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Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive - Tsuyashi Kudou, M. Kirie Hayashi

While not strictly a book in a normal sense, I figured that this at least warranted a brief post.

The compendium, as well as the game, are absolutely amazing. They resemble watercolor paintings, in a digital fashion, which brings a lot of the characters and scenery to life -- and ages very well ( most games, and some anime, don't age well ).

The story is very, very fleshed out -- the Design Archive goes through every character, their back stories, their loyalties, the story itself, the politics going on in the backdrop of a world heading towards another war, ancient history, and tons of amazing concept art for the game.

The game, meanwhile, fully lives up to what the Design Archive -- and gaming reviews -- state: the story is heartbreaking on many levels, and the strategy involved allows for a great, great deal of freedom.

I don't get pulled into very many books or games on a deep emotional level -- maybe something is wrong with me, or I'm just picky as all hell. But sometimes, certain things just strike a cord, and it just WORKS for me.

Summary: 5/5 ( how rare for me )
Recommended: Absolutely. For almost anyone who enjoys damn good art, great story telling, or people who want to play the game / have played the game ( not necessary, though. The game just adds even more layers upon layers of depth and interaction. )