White Knight Chronicles (PS3 ONLY)

Written by ShootBlood on 22 February 2010.


White Knight Chronicles (Playstation® 3 exclusive game)


For fans of Japanese RPGs, 2010 is looking to be a great year for you.. (Click "Read More"!)

Some of the biggest developers of the genre are releasing brand new titles just about guaranteed to blow you away.  Everything from classic franchises like Star Ocean and Final Fantasy to new titles like the interesting Nier are showing up this year.  Each of these games has their own take on the JRPG genre, many of them bringing new and intriguing ideas to the table.   The first game to show up this year is the much-delayed White Knight Chronicles International Edition (WKC).  Was it worth the wait?  Let’s find out...
White Knight Chronicles was released in Japan almost fourteen months ago and while no clear reason for the lengthy delay has been given, it would appear that developer Level-5 had more going on than the usual localization work that takes around six months to complete.  While this might have been a warning flag to some, the playable demo that was available all the way back at the Tokyo Game Show in 2007 had enough eye candy to keep people drooling over the release of this title.
Graphically White Knight Chronicles comes through on its initial promise.  The character models are bright and sharp and the attention to details is amazing.  Going through the customization of your in-game avatar presents you with dozens of choices, down to such minute details as eyebrow shape and chin width.  Most of this tweaking can be skipped, but if you’re inclined to take the time then you have a wealth of options.

The attention to detail obviously doesn’t stop at your avatar.  The game environments are all lush and unique.  Dust blows through the streets of the desert town of Balana, and the plains of Balastor come alive as the wind blows through the trees.  The areas all have their own unique feel, providing plenty of variety in the scenery.
Unfortunately, Level-5 didn’t extend that variety to the monsters you encounter.  Most areas you play through will have two types of smaller creatures, and two types of large creatures.  The monster models all look fantastic, and when I say large monsters, I’m talking about creatures that tower over your characters.  This brings real weight to the battle when you’re taking on trolls and treants (the two large creatures in the beginner’s area) but it just leaves you aching for more variety.  With one exception, you are able to see all the monsters from a distance, eliminating random encounters.  Certain areas will have scripted events, consisting of an encounter with a special type of monster.  This might be the gigantic cousin of one of the standard mobs, or just a rogue creature that inhabits the area.  These encounters provide some great spice to the game and provide the opportunity for some good loot, but they make me wish the developer would have put more of them throughout the world.

Level-5 is no newcomer to the JRPG genre, and much of their previous work is highly regarded.  One of the more recent examples, Dragon Quest VIII, is definitely the high point of their catalog, and its influence is seen in the dialogue in White Knight Chronicles.  The voice acting in WKC is solid, but there are so many cheesy lines that are delivered it detracts from the overall quality.  While this goofy dialogue worked very well in Dragon Quest VIII, it just doesn’t fit that well in WKC.  For example, at the very start of the game you are asked by your boss to go retrieve a shipment of wine from a nearby town for the princess’ big party.  After some very minor adventuring, you find the town and cart full of wine, but it’s late in the day.  Mustering your group to head back to the princess, you motivate your party by shouting “Let’s haul cask!”  Groan.  Environmental sounds are all well handled, and the score throughout the game is excellent.
We give the game a score of 95/100.

*Online Mode*

White Knight Chronicles also features a bunch of multiplayer-compatible quests that can be tackled with friends -- or on your own, if you prefer. At the start of White Knight Chronicles, players must create an avatar that will serve as the bridge between the story and the online multiplayer. The created character will journey with the main cast of heroes during story progression (just don't expect them to speak) and that character will also be used as the player's character during online sessions.

*Release Dates Northern America and Europe*

The game comes/came out Friday 2nd February in North America and 26th of February in Europe.

Thank you for your time and enjoy the game!

-Written by ShootBlood



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