's note explaining many of the images and photos.
And the final section, interviews. This contains interviews with many of the top producers and developers of the game, revealing a mind-boggling amount of info about the design, concepts, gameplay, music, and more about the game.
The book itself is 400 pages long, and all of it is presented on high quality photo paper. The design of the book itself is consistantly beautiful and well done. With amazon's seemingly perpetual amazing sale, you'd have to be insane or poor to be a fan of this game and decline to buy a copy of this amazing, insightful book.
Definitely worth the money for Valkyria fans as well as those who enjoy a beautiful artbook.
On a side note, I hope Udon follows through with the artbook for the second game, and maybe considers translating the manga. They certainly did a beautiful job with this one!