The Quarterly JRPG Club Gaiden - Winter - Valkyria Chronicles 2

Hi, everyone! This quarter, the main pick for the JRPG Club is Valkyria Chronicles, but some of us have either already finished it or don't own a copy. So this quarter's alternate pick is Valkyria Chronicles 2 for PSP/Vita.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/sADJ3DD.jpg)

Here's the breakdown:
IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/vdP6TpZl.jpg)

Looks like this one's a bit of a haul! According to some walkthroughs, there are 12 chapters in the main game plus a prologue chapter. The prologue looks like it's really short, so let's plan to do four chapters a month until the end of the year.

October: Chapter 0 through Chapter 4
November: Chapter 5 through Chapter 8
December: Chapter 9 through Chapter 12

Please refrain from spoilers for any section (or use spoiler tags) until the month containing that section is up. Please feel free to start at any time! Let the discussions begin.

Sigh, I may still join in. Dammit, Clock! Let me see what kind of time I have. Do we know if this is compatible with Vita? (digital version)

It is, but I think it's one of the handful of games that requires a PS3 to transfer over (for some weird reason). Although they may have fixed that.

This thread should be called The Quarterly JRPG Club Gaiden.

Wembley wrote:

This thread should be called The Quarterly JRPG Club Gaiden.

I love it!

Wembley wrote:

This thread should be called The Quarterly JRPG Club Gaiden.

Too good to not use!

I started the game this morning and played for about 40 minutes.

I played up to

Spoiler:

where the characters are officially accepted at the academy

.

Not sure I like how the maps are broken into small areas. I've only done one battle like this so far, and I already miss the huge areas of the previous game. (I understand that this is a technical concession because of the platform, but still.) The camera controls in the action sequences are also somewhat clunky due to the lack of a second analog stick, though I guess I will be able to get used to it eventually.

I need to admit that I am playing the game on my PC using... an unofficial app transforming my PC into an HD PSP. (Shame on me, I know. Considering that I own three PSPs and the game (bought the day it came out), I don't feel bad about it though.) The graphical downgrade, on a big screen, is quite obvious. I'm sure the models look fine on a small screen, but blown up to 1920 x 1080, they are atrocious. If this game is ever ported to the PC, I hope they give characters and environments an upgrade, because I can already imagine every person ever playing it complaining about that. Lining up your shots for the head is slightly harder, I think, due to the reduced size. I could be wrong about that though, I haven't played the original in a while.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Wembley wrote:

This thread should be called The Quarterly JRPG Club Gaiden.

Too good to not use! :D

Yay!

Such a shame this hasn't be re-released on PC, as I've already done VC1 recently.

I may just pick an RPG to play and join in spirit with the rest of you!

I just completed the first chapter (January). I had to redo the final story mission because I did something dumb when I tried it the first time. Still not a fan of the smaller, closed areas, feels like I'm wasting CP moving characters around them (or maybe I missed something in the tutorial).

Also, I totally want

Spoiler:

Avan and Zeri

to hook up, but I know it's not going to happen.

Spoiler:

And Helmut is a stupid racist and I refuse to use him moving forward

.

Edit: In case anyone is wondering, it took roughly two hours to get to February, and I did all the optional missions.

I just noticed a co-op mission in chapter 2. Anyone up for some multiplayer at some point? I assume it's Ad-hoc only, but we can use Ad-hoc Party on PS3...

I've put a smidge of time into this now. I've done the first few training missions and am about to do what I think is the first "real" mission.

Overall, I'd say I'm enjoying it so far, although I totally and completely understand the complaints about the storyline. So far, it's all very cliché high school anime storytelling, which would be fine if the characters weren't all so limp and uninteresting.

Mechnically, this game is pretty interesting. I can't help but compare it to Code Name: STEAM which released earlier this year and garnered a lot of comparisons to Valkyria Chronicles. I feel fairly comfortable saying that Code Name STEAM is the smoother, more accessible game, and may prove to be the better game overall. I've found Valkyria Chronicles to be not necessarily confusing but certainly not easy to get into, and some of its systems don't make intuitive sense.

So far, I'm not finding the PSP controls to be much of a barrier. It helps that time stops while you're aiming, and you can cycle through enemies that are in range with R (and fine tune your aim with the d-pad). I take my time to futz around until I have a headshot lined up. I'm not sure that headshots have a lot of gameplay value in a game where you can take all the time you need to line up your shots, but we'll see.

I wonder how well VC2 stacks up to VC1 in terms of the gameplay. Because I really like the gameplay in VC1 so far, and if Codename STEAM is even better, that's going to have to go on my pile.

VC2 cleaned up the gameplay a bit to the point it's tough to go back to the original.

Wow, really? I haven't played the original, but as clunky as VC2 feels at times, I'm not sure I want to if the first game is less refined.

I am not entirely sure what all you find so clunky, but it's been a number of years since I fired up either game. The split between the tactical stuff and real time action can be quite jarring.

Mostly the on-the-field action stayed the same, it was the RPG aspects that got the most love, even if the characters were bland teenage anime tropes.

My main issue with the series is sometimes broken AI, guess-work levels (ie. need to know where enemies come from to win) and repetition of certain maps and whatnot. I really, really like the battle system, especially adding in the tactical overhead stuff.

