If you have even a passing interest in the RPG genre, it can't have escaped your notice that Microsoft has been going crazy nuts loopy trying to woo as many Japanese developers as possible into bringing their skills - and fanbases - to the 360. Some argue this has left the PS3 bereft of the games that helped make its predecessor such an enduring hit in the East.
To this I say pish, tosh and piffle. The traditional JRPG may have spread its buttery pleasures more evenly across multiple formats but there's one sub-genre, beloved by the Japanese, where the PS3 is still dominant - and that's the tactical RPG. September brought Disgaea 3 (in America, at least) and now SEGA has upped the ante with Valkyria Chronicles, a lovingly rendered turn-based strategy role-playing game that oozes style and nimbly somersaults over the more common pitfalls of the genre.
Our setting is 1935, and a world similar to our own yet obviously different. Gallia is a peaceful and neutral country, the Switzerland equivalent, trapped in between the Atlantic Federation and the East Europan Imperial Alliance. These two superpowers are warring over ragnite, a miracle mineral that can be used for everything from medicine to powering vehicles. Gallia happens to be sitting on top of a major ragnite deposit, and the fiendish Imperials waste no time in crossing its borders with ruthless domination in mind.