What I'm Playing - No. 42
Welcome back to another weekly wrap-up of the games I’ve been playing over the past week!
Be warned, minor spoilers may be contained within. Generally, I do try to keep things spoiler-free but this isn’t always possible/practical! If you want to totally avoid all potential spoilers so you can play this game yourself in a blind run, you shouldn’t continue reading! The only game contained within this post:
- Valkyria Chronicles (PC)
Valkyria Chronicles (PC)
Now that I’m really into the main gameplay loop, things have heated up! For one, Welkin has a sick tank called the Edelweiss now!
So last time I mentioned how the people of the Gallian city Bruhl were hunkering down to defend it against the Imperial invasion. Well, their defense was quickly overwhelmed. Our heroes Alicia, Welkin, and Isara could only buy the townspeople time as everyone fled. They and the rest of the townspeople flee to the capital city, Randgriz. There, they enlist in the Gallian Militia, as is required by Gallian law during wartime. Welkin is given the rank of Luitenant and put in charge of Squad 7, and the fight for Gallia truly begins.
The reason behind the empire’s invasion is driven by a desire for Ragnite, the material that powers tanks and many other devices in this world. It’s even used for Ragnaid, a piece of equipment that can miraculously heal injuries in battle…I’ve used several of those on my soldiers already in my playthrough! Anyway, another part of this universe that I think is cool is how all tanks have a “Ragnite radiator” weak point. It’s always at the rear of the tank (at least so far), and it’s the one area where even foot soldiers can damage a tank by shooting it. If you hit a tank in the radiator with an anti-armor round from your own tank, it’s likely a one hit kill instead of what would usually take 4-ish hits. It’s cool because tanks are really beefy otherwise, but them having this small weak area balances it out a bit, and you really need to protect the radiator on your own tanks too! Basically, never turn your back on the enemy.
The main gameplay loop is split into chapters that consist of viewing a few cutscenes that are split into bite sized scenes and can re-watched whenever from Book mode, then fighting an Operation that’s the main battle and conflict for the chapter, and afterward a resolution cutscene or two. Between parts of a chapter, you can also visit Headquarters where you can spend acquired points to level up your unit types and buy improvements to weapons and equipment.
Initially, I wasn’t doing too great at the missions. I still kind of have a bad habit of rushing in too quickly, but I’ve at least learned the controls and mechanics better now. I got some Game Overs along the way, but now I’ve graduated into about a C-rank on average for most missions. You get a rank like that after each mission, with the rank and rewards increasing as you perform better, I guess?
At least I’ve managed to prevent any of my units from actually dying! A unit who loses all their HP is downed, and you have 3 turns to have another unit reach them to call the squad Medic, which will remove them from battle but keep them from dying. Alternatively, if you clear the mission from the 3 turns are up they also survive. Otherwise when 3 turns pass, they’re dead (with the exception of units important to the story like Alicia), and they’re also dead if an enemy reaches them while they are downed (that’s something I didn’t realize until I was reviewing my screenshots). This permadeath system is cool, reminds me of Fire Emblem a bit where the stakes are made real by actually having units die. Although in Valkyria Chronicles, there’s plenty of other recruits to fill your ranks with if people in your squad die…but hopefully it doesn’t come to that for me!
My progress this week also introduced me to the “big bads” of the Imperial army. Berthold Gregor, Radi Jaeger, Selvaria Bles, and of course the Imperial prince, Maximilian. One of them already showed up in a mission, driving around this huge tank. I managed to mostly avoid them, as was expected I think. I’m almost positive I wasn’t meant to defeat them at that point. I’m assuming at some point that we’ll actually fight and defeat them in battle though…someday.