First night mission – and very interesting it was, too.
It’s the first mission where I’ve noticed bonus enemies out of the way of the main action. In this case, a yellow-capped enemy was on a completely different map to the main action. (Enemies with yellow headgear give item bonuses when you kill them, I think.)
Possibly more interesting, though, was the sheer rubbishness of the enemy AI. I left my tank facing away from an enemy shocktrooper, its weak spot exposed and the stupid enemy didn’t even move during his turn. I hope this is just because I’m still in the very early stages and not an indication of what I can expect throughout the whole game.
I spent longer last night setting up groups than playing the game.
I kept the first group the same, but set up a second group of reserves who have an APC, rather than a tank.
Both vehicles are equipped with the same flamethrower turret, however.
It’s just a shame that the one mission I finally ended up doing gave me a preset APC and didn’t let me take my own vehicle.
This is just so, so good. I haven’t even progressed very far – I’ve been redoing early missions to experiment with different classes and squad combinations. Even just doing that, though, opens up lovely new cut scenes involving the characters you’ve been using in battle.
I don’t know what it is about this series, but the Valkyria Chronicles games are the only ones where I see sitting through more dialogue as a reward.
You know a game’s got its hooks in you when you go to bed and lie there replaying a mission on the inside of your eyelids, trying to do better. If only I’d started with a lancer and that camp… or if I’d noticed the soldier in the long grass a turn earlier… etc.
It’s very, very, very special indeed – a fact confirmed by the existence of at least one dialogue scene all about knitting. The girls involved sounded just like my wife and and her friends
The original Valkyria Chronicles was a very special game, but it made huge demands on TV time, so I never actually finished it. The sequel is on the PSP and, though it’s had to be squeezed a little to make it onto the format, having it on a handheld format is very welcome indeed.
Not, though, that much has been sacrificed in the transition. The graphics have take a hit (though they still look great), squads are smaller and maps are split up into separate areas. None of this seems to hurt the game. I was slightly worried by the splitting up of the maps when I first read about it, but it works very well in practice.
It seems, though, that developers worried a bit about seeming to have dumbed down the game, so they’ve added huge amounts of new stuff that I’ve not even begun to get my head around yet. New classes, a new school-based interface between missions, tons of way to upgrade classes, weapons and individual soldiers… even having played the first the amount of stuff that keeps being opened up is dizzying.
It’s going to take some time to really become comfortable with all the processes, but the game seems like a brilliant sequel based on the first three hours or so.
Played quite a lot of this over the weekend and will probably play more, as Valkyria Chronicles 2 hasn’t arrived yet. Bah.
Not too much of a trial, though, as Ridge Racer 2 is pretty glorious. Slick, speedy and precise, it’s how a robot would dream of driving.
The fact that it’s basically the same game as the first PSP Ridge Racer doesn’t matter in the least so many years after release, so hooray.
Only trouble is that I can’t take screenshots of PSP games, so here is a picture of my wife hugging a metal octopus that is playing chess.
Hastings is a strange and wonderful place.
I’d forgotten about the Driving Challenges. They’re like the licence tests in other Gran Turismo games, but completely optional. Nice little chunks of bite-sized driving and probably the quickest way to earn cash.
Haven’t bought any amazing cars yet. It’s nice to drive the fast, new cars, but I’m definitely more a fan of vintage American models. Shame they’re so hard to keep on the track.
So, I’ve got two PSPs. An old Japanese launch model, the size of six houses, and a lovely slim, light PSP 2000. I’ve had OFW on the brick and CFW on the 2000. Trouble is, I’m a good boy. I pay to download real copies of games and buy real UMDs, which I can’t play on CFW. (Not without fucking about patching things and torrenting files and shit, anyway, and life’s too short.) So for the last, I don’t know, year or so, I’ve only been using my horrible old PSP, wishing I could play my games on the nice, newer PSP. So I bit the bullet and put the latest OFW on my PSP 2000. Now I can play my games on my good PSP. Hooray! EXCEPT for the fact that Gran Turismo for some reason I cannot begin to fathom locks its save data to the PSP it’s created on, so to play the fucking game I had to delete many hours of play and start all over again. Fucker.
Still, it’s a glorious game – once you turn off all the horrible, fun-sapping driving aids and put the physics on Professional – and hopefully now I’ll play it more now it’s on a much nicer console.
This is my holiday game, but I’ve started it early. Sue me.
I’d forgotten how fantastic the opening section is – it’s been over ten years, after all – but it really throws you into the game and generates a real sense of urgency.
It’s a shame that the game’s very much of its time in other areas. The reliance on save points is pretty horrible by modern standards – though the PSP’s standby helps alleviate some of the problems that causes – but it’s the time it takes to get back into the game once you die that’s the real problem, and it’s not helped by having to go through cut scenes and dialogue again.
It’s also a mark of the game’s age that I’ve had to restart – enemies fifteen minutes in don’t often kill you in modern RPGs.
So far, no surprises. The demo of the game gives a very good idea of what the main game mode is like and I’m yet to try any of the other gameplay types. It’s a very good little game, with the no load times from UMD and the Start button skips all dialogue, making replaying levels much less painful.
I’ve played six levels now, but have done most of those multiple times, trying for better times, to open up different paths and to get some obscure ratings. For example, there might be a “Lonely” rating for a level, which you’ll get if win the level without recruiting a certain character on the map. The names give hints for how to gain the rating, but some look very difficult – can I really complete a map without any food? Do healing herbs count?
Very nice indeed, though whether it’ll keep me occupied to the end of the game remains to be seen.