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She loves him like a little brother, which is fine with me. I took Nichol out of my party when I finished him though, this army isn't here to support your fetish.
Planning on doing the same. I'm also considering killing off anyone who retains 'Darcsen Hater' at the end of their arc.
Especially since my main squad consists of four Darcsens (Mischlitt, Magari, Zeri, and Lynn), Avan, and an extremely Camp Gay guy (Jann).
edited 7th Sep '10 8:43:18 PM by Miijhal
"Gallian girl attacks!" "Death tolls rise!" Her voice actually annoys me but I think she's the best scout in the game (scout scout, not sniper scout) because she gets Double Movement as a personal potential.
edited 7th Sep '10 8:57:39 PM by Clarste
I like her. Then again, not even Avan's laugh annoys me.
She's racist and crazy. And she calls them her 'darlings'!
edited 7th Sep '10 10:32:45 PM by Miijhal
I thought it was endearing... Her racism also goes away after a certain plot point.
I keep her around as a Gunner, but gunners are pretty useless for my purposes so she rarely sees action.
edited 8th Sep '10 12:09:37 AM by Clarste
My copy arrived today, and I've played it until the end of the first month. I'm not sure what to think yet. I'll have to wait until later to go into more detail, but one thing I am sure of is that Easy mode seems far, far easier than the first game. Does the second ramp up in difficulty more slowly, or is the difference between Easy and Normal just greater than I was expecting?
edited 8th Sep '10 4:20:26 AM by SuperDimensionman
I've never tried easy, but I don't recall the game ramping up in difficulty significantly.
I've started again on Normal and played through to almost where I was before. This time, though, I tried to do the "defeat all enemies" non-story mission that opens up at the end of January instead of keeping the plot moving, and the random enemy placement left me not knowing where the last enemy was. Twice. And then my battery died.
You'll notice a pretty big difficulty spike in March. Normal missions will remain fairly easy, but the main story missions start to ramp up the difficulty quite a bit. Still nowhere near as bad as the Batomys from Valkyria Chronicles was, though. Also, a few of the character arcs can be pretty brutal. I recall Rene's being fairly hard.
edited 8th Sep '10 9:16:28 AM by Miijhal
Beat the game, although I gave up doing every single free mission because my brother was waiting for me to finish so he could play. Also a bit of Ending Fatigue. Here's my little mini-review.
Overall, huge improvement on VC1. I've mentioned the gameplay changes to the maps and deployment and whatnot, but more important than that are the new mission objectives. There are many more "kill all enemies" missions that encourage thoroughness, but even the ones that don't encourage a balanced party and good planning. Holding onto two or more victory-condition bases at once is completely different from capturing one base, which was the goal of pretty much every mission in the original, and the escort missions also spice it up (better than they sound). You can no longer merely secure victory by a thread, you have to dominate them, which is a lot funner. Also, not to brag, but I managed to get almost entirely A ranks for the latter half of the game without feeling like I was doing anything cheesy.
There are less maps than the original, but because of the connected base system, the maps can be rearranged into a huge number of permutations. Which you will see in the free missions, a lot. No two missions are quite the same, whether it be through camp placement, mission objectives, enemy placement, etc. It's a huge innovation that increases re-playability with minimum extra design effort. Awesome, awesome idea. Additionally, while you only get new maps every month, every single one feels unique and alters gameplay in an interesting way. 80% of the way through the game I was still getting tutorials about how the new maps worked. While that may sound gimmicky, the special map mechanics are quite well integrated into the gameplay.
Character customization. It exists. I'll start with the tank. You get one tank this time, but it can be whatever you want it to be. Light, medium, heavy, APC, anti-armor, anti-infantry, all-terrain, utility, etc. Or any combination of those. It's got a ton of equipment slots for various random effects, and you can save different customizations of it to be switched between before deployment. Honestly though, I didn't bother doing that since I just made an all-purpose utility APC that I used in every mission. It wasn't always useful though, so it's not like the customization is fundamentally meaningless. It was disappointing though that there were very few upgrades to the utility functions over the course of the game. They could've made it a lot better by combining them at higher levels to save space or adding raw stats onto them, just so you get the feeling of getting better over time. Apparently there's a Game-Breaker gun that drops somewhere, but I never got it so I don't care.
For the humans, obviously the important part is the class system. While superficially there are 5 classes, because of the branching class system there are actually closer to 10. Scouts and Snipers are very different, as are Lancers and Mortars, reflected in their different icons. The advanced classes are also tremendously different (Anti-tank snipers!), but less so than the first split. Unfortunately, the love was not spread evenly and I find it difficult to imagine what makes a Trooper Elite any better than a Commando in any appreciable way. Class balance is a lot better, with few useless classes (although the same can't be said of the specializations). I've voiced my complaints about Engineers before, but after managing to upgrade them I've found the advanced classes very appealing. Even the classes I didn't use I can imagine a use for with a different strategy. There are a few "dead ends" that seem like lesser versions of their alternative, but overall a nice job for so many classes.
