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  1. Before reading, this is coming from someone who loves the first Valkyria Chronicles, but never touched the 2nd or 3rd. As such I will be making direct comparisons to the first game as if 4 was a direct sequel. Though it may as well be from what I can tell, it seems to be the first sequel that carries the spirit of the first game.
  3. When I first heard about this game I really didn't know how to feel. VC 2 was a train wreck from what I can tell and 3 was a Japanese exclusive. There was also some other VC game that came out that was more like an ARPG (I think? Feel free to correct me on that) that also blew from what I heard. So, I didn't have high hopes for this game. It also was another game that took place during the second Europa war, just like the first and third game so I thought it would just be a rehash. Well in a way it is but not in a bad way I think.
  5. [Story, Setting, and Characters]
  7. As I stated before, the game takes place during the second Europa war, or EWII for short. What makes this different though is that the game focuses on Squad E, an army squad of the Federation. Now the main cast are all Gallian and simply joined this army for the sake of Gallia, but it still provides a lot of insight into what was going on with the Federation during EWII. Where as in VC1 was mostly about defending Gallia, VC4 has the squad moving forward into Imperial territory to take the capital. As for the main cast, they are pretty much what you expect in a way. While I still prefer the cast of the first game, this game’s main and supporting cast are still pretty damn good, especially Raz. I’m not too picky when it comes to story but I found it enjoyable. Now it isn’t written as tightly as the first game, there’s a lot of things that I wish they showed more than they told. The game also likes to pull a lot of anime tropes, something that the first game didn’t do much. Very early in this game there is an “accidently looking up the skirt” scene and all I could think was “really?”. Other examples I have in terms of misgivings about the story are pretty spoiler heavy (though obvious from even the start of the game). Despite that however, the story is still pretty damn good. I feel the game does a great job with having light and comedic moments while still hammering in your head that war is hell, something that is hammered even more so in this game than VC1. The characters and the interaction between them are a lot of fun and you can really feel the bond (or hatred) between them, even if at times the pacing is a bit off and some development is a little lacking. The side cast of characters, like all the other units of your squad, also have their interesting quirks and the squad stories in the game really help characterize these units that would otherwise just be stats with a face.
  9. [Gameplay]
  11. I won’t go into too much detail about the game mechanics as it’s very similar to the first VC. The game still uses the “blitz” system, where everything is turn based but you take control of units in a sort of real time, third person mode. Nothing is really different in terms of gameplay, just expanded on. There are a couple extra layers to the gameplay and strategy that you can utilize now, as well as a new type of unit called the grenadier which basically shoots mortars across the map, it’s great. The only thing is that anyone who has played VC1 extensively likely knows of the methods to easily beat a map in one turn, something that is not addressed much in this game. There are some new mechanics in the game, like having a squad leader have two units following them, allowing units for low AP to move even further, or for having 3 shock troopers roll up to ruin someone’s day. Orders return, as well as a big ass ship that can perform additional orders like bombarding a large area and removing anything that was there before. A new player will love all the options given to them, but a returning player won’t get to utilize all of that because it’s way more than is needed to beat the missions, at least on normal difficulty. That being said, there are some missions that will require a lot of strategy and thinking, and you’ll feel like a glowing brain genius at times. Though there are also times where the game likes to get cheeky and throw some nonsense at you, like one mission where the enemy went first and destroyed my tank before I could take a single action… I guess the game was trying to make a point or something, I dunno. The worst offender are these two characters that have insane movement, dodging abilities, and damage output for both infantry and tanks. There are ways to deal with them if you know the game well enough but they still prove to be just annoying. There are also other activities to do like the returning skirmishes that you can repeat for EXP and money which is used for leveling up and developing new equipment respectively. I mentioned the squad stories before which are side chapters that you can complete that will focus on 3 members of your squad, and they give insight to your squad mates as well as adjusting their quirks depending on what took place during the story. There’s also a handful of DLC to choose from, though none of it looks required, I picked up a couple and they are nice supplementary material to the game but nothing more really. The last thing I have to say is that this game can and will waste your time at any moment. Cutscenes are broken up to separate “episodes” that you have to select and watch. Every time a unit kills an enemy, they have to say some witty line and strike a pose, and every damn time you develop something in the R&D section, miles has to say the same fkin’ lines over and over again. Like… Jesus H. Christ, shut up, this was an issue in the first game as well. There is also a healthy post-game with new equipment, bonus units and missions as well. With all that said, overall, if you liked the gameplay of VC1, you’ll like this. It has more of the things you love… and hate as well.
  13. [Graphics and Visuals]
  15. Much like VC1, this game utilizes the “CANVAS” engine, an engine used specifically for this series that makes the game look like a moving painting. Though in my experience you only notice that some of the time, most of the time you just notice the simple yet great art style used for the game. It’s a game that wont be hard to run at all, and even doesn’t have much in the way of graphics options, but that’s because there’s nothing too complex here, but it still looks beautiful. The colors really pop, making each environment vibrant when it needs to be, and character designs and expressions are done just as well. The game has some wonderful animated cutscenes both running in real time and pre-rendered (from what I can tell anyway). Most of the game however is presented in a visual novel style way using premade animations and expressions that get the job done but a lot of the characters share the same animations and it feels just a bit lazy. There is also a healthy use of comic book style onomatopoeia which really lends itself to the art style. Overall, the game really nails it in the visual department, it looks amazing and with its unique engine can sometimes pull off some really impressive looking shots.  
  17. [Audio, Music, and Voice]
  19. Starting off with sound effects first cuz they are the most underwhelming part of the audio. Not that it’s bad just kinda okay and generic. The sounds of bullets and explosions are what you’d expect and pretty basic. You could say it matches its art style and I don’t have any complaints, just saying that there isn’t anything to talk about. Much like the first game, the music is fantastic… and the game uses a lot of music *from* the first game so y’know. Still, all unique music for the fourth game is still great, even if we could have used some more of it. Voice acting is something that you see people talk about a lot with these games. For me, I don’t ask a lot from voice acting, but I think VC4 has some really good voice acting, at least for the English voices. The voices all fit the characters really well and you can really hear and believe the times when they express either great joy or sadness, I think the voice actors nailed portraying these emotions and it really hit me at times.
  21. [Modding]
  23. I always like to look at modding when talking about a PC game. In this case… don’t count on it. The way the game is packed up means that modding is such a pain in the neck. There are some mods out there for things like removing the canvas border from the game, but that requires unpacking and repacking at a twenty-something gigabyte file and that’s just… no.
  25. [Conclusion]
  27. When I say that this game is a sequel to the first game, I mean that in every sense of the word. It really is more of the same which isn’t a bad thing, but I feel like they could have gone a little further, maybe taken some more risks. It has all the same problems from the first game as I mentioned, and I still feel that VC1 is the better game in terms of story and characters. I recommend you go play that first, but if you are looking for more, then this game is a worthy successor to the first amazing game. At the current price of $30, the game is easily worth it. I’m 55 hours in and I still got plenty of post-game stuff to do. I hope that if we get a new game that’ll be willing to branch out and try some new things. The game is overall like an 8/10 for me I’d say.
  29. Feel free to drop a comment if you think there is anything I missed or you just want to call me an asshole.
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