Today’s game sessions were essentially identical to yesterday’s, with a combo of Noby Noby Boy and Valkyria Chronicles. The demo for inFamous appeared on the EU PlayStation Store today so I’m downloading that at the moment, and should be playing it tomorrow. Read on for more details on today’s play sessions.
Noby Noby Boy
Played this for a short while again today. I think that with its lack of proper objectives and the fun mostly stemming from what you make yourself, it’s a game well suited to short sessions of play. It also helps having a young relative to play with who finds the game much more amusing. Had I been playing on my own I likely would have stopped playing a while ago.
Today’s multiplier was a slightly lower 49, which suggests Takahashi may have found a rate of growth he’s happy with (if indeed that is the reason behind all of this). According to the fairy character who keeps everybody informed of all that is going on, Girl grew about 1.9 billion metres yesterday, which is a very healthy figure, with a current total of a little over 11 billion.
If the community could keep up the rate of two billion per day it would take about a month to reach Mars, which is much more reasonable than spending over eight hundred years doing so.
Valkyria Chronicles – Largo’s Passion
I completed two missions today. The first one is from the wholly optional “Largo’s Passion” chapter. To unlock it you have to buy the chapter from the reporter in the headquarters, which I didn’t do in my previous playthrough. I assumed they only had extra dialogue so cutscenes and paying DCT for them wasn’t a priority, firstly because I wasn’t achieving A ranks and had less DCT to spend, and secondly because Valkyria Chronicles isn’t really a game that’s short of dialogue or cutscenes, having plenty of each between every mission.
The Largo’s Passion chapter is obviously all about the Largo character. By this point in the story all you really know about him is that he’s a macho anti-tank man who has served in the military since the previous war, and possibly has a crush on the leader of the militia, Captain Varrot. This chapter shows a lot more to him, mostly by giving him a comically over-the-top obsession with vegetables, which apparently stems from his former life as a farmer.
The mission itself involves destroying two tanks that are involved in stopping supplies – mostly vegetables – from reaching the allies, and has a few special conditions not found in other missions. You have just three people (two of which are chosen for you), no tank (which has been in all but the intial two missions), it takes place at night (limited visibility), and you aren’t allowed any deaths at all.
The mission itself isn’t particularly complicated, but serves as a fun diversion. There’s only really one valid route to the target, snaking along from the bottom of the map to the top, and most of the challenge involves getting Largo there alive, using the other two squad members to take out the more dangerous enemies.
I still ended up failing three times from deaths (Welkin twice and Largo once) due to rushing in too fast, but on the first successful attempt I won in three turns, achieved the A rank and earned 15,060 EXP and 19,860 DCT. The DCT in particular is much more than I can spend, so will likely be saved until the next optional chapter is available to buy.
Since doing that mission Largo has been randomly gaining a status boost in battle called Veggie-Maniac. I’m not sure exactly what it boosts, but it comes up quite often.
Valkyria Chronicles – Mission 07: Desert Dual With Maximilian
As I mentioned yesterday, this mission is the one that seemed to kill my enthusiasm for the game last time I played. It involves destroying a ridiculously large tank before it drives all the way around the map and squashes the main camp. The tank is invulnerable, except for when it fires its main cannon and has to open up three radiators to vent the heat generated. Once all three are destroyed the tank itself is vulnerable and can then be defeated.
However, the tank only fires the main cannon to clear debris from its path (debris which you have to make by destroying walls), and once a radiator is destroyed the tank locks them all away again, so there is lots of waiting while the tank steadily makes its way towards the next obstruction, and lots of effort involved in repositioning your group to optimal locations.
Not only that, once the second radiator is destroyed Selvaria arrives with reinforcements, and if you’re not prepared for it lots of your group can end up exposed, who then need to be moved to a safe position. With a magical lance and shield, Selvaria is invincible and deals incredible amounts of damage from a long range, making the battle mostly about hiding from her while waiting for the tank to get in position and reveal its weak spots.
(Of course, technically the tank could just remain still and let Selvaria kill everybody instead of taking any risks. There would be no chance of failure for them and Selvaria could essentially wipe out the entire army single-handed, but thankfully Maximilian is slow to adapt and sticks to his doomed “giant tank” strategy.)
Another annoyance is that if something is in the way of the tank – your tank, for example, or an enemy unit – it just won’t move, and I had to spend time killing the enemy in front of the tank just to help it advance.
In the end, after several failures and reloads, it took me nine turns to complete it and just about achieved the A rank, earning 30,000 EXP and 46,400 DCT, which is very nice. As before though, it felt like something to slog through rather than something fun, but this time I’m much more interested in pushing forward with the game.
Valkyria Chronicles – Story (possible spoilers)
The lead-in to this mission has Welkin, Alicia and Faldio exploring the same ruins that Maximilian and Selvaria are in, with Alicia being the one who manages to unlock a secret door to a new part of the ruins. I don’t know (and please don’t tell me) if this is just supposed to be about Alicia accidentally making a discovery that the historians and archeologists did not, or if it’s setting her up as a descendent of the Valkyrur (or at least somebody compatible with their technology).
Mostly the sequence is all about setting Selvaria up as phenomenally powerful, being unkillable in battle and deflecting tank shells in cutscenes. Her motivations aren’t clear yet, but she seems very loyal to Maximillian.
There are a couple of elements to the larger story – The war, the Valkyrur, the Darcsen – that all seem connected, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all develops.
Noby Noby Boy – Personal Screenshot
Varrot, Largo and Maximilian – ZonaForo de MeriStation
VC Group Shot – Eurogamer Gallery