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Archive for August 18th, 2010


Valkyria Chronicles II Community BLiTZ – Day III: Battlefields of Blue and Red

Welcome to Day III of the Community BLiTZ! After going over both the story and the characters, today we’re going to take a look at the real meat of the gameplay in Valkyria Chronicles II: The BLiTZ battle system, and the new improvements the team has made from the first game. This one is going to be heavy on the detail, so we’ll be taking it in parts to make it a bit more manageable.

As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments section, and we’ll do our best to answer them in the next part of the BLiTZ!

Community BLiTZ – Day III: Battlefields of Blue and Red

It’s the beginning of turn five. Avan is hiding in the grass just behind a whole slew of enemy shocktroopers, two scouts, and a tank equipped with a flamethrower. In front, drawing their attention, Armored Tech Mischlitt has been blocking bullet after bullet with her shield, but isn’t capable of getting to the tank solo. If you don’t move her before the next turn, that flamethrower will make short work of even her heavy armor.

Now comes the important part. If you can destroy the tank, the mission is complete – taking out the shocktroopers is only an added bonus. Because you took your time, you’ve cornered the enemy to this map, and you control both routes of entrance – something new to VCII. You could call in a Lancer from the front and send Mischlitt with them to down both the foot soldiers and then the tank; alternatively, you could call in that same Lancer next to Avan, and run them right behind the tank for a quick shot to the radiator, and an impressive fireworks display to follow. Both methods will work, and each has its respective risks – but now, thanks to the variance of the fields, you can choose which direction to attack from.

To start off with, the battle system in Valkyria Chronicles II is very much like the battle system in the first game – and that’s great news for everyone who loved the chess-rpg-fps-strategy hybrid that the series is at heart. You’ll start off with a top down view, then fly down to the action firsthand when you select a character to control. Most of you probably know the ropes of the original – so what are the changes?

First and foremost is the way that large scale battles work. Instead of being played out on only a single map, they can now take up multiple fields, with different routes of entry for each field. Capturing a gateway camp in Area 1, for instance, might open up a new camp in Area 2. Likewise, capturing a different camp in Area 3 might also open up a camp on the opposite side of Area 2.

This is a clever solution the PSP’s hardware limitations compared to the PS3, but what most impressed me was how it actually added a whole new layer of strategy to the game. Gone are the days of always starting out in a set field in a set spot – now, you can often choose which field to attack from first, and this opens up a floodgate of tactical possibilities for those who love seeing just how fast they can A rank a mission.

Second are the changes to classes. Some remain much the same at first, but all-around they’ve completed revamped the way classes and leveling works. The short version of which is below:

  • Instead of becoming “Elite” based on class level, you can now promote individual members of your squad once they acquire enough personal achievements.
  • Squad members can earn these personal achievements by simply getting out there and downing some rebels. At the end of each mission you’ll also see an MVP roster, which awards bonus achievements to the members who contributed the most during the battle.
  • The Armored Tech class, which is brand new (and over 60 of you know that now!) mixes both melee offensive abilities with support roles, such as disarming land mines and repairing sand bags for friendly units.
  • Snipers are now part of the Scout class, meaning that you can promote any Scout you like to the role of Sniper. Snazzy.
  • Engineers can now pick from two different trees: one focused on healing, and one focused on using music to buff ally units. In addition, they can now heal from a much further range than in the first game.

We’ll be taking a deeper look at both the battle system and the classes soon – but for now, we hope this taste of the new improvements to BLiTZ was both exciting and educational. (Well, mostly just exciting.)

Today’s Special Thanks

Today’s dose of “You’re awesome, thank you” goes to the guys over at Destructoid! Besides long supporting Valkyria Chronicles and constantly being there to cover all the latest news about the game, they even picked up on the BLiTZ and posted it to their front page.

We <3 you guys, too.

Community BLiTZ – Giveaway #3 – Pre-order Art book!

Oh snap! Today we’re giving away three fairly rare pre-order art books, like this one which is on Ebay for about $60. (There’s actually one up for $90, too, but it is Ebay.)

To win the first of these, all you have to do is comment once on the blog and let us know what you think about the battle system. Tomorrow afternoon at about 3 PM, I’ll draw the winner at random and confirm them in tomorrow’s BLiTZ!

In addition, you can enter for the second art book simply by tweeting about us anytime tonight on Twitter! Make sure to include @ValkyriaTribune in your tweet so we can see it!

Third and finally, comment on our status over on the Valkyria Chronicles Facebook page to enter for art book number three! Make sure to read what you need to ask about in order to be eligible!

All the draws are random and everyone is welcome to enter for all three art books, but please note you can only win one! (We’d like to share the love among the others, too.)

Coming tomorrow…

Promotions, promotions, promotions! Everyone loves promotions, and we’re going to dive into some of the new classes arriving in VCII that you can only get with a lot of work, sweat, and a few cheers of joy.

We’re three days in now – what do you guys think of the BLiTZ so far?


Sonic 4 Website reveal – explore the new Lost Labryinth!

At long last, the next big update to the Sonic 4 website has arrived!

Today’s new additions offer a brand new Lost Labyrinth zone theme, plus new downloadable music, new screenshots, and a first look at what the final version of the game is shaping up to be!

For many weeks now all of you on the forums and the blogs have been asking us to make good on our promise that we were extending the development of the game to make it even better. Today, those of you with a quick mind will begin to spot the fruits of that labor, which our teams have been hard at work on.

But the good news doesn’t end there. After a poll conducted on the Sonic 4 forums, we have decided to begin releasing additional information about the other changes we’re making to the game directly to everyone in the community, which will be posted exclusively here on the SEGA Blogs and the Sonic Blognik!

To further that excitement:  the first blog listing some of these new changes will be arriving tomorrow. We’d like to think that this sound effect just started playing somewhere.

What’s next in the Sonic 4 pipeline? Beyond today’s screenshots and details of more changes, we also plan to show you what Lost Labyrinth looks like in action soon. We hope you guys are pleased with today’s update, and that you’ll join us for the rest of the run towards launch. There’s still much more to come on the Sonic 4 front!

What do you guys think of the update?