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Valkyria Chronicles


mushashi
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Holy shit!

 

I've always had a slight curiosity for this game, mainly the art style and it being a genre I'd not sampled. It was also fairly 'rare' to see about (in Romford anyway) so had a strong allure when I saw it cheap on ps store. And I tell you what, I'm in love. Seriously, I wish I was playing this all along, this is the game type I've always wanted but didn't realise it. Turn based boots to the floor combat, all planning and strategy. It feels great to wrack the brain, especially when I'm high it seems. And ON TOP OF THAT  you've got the games character. What seemed like saccharine and not particularly interesting anime fluff has quickly blossomed. These aren't your generic shaven head military types but a likeable ragtag bunch of small town militia. I'm just at the point now where I feel some attachment to the squad, I'm at chapter seven. It's been a rollercoaster ride  with some tough decisions, daft choices, huge misjudgments, triumph, humiliation and a bit of luck. A lot of learning and lightbulbs in the head and many many save files. Where has this been all my life? 

 

The intro with those sweeping, saint like strings and that slow, brown tinted footage of the lancers marching into town . . . it gets the heart racing.:wub:

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Since my initial posts and gushing over this game I haven’t finished it or gone back to it. I still love the game but the Selvaria battle (chapter 15) was a complete turn off. Chaper 7 was a tough bump in difficulty but it never felt unfair. How do you do this? I’m moving a scout and a merc to the flanks and taking the steps up to the button to open the lift. And Selvaria rips me apart every time. What am I doing wrong?

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  • 11 months later...
On 10/03/2017 at 16:10, gospvg said:

 

Yep that's me, loved Front Mission & FFT. I did not purchased Valkyria Chronicles in the end decided No Mans Sky deserved a 2nd chance.

 

Decided to get it in the end with the current sale, fingers crossed I can get sucked into it.

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  • 2 years later...

It’s quite interesting playing this for the first time in 2022. I’m playing the PS4 version on my PS5, basically to clear the backlog of games I already bought before I start on current gen stuff. I’ve cleared it once and I’m about to start on NG+.

 

It’s a bittersweet reminder of a golden age of gaming. That includes a few stomach churning anime stereotypes along with the excellent gameplay - things that you could say are remnants of the past but are actually more prevalent than ever, it’s just that they rarely come in games worth playing these days.

 

I read through the original posts on this thread from 13 years ago and I agree with all of those: the biggest achievement here is the way they get you to care deeply about every single member of your squad using nothing but text descriptions and a few short one-line sound bytes for each person. I was wondering why that might be, maybe the voice actors did a tremendous job capturing the personalities with limited material? I think it’s just the magic of the gameplay - you get into difficult situations and these characters get you out of them, so you form a bond from a personal narrative that is created by the player.

 

Using Ramsey the engineer as an example - early on I wanted her to disarm a mine, but there was an enemy soldier nearby so I tried to shoot him first. Her attribute ‘lazy’ got triggered and she refused to do it, which cost me a turn as she had to back out again. I knew there was a trophy for allowing a squad member to die permanently, so I decided then and there that honour would be going to Ramsey, as she was a liability. Before that game ended though, Ramsey had heroically charged through the danger to reach an enemy bunker, destroyed it, saved a fallen teammate and then captured a base all in one round. After that she became a permanent fixture in my team and keeping her alive was always top priority, even if she occasionally refused to attack.

 

(The honour of being killed instead went to Theold the lancer, who I allowed to be run over by an enormous tank because he was described as a bully).

 

That’s probably the magic of all great strategy games - the way you write your own stories, but it’s been so long since I’ve played one I can’t say for sure. Advance Wars didn’t really have it because there wasn’t that flexibility of how to play. Tactics Ogre did but I never felt the characters were much more than a list of names in that. This absolutely nails it.


More tales from the front line:

 

Spoiler

Another example was the final showdown against the big bad female opponent. I spent all my time and effort getting my tank up to her location with troop support, only for her to immediately run and hide on the other side of the map. I called in Vyse and Aika to two captured bases in front and behind of where I thought she was hiding. Aika ran up and located her, launched a mortar grenade which did nothing and then escaped behind cover with a sliver of health remaining. That turned her attention away from Vyse who could then step up and shoot her in the back for the win. More drama from that sequence of events than any cutscene, and it was personal to me.

