Impressions of White Knight Chronicles

Impressions of White Knight Chronicles

When the MAG servers abruptly went down for emergency maintenance on Tuesday night, I figure that it was a perfect opportunity to get my feet wet with White Knight Chronicles. After the install (which took about 5 minutes) I was met with a title screen, and if you let it sit for a few seconds, a motage video (this may have been a traielr at one point) will start-up to get your blood boiling for what definitely seems like a pretty epic adventure. I do want to clarify a couple of things up-front though:

1. I am NOT a regular RPG gamer. If you want comparisons to MMO’s, the Final Fantasy series, or even other Level 5 titles, this is the wrong article to read.
2. This is the “International” version, which is the version being released in the US on Feb. 2nd.
3. The Online Servers will not be live until the release date, so I will not be able to discuss the online at all until that time
4. This is based on roughly 3 hours of gameplay

Hit the Link for the rest:

The first thing that you’ll do is setup your in-game avatar. The choices are plentiful, and you can really spend a lot of time on this if you choose. I have no patience however, so I changed a few things and bolted straight into the game. The first hour is a lot of setup and character introductions. ALL of the cutscene’s are in-engine, and the avatar that you created appears in everything exactly the way that he or she is supposed to look. The main character is not the character that you setup, so instead, you are part of the party. They do a pretty good job at easing the player into the controls and combat system, but honestly, later in the game, I was starting to get a bit confused. I do need to go back and read the instructions again, as I thought that I understood, but obviously I don’t 🙂

You start-off as a duo, heading-out to pick up a cart full of wine casks, which need to be delivered to the King’s castle for a grand ball being held for the Princess’s 18th birthday. You’ll gain another party member pretty quickly, and you’ll need that 3rd member when escorting that cart back to the castle. I won’t spoil the story that’s setup in the cutscenes, but it’s pretty cool so far. One thing that caught me right away is that SCEA obviously took the voice acting pretty seriously. OF course, Nolan North is a part of the cast, but other well-known voice actors are in the mix as well. Color me impressed.

It took me between 2 and 3 hours to get through what I would consider the “prologue” of the main game. I finally got the White Knight armor, which when you change into it, you stand about 6 stories tall (it’s pretty cool!) Visuals overall are good, but not the level of Final Fantasy 13 etc. There’s some aliasing and pop-in occasionally, but honestly, I think the game looks great! Animation is wonderful, and the scope of the different areas is truly epic. The character and creature designs are great, and most don’t fit into the “JRPG Cookie Cutter” design group. I have played Rogue Galaxy before (I own it lol) and I see some similarities in the style of this title, and I like what I’m seeing so far. The amount of colors, and the density of foliage in the forest, and just the overall art-style is quite appealing to me, and doesn’t seem like somethign that will get repetitive or boring.

One thing that worried me, and is something that I will keep in mind in the future, is if you choose to “continue” in a dungeon (instead of restarting,) any chests with items in them will be empty if you’ve already checked them, but all of the enemies will be there again. So, I ran out of healing potions and couldn’t pick any up in the first dungeon, which forced me to rely on luck more than anything else. I had to retry the first dungeon using a continue a couple of times, in which I got incredibly lucky the third time by leveling-up toward the end (which replenishes your HP and MP.) Even with that, I defeated the last enemy with 2 HP left, which then prompted me to make a bee-line to the savepoint.

So, it hasn’t scared me off yet. I am just beginning the “main quest” at the moment, and I plan to play it quite a bit over the weekend. Also, we have a pretty detailed interview with the US Producers of the game in Episode 150 of the podcast, which will be hitting on the 28th. The interview covers quite a bit, and especially focused on the online portion of the game. Along with the interview, Zakupilot256 (Marcello Lagosh) will be joining us to discuss WKC, as he has quite a bit to add as well. So far, I actually really like this game. The only thing that worries me is my lack of understanding the combat system past the basic functionality, but that’s more of a personal issue than an issue in the game design.

Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

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