valkyria chronicles

I purchased Valkyria Chronicles while under the impression that it was a strategy-RPG; in actuality it is not an RPG, and its strategy elements are entirely facile. The majority of the game's objectives involve the player capturing an enemy base, eliminating a tough enemy or eliminating all enemies (in fact, I can only remember two missions that do not follow this routine); but first, in order to accomplish such objectives you must select from a wide-range of characters --it is important to not confuse wide-range with diverse-- from five different character classes: most of which are entirely useless once you discover the principal philosophy to achieving success in this game.
While true that during the early segments one must utilise each character class' specialities, the flaws of each class will soon become more apparent as the player progresses, and the player will undergo an epiphany when it is finally realised that the most versatile and only required class is the 'scout'. The game, in fact, forces one to gorge upon scouts when the scoring system is accounted for: which rewards according to speed and disregards the amount of deaths caused by or suffered by the player.

Valkyria Chronicles is, however, a fun game despite its lax difficulty, and boasts a great deal of content. In addition to the 18 story chapters, there are several 'reports' which reward the player with adjunct missions (all of which are condescendingly easy), and 8 or so 'skirmish' missions which are based upon encounters from the story mode (the extra-hard versions of these skirmish missions do actually provide a challenge inasmuch as there is limited room for error --although one could just reload their save-- and certain mechanics one would've grown accustomed to by the point of this mode's unlock becoming void).
If you are the sort of player that cares about the story in their computer games, I bring good news: I cannot possibly spoil Valkyria's story for you since I skipped almost all of it. After viewing the first few cinematics I knew the story would not appeal to me, and so I thought not of what happens later in the game. Having said that, I believe I was able to maintain a coherent semblance of the occurrences in the story through the few forced cinematics, and that it was very likely a simple plot without much opulence.
Third-person turn-based shooting limited by a gradually-decreasing action gauge is the summa of Valkyria Chronicle's gameplay. The player, after selecting a character from an overhead map, expends one action turn; afterwards he is free to move around but only as far as the selected character is allowed to do so before expending their action gauge (scouts have the largest action gauge, while snipers have the smallest); characters are entitled to use one of their weapons or specialist equipment during any period that they are used, but, under most circumstances, only once per action turn --so the character must be selected again, after ending an action turn, in order to fire additional times, thus extinguishing more action turns.
I hope I have provided you with a clear description of the gameplay. For those that have played games such as Fallout 1 and 2, the gameplay tenets of Valkyria Chronicles should already be quite clear --simply reimagine the former games with movement and attacks that do not conflate, and rigidity in customisation and the options available to the player.
One can select the weapons that will be used by each character --guns are unlocked through killing 'elite units' or purchased with money that is obtained after each victory; the apogee of Valkyria Chronicles customisation has now been revealed to you. Each character has a distinct stat-line, rendering some objectively greater than others, despite being part of the same class. They also possess different 'potentials'; some of which are unlocked from the onset, but each character has at least one additional potential that can be unlocked. But it would be incorrect to assume that each potential bolters the power of the character. In fact, many of the unlockable potentials have egregious effects that severely hinder the usability of the character: the only accomplishment of this is forcing the player to narrow their selection of characters to a dozen or so of the very best.
Before its PC release, Valkyria Chronicles was, for a long time, a PS3 exclusive: this remains manifest in the PC port. The menus are slow to respond to input, and the UI is awkward to use at first since it functions with the 'enter' key, 'f' key or the 'left-mouse button' according to caprice. If given an attentive PC port there are many aspects of navigation that should have been vastly improved.
In addition to a tedious-to-use interface, many aspects of the gameplay itself are also sluggish. Throughout my two plays I often found myself agitated by the protracted text-boxes. For example: roughly half-way through the game the player can visit the princess who will bestow gifts upon the player in accordance with their in-game progress; if receiving a large weapons cache, to complete the scene can take a minute or two of patience and excessive clicking. An image of the received weapon is displayed, followed by a text description of it; if both of these screens were to be unified into a single screen, the time taken during each visit would half. Furthermore, enemy movement and the 'order' game mechanic consume more time to complete than I believe is truly required of them.
I have invested 30-40 hours into the game, which was enough for me to complete most of its content. Now all that remains for me to finish are the A-ranks of the extra-hard mode skirmishes and some of the 'royal challenges' --but I imagine it will be a while before the apathy I feel towards the game will evaporate. Although a humble game lacking much intricacy, it was certainly worth the amount I paid for it (about 5 pounds, if I remember correctly), and it kept me occupied for two full-plays.