mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Valkyria Chronicles 4

The original Valkyria Chronicles was an unexpected gem and one of my favorite games on the PS3. Ten years later, Valkyria Chronicles 4 delivered a satisfying dose of nostalgia with a few tweaks to keep things spicy.

You did great, soldier!

The latest entry in this unique turn-based tactical RPG series keeps things very similar to the original: beautiful cell-shaded art, war in the alternate-Europe Europan, a male protagonist who rides in a tank and is a klutz around women, the soldier class system (e.g. Scout, Engineer, Sniper), amazing music by Hitoshi Sakimoto, a more-than-serviceable story that pulls you from battle to battle, characters with personality and development, and the uber-powerful Valkyrias that turn traditional battles on their heads. It adds some new things like a Grenadier class that can launch grenades at enemies, multiple tanks, and powerful support abilities from a battle cruiser.

It's training time!

There are some pain points.

  • The story is told via pictures in a book. After most scenes you’re kicked out of the book and have to manually start the next scene. This breaks continuity in the narrative and atmosphere.
  • While upgrading weapons and armor, after every upgrade a character pops up to tell you how amazing the upgrade is or how he wants to take a picture of it. It’s not terrible the first few times but after you do a couple of upgrades it gets really annoying.
  • Battles against special characters or vehicles can be really tricky if you don’t figure out the trick to beat them early on. Trial and error can result in major losses that makes victory untenable. Saving halfway through a battle and reloading if needed helps relieve this a bit. I suppose this is a part of the fog of war? 🤔
  • Over the course of the game the troops available for you to deploy increase as you recruit more people but there’s never really any incentive to swap those new people in as they don’t add any significant value.

All this said, I overall really enjoyed Valkyria Chronicles 4.

Got 'em!

Valkyria Chronicles 4 came out on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC but it was an easy decision for me to get it on the Switch. This game was great to play on-the-go: I could usually get through a battle or two during my 45 minute train commute. If a cross between Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, and Metal Gear Solid sounds up your alley, check it out!