Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #9

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Missions that force mandatory party members on you are awful. Lots of games (particularly jRPGs) do something of the sort, but it’s typically pretty rare. Valkyria Revolution keeps sticking me with random party members, though, even when they have absolutely no reason to be present. I recently went through a timed bomb disposal mission—and let’s be real, timed missions are already scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as content is concerned—where a random unit with tons of weaknesses was forced on me. He wasn’t needed to disarm the bombs because any class can do so, and my preferred team already had a character of the same class who I’d actually invested some points into (I’ll get into upgrading further down). He didn’t even show up in any of the cutscenes. It was completely random and unnecessary, and since I hadn’t used him more than once or twice, I had forgotten to set any priorities telling him what to focus on. Priorities certainly don’t make a huge difference, but you know what? Telling characters what to do helps to keep them from doing things you don’t want them to do, such as wasting all of their incredibly rare sniper ammo on non-essential enemies for no reason. Ugh. Read more →

Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #8

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Another day, another chapter down. I’ve recorded several more videos highlighting miscellaneous game annoyances, though I’ve already complained about most of it before. We’re talking things like invisible walls and enemies somehow blocking a bunch of bullets even when they don’t have their shields up and you’re shooting them in the back. The story is also slowly but surely being ruined by Amulet’s burgeoning relationship with Princess Weirdface, and there are few things quite as irritating as a revenge-driven character becoming less effective because of another character’s generic goodness. It comes across as cheap and arbitrary, like a serial killer changing their ways after eating really good pancakes. The whole thing could be made to work if Valkyria Revolution ever decides to develop the princess into an actual character, but right now she’s little more than a cardboard cutout covered in sugar that’s prone to spouting prerecorded motivational speeches so trite that they could have come out of a fortune cookie. She could be replaced by one of those old dolls with the pull strings that allow them to speak and nothing would change. Read more →

Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #7

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I seem to be a little over halfway through Valkyria Revolution, and I can’t think of a way of describing it that doesn’t combine the words “abysmal” and “mediocre” in some way. It’s utterly abysiocre. Painfully mediysmal. My expectations for how the game will squander the promise of the early story are beginning to come true, and while I obviously can’t get into story stuff too much at this point for spoiler reasons, suffice it to say that a scripted tragedy caused me to laugh out loud because of how completely detached from the characters and their stupid dramas I am at this point. Also, the story elements that involve the princess being magical and capable of great things through the power of kindness and love are beginning to ramp up as expected, with the similarly expected result of the story becoming a sparkly after-school special devoid of any creative merit or worthwhile developments that haven’t occurred in a million other anime-styled games. Most of which are better. Read more →

Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #6

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I’m determined to figure out what the purpose of capturing territory is, but these missions are awful to actually play. Imagine playing a game against the computer where you have to capture a bunch of enemy bases. Now imagine the computer had the magical ability to instantly and without warning create squads of enemies out of thin air. Now imagine that you’re slowly chipping away at a bunch of douchebags with shields and trying to find the last two enemies needed to capture one of the enemy bases, only to realize that they’re hidden at the top of a ladder. You then climb up it, get halfway to them, and instantly fail the mission because the enemy captured your base in the meantime and the “state of the war” bar or whatever went to zero. That’s Valkyria Revolution. That’s also five minutes ago because this isn’t a hypothetical scenario. I really, truly hate this garbage game right now. Read more →

Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #5

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

I was playing through a recently unlocked free level, trying to experience everything the game has to offer and stay open-minded, and this particular mission was timed because of course it would be. The mission in question revolved around disarming bombs, and it was mentioned in one of the 8 billion tutorial popups present in this game that disarming requires clearing away all of the nearby enemies. I ran off and cleared out a base to receive a little extra ammo, but it mysteriously didn’t get captured when everyone nearby was dead. Writing it off, I ran to the bomb and cleared away all of the guards, but the game told me that the bomb couldn’t be disarmed while someone who had detected me was still alive. Realizing that an enemy had spotted me early in the mission, I used a sniper rifle to pick them off, at which point the base from earlier instantly got captured and I was able to run back and disarm the bomb. That’s not the most rage-inducing thing that’s happened since the last progress log, either. I can already feel it—this is the point where my irritation at Valkyria Revolution begins to snowball into full-fledged contempt. Read more →

Valkyria Revolution: Progress Log #4

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

The story recently got hit with a potent one-two punch of badness. I’m obviously not going to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that when you only introduce a small handful of characters and one is missing while you also have a super-secret masked character running around out there, it ceases to be surprising when—gasp—there turns out to be a connection. I don’t know why, but this is a trap that a lot of Japanese games seem to fall into for some reason. It might be time for the country to swear off masked characters until they learn to use them responsibly. Then we get to the second punch, which is the fact that even after starting to connect the two because of a convenient one-of-a-kind necklace never mentioned before this point, the characters are so dumb that they fail to put it together. Right now they’re all worried that this random character has the necklace that belonged to the missing person. This degree of character stupidity is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.
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