Thursday Aug 26, 2010
Welcome to Day IX of the VCII Community BLiTZ! Today we’re checking out the new fields of Valkyria Chronicles II, the effects they’ll have on both your infantry and your tank, and some new tricks you can use to make the most of your surroundings.
We’ve got the winner of our Selvaria figurine, more special thanks, and news on some special Valkyria Chronicles 2 collector’s buttons that you’ll be able to get exclusively at PAX this year!
Community BLiTZ – Day IX: The lay of the land
As a certain member of Squad 7 knew well, winning a battle is about far more than simply charging in headfirst. The land itself – from trees to ruins to rivers – can all be used to turn the tide of a fight. Like the first game, the conditions you’re up against will affect not only you, but your enemies as well – meaning that the first to take advantage of the situation can gain a critical upper hand.
Our first tip sounds simple, but it’s actually quite important:
Why is this important? Because almost every single area in the game has different effects at night as opposed to during the day. The first key is to learn these, to prepare your squad and your tank accordingly, and then to plan a strategy around it. (You could just charge in too, but it’s not quite as effective.)
For example, Leanbluff forest is a heavily wooded and hilly area, and one of the first you’ll encounter once you get past the training grounds of Lanseal. During the morning and much of the day, the forest is covered in a fine, foggy mist, making sighting enemies difficult and lowering accuracy. At night, the mist dissipates completely, but the lack of natural light also makes finding enemies hard in its own way.
If it’s daytime, you can research, build, and equip your tank with a Defogging unit to counter the effects of the mist for all of your units on the same map as your tank. Worth noting: this bonus effect only applies to your own / allied units, and will not help your enemies!
Likewise, if it’s night, you can equip a lamp that will boost your own units sighting abilities, making it easier for them to see hidden or incoming enemy units. Just as before, only your troops will get this support buff, making it invaluable to bring along your tank sometimes – even if you don’t end up moving it.
This is Castle Gassenarl, located near Southern Gallia. (Click the picture to see it in high-res.)
Fans of the first game will also recognize the desert settings, though this time they’ll be taking place south of the Barious Desert, which is in eastern Gallia. During the daytime, the immense heat can limit how far your units can move, and during the night, harsh sandstorms make sighting and accuracy rough – thankfully, these will pass eventually, offering a short respite during which to finish off any enemies left standing.
In the cold mountains of Diebal, the chilling temperatures can be both dangerous and deadly. Amidst the freezing snow, units here won’t regain HP at the end of a turn – and if one of your squad members goes down, it’s a race against time to get to them before the weather does.
There are new strategies to keep in mind and new tricks to each of these situations – the best of these, of course, will need to be discovered when the pressure is on: we aren’t going to take the fun out of it!
Remember these basics and you’ll save a lot of time – and headache – when you pick up the full game. If you ever need a refresher, the drill instructor on campus is always there to offer further tips and advice. Once you know the lay of the land, a quick victory is always within reach.
Exclusive: Valkyria Chronicles II PAX Collector’s items!
Exclusive to PAX, we’re going to be bringing along a few thousand Valkyria Chronicles II buttons to give away! There are five buttons in total, featuring Avan, Cosette, Zeri, Aliasse, and the VCII Logo.
Normally, you’ll only be able to get a single button – meaning you might have to trade with friends to pick up the full set. However, we’re going to make one special exception to this rule:
I’ve heard rumors that a few members of Squad 7 were already planning on attending, so we’d love to see you guys come spread the VC love – and get something from us as thanks, too. To confirm, all characters from VCI and VCII are eligible!
And the Selvaria figurine goes to…
And truly, they do. Congratulations on your new Selvaria figurine, Aurora! Hit me up on the forums (RubyEclipse) to let me know where to send it.
We also had two other winners yesterday, once more for signed copies of VC1! They are:
Congrats all around! (P.S. Aurora – take good care of that figurine!)
Today’s Special Thanks!
More free stuff!
PAX is a huge event with a ton of gamers, but we realize that not everyone can always make it out there to pick up the swag and see the sights. So, today, we’re going to give away three full sets of the special PAX VCII Collector’s buttons! (All five) This will be one of your only chances to pick these up outside of the event itself, and anyone (even you guys in Europe) can win!
Though people may have pegged it as a “high school”, the Lanseal Royal Military Academy is anything but. From the harsh courses of the training ground to Lavinia’s R&D department, the Academy is much more than just classrooms. Oh, and everyone’s favorite Drill instructor from the first game? We’d like to think he’s done justice here, too. Join us as we take an in-depth look at what Lanseal is all about, with a special preview of both the campus and a sneak peek inside Castle Gassenarl, which is notably more… red.
Following our list of exclusive swag giveaways, we also hear rumblings that tomorrow’s might be a rather special one related to a certain baker from Squad 7…
Six days to launch – we’ll see you tomorrow!
Thursday Aug 26, 2010
It’s easy to wax rhapsodic about classic RPGs, particularlly from the early 1990s, when the genre was solidifying on consoles and the strength of the titles came from their epic breadth & depth. Phantasy Star II stands on its own for sure, though — it expands on the universe created in the first title, which came out for the Master System, while easing up on some of that game’s arcane difficulty level.
