Valkyria Chronicles is a well-established series dating back to 2008 and the PS3, with plenty of spin-offs and even an anime and manga in between then and now. Over three main releases, Sega has honed its BLiTZ (Battle of Live Tactical Zones) systems and its watercolor-like visuals. Its latest entry, Valkyria Chronicles 4, marks the first time the series has been on a Nintendo console with its release on the Nintendo Switch. But never fear. You don't need knowledge of the series to appreciate Valkyria Chronicles 4. In fact, it may be a great fit for Fire Emblem fans already enjoying their Switches.

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What is Valkyria Chronicles 4?

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a turn-based strategy game taking place on an alternate version of Earth around the 20th century. It heavily relies on story in between tactical battles where the player controls multiple units at a time to strategically win battles in an overarching war.

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Fortunately, you don't need to have played the previous games to enjoy this version. Valkyria Chronicles 4 takes place in the same world as other Valkyria Chronicles games, but it has a completely separate plot and will teach you the ropes as you begin. It also has automated and smoothed certain systems from previous games to make the system more accessible for new players or those wanting to focus more on the strategy than with juggling systems.

What's new in Valkyria Chronicles 4?

Though the game is similar to its predecessors in style, it is a continuation of the universe established in those games with a new cast of characters.

The game includes a new class, the Grenadier, which shoots explosive shells from mortars over obstacles such as walls or hills, hitting enemies hiding behind them. Grenadiers pair well with other units that can gather battle intel quickly, as they can ht enemies they can't see as long as they can know about them otherwise.

In addition, Valkyria Chronicles 4 boasts larger maps than the series has seen before, more units available on a map at a time, and other tweaks to combat.

Finally, you'll see the Brave system make an appearance in 4, which gives allied units a major boost if an allied soldier is nearing death.

How do I play?

As a tactical RPG, you'll have a view of a battlefield with both your units and your opponents. On your turn, you can spend action points to move units, attack enemies, or buff or heal allies. Your units will have different classes that will allow them to do different actions - some can fire from long distance, some attack up close, some can heal other troops, some can move farther than others, and so forth. If you've played Fire Emblem, Valkyria Chronicles games are of a similar style, albeit with more guns. You'll even recognize the rock-paper-scissors style of weapon strengths as you try to determine which unit would be best suited for which situation.

Additionally, characters will have certain personality traits that will help or hinder them and may interact with others. Two troops who are friends might be able to encourage one another, though a character who is nervous might have trouble firing under certain conditions.

Each mission has different objectives, which may include capturing points or protecting a particular unit. You'll need to use strategy, taking into account battlefield layouts, classes, and traits to determine the best way to complete those objectives in each battle.

Finally, there are some things you can do outside of battles, such as visiting R&D, to give your forces, vehicles, and weapons a boost for the next bout.

When can I get it?

Valkyria Chronicles 4 launches on September 25 for Nintendo Switch, and will cost $59.99.

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Any questions?

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