333: Valkyria Chronicles

This is where you'll find threads specific to the games we're covering in Volume Six
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JaySevenZero
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333: Valkyria Chronicles

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 3:37 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Valkyria Chronicles for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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TheEmailer
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Re: 333: Valkyria Chronicles

Post by TheEmailer » January 1st, 2018, 2:34 pm

This game is a really unique take on war, with a beautiful art style and full of surprises. The gameplay was an engaging mash up of strategy and third person shooting that drew me in. However, my enjoyment of the gameplay was mired by the ranking system, linked to rewards. It puts speed of completion ahead of unit survival, so encourages the player to rush rather than plan coherently. In the end, due to the difficulty curve, I ended up using guides for the top ranks and reloading saves when turns didn't go to plan. This is not by any means a fun way to play the game.

The story was an unusual take on world war two, with the melodramatic anime style sometimes jarring with serious subject mater and sometimes being quite affecting. I ended up caring about the characters of your unit more than the overall plot, both the full voice acted ones and the squaddies with their personality traits. I find this style of storytelling, focusing on the soldiers rather than the war itself, more compelling and I found the game succeeded here.

Oh and the 'Desert Duel with Maximilian' can do one!

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Re: 333: Valkyria Chronicles

Post by ReprobateGamer » April 14th, 2018, 3:56 pm

This games gets so much right - the graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay is a good blend of shooting and strategy and the characterisation was great. The first few levels give you a great introduction to how the game plays with a decent difficulty curve and there is a reasonably broad mic of scenarios then you realise that the game basically wants you to ignore everything taking place and speed run it - and torpedoes the whole thing.

Each level finishes with a battle report styled score sheet, and despite all the entries for killing key figures, the only important result is your speed rank - and the speed required will mean that any choices you would make based on character relationships or any of the fairly detailed world building is ignored to essentially power a scout to the finish line. It's a turn based endless runner ...

I've never completed this game, and never will, as a result.

I don't have a specific objection to number of turns taking being a factor in your score but to know that you can't get top rank for playing the game as a strategy game rather than trying to find the correct route to reach the objective (especially as this seems to require save scumming if the RNG is against you) means that I'm not encouraged to play.

I find it telling that the anime based on this was far more concentrated on the characters than any war scenes and the fairly poor reception every other version has received would suggest that I'm not alone in having issues with the game.
I have watched a lets play on this and the story does have a good ending but I just can't get over the dissonance between the story beats and the way that the game needs to be played.
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