Valkyria Chronicles 3: Unrecorded Chronicles is a game released in Japan on January 27, 2011. To the dismay and continued bewilderment of Western fans, an English translation was ruled out. Sega really has been treating fans of the first two games quite badly. They bring out the first game on PS3, then the second on PSP. I played and enjoyed the second one (I don’t own a PS3), but considering that it’s mostly been the fans of the first game who marketed the franchise by word of mouth, it’s shitty of Sega not to at least bring out an HD re-release on PSN of the second game for those who understandably don’t own the troubled handheld system. And after that, they didn’t even deem it worthy to release the third title in the West at all.
But never say never, because fans are resourceful and awesome. A group of fans took it upon themselves to take it into their own hands and translate the game by themselves. You can find their blog here: http://vc3translationproject.wordpress.com.
All you need is a PSP, which should be quite cheap nowadays. Also you’ll need the Extra Edition of the game and convert it to an ISO. It can be done if you own the UMD or PSN versions. The most tricky part would have to be installing custom firmware on you PSP. I have it on mine and it can be daunting. You need to know the exact model of your PSP, and be sure to read instructions thoroughly. More detailed instructions to all these can be found on the site of course.
I’ve tried the game and it’s perfectly playable. At times some text will exceed the text boxes, but that’s no problem. I’m only about 30 mins into the game, and haven’t yet come upon anything that lacks translation. Menus, dialog, subtitles in cutscenes so far are all translated. There are some thing missing if you look at the progress page, but these seem to be minor. And I haven’t encountered any bugs either.
One thing I really appreciate about Valkyria Chronicles 3 is that they finally added the option to save in multiple slots. In Valkyria Chronicles 2, only one slot was available, which you choose when starting a new game. After playing for about 15 hours, my save file was corrupted and all progress lost. That was frustrating to say the least. So it’s good that you can minimize that risk here. The game itself seems to be considered the best of the three, judging on what people who’ve played the Japanese import version say. One such review is here: http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2013/03/20/valkyria-chronicles-3-review-psp-import/
Also one last word for the fan translators. You’ve really got to respect people who do these kinds of things. They’re investing time and effort into making something that will bring joy to thousands. People who would gladly pay for this kind of thing, and they’re getting it for free. They aren’t even accepting donations, which is admirable. It’s all about the passion for them. Finding people who love the game, know English and Japanese well and then are willing to do this kind of work (because it is real work) all for free is something very special and we should be very thankful for that. If you want to know more about just how difficult translation work for Japanese RPGs is, you should checkout this article on Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/getting-jrpgs-out-in-english-is-harder-than-you-think-1441094168
Well then, that’s all I have to say on that. Enjoy.