I still can’t decide if I like SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles series, which is potentially a problem considering I’ve invested over a hundred hours in both the PS3 original and its PSP sequel by this point. Were I still a teenager, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue. I can remember being in high school and sinking whole months into games I found absolutely irredeemable just out of a conviction that I had to finish whatever I started. It was only later in life that I realized I could actually stop if I disliked something and it wasn’t a sign of poor character.
Yet I haven’t stopped playing the Valkyria series. The games occupy this strange place in which I don’t necessarily know if it’s time well-spent, but it keeps pulling me back in anyway. On the one hand, Valkyria is a generally fun turn-based strategy game with memorable characters. On the other, it’s a trite anime-styled melodrama about nuclear weapons and the Holocaust. Nukes I’ve come to expect out of Japanese fantasy, but racism—even race awareness—is a rare bird in a Japananese RPG and possibly the aspect of the series that never ceases to intrigue me.