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  1. #1

    [NSW, PS4] Valkyria Chronicles 4 (PSN demo)

    The demo is available on the Japanese PSN and consists of three missions from the main campaign (prologue, chapter 1, chapter 2), two skirmish maps, and an exclusive mission that unlocks after completing the story missions. Data from the demo can be carried to the main game with the exception of money and experience you gain in the exclusive mission, as that features a predefined set of characters at a higher level with weapons to match.
    The Switch is getting the game later (at least in Japan), hopefully there will be the same demo available before the game launches on Nintendo's console.

    Seems that Sega went back to the very first VC when developing VC4 and it plays almost exactly like that game. Well, feels exactly like VC1 with slightly rebalanced classes, the same weapon upgrade system, and game order. The two main differences are the new class, mortar infantry, and tanks only taking one CP to move.
    In all the missions this demo has scout abuse was just like the first game, although the whole class is a tad more fragile and has less movement range (but then again I'm basing this comparison to endgame scouts from VC1, so my perspective might be a bit skewed).

    Main characters are Claude, tank commander (not as dreamy and good-looking as Welkin but he'll do); Raz, shocktrooper; Kai, sniper; Reil, mortar. The extra mission features Minerva (normally acting as Claude's commander and drill instructor in the training grounds) as a scout. Having tanks consume only one CP means it's actually feasible to use them to clear infantry behind sandbags (you get mortar shells right from the start) but scouts still feel the most useful units of the whole game thanks to their movement range and relatively long-range and accurate rifles. Grenades have probably received a range nerf, and snipers appear a bit less accurate than before.
    Mortars are fun, and possibly a bit overpowered. First they can move and fire in the same turn (meant as one CP) and can target any enemy within their firing range you've detected, even if none of your units have a direct line of sight to them; this proved particularly devastating in the exclusive mission were one scout was able to circle the map designating enemies, and one mortar unit decimated large groups of enemies, clearing the way for the same scout to ultimately capturing the enemy's camp. It wasn't done in a turn, but I feel that mortars should, at the very least, be allowed to fire only on units you have a line of sight to. I get this is a good representation of this kind of weapon in real life but in a game it feels a bit too much.
    And mortars also get opportunity fire. It's not very accurate against moving units (especially scouts) but they did kill a couple of units this way.
    Of course the enemy has them as well, and getting shot at is actually fun.
    First it forces you to zig-zag (and maybe heading straight into a stray shell), second after an explosion gets you the music goes soft, a "ziiing" tone plays, and the vision gets blurry and slo-mo for a few moments.

    The Canvas engine is absolutely wonderful here and the game runs without a hitch even during the exclusive mission, which is set in a snowy field. All units and explosions leave trails in the snow and while the mission didn't feature any weather effects like storms or similar, it was still a pretty impressive display of technical and artistic prowess. If anything character design seems a bit...a lot more fanservicy than before. I absolutely love Raita but I still dispute that skirts are the best attire to wear on a battlefield. Yes, VC1 had those but it wasn't as open as here. I know there will be so pretty advanced technology as well, on which I still reserve final judgment, but in the same fashion as Valkyria Azure Revolution, it doesn't sit particularly well for me. Again, yes, VC1 had monster tanks, land battleships, and a final boss out of a JRPG (not to mention Valkyries), but...mhmm. OK, I'll comment on that once I get the final game and have a good overall idea. At least characters aren't charging in battles wielding swords rivalling those found in Monster Hunter or God Eater in size.

    The demo lasts for three to five hours (depending on how fast you clear missions and if you want to hit the level cap with all classes) and it's a great showcase for VC4. I've particularly liked the story missions, that at first seem to follow the structure of the first game but then throw in some interesting twists. They also do a good job in getting players used to some of the more "exotic" classes (snipers, engineers, mortars) with their objectives, and the only downside of this demo is that now I'm even more restless about Valkyira Chronicles 4.

  2. #2
    Got the demo, its fab and looks amazing. Amazing how well Canvas tech holds up, SEGA should have made far better use of it.

  3. #3

    Last edited by briareos_kerensky; 03-03-2018 at 09:17 AM.


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