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Valkyria Chronicles 4 - POC

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Despite taking nearly a year to complete the first game, it was one of the games of the generation for me, #2 in the series was... ok... I guess, never really got around to finishing it though as it just didn't grab me the way the first one did, the characters were whiny little emo kids. We won't mention that other Valkyria game, less said about it the better, thankfully Sega learned from their mistake. What people wanted was basically the first game, with some new story, hell just some new DLC for the original game and people would be throwing cash at the screen.

VC4 is just what we wanted, I swear it's just an asset flip of the first game and a few new bits bolted on, but that's no bad thing.

The combat is exactly the same - Good

The graphics are almost exactly the same - Good

The story is mostly the same, the same war from a different allied factions perspective - OK I guess, on chapter 4 and I kind of miss seeing the enemy cut scenes and characters, but this might change.

New class - Grenadier - Basically beast mode, enormous long ranged damage and suppressing fire, but requires someone (even the grenadier) to have line of sight with an enemy, but you can carpet bomb randomly for those corners that have an obvious enemy hidden in the grass

The level design has taken a big leap as well, much better designs, multiple routes that benefit the new class without it being a "you will only put the grenadier here" cludge and more clever use of the weather system, the "hunt the fake tank" level was particularly nerve wracking and had me scratching my head how to accomplish the objective without perma-death'ing a good character.

Speaking of characters, they aren't too bad, the main tank-driving protagonist is a bit tooooooo close to Welkin for my liking, and for the love of god, don't enable English voices, the voice actor completely ruins the character, in Japanese he's a broody gruff manly man, in English he sounds like a wimpy man-child. It's worth playing in Japanese purely for Raz, voiced by anime voice actor Kazuya Nakai, Raz is the character that gained the game an unfortunate reputation on launch for his sexual assault (ass grab) of female colleague Kai. Made more unfortunate by the devs giving her a ridiculously detailed ass, it's almost DoA:XBV level. Nothing compared to Selvaria's Bulgarian Funbags in the first game though.

It is very very easy as a veteran of the series though, the option to only start on normal or easy difficulty I feel is a bad choice, it should detect if you have the remastered first game already and give you the option to skip all the tutorials except for new content and unlock hard mode as an option. You can still cheese levels with engineers equipped with higher grade weapons, or abuse Orders to buff scouts into near-unbeatable walking death machines, which is a shame, and it's hard not to fall back on these techniques to burn through a level in one turn and max Exp and Cash returns. I am trying to play though it the first time properly though, like I said, the Grenadier is ridiculously good, but their limited mobility (around half that of Lancers) means if you are to use them properly, levels are going to take noticeably longer.

5 hours in though, and probably another 25+ to go for the first playthrough, but thoroughly enjoying this, it's legitimately awesome. We shall see what I say when I get near to the end of the game though, as that's usually where the series falls down and throws cheap shots at you to make the final levels harder rather than smarter.

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