Feature: Valkyria Chronicles (Part III)

Valkyria Chronicles (North American Box Art)
This week, Lusipurr.com continues with the third part of its Christmas 2009 site-wide playthrough of Valkyria Chronicles.

Valkyria Chronicles is a PlayStation 3 strategy RPG which abandons the grid-based methods of other genre predecessors in favour of an over-the-shoulder battle system. Though the grand overview of battles occurs top-down with the assigning of units to the field, the actual battle takes place in this semi-real-time third person mode, where the player controls the units directly. Placing the player directly in the action not only speeds up the traditionally slow gameplay of a strategy RPG, but provides for a new and engaging story-telling experience.

In this week, we will focus on the chapters ten through fourteen. Please comment on the music, graphics, characterisation, battle system, and especially the story through this point. What are your opinions: what could be improved, do you have a favourite scene or character, do you feel invested in the storyline? We want to know what you think! Your comments will be used on the 28 December episode of the Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast, so listen in for further discussion from our panel of panelists!


  1. Alicia is still the most awesome character in the game, and I don’t feel too far out of my depth to predict that she will remain so until the end.

    I’m not having trouble with my lancers missing too much. Perhaps I am just more forgiving of them than I should be?

    Also, I can’t bring myself to stack my team with snipers. I like a balance, and though I know that lots of snipers is the way forward, I just can’t do it!

  2. a dont like snipers they miss too much. i only use one per battle because they are useless until you get your “super rifle” very very late in the game. i alicia is great but i like Largo too.

  3. I am liking Alicia more this playthrough than I did last time, bipolar disorder and all. Really the only character I don’t care for is Rosie. I know she’s supposed to be racists against the Darcsens and everything, but it still bugs me for some reason.

    I also like what they did with the Imperial generals (I believe this was talked about already somewhere, but I’m bringing it up again because I can), where, for the most part, they aren’t really “evil.” Most of them have reasonable motivations for why they do the things they do. I think it works well to single out Gregor as the bastard of the group.

    @Lusipurr: Yeah, as much as I love snipers, I wouldn’t load the entire team with them, I prefer balance. If there was one unit I’d create a whole team out of, it would be scouts because of their versatility, especially going for A ranks.

    RE: Lancers – I think I may have been using Lancers wrong until very recently. I was one of the people who complained about their accuracy, but lately I’ve just given up on trying to hit anything farther than 3 feet away and it’s actually been working much better. At this point, Largo can shrug off a staggering amount of crossfire, so he can usually run right up to the tanks as opposed to firing from a distance. Granted, this won’t help for the larger levels, but at least it makes them miss less frequently.

  4. I’m still loving VC’s art style, even after looking at it for this long. I think it may be my favorite part of the game :D.

  5. I know it is only a filter, but I really like it.
    I am a sucker for this particular anime art style, and I love the pencil shading filter being applied to it.
    The whole thing taking place inside of a history book is also something which pleases me.

  6. So i feel that starting with chapter 7-ish that all the missions are, are driving the tank to the dot and if you come to an enemy shoot in head and move on… does this change at all?

  7. @darth – I noticed that little quirk with the lancers too. what pisses me off is that even if I do miss slightly they have FUCKING ROCKET LAUNCHERS! Largos blind ass nearly got me killed on the trench mission.

    and I don’t like Rosie too. whenever a character is made racist I see that as the writers way of telling me to hate that character.

  8. @Lusipurr: I’ve been re-watching several cutscenes to try to figure out when exactly the pencil filter’s applied. It seems to be more prevalent in shadowed areas, but not exclusively so or anything. Whatever it is, it does look great and, in my opinion, breathes new life into cell shading (but I hope it doesn’t get as overused as cell shading does).

    @Volke: Some of the middle missions are pretty easy to crank out with a tank/engineer combination, but that’ll usually net you a low ranking on the level because it’s so slow. I’ve found myself throwing caution into the wind much more on my second time through (traditionally, I play strategy games very conservatively) and rushing troops around, trying to finish as fast as possible. I think I’m having more fun that way, but there’s definitely more opportunity for something to go wrong. In either case, at least a few of the later levels jump to mind as places you won’t be able to just tank-spam. The tank’s still pretty tough, but a lot of the time it’s just too slow or physically barred from your objective by the terrain.

    @Breaka: Presumably, Rosie’s supposed to make up for it by overcoming her racism, but I thought that moment was too long in coming. Towards the middle of the game, she kind of had the attitude of “Sure, you’ve saved my ass multiple times, but I still hate you for no good reason”, you know? If I recall, she does get better after that a bit, but it might just be that she was featured less.

  9. So now im doing more Skirmish battles and just power leveling my people with doing SB:4-6 i can one turn them with Elite Scouts just running to the Camps and winning and getting an A ranking, so im on chapter 11 and what are your level suggestions for this chapter?

  10. Levels are helpful, but they’re not nearly as important as in most RPGs. Tactics and having a good mix of classes are the keys to victory in VC. Whatever level your characters are at, I’m sure it’s enough to take on that level, especially if you’ve done a bit of grinding. That being said, in chapter 11 there’s a specific use for the flame throwers your soldiers can get once they reach “elite,” so it would help to have them up to that level. Like I said, not a requirement by any means, but definitely something to help.

    Another random piece of advice for chapter 11 (I just played it last night, so it’s fresh in my mind), don’t deploy all your character slots right away. There’s a camp you can take over right past the beachhead, I suggest just deploying the bare minimum you’ll need to take that (probably a scout or two with the tanks backing them up), then just use that to deploy the rest of your squad as needed. Actually, the level’s quite long distance-wise, so it would probably be best, at least for some of the slower-moving types, to deploy as you go to save having to wait for a laggard or two towards the end (I’m looking at you, lancers).

  11. I just finished chapter 14. It’s both my favorite and least favorite chapter. Story wise, I think this is where the story’s at it’s peak (along with the previous couple of chapters), while the rest of the story is eventful, I almost with they would have ended it after this chapter (with appropriate plot adjustments so that nothing’s left unfinished, of course). The battle in chapter 14, though, was the worst in the game in my opinion. The only way I’ve found to get an A on it is to know what’s going to happen ahead of time from a previous playthrough, which, in my opinion, seems cheap and a little bit of a cop-out.

    On a side note, I may not be able to keep up with the playthrough next week since I’ll be out of town and without PS3 access between tomorrow and Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up for the latter 1/2 of the week, though :D.