Spoiler

In the penultimate mission you have to take out a heavily armoured tank. You are surrounded by enemy bases that keep calling in reinforcements. I fought tooth and nail to get all the bases under my control, which left most of my team incapacitated and the Edelweiss in critical health. My last move was to call in all four of my lancers, and pummeled the tank with everything I had. It was still protected by a fraction of health, he shot my tank and I lost.

 

Reload, to hope for a different outcome. This time two of my lancers triggered their ‘super anti-armour’ skill, and took extra health off. The weak point was exposed, which gave my newbie lancer Audrey a clear shot at killing it. She had two shots left, weak points usually go down in one. It’s in the bag! First shot only took about 50%. Uh-oh. Second shot, left it with about a mm of health. I was in the process of throwing up my hands in despair when it flashed up ‘Mooch!’ and Audrey scrounged up additional ammo from nowhere. I could then use my last action to fire the finishing shot to win. Audrey’s status as a legend is secured.


It’s an odd thing, what with the massive bouncing boobs and swimsuit fan-service sitting alongside dark themes of racism, prejudice and genocide. Embarrassing gay stereotypes are present and correct but at the same time there are gay characters that just sit in the roster with no extra attention drawn to them at all. I thought the twist concerning the prejudice towards the Darcsen people was a really nice touch, and gave the story some respectable clout.

 

I guess this sits on the cusp of the time when Japanese games went from world leading design to pure fan-service, so it has elements of both. Oh, I do have to call out the horrible typos and spelling mistakes in the biographies that flash up during the ending movie. There were entire sentences were entire sentences repeated like this. So much effort went into the rest of the game, come on guys….

 

One other possible negative is that the save system kind of encourages save scumming to win. It’s not good for a perfectionist like me to have that option - but I’m not sure the game would be better if you were deprived of it either. 

 

I am going to wring everything I can out of it (but will not touch the sequels). Elden Ring has to wait a bit longer.

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Great post. An all-time classic RPG as far as I'm concerned and maybe the best ever SRPG. 

 

Somehow I didn't know about the saving mid-mission for the entirety of my first play through which made it rather brutal in places!

 

Out of interest why won't you touch the sequels?

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6 hours ago, Yobo Ahoy said:

 

Out of interest why won't you touch the sequels?


I just expect there will be diminishing returns, as Sega lost their magic over the years - also expecting the series to have leant more heavily into the pervy/generic geek culture marketing side of it. I’m making that assumption from the fact the DLC was all Edy/Selvaria based, as they are definitely the two worst offenders. I may be wrong, but I never hear people talking about the sequels. And when you’ve played this, why settle for anything less?

 

A few thoughts on NG+ - having an overpowered team slightly removes the fun from the story missions. It’s cool to see what is possible, but there hasn’t been much challenge so far (first 10 missions). Rosie is now doing the jobs I would have needed my tank for in the first play. She’s practically bulletproof. She also destroyed the APC in the mission 9 kidnapping all by herself.

 

However, the first hard mode skirmish I tried was something else entirely. It started with my squad completely surrounded. Selecting any character (other than a tank) led to instant death before I could even move. In that sense it became much more of a puzzle, as there seemed to be only one sequence of moves that would lead to anything other than defeat. That was much more like Advance Wars.

 

The second one did allow for a few different approaches, but so far the best plan seems to always be “use the Shamrock’s flamethrower”. I never used the Shamrock even once in story mode but it’s been invaluable in the hard mode skirmishes.

 

The real meat of the game is in the first playthrough I reckon. Although it might be fun to do NG++ with the maxed out squad using only basic guns…

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You got me interested so I went to check out the thread. Less than half a page before discussion shifted to the controversy the game was creating regarding the treatment and portrayal of it’s female characters. People bemoaning the fact the genre has shifted more and more in that direction. In other words, exactly what I was expecting.

 

I’m sure the game is great but enjoyment of it will depend on your ability to tolerate that sort of stuff, and I think this game here just managed to stay on the acceptable side of it (for me). Didn’t stop my wife commenting ‘what is this creepy game you’re playing?’. Unfortunately anime style artwork is automatically equated with dodgy content nowadays.

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10 hours ago, Yobo Ahoy said:

Great post. An all-time classic RPG as far as I'm concerned and maybe the best ever SRPG. 

 

Somehow I didn't know about the saving mid-mission for the entirety of my first play through which made it rather brutal in places!

