Started off today with a skirmish map I’d unlocked yesterday. It was just a desert level from a previous chapter, so I was fairly confident I could get it done. Indeed, it started well, with the first enemy camp falling without real issue. (One of my snipers had got sniped after I miscalculated some sight lines, but I rescued him.)

However, after that I had to get to the second enemy camp, across open ground, past enemy snipers, shock troopers and tanks. When I’d done this in story mode a convenient sandstorm had blown across the level and hidden me from view, but there was no such help this time. So, I, er, tried exactly the same tactic again.

And it worked. Sort of. It was carnage, but I managed to get into the enemy camp and, with a sliver of health left and being at shot at from close range, one of my guys managed to capture the enemy flag. It shouldn’t have worked, it was incredibly stupid, but I won and I managed not to lose anybody permanently.

It’s still niggling at me now. It was clumsy and came incredibly close to being a complete disaster. Urgh.

Anyway, I then moved on to Chapter Nine of the story and had a much easier mission. I had to stop an armoured car from getting from one end of the map to the other. On my first attempt I made a mess, so reloaded even before I died. The second attempt went well and I won with a B rank. Hooray! (It could have been an A if I’d remembered to use an order to increase Vyse’s attack power, but I never remember orders.)

Interesting to note that I consider that a success – a good result on the second attempt – but that I consider the skirmish a failure – a win on the first attempt.

After completing chapter six I went to buy new guns, level up, all that. Ms Ellet, the reporter, was selling a new bonus chapter, so I bought it. It was cost 50,000, um, whatever the in-game currency is called. That’s very expensive – around ten times the cost of the other bonus chapters. I thought this might include a new battle, some new potentials (basically, context-activated stat changes) for my characters, or something. But no, instead I got some bonus models of the main characters in swimsuits to look at. (As well as extra cut scenes, of course, so not a total waste of money.)

Must remember, if a bonus in a Japanese game costs way over the odds, chances are it involves female characters in swimsuits and/or underwear.