Musaad “The Mole” Mayfield is Valkyria Chronicles‘ decorated veteran of previous wars, a master of combat seeking glory once again by jumping back onto the battlefield.
If you know this already, it’s probably because you, like us, are also a decorated veteran. You played through Valkyria Chronicles more than once, witnessing Musaad’s debut in the squad on the second playthrough as you squeezed every last drop of enjoyment out of Sega’s PS3 classic. You’re probably also the type of person who is picking up Valkyria Chronicles Remastered anyway, if only to support the franchise and hope for more releases.
For people like us, here are some tips for getting the most out of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered when it releases for PS4 next month.
1. Invest in quality journalism.
A fun thing to do in a second, third or fifth playthrough, depending on your style, is to explore the periphery of a game’s lore. In Valkyria Chronicles, that means becoming the patron of writer Irene Ellet and reading her reports. While some are propaganda pieces about your own exploits, some are more interesting for world-building, like the tale of a road race called off due to war. After you’ve already been through the game, you have more context to really think about and appreciate the ways these little vignettes flesh out the culture and activity around the conflict, so give it a try!
2. Go for the gold. Or platinum.
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered contains a full trophy set, an asset that notoriously eluded the original PS3 release. While there aren’t too many Steam players who value accumulating achievements on that service to make going after those a compelling pursuit in the game’s PC release, there are certainly trophy chasers, spurred on by the allure of that platinum honor. These trophies are, of course, all tied to the already-existing in-game Decorations system for acknowledging your success, but hey, now you can show them off to your friends.
3. Head into battle with Team Lance-A-Lot.
It’s usually the best idea to bring a balanced squad to a skirmish, but why not challenge yourself with a team of just one soldier class? Unfortunately, the presence of tanks makes most solo class efforts a problem (though you can certainly try), but Lancers can take out everyone. Um, if you’re really good at aiming. They’re slow, low on ammo and unable to shoot outside of their own movements, but that’s just the sort of restriction that can challenge your tactical skills. Some maps lock in a character or two and that’s fine, but whenever you have the choice, let Largo and the team take the field.
4. Be content with more content.
While many dedicated fans likely picked up the downloadable add-ons from the original PS3 release, the fact that the PS4 and PC versions of the game include that content means that some will be checking it out for the first time. The clear star here is Behind Her Blue Flame, an entire mini-campaign focusing on Selvaria’s story with some challenging maps and interesting lore implications. That said, the class-specific Challenges can make for fun diversions (and a good way to train), and the Enter the Edy Detachment map, focusing on a group made popular through the anime, lets you rescue a puppy. No, seriously, get an A rank and rescue that puppy.
5. Uh, you actually can’t play as Musaad yet.
But hey, why not get there ASAP? Your first playthrough of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered is a great opportunity to not worry so much about your performance as you get to your “true” replay with Musaad in tow. For those of us who reset when a soldier falls, it’s a chance to let bad things happen and see how we fare when we push through with a replacement crew. Playing maps recklessly is certainly not a smart thing to do, but if you’re not invested in the characters because you’re planning to head back in again once everything is through, why not build some different strategies around a self-sacrificing run deep into enemy territory to take out a tough foe? Valkyria Chronicles rewards a very specific style of play, and frankly that’s part of what makes it work so well. But why not mess around with the bounds of its systems? You may even surprise yourself and find a tactic you want to bring back to your usual repertoire.
You can get your hands on a copy of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered on May 17th when it releases for PS4 both digitally and in retail. In the meantime, the game’s Steam release is happy to report for duty.