Book Review: Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Since I already have the Japanese edition, I borrowed this from Basheer bookstore just to check out the differences.

There's not much difference from the Japanese edition except there's no dust jacket here.

It's a 400-page thick book and Udon did a good job with the binding this time, much better than some of their previous books. The binding is a bit stiff but at least the pages don't threaten to fall off. You'll still want to be careful with the spine though, it is a very thick book.

Since I've already reviewed the Japanese edition, this review shall just be an edited version of that.

What's unique about the game is perhaps the graphics, which resembles watercolour paintings. It reminds me instantly of the game Okami which also uses a traditional art style.

The book is split into different chapters, namely Story, Characters, Weapon Machine, Military Affairs Natural History, Geography, Illustration, Preproduction and Interview. It's loaded with beautiful concept art for all aspect of the game. Character designs, storyboards, background art, promotional art, etc.

If you haven't played the game yet, the first chapter covers the game. This section will be a major spoiler as it covers the key events for every battle from start to finish.

There's plenty of character design. There are so many characters I lost count somewhere. Each character has different drawn profiles, uniforms, weapons, armour and gadgets. Just like the game, all these are in watercolour style with pencils. There's also plenty of commentary on the design.

Under the Weapons and Machine sections, lots of tanks are featured, among other war machines. You'll get to see the different sides of the tank profiles and 3D models before and after paint is added. They are very beautiful and detailed. Absolutely gorgeous. All the fact sheets are included, as with all the characters.

And there are also the set and background concept art for the locations. Most of them are development sketches and paintings.

Right at the end are few pages of interviews with the production team and the music composer Hitoshi Sakimoto.

This book is well worth the money, considering it's also much cheaper than the Japanese edition. It's loaded with so much content that every page takes a while to admire. There are so much details to see and much to read.

Highly recommended to fans of the game, artists and those who just like anything military related.

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook or visit their website.

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN) and Book Depository


Japanese edition is on the left.

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

Valkyria Chronicles Design Archive

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This book was borrowed from Basheer Graphic Books for review purposes. You can order the book from them. Check with Basheer on Facebook or visit their website.

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6 Comments

i absolutely agree with your

i absolutely agree with your review, parka!

the book is a treasure trove with lots and lots of artwork and insight into the production. i especially liked the small notes from individual designers that are speckled inbetween different designs, where they explain how or why they designed a character like this, or what the challenges of a character were, etcetera...

the lots of iterations for mechanical stuff, like weapons & tank upgrades, and striking the balance between a persistent theme (uniforms) and individual characteristics, is very inspiring in terms of worldbuilding.

This is possibly the best

This is possibly the best art/design book released for any medium that I have seen, and it was totally an impulse buy upon seeing it at the bookstore the other day. If only I had known it existed before I would have preordered it.

Is there a place that specializes in selling video game art books like this? There are other games that I would love to find books like this, but don't know if they even exist!

I just found this blog and had to bookmark it...

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