 

Out of interest why won't you touch the sequels?

 

It's a charming game and I did enjoy it when I played it last year. It's also a masterclass in how to tell a story in an SRPG - very pacey, gets a lot across in short, punchy cut scenes. But as a tactics / SRPG game I thought it was mechanically pretty duff:

 

"Why am I doing chip damage on head shots!?"

 

He is crouching behind some sand bags.

 

"I am standing directly behind him on the same side of the sandbags with my gun poking him in the ear"

 

He is still in cover. That is how cover works.

 

"OKAY SEGA".

 

I do want to check out VC4 at some point despite the increased anime bullshit quota.

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Yeah, fair point. But it's no different to other titles' 'I am standing three inches above you on a slight incline therefore I can one-hit KO you'. I just found the whole thing incredibly well balanced. 

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4 minutes ago, Yobo Ahoy said:

Yeah, fair point. But it's no different to other titles' 'I am standing three inches above you on a slight incline therefore I can one-hit KO you'. I just found the whole thing incredibly well balanced. 

 

I feel like I'm being an arsehole by bringing this stuff up but I thought the command point system was badly broken too. They programmed the AI to waste their command points or it would be an instant game over every time a boss appeared. So you see them running around corners, spinning their tanks on the spot or reloading their guns for no reason when they could easily finish you off. Like they couldn't find a way to balance the system they'd made so they just fudged it.

 

I did love how it feels to interact with though. Giving defensive buffs and then charging enemy emplacements, landing long range sniper and rifle shots etc. I've got a pet theory that it was a big influence on the aiming system in Phoenix Point.

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42 minutes ago, Darwock said:

You got me interested so I went to check out the thread. Less than half a page before discussion shifted to the controversy the game was creating regarding the treatment and portrayal of it’s female characters. People bemoaning the fact the genre has shifted more and more in that direction. In other words, exactly what I was expecting.

 

I’m sure the game is great but enjoyment of it will depend on your ability to tolerate that sort of stuff, and I think this game here just managed to stay on the acceptable side of it (for me). Didn’t stop my wife commenting ‘what is this creepy game you’re playing?’. Unfortunately anime style artwork is automatically equated with dodgy content nowadays.


Yeah, but almost all Japanese games are like that (and rll is way too reactionary anyway), so if you can’t take their dodgy outfits and sexual innuendos you are excluding yourself from some of the best games. In most cases, Japanese dodgy stuff are superficial and the games are never about them, as usually female characters are at least as strong and independent as male ones, but of course I get it if someone can’t easily stomach their sexism when it pops up.

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The hard mode skirmish at Fouzen (the area with the bridges and lifts you have to activate) was tremendous fun. You are given 10 different spawn points but you can only place one person at each one. Knowing what I did about the layout from the other battles fought here I put snipers and lancers in what I hoped would be the positions most likely to succeed. Without knowing enemy placement it was probably going to be an exploratory first go bound for failure.

 

I got very lucky, my sniper was positioned without any enemies nearby, but could only target a single shocktrooper across the map. That trooper was covering a lift, so with him gone my own trooper could safely activate it and allow my tank to descend to the main bridge. That caused their tanks to move onto the bridge themselves, which gave my lancer clear shots at their rear weak points from his position. With three tanks taken out I could then advance across the bridge, blocking small arms fire from the side and attacking to the front, so my scout could advance towards their base and grab it on the 3rd turn. A rank on the first attempt, everything went like clockwork. Every other hard mode skirmish has taken a lot of trial and error, so it’s amazing to get it right first time.  Not likely to happen again.

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On 01/03/2022 at 08:42, Yobo Ahoy said:

 

Somehow I didn't know about the saving mid-mission for the entirety of my first play through which made it rather brutal in places!

 


Looks like I’ve had my own facepalm moment. I’m one mission from the end on NG+, done 85% of the hard skirmishes and I’m mopping up the remaining medals. I was trying to get the one for owning all the weapons, and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting it after hunting all the aces and getting all the royal awards. I went to check the upgrades were all bought - and discovered you can scroll down. Not just guns and grenades but armour too.

 

Shit! I’ve been playing the whole game with a defensive handicap ><

 

I no longer have to sneak around out of LoS of any tanks and turrets as my troops couldn’t take any crossfire at all. Might help me in the last two hard skirmishes…

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