Valkyria Chronicles 4
Valkyria Chronicles 4 was released in March of 2018 and created by SEGA. Series composer Hitoshi Sakimoto—also known for his contributions to FINAL FANTASY XII, FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, Odin Sphere among many others—returns again for this fourth installment. Valkyria Chronicles is one of my favorite video game series and after the.. disappointing Valkyria Revolution from 2017, I was very glad to see the series return to it's roots and offer the same strategic/role-playing gameplay that I've enjoyed so much in the previous installments.
The gameplay is essentially identical to the first Valkyria Chronicles. Begin by assembling your squad members, assign weapons and tactical gear, place your squad on the map and begin the battle. There are a few new additions to the fourth game, such as the Grenadier. Some players thought this class was overpowered but I don't really think it is. For one thing, you have plenty of enemy's that are undercover and cannot be attacked by the Grenadiers. Another is that it takes a couple of seconds for Grenadiers to deploy their equipment to launch an attack and during that time they are vulnerable to enemy intercept fire—not to mention they have little defense. So, I think SEGA balanced the class well enough. Other new features include the Brave System: which occasionally grants you a choice to either "Inspire" or "Counter" once a squad members health is depleted. Direct Command: This was also available in VC3 for the PSP. By using the Special Command Point(SP) with squad leaders, you can move two units at once by "teaming up" or you can "retreat" a unit out of combat. This point doesn't refresh until the next phase of battle and the teaming ability is one of the best additions to the game. It's a efficient way to move low AP characters across the map to set them up for an attack. Ship Orders: Available later in the game, this allows you to use Radar, Bombardment, Rescue Squad and Emergency Fix by commanding the Cruiser Centurion. This is one of the new additions I seldom used and don't think it adds anything of value to the game. Perhaps in the VC5(let's hope) if it's included, there could be missions that would be extremely difficult to complete were it not for Ship Orders. Making it feel like the function actually contributes to a victory rather than just an extra tacked on feature.
The story is enjoyable but the writing and characters can't hold a candle to Valkyria Chronicles. That said, It's still a fun game with a surprising turn around of a character I didn't like at first but ended up being my favorite by the end. If you like X-COM or the previous VC games, you won't be disappointed with VC4.
The soundtrack quality is consistent throughout the series. They all include intense military battles, quirky downtime, romantic themes and I always find new tracks to add to my playlists. Unfortunately, there is no official soundtrack release for VC4, nor are there any plans in the near future for one. Thankfully the soundtracks for Valkyria Chronicles, Valkyria Chronicles 2 and Valkyria Chronicles 3 have been added digitally to iTunes and Amazon to purchase. For a while they were hard to track down. I'm hoping Valkyria Chronicles 4 gets an official release but until that day, we uploaded the soundtrack in both FLAC and MP3 with the titles from the game music player. We did not include the tracks that are available in the VC1 OST, only the tracks written for VC4. If you're interested in those tracks, check out the VC OST on Amazon or iTunes. You'll find our Valkyria Chronicles 4 upload here.