If I remember correctly, there was a battle pretty early on in VC2 involving a tank or multiple tanks that I really didn't like. It may have been my own fault as I was trying to play the game like the first one but didn't have all the abilities I was used to at the end of the original.

garion333 wrote:

I am not entirely sure what all you find so clunky, but it's been a number of years since I fired up either game.

I'll put up a long post about it, but I want to play a bit more first.

January done. It was fairly short. Took me 2h 34m.

garion333 wrote:

My main issue with the series is sometimes broken AI, guess-work levels (ie. need to know where enemies come from to win) and repetition of certain maps and whatnot.

So far, the repetition has been pretty obvious in VC2. I like the shorter missions (no doubt due to the portable nature of the game and the fact that you can't save when playing them), but the layouts of the optional ones repeat like crazy. If you consider that they are supposed to be military training, makes sense due to the fact they all take place on the same training ground, but doesn't really make things more interesting in a videogame context.

Also, for a country supposedly located in northern Europe, January and February are surprisingly devoid of snow... Although according to the first game there is a desert in the middle of the country, so obviously I know nothing about Gallian geography.

RoughneckGeek wrote:

If you don't care about authenticity and just want additional classmate options to customize your team with then hit the "Extras" option from the main menu, go to "Password" and go nuts.

Considering the game takes place after the first one, I want to know how

Spoiler:

Isara's

presence is even possible.

Having enjoyed the first game, I've decided to put in an order for VCII. It can be my portable alternative to whatever else I'm busy with on the home consoles.

I would guess I'm maybe halfway(?) through February. I just unlocked the story mission:

Spoiler:

That's the first round of the school games.

I'm slowly getting used to the gameplay. Pulling the player off the battlefield and back to a not-particularly-informational tactical overhead map was a terrible design decision. I have a few other nits to pick here and there, but largely it's been fun. It certainly rewards aggressive play.

How's everyone else doing?

I really dislike Avan and the whole storyline with his brother. I find the character obnoxious and the story just uninteresting. But I've actually developed a fondness for some of the anime trope side characters.

I just picked up my old save, did the next mission, which ended up finishing January. So I think I'm right on track.

I never feel like I know what I'm doing in games like this, but I seem to be doing fine so far at least.

Wish I wasn't so utterly consumed by MGSV right now (while simultaneously being happy that I *am* so consumed by it); I'm somewhere in February with my VC2 save and I'd otherwise be all over this. The way my brain works I don't think bouncing back and forth is going to work. If I can push to the 'end' of MGSV maybe I can circle back. In the mean time, I'll be watching from the sidelines!

At the end of the story mission for February, is anyone having trouble with:

Spoiler:

The sniper commander? I can't seem to hit him with anything less than a tank. Even point blank with a shocktrooper, he drops to the ground and takes zero damage.

Any advice?

RoughneckGeek wrote:
Spoiler:

Units can only dodge attacks they can see coming. Also, if he sees you, a grenade will at least do some damage before you switch to the teammate waiting to literally shoot him in the back.

Thanks for that! I managed to beat this mission this morning.

Spoiler:

How dare Juliana insult my sweet Zeri!

Anyone up for some multiplayer at some point this week? The requirements are annoying (need the Ad-hoc party app on your PS3, and your PS3 has to be connected to the internet via wire, which should be familiar if you've played a lot of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite like I have), but the multiplayer sounds interesting and I would like to give it a shot at some point.

I'm not a huge fan of Avan, but he doesn't annoy me as much as it seems to annoy ClockworkHouse. Also, Raymond is adorable, but Helmut can die in a fire. In VC1, I know some of the secondary characters could die (though I don't think any died in my game). Can the same happen in 2?

I upgraded most of my weapons and combat suits to their max levels, but I may go back to redo some of the missions I did not have an 'A' on (and see if I missed any Ace enemy character) to get extra money to upgrade everything.

So far, I have not been paying much attention to the tank at all. I think I only used it once, in a mission where it was required, and I haven't upgraded it in any way...

I had this stuck in my head all weekend:

(Sorry for the double-post.)

So, I replayed a few missions using different characters (trying to get a few more A ranks and seeing if I missed any Ace enemy along the way), and I unlocked two special character missions, one for Anisette and another one for Nichol.

While I got my butt handed to me (thrice) with the Anisette mission, the Nichol mission was fairly easy, and gave me about 48k XP. Yep, 48k. Plus quite a few ducats as well. So, if you need XP, unlocking character missions seems like a good way to get it...

Edit: Guess what, this mission is repeatable! And it's 42k, not 48, but that's still pretty good. If I ever feel like I need to grind for a little while, that's an easy way to do so...

Ugh. Screw this sniper mission.

Finally managed to reach April this morning, after attempting the story mission a few times. To be fair, I did resort to watch the first half of a let's play video for this mission. In case anyone needs help:

Spoiler:

Ignore the boss in the first area, just go straight for the flag on the right of the map. Destroy supply tanks first on the next areas, then you can attack the V2 units. I managed to kill them using 2 CPs with a Fencer.

Did this game really need to have a

Spoiler:

new young female Valkyria character

with a creepy/revealing outfit? I think not. Oh well.

Loved the first VC, so I'm joining in. I'm right before the first live combat, it seems, so only 45 minutes or so into the game.

I think I bounced off this game originally because I got into it straight after playing VC1, and the changes in gameplay/tone bugged me. External motivation should help.