Published on February 5th, 2010 | by The Bad Man1
An appetizer for things to come: White Knight Chronicles Review
Sony’s release of White Knight Chronicles was highly anticipated by RPG fans. Although it took some time to reach the US from overseas, the game seemed to have been not worth the wait with only decent graphics and a complex battle system. The game itself could stand alone as a decent game, but with the release of Final Fantasy so close, this game seems to act as an appetizer for the main course.
A character creation system will allow you to customize your own character but not to be the main hero in the adventure but more as a support fighter in the group. This may seem odd but is due to the fact that your character can be bought online. The story of WKC is a little lacking. The basic formula of RPG games seemed to be followed: Orphan kid tries to save the princess. The story itself really doesn’t stretch any boundaries, it serves as just enough of a story to keep the action flowing. Cinematic cutscenes serve pretty epic at times and bring some of the life back into the game. One flaw was the mouth movement that went along with the voiceover work for in-game cutscenes.
The characters seemed to move their lips once or twice while speaking an entire monologue. At times it seemed manageable, while others seemed like a bad rendition of a dubbed version of “Enter the Dragon”. Fairly early into the game the main character Leonard will have the ability to transform into a giant white knight. While this may seem cool and it is at first, the duration of the transformation is a bit of a nuisance. Players will revert back into Leonard once all enemies encountered are defeated, even if your gauge isn’t empty or have plenty of enemies surrounding you. The game also gives the option of purchasing mini-quests, but these quests are so astray from the direction of the story line, it might not be in your best interest to follow them.
Showing very similar battle systems of previous Final Fantasy games (final fantasy 12 or 11), WKC complicates things with a skills format that needs to be rearranged every time a new skill is learned. Once your skills are finally in place, it’s time to play the waiting game… literally. The battle system features a command circle which the user has to wait to fill up before executing any action. The time of the wait rarely changes, and plays out more like an MMO. Not necessarily a bad thing but only really gets its feet on the ground if playing with others online. Users are able to create their own combos based on the skills learned which is helpful, but can be used only a limited amount of times in battle based on the complexity of the skill, and the amount of action points the user has. Another flaw of the battle system is the very obvious disregard of distance. Enemies can perform a short ranged attack like a sword slash from 50 yards away and still hit you. As long as you are engaged in battle, you are a target, so if you are in a battle, you better be able to win it, because you cannot run away from it easily. This is all taken from MMO’s like Final Fantasy 11 but that game is actually an MMO and can get annoying for those that are not used to that format of gameplay.
Players may scratch their heads jumping into the game because the created character isn’t the main character. So while I was upgrading my character to be the strongest of the group, many battles needed to feature Leonard, the main character. The user creator tools themselves are actually in-depth and will allow you to change your look later on in the game to suit another appearance you see fit. The character players make will not only play alongside the main hero but will let you play with others online once unlocked via the GeoNet system. Generally it had been rather difficult to actually get online, but when you manage to play with a friend the open world and battle system seem to suit the game much better.
The game itself isn’t a bad game and has 30+ hours on just the main story alone. It is rather straight forward, and relatively easy to just play through, which might make it more enjoyable for certain gamers. With the hype that was behind it, it is a bit of a let down. In a month or two when Final Fantasy is released, chances are this game will be on the shelf for a while.
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Overall Score: 7.4/10
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