WKC Review
By Ally



White Knight Chronicles

Hello to all you JRPG fans out there, this Is Ally reporting in once again for the official FFTogether Newsletter! This time, I will be reviewing White Knight Chronicles; a JRPG for the PlayStation 3. The game was released more than a year ago in Japan, where it wasn’t given fascinating marks by gaming magazine Famitsu. The game isn’t currently doing too well in general with the Western Version. I think the reviews were pretty biased if you ask me, but that’s not the point. White Knight Chronicles was created by critically acclaimed RPG developer Level-5, who was also responsible for other great games such as Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy. Let me just say that in my opinion, White Knight Chronicles is yet another fantastic masterpiece created by this RPG team. As every other review, this WILL contain possible spoilers. Skip this section if you like and go on to the next part of the newsletter if you do not wish to be spoiled.

STORY and CHARACTERS:

The game starts out with you creating your very own online persona, a character that will follow around Leonard and friends throughout their perilous journey to rescue Princess Cisna from the Magi.

The story is very cliché and even though I may have made the beginning sound good, the story is very slow as well. It takes about 10 hours for the story to REALLY pick up and character development to get started. The dialogue… this is possibly my only problem with this game. The dialogue and lip-syncing tends to be downright awful. On some occasions, the characters will speak; but it is quite scary to see that their lips don’t move. I know it’s dubbing, but are you serious? The overall plot is good enough for a RPG. Although, in my opinion, it could have been a little bit better.

The characters are overall very good and each has impressive back-stories and top notch voice acting. It’s nice to see a real protagonist for once who actually knows what he is doing and isn’t very stuck-up and has a “I’ll do it myself” attitude like most RPG protagonists these days. The supporting characters are not all-too bad either. My only complaint with the characters is the character you create. It’s nice to see that you can create your own character and follow the story from a prospective, but after the first hour of the story, your character virtually becomes non-existent. Not to mention the character doesn’t have a voice actor or a central plot in the story and tends to be ignored. I don’t care if you created a male character or female character and each time you created it, they had the same voice actor, it would have been nice for the character to speak every once and a while. (Save for a few battle cries and their death quotes) Also, the avatars constant lingering stare from behind the party tends to get downright creepy. The only positive thing about the avatar is that they can excel in all classes and you can bring them online. (More on that later)

GAMEPLAY:

The game combines the elements of a MMO and near resembles Final Fantasy XII; except with slightly more depth. During battle, you press the X button when you spot an enemy to initiate battle. This brings up the “action palette” with commands that you can set up from the Combat Setup screen in the party menu. You can choose from a variety of spells and skills and can even create your own combos. This is what I found to be the most creative of White Knight Chronicles combat. Using Skill Points that you gain from leveling up, you can purchase new skills, increase stats and increase combo hits for your characters. What I found to be the downfall of combos is that you can’t chain elemental skills together and each combo has to be from the same weapon family. Each combo attack or certain skills will cost Action Chips (AC) that you can spot near the action palette at the bottom left of the screen. Action Chips will also allow Leonard to transform into the White Knight. While you can literally beat the game without nearly any help from the White Knight, it is a good lifesaver and not to mention it beats the living crap out of anything. Although, don’t be stupid and transform into the White Knight during ANY battle. Save it for large enemies or boss battles. Using it for small enemies is overkill. Especially since Leonard transforms back to normal when he runs out of MP or all enemies have been defeated. Action Chips are hard to acquire and transforming wastes all of your Action Chips, so be sure to use them wisely or you will be paying for it later. Even though, overall, the game is not hard. As long as you have one or two healers in your party at all times, you can overcome any challenge the game throws out at you. It’s very annoying to see that enemies can hit you from anywhere, but I guess that was to make the game slightly more difficult. From choosing from any weapon you wish for, enhance your weapons and armor and creating your own combos; gameplay is still fun and gives a ton of depth and you will enjoy it.

MULTIPLAYER:

What you can do is access Geonet (Online) with your created character and meet up with other players and participate in quests together. While it is okay to do some of the earlier quests solo, as you get to bigger Guild Ranks such as GR7 and GR8+, doing quests solo is impossible unless you are extremely overleveled. Journey with up to a party of 4 in your quests; you can even build your own town with Georama and share it with friends. This is good if you want to stock up on supplies for quests or even the single player campaign. You can recruit NPCs from the single player campaign and have them work in your very own town.
It’s nice to also chat with friends and take on some of the hardest quests together and even meet new friends! To access Geonet, you will need to have a PlayStation Network account as usual. This is mainly the avatars main role in the game. Be sure to create one and join in on the fun or else you are going to be missing out of the main source of enjoyment in this game!

GRAPHICS:

As usual, PlayStation 3 graphics do not fail to impress. You are not going to find Uncharted 2 or Final Fantasy XIII graphics in this game, but the game does its own way of looking good. Throughout the journey, you will trek through sweeping vistas, dungeons and much more. The lake areas happen to be the most beautiful and impressive areas to see in the entire game and is nice to stop and sightsee for a little while. Monster models feel a little bit outdated and are recycled many times throughout the game. Towns give very little reason to explore and talk to NPCs save looking for a few chests.
8/10

OVERALL:

In conclusion, White Knight Chronicles is a very solid RPG that is sure to please the consumer. While the story takes a long time to build up and is seriously average for a RPG. The game is overall not difficult for those looking for a challenge.
Combat may suffer from a few issues, but a solid character customization system was a fun aspect. Expect to take 30 hours to finish the main campaign, but the game’s quests can take up to 100 hours. You can also take more if you are aiming to get Platinum. White Knight Chronicles may not be Game of the Year material, but the game’s end result is an enjoyable experience.

Pros and Cons:

+ Online Multiplayer and Customizable Towns
+ Hundreds of hours of gameplay to get 100% completion
+ Character Customization
- Clichéd Storyline
- Lip Synching

I hope you enjoyed this review! See you on the forums!


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