That said, the class upgrade system is terrible. Like, horrible. So bad it puts a huge black mark on a game I clearly love. You have to get credits to changes classes, and these credits are Random Drops. I really could not think of a worse system. While they're categorized into different types based on mission type, within those types there are 4 different levels. The level of credit you earn from any given mission is completely random or, at best, a Guide Dang It! (opinions seem to be divided). And, of course, you can't use higher level credits to replace lower level ones or trade them among your squad. So you could have a billion "Arms II X" credits but need a single "Arms" credit that you'll never get, ever. Furthermore, you need a generic "Certificate" or "Diploma" which will randomly replace any other kind of credit. I don't need 30 Diplomas on one guy when another guy has 0. To get everyone to an advanced class, you will need to farm credits. It's terrible. Furthermore, it really really discourages the use of unused squad member, which I had previously assumed the shared experience system was meant to encourage. When I need to kill a tank from a kilometer away, I'm gonna use my AT Sniper, and not the new Scout with 0 credits. He wouldn't even be able to survive intercept fire and do normal Scout stuff. Ruined Forever.
Story-wise it starts slowly and continues oddly light-heartedly. It's a school story at heart, which is odd because it should be a war story. When the story does pick up later in the game, I'd say it's about the same quality as the original's. I wasn't expecting too much, but it's okay. Adding your squadmates into random cutscenes was a nice way of making us feel more like a squad instead of just 5 guys and some pseudo-generic grunts. This came at the cost of death no longer being permanent, but I welcome that change as a gameplay mechanic anyway, even though to some it may feel like a big loss to the serious war atmosphere. My only real complaint is the lack of giant monster tanks.
edited 8th Sep '10 4:45:19 PM by Clarste
I'm up to the start of March now, and I need to get one thing straight: not only is this game a school story and a war story, it's also an underdog-sports-team story? What next? Will Class G rob a moving train transporting supplies for the rebels? After that, once the inevitable romance subplot gets going, they'll have covered all the bases.
edited 9th Sep '10 2:10:51 AM by SuperDimensionman
Bloody hell, you weren't kidding. I thought that crap was just a justification for the first game having a human final boss! You can't bring it back for the sequel! That's completely unfair!
Any advice? It seems to be impossible hit those bastards from behind, so I'm kind of at a loss as to how to deal with them.
edited 9th Sep '10 10:03:54 AM by SuperDimensionman
Kill the supply vehicles. It lowers their shields and weaken their shots. They still have a lot of HP and defense but you can just headshot them from the from the front by aiming above their shield. They can't evade, so in some ways they're easier to kill then normal enemies.
Honestly though, you don't actually need to kill them to beat the mission. I didn't realize their weakness, so I just ran past them and healed a lot. Hospitalized 2 people and got a C, but I won.
edited 9th Sep '10 10:10:23 AM by Clarste
Use the APC as a shield with an engineer to back it up, and drive to the base where Dirk is. Have a Lancer run behind the enemy tank, and blow it up. Capture the base, have the engineer and the lancer run in, and have the APC, and at least one other soldier proceed to the next area to prevent Dirk from recapturing the camp and locking your soldiers out.
Don't try to kill Dirk. You're not supposed to.
Anyway, once again, take out the enemy tank in the area where your APC is. Then have a shocktrooper take out the V2 soldiers by head-shotting them from near melee range. You may need to have two to prevent them from dying. Make sure you take out the lancers as well, so you can move your APC away from the camp. Dirk will eventually switch over to that map (he can do so without having the base captured), and if your APC is still sitting there, you're probably done for.
After that, you're pretty much home free.
edited 9th Sep '10 10:31:50 AM by Miijhal
I'll be sure to try one of those things. (Or possibly both, depending on how the first attempt goes.) Thanks.
Eh, they're not contradictory. I just gave less detail. Personally I don't think it's worth it to run past Dirk when you can just go around him through the other area, but whatever works. When I did it he was never a threat at all.
That probably works too.
Unlocked the Edy Brigade using the US codes. They're up on Game FA Qs for those that are interested.
It also brought up something else that bugs me - all the female characters without exception wear dresses. I know it's based on a school uniform, whereas the girls in the first game that wore skirts were rare and also members of a less-regulated militia, it looks very strange to see characters from the first game wearing uniforms clearly designed for teenage girls.
Though this is funny as hell on Marina.
Not all the girls. Alexis wears the male uniform.
I did find it somewhat odd that they got rid of the pants though. Before it was only Rosie and maybe a few others, and it was plausible that they modified it on their own.
Um, wow, Baldren was a real pushover. I killed him in three turns. And one of those turns, I didn't attack him at all.
Edit: Is it just me, or are all the newer recruits completely off their ro- YOU READY TO ROCK?!
edited 9th Sep '10 9:49:41 PM by Miijhal
The only other I can remember is Jane "You think bullets will stop me?" Turner. Probably because she's so memorable in general.
I actually just had a scene with the drill instructor that revealed what happened to Baby Jane.
I LOL'd. At least this game is pretty good at making references to the last one.
No dice. Even without the supply vehicle, and even using the APC as cover, the V2s still tore apart my infantry in the area with the player's main base with interception fire, and Dirk stood on the point that connects that area with the APC's starting position and kept taking it back every turn.
edited 10th Sep '10 1:00:51 AM by SuperDimensionman
He does that. If you go the route I did, you need to have someone recapture it every turn. You're going to want to have everyone off the first map with at least the APC and one soldier on the final map by the end of the first turn. You might be able to take two turns, but beyond that, you're pretty much screwed.
The good news is, things get much easier after you finish that level. Dirk's a pain in the ass, but Baldren can be taken out by having a utility APC equipped with a flamethrower+gatling turret and setting him on fire for one and a quarter turns, with very little risk.
edited 10th Sep '10 1:12:17 AM by Miijhal
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