White Knight Chronicles

02/09/2010 at 3:32 AM | Posted in PlayStation 3 | Leave a comment
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White Knight Chronicles Review

So, White Knight Chronicles was one of those games that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, I hit a few potholes on the way but I got it, played it, and beat it. I was kind of hoping that I would play enough of the game in order to have a review out simply a week after its release but I ended up beating it. So now I can review it having played the game, but then again, oh darn there’s no more game to play. Although that’s not necessarily true, is it? Finishing the story left me wanting and it was slightly bittersweet, although I’m getting ahead of myself. For now I can be happy with the fact that I can get right into playing Star Ocean: The Last Hope International when it comes out tomorrow.

White Knight Chronicles is an RPG for the PS3. It was developed by Level 5 and Japan Studio and it was released on February 2nd, 2010. Let’s get one thing out of the way. Other reviews were this game were less than favorable citing all kinds of reasons as to why the game isn’t to good. I felt as if most of these reviews were a bit harsh and I had a slightly better opinion on this game as I do for most things. This game features an approximately 50-hour Story Mode and then there are missions you can do using your Avatar either solo or online with up to 3 other players. The “International Edition” features the full game, 50 disc based online quests, custom personal virtual lobby (Georama), and Voicechat & Live Talk.

Story

White Knight Chronicles is about the Kingdom of Balandor and of a boy named Leonard who crashes the princess of Balandor’s Coming of Age Party. This lovely banquet is disturbed when it is raided by a group known as the Magi. In an attempt to protect the princess Leonard runs off into the castle with her and discovers a suit of armor that transforms him into the White Knight. Unfortunately, the princess is kidnapped by a mysterious member of the Magi known as General Dragias. This sets Leonard and his companions on a journey to rescue the princess and take the Magi down. I’ll tell you right now, the game doesn’t really end. Some games finish the story and leave off potential for a sequel, some games, with a sequel in mind, finish the story and still manage to leave some sort of closure. Compare to say Kingdom Hearts where you go through the game, figure out that Ansem is the real culprit, you beat him and all that jazz but then there are some loose ends where given a sequel you would tie up. In White Knight Chronicles however, you go through the game, find out who the real culprit is, and don’t kill him. It just felt like there wasn’t any closure. I mean I easily (I should mention it is a pretty easy game) beat the game with my party’s level averaging 35, that should tell you something right there, as far as a normal play of an RPG is concerned.

Score – 7.5

Gameplay

The controls in this game are rather simple although at first I was quite frustrated with them. You will spend your time navigating around different areas using the left analog stick and using the right stick to move the camera. There are two Control Modes (A and B) and you can freely choose between the two although there are little real differences. Battles are seamless, and once you click on a enemy to target them, the battle begins until all the enemies near you are either defeated, or you run away. In battle, once the command menu shows up, you will choose a command from the bar with the directional buttons as you wait for the “Command Ring” to fill up. The speed at which this ring fills is based off of a few factors, your current weapon, current armor, etc. During battle you gain “Action Chips” by either attacking or getting attacked. You also need at least 7 AC to transform into the White Knight, more Chips means more powerful skills when you transform. You can then use these AC to use more powerful attacks or self created combos. I found this to be truly annoying as you never seem to have enough. Even mundane actions later on in a skill tree costs at least 1 and on top of it some even cost MP as well. The first few skills of an attribute in a skill tree don’t cost any AC, however, later in the game these attacks are just to weak and make not using AC frustrating but doable. I eventually found myself using hardly any skills that required AC and simply wished that Action Chips didn’t exist and that they went with a meter for transformation.

Score – 7.5

Graphics

White Knight Chronicles looks fairly good in the style that it is done in. I did find myself in favor of some of the game’s original design but the final product is nice. The environments are pretty large and you’ll spend quite some time actually getting through them, I found myself sometimes reminded of some environments from Dark Cloud 2 but I wonder if that is just because I know the game was developed by Level 5 and I was constantly comparing the two. Although quite frankly I think there was nothing wrong with that as I have been dying for a sequel to DC2 and this game felt like it a little in spirit with some of its concepts, design, and music.

Concept Art

Score – 9

Final Note

So, White Knight Chronicles isn’t perfect, there are definitely a few, actually a handful of things I did not like and yes most of these complaints come from the battle controls and battle system. As far as the battle system goes, I feel if they had managed to recreate what they first showed the battle system as being, things would have worked out MUCH better. Another big complaint I had was with your inventory. I don’t really want to get into it but let’s just say it isn’t exactly the simplest thing to acquire an item from the field and then give it or equip it to a particular character, that being said equipping armor and weapons isn’t really straightforward either. I often found myself a little confused about certain things that should have either been explained in the in-game Help menu or at least the manual. Little tidbits like this reduced the enjoyment a little but the story is what really keeps this game alive even though it even has some issues. Let’s just say that with a sequel already in development, they have a bunch of things that need to be nipped, tucked, tweaked, and overhauled.

Overall Rating

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