Phantasy Star II opens 1,000 years after the end of the first game, and features both the return of series antagonist Dark Falz, as well as the introduction of the series’ other major villian, Mother Brain. It also helps establish the aesthetics which would set Phantasy Star apart from other RPG series and make it SEGA’s longest running franchise, period: a gameworld featuring multiple, distinct planets; epic character-driven sagas grounded with a sly sense of anime humor; a preoccupation with genetically modified races and the racial conflict that emerges between those races; and a mesh of high technology and swords-and-sorcery.
The game is still very difficult, but not as mind-bogglingly so as the first entry in the series. For example, if you happen by the beach in Phantasy Star II — unlike in the first game — you will not be instantly murdered by a giant fish-man. This is still of the “old school” variety of RPGs, though, and you will not be presented with a clear linear path, and wandering too far in the game world too soon will result with an encounter with something huge & murderously beyond your level.
Here’s some tips to get started:
That’s all for now — try this game, and have fun! It’s one of the best in the genre, and a fine example of the majesty & mystery which made evolving RPGs such a natural fit for hard-core gamers.
Thursday Aug 26, 2010
Julian (ClumsyOrchid) takes on all the prize revealing himself this week. We’ve got some great games for you, from old-school classics to brand-new hits.
*Note* Where region-locked, all games are NTSC.
On the Block
1. Gunblade NY & LA Machineguns – Wii
Congrats to our winner, @DinnerSonic!
2. Bayonetta – X360 or PS3
Congrats to our winner, @MANvsGAME!
3. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Game Cube
4. Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 – Game Cube
Another Game Cube classic!
5. Valkyria Chronicles II (PSP) and Valkyria Chronicles I Art Book
How it Works
1. You must be following us on Twitter to be eligible. (If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can create one by going to http://www.twitter.com and click the green “get started — join!” button in the center of the page.)
Make Sure We’re Following You on Twitter
If you are currently following us on Twitter, please be sure that we are following you as well. You can do this by making sure that SEGA is in your “followers” list, or by going to DoesFollow and typing SEGA in the first blank, your Twitter username in the second, and pressing the “check” button. You can reverse this to be sure that you are following us. If you are following us, but we’re not following you, please send a message to @SEGA and we will follow you. This is important, because only people we follow can send us direct messages (DMs), and DMs are the only way to enter the giveaways.
Important Note: Twitter limits us to following 1,000 new people per day. This is a limit imposed by Twitter and is not something we can control, change, or get around. We do our best to follow everyone back in time for the giveaway, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as our Free Stuff Fridays become more popular. Because we must be following you in order for you to send us a direct message, if we cannot follow you due to this limit, you will be unable to enter the giveaway. We do our contests by direct message to avoid having everyone spam their followers with giveaway entries. Please be patient, and we will follow you as soon as we’re able.
How to Send Direct Messages on Twitter
There are a few ways to send us a Direct Message on Twitter. The easiest way is to go to our Twitter page and select “message” under the “Actions” heading in the side bar. If you do not see “message”, this means that we are not following you. Please send a message to @sega to let us know, and we will follow you. When you click “message” you will be taken to a window where you can type a message and press send.
You may also select the “direct messages” tab from your Twitter homepage, and select SEGA from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Again, if you don’t see our name there, it’s probably because we’re not following you. Let us know, and we’ll follow you.
There are also many Twitter clients that you can use instead of using the website. These include TweetDeck, Twitteriffic, Tweetie, and Twhirl. Each of these programs works differently, so you’ll want to figure out how to send a direct message on the program you use. If you want to send us a test message, we’ll let you know if we received it or not.
Thursday Aug 26, 2010
If there’s one thing SEGA endorses, it’s getting a good education — that, and playing excellent games for dirt-cheap prices on your iPhone. These are just some of the philosophies that make a good games company great.
So, to celebrate the coming of Fall and start of another School Year, we are having a special sale: starting August 26th and lasting until September 1st, tons of great SEGA iPhone games will be dropping dramatically in price!
Here’s a list of everything going on sale — this is almost our entire catalog; the only games not affected are those that are already available for the low-low price of 99 cents.
Super Monkey Ball 1 $2.99 $1.99
This sale is available worldwide!
Some quick notes on the games here: I cannot speak highly enough of Shining Force, one of my favorite games ever. It’s an excellent and incredibly engrossing tactical RPG, and even a direct ancestor to Valkyria Chronicles. Toting it’s unique epicness around on public transit or wherever else has a very slick appeal. I will also throw down for Ecco the Dolphin as a truly dark & haunting game (with excellent music to boot), which is not what you would expect from a game featuring a time-traveling dolphin, but there you have it. Also: Phantasy Star II is brand new to the iPhone, and it’s already on sale! Between Phantasy Star II and Shining Force, you have two of the best-ever console RPGs on sale. Not too shabby.
I truly wish I had these games available to me, on my phone, during math class.
SEARCH BY GAME
|No public Twitter messages.|
VIEW THE GALLERIES