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.
Aiming sucks. I mean, it’s functional enough in most situations, but when you’re close to a large enemy or shooting at someone standing on a different level (which is ultimately the fault of ladders like so much else in this game) there’s a tendency for the awkward camera angle to make it impossible to tell whether or not there’s something in your way. Granted, a lot of the time an icon shows up over an enemy to indicate that they’re within range and that your shots will hit them, but it doesn’t always show up and I’ve stopped trusting it. The video below kind of ties into invisible walls, too, because they keep me from getting any closer to the edge. Really, the only weapons I trust implicitly anymore are the sniper rifles, and they have so little ammo (even with a crafted pouch that gives me something like 30% more ammo for them) that I can only justify a single unit carrying one.
Animations at long range
Speaking of sniper rifles, a weird little thing I’ve begun to notice is that enemies’ animations seem to be affected by their distance from your squad when they die. Shoot an enemy in the head at close range and they’ll have a normal death animation that suits the current frame rate (which itself is a bit of an issue—there’s lots and lots of slowdown here), but do so using a sniper rifle from far away and you’ll watch as they fall and die at something like 10 frames per second. If that.
Bad hit detection
Mines are a thing in this game, but they’re supposed to function like real mines: step on them and they’re armed, step off of them and they explode (and this allows a certain class to disarm them, something I’ve admittedly never bothered with). Valkyria Revolution’s collision detection in general can be kind of wonky—it’s oh-so-fun to get temporarily stuck in an enemy and find yourself unable to dodge away from their attacks—and I can’t think of a better example than running between two mines and having them randomly explode despite being nowhere near either.
Back in progress log #4, I said that there didn’t seem to be any extra damage to enemies in tanks when you attack the operator’s head. It turns out that there is locational damage, but actually hitting them proved an annoying and inconsistent enough task because of the previously mentioned hit detection issues that it took awhile to be sure. Sniper rifles work pretty well against tank operators, though, and machine guns are a decent second choice since you can correct your aim mid-shot.
Spamming special attacks is better
The best way of succeeding in combat is to ignore headshots, ignore tactics, and ignore the health of your characters. Instead, you just run up and spam as many special attacks as you can, stopping only to use items to restore your ragnite points (which are basically MP). Doing this over and over again against mobs of enemies and damage sponge bosses is the fastest way of getting through combat, and since the combat is awful, faster is better. Just remember that “faster” is relative and you’ll still be spamming attacks for minutes at a time in some cases. I mean, look at the tiny slivers of damage coming off of the Valkyria’s health bar: