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Freefall avatar 11:10 AM on 09.24.2009  (server time)
Your Squad Is Your Weapon: The Valkyria Chonicles of Squad 7 (Plus Recap)

Sorry for the massive break, I wanted to have a look at one last squad, but I lacked the game and console. So I bought a PS3 to play Valkyria Chronicles. Yes, you heard that right. As this is the last YSIYW (Unless there's demand for more). I'll go into even more detail than before. What's the Plural of Valkria anyway, Valkrians or Valkyrur? Anyway, here we go.

Nothing gets you immersed in games more than being in a squad in the heat of battle. These teams get you through the most deadly of situations. These are the best of the best. I will have a look at the best squads in the coming weeks and finally have a Poll to decide the ultimate Squad. Today we'll have a look at:

Gallian Militia Squad 7 from Valkyria Chronicles

About Squad 7:
When Imperial forces launch an attack on the Gallia, the gallian Militia was called together and formed several squads. Squad 7 was formed for Welkin to command. Initially members of the squad questioned Welkin's qualifications to be a commander due lack of combat experience. However, he quickly earns their trust and loyalty with his tactical genius. Together they fight in order to drive the Imperial forces out of Gallia and fight for the freedom of all of Gallia and all that they hold dear against the seemingly invincible forces of the Empire.

There are quite a few members that can be chosen (Over 50 in fact), but only around 10 go on any given mission. The most amazing thing is, the incredibly large cast of potential characters, and all of them are unique, they have potential abilities of their own. For example, if they are with someone they like or alone, their abilities are enhanced, some people like standing in the forest, others have a pure hatred for tanks, some even have kamikaze bonuses if they are near death. There are no generic grunts here is squad 7!

The Main Members are:

* Lieutenant Welkin Gunther (Squad 7 Commander/ Tank Commander)
The game's male lead. A twenty-two year old university student before the Imperial invasion, Welkin's intelligence and determination earned him the commanding position over Gallia's Squad 7 after he joins the Militia. His university major, Animal Sociology, gives him an extensive knowledge of Gallia's native flora and fauna and serves as a basis for his military strategies. I often think of Welkin as the Father of Squad 7

* Sergeant Alicia Melchiott (Scout)
Plays opposite Welkin as the game's heroine. A nineteen year old who wishes to be a successful baker, Alicia became a soldier after being swept up in the chaos of the Imperial invasion of Gallia. Righteous and reliable, Alicia loves helping others, and slowly grows fond of Welkin. Alicia is the Mother

* Isara Gunther (Tank Pilot)
Welkin's sixteen-year-old adopted sister who cares greatly for her comrades. The two are not siblings by birth, as she was taken in by the Gunthers at a young age; however, Isara is extremely devoted to Welkin. She drives and maintains the unique tank, Edelweiss, that her biological father, Theimer, designed in the First Europan War but was too expensive to mass-produce. Continuing her father's legacy, Isara is a true prodigy when it comes to mechanics. The shawl she wears signifies that she is a member of the Darcsens, a race of people persecuted for their ancestors' role in the near destruction of the continent. Isara is the daughter

* Brigitte "Rosie" Stark (Shock Trooper)
Twenty-seven years old, Brigitte was formerly a bar singer who used the stage name "Rosie", and now prefers to be called as such. As a part of the core members of Squad 7, she acts as its signature shocktrooper. Though she may seem overbearing at times, she is a capable front-line commander whose tough talk motivates others during battle. Her prejudice against the Darcsens puts her at odds with Isara and Zaka, though she eventually grows to overcome this. Rosie is the Sister

* Largo Potter (Anti-Tank Lancer)
A gruff, thirty-six year old veteran of the First Europan War and Squad 7's main anti-tank Lancer. Values experience above all else on the battlefield, but grows to appreciate Welkin after his strategies prove successful. Beyond his tough exterior, he holds a special appreciation for the power of vegetables from the time spent on his father's farm in his childhood. Largo is the Grandfather

* Zaka (Tank Commander)
Zaka, a local leader of the Darcsens, was held in an Imperial work camp where he and his people were forced to work in the dangerous ragnite mines and factories under brutal conditions imposed by Gregor. The thirty-three year old proves instrumental in helping Squad 7 in the Fouzen raid as an inside contact. Joining the group shortly after the battle, he commands the Shamrock, a customized version of Gallia's main battle tank. His easygoing demeanor hides the oppression he has experienced all his life. I don't know, Zaka's like that weird Uncle you have who tries to be cool

Moment of Awesome:
(Minor Spoilers)These guys have two, first its ramming their way head on into the Empires much, much larger Army, in a hope to push them back (Which they do) and Defeating Selvaria in the heart of the Empire's Base.

Why I think they are Badass:
At first, they just seemed like a rag-tag bunch of misfits called to arms to defend they country, but as the war progresses, they all show their worth, they all have things they want to do after the war, and they will fight for their freedom, for they love their country, but what's more, they share a bond, Squad 7 is a family, they are there for each other, and that is why they win.

How are they on the Hardest Difficulty Level?
Without any real friendly AI it's hard to say, I mean, they can shoot at a target you are shooting at if you are in range, but beyond that, you control every one of them, apart from the Odd AI scripted moment. This isn't a bad thing though, because controlling them directly is just like them obeying your exact orders.

Possibly my favorite squad yet, sure they are much larger than some four-man squads, but considering that they aren't super heroes and are up against an army, but even one of them can win a skirmish. They only get stronger. Not only are they fighting for their lives, they are fighting for their country, in fact, they are fighting for the very future of everyone they know. Its more than surviving for this Squad, at times, the weight of the world is on their shoulders. The fact that the majority (Everyone but the main cast) can die permanently in battle (With their own death animation and last words, enough to make you tear up) make them seem real, you have to be careful, or you won't get them back (I lost my favorite sniper and sacrificed my most used shocktrooper to save everyone else). Thankfully the team Medic can be called if you go next to the almost dead troop. This meant, for some cases with me, that I would postpone a major objective just because I wanted to get them home alive. It wasn't even necessary to continue, but the game made me want to, it made me care.

This game is fantastic and well worth the PS3 asking price, Valkyria Chronicles helped remind me why I continue to play games and Squad 7 reminded me that even in the darkest hour, it's your friends and family that will get you through it.

Team Rating: 96%

Now for the Recap:

The Republic Commando's

The Gears of War

Use Brute Force

Those Left 4 Dead

An Elite Force

I see Rainbows

Next time, there will be a poll to decide the ultimate squad. I'll be matching them up Two at a time. Keep an eye on the Community Blogs and Forums!

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