Valkyria Chronicles is likley one of the best games I ever put down, and it makes me sad that I am writing this 4 years after its release, and that I am writing this instead of playing it right now.
Valkyria Chronicles is, from where I stand some 6 missions in, a retelling of WWII in a alternate world. The dates are right-ish, and the bad guys are kinda correct. Also, there are tanks, primitive rifles, bazookas and light machine guns. Everything is in place!
The connection is weak, but the feel works out for me.
The game’s main characters are Welkin Gunther and Alicia Melchiot, a college student and a baker, respectivly, that join the militia and fight against the Imperial invaders of Imperia. Welkin ends up with a Tank his father left him, and Alicia becomes a leader in her own right. I’m not all the way into the story, but its been fairly good for following around a bunch of youngsters, something which I generally don’t latch onto. For one, It seems that this story makes them feel younger, which I am good with.
I enjoy turn based strategy games, probably too much, and my love of XCOM, both new and old, is testament to that love. Valkyria Chronicles is a version of turn based strategy that I enjoy more than most. The basics of the game is, very much like a tabletop game I very much enjoy, based on orders. Each turn you get to take, you have a certain amount of orders to spend, however you so desire. If you so like, you can spend it on the Edilweiss for the whole of the turn and have your tank just try and Rambo the enemy army. Its unlikely to work, but you can give it a try! Additionally, each subsequent order spend on the same unit reduces its move stat, meaning you can’t get as far.
There are Six classes of units, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Scouts: Great Movement, Low HP, Low Damage, Accuracy, and Rate of Fire
Shocktroopers: Middling Movement, High HP, Low Damage, Low Accuracy, Great Rate of Fire
Lancers: Low Movement, High HP, High Damage, Middling Accuracy, Single Shot
Snipers: Low Movement, Low HP, High Damage, High Accuracy, Single Shot
Engineer: Middling Movement, Fights like a Scout, but carries ammo and can fix your tank
Tank: Middle Movement, Enormous HP, Low Accuracy, High Damage, Single Shot
As you spend your orders and activate your troopers, you’ll move around the battlefield freely, almost like an third person shooter. If you encounter enemies, however, they will shoot at you, provided they don’t use their single shot weapons. This holds true for your soldiers attacking enemy troops, so you can really get good use out of choke points if they have to come after you. Once you get into a position you like, you can go into your aim mode, which is almost an FPS view, and choose your action to take. Once your action is taken, often by shooting the enemy, you can either end your action, or start moving again.
If a character is reduced to 0 Hp, they are downed and are no longer active. You have three turns to get another character over there, call a medic, and evacuate them or they’ll die, permanently. This can also happen if an enemy reaches them as well.
During each mission, you can call in reinforcements if you need to, from the bases scattered about the level. Once you do, a new solider will come to your aid as long as you don’t have the maximum number of active troopers on the board.
In addition to the battles and the turn based fights, there are also tech trees for each weapon, as well as some for the armors. The Eidlwiess can also be upgraded, and has tech trees for all sorts of aspects.
Finally, even your soliders gain levels, making them better and better as you go along.
I’m just starting to get into the game, so I’ll have more information and maybe some battles to go over when I come around next time. I don’t expect to get much writing done over the holidays, but we will see how it all pans out, and maybe I can get an article or two out there about the progress I’m making!
Welkin Gunther, Main Character, Tank Commander