Valkyria Chronicles 4 Preview

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a strategy RPG developed and published by Sega. It will release to the West on September 25, 2018 on PC, Xbox 1, PS4, and Switch for $60. I played the Valkyria Chronicles 4 Demo on Nintendo Switch.

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I feel like this game came out of nowhere and ambushed me. In a good way, that is. It… pummled me with its good gameplay? I need to end this metaphor.

To be honest, I’ve never heard of this series before. I was looking for some demos to try out on the Nintendo eShop and the trailer for this game stood out to me (in all honesty, it was the dog in the hat that convinced me to download it). I’m glad I tried it out, because this is a game I definitely need to pick up.

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Valkyria Chronicles feels very much like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics, with action RPG and shooter elements thrown in. The setting is, from what I can gather, an anime-fantasy take on World War II. The aesthetic fits rather well, especially with its gorgeous watercolor / pencil drawing art direction.

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The story revolves around Squad E, a band of youths who apparently joined the army when their village was burned down. The character interactions seem promising enough to have my interest.

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The gameplay, though, is where I am truly invested. Whereas Fire Emblem uses a grid to show movement, Valkyria Chronicles lets your units freely run around the map, their distance limited to an action gage. They can hide behind cover, switch weapons, and take a few shots at the enemy. Me being terrible at shooters, this is perfect for me to have enough time to line up my shots just right. I love using the terrain, getting into good positions, and weighing my options. All sorts of classic SRPG goodness.

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The tanks add in a nice twist as well. They have their own weapons and are mostly immune to infantry, but they carry a weak point in the back. So you need to protect your own tank’s rear while trying to get your units to flank the enemy tank from behind.

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If you’re into action-focused games and traditional shooters, you will probably find this game too slow-paced. But if you’re a strategy or an RPG fan like me, I highly recommend you put this one on your radar. It’s unfortunate that I already have a big fall lineup of games, otherwise I would buy it at launch. But once the holiday rush is over, I’ll definitely be getting this one.

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