White Knight Chronicles: International Review


[tab:Story Mode]

When you first  pop White Knight Chronicles: International into your PS3 you’re greeted by a one time  2.8gb HD install screen. Once that’s done you’re can create your own character who is introduced in the game and plays a minimal role in the story of WKC. ( He/she is in most of the ingame cutscenes but doesn’t speak. )

WKC offers a deep character customization. You can adjust the character’s name, hieght, wieght, proportions, skin color, eye color, hair style, gender, voice and even it’s permanent facial expression. Make sure you’re satisfied with the final product before you’re done or you’ll have to pay $4.99 ( via PSN) to re-edit your character in the future.

On to the story.

 White Knight Chronicles progresses very slowly. It begins as the people of Balandor are gearing up to celebrate a coming- of- age party for their princess, Cisna. A young man named Leonard is joined by your user created avatar to pick up and deliver wine for the festivities. All is well until the party is crashed by bad guys seeking to capture the princess because of her hidden abilities. Leonard takes it upon himself to save the princess. While doing so he awakens a giant suit of armor that allows only him to transform into a White Knight.

After unsuccessfully protecting the princess from her abductors, Leonard and his friends spend the rest of the story trying to rescue Cisna, meeting new allies and enemies along the way. By the end of the game secrets unfold, more Knights are introduced, betrayal and death befall on the heroes and a bigger story comes to light that sets the stage for the sequel.

You’re free to edit any character in your party’s armor and commands. Every piece of armor and weapon equipped is visible on all the characters in the game including your avatar. You can also switch between any character in Story Mode, as long as they’re not guest characters.

 The game offers huge fields to explore for harvesting points or treasure chests filled with armor. You don’t have to explore the entire map to advance through the story though. Depending on your pacing, you can complete the story mode in under 20 hours. I took my time and completed the Story Mode in a little over 60 hours. Mainly due to the fact that I was dividing my time between Story Mode and multiplayer. 

On the down side of things, White Knight Chronicles suffers from very poor lip syncing . I’ll never understand why this is an issue when the game was released in Japan in 2008. I think Level 5 had enough time to at least improve the lip syncing .

While I enjoyed the story mode and all it had to offer, it’s not the best story ever told. By the end it did manage to keep me interested in things to come.

[tab:Graphics, Music, Gameplay]
Graphics

Graphically, White Knight Chronicles isn’t the most stunning game available for the PS3 but it’s far from the worst looking game. Maybe it’s just me but the detailed enviroments found in WKC seem to have been inspired by Square Enix’s MMORPG FFXI. Even though the environments in WKC range from a vast forest to a massive desert you’ll find yourself fighting the same enemies regardless of where you go, with the exception of one enemy found around Balandor. 

This is just a small sample of the huge Kingdom of Balandor. There is no load time once you enter the cities.

Music

The music in WKC is very good and compliments the game’s fantasy world completely. My favorites being the Village of Sinca and the free city of Greede’s Market zone.

Gameplay

The battle system is a mix between real-time and turn base. The closet game I can think of to compare it to would be FFXII only slighty better. There’s no option to turn your character on auto-pilot like there was in FFXII.

Unlike other rpgs there is no job function in WKC. Instead, your character can learn every skill available from a ranged of 8 different weapons. Example; To use a sword skill you first have to have a sword equipped. You can switch weapons and armor at anytime in the game. You can also create and name your own combos to unleash on an unsuspecting monster. Unfortunately, you only have 3 marco sets to add weapon commands to at your disposal. I find that to be something of a disadvantage for those who may want to use the various different weapons and magic the game offers.

 Another complaint I have with the game is that if you want to retrieve something from your inventory you can only do so at the world map or at a Logic Stone ( savepoint ). That and the limited slots available to carry things from potions to equipment during the game is a poor design choice.

[tab:Multiplayer]

 

My character Astraea doing some quests online. This is just the 3rd wave of baddies!

You can take the character you created and every item you discovered throughout the Story Mode online in WKC. New quest appear with every new area you’ve ventured throughout the Story Mode and have to be purchased from any town in the game. Some quest you can solo, others will require at least a team of 3 at the least . Your party can only consist of 4 members.

Rewards from the online quests can be used to upgrade or create weapons and armor and advance your Guild Rank. Your Guild Rank determines the available quest(s). You begin as Guild Rank 3.  The higher your Rank the more difficult the quest.

White Knight Chronicles also offers an online community called GeoNet. Players can sign in ( must be logged into PSN first ), post comments on the message boards  to organize quests or just rant like most people do on forums. Also available via Geonet is your Georama. Introduced in the Dark Cloud series then, Georama basically allows players to create their own town that can function as lobby where anyone can enter and take a look around.

Non-player characters can be recruited to towns from Story Mode. This makes the player’s Georama change depending on whoever is currently living in it. Non-player characters have jobs and specific skill levels, which will affect the kind of materials and items available to use in Georama. Each player has their own Geonet that can create up to 20 separate Georama rooms.

(Please note that the multiplayer modes are only available once you’ve completed the first chapter of the Story Mode. ) 

[tab:In Closing]

The online portion of the game runs smooth as butter. I’ve logged in over a hundred hours online with very few instances of lag. These rare instances only amounted to other online players popping ahead of my character a few times.  Nothing game breaking.

To Level 5′s credit not many JRPG or RPG companies have been ambitious and creative enough to deliver the quality that White Knight Chronicles offers, offline and online. If you’re looking for a free MMORPG experiance to on the PS3 to tide you over until FFXIV, then WKC is right up your alley.

I give White Knight Chronicles: International  80 Knights out of 100. A flawed gem.

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of White Knight Chronicles: International provided by Sony Computer Entertainment.


Written by: Sakinah - Contributing Editor


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  1. #1 by EdEN on March 12th, 2010

    I almost bought this on Tuesday but my purchases went to FF XIII, No More Heroes 2 and Little King’s Story. Still, after all the reviews I think I might get it later in the year (along with Star Ocean 4)

  2. #2 by Eddie on March 12th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    I can’t lie…the entire game makes me want to kick kittens (not you fleakitten).

    I started this game completely expecting it to be a highly underrated game but after putting a little time in, I can’t say that now.

    In its defense, I haven’t played it for very long and I’ll be giving it another chance once I’m done with FFXIII.

  3. #3 by JimmyMagnum on March 12th, 2010 [ 83111 Points ]

    props for using the tabs for the review, I thought I’d be the only one who did lol

  4. #4 by Trieloth on March 12th, 2010 [ 3426 Points ]

    After playing FF13 for about 7 hours I can say that WKC was/is a better game IMO. I had alot of fun with wkc. I finished the story but need to get farther in the online mode because there is alot there.
    FF13 is way to freaking easy. All you do is fish through the menu and watch during the battles. Graphics are great but thats about it.

  5. #5 by Eddie on March 12th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    You have not played far enough into FFXIII lol.

    I’m at a part right now where I need to grind a little to get past a boss safely. Wait until around chapter 9 or 10 :)

  6. #6 by Glitch on March 13th, 2010

    I haven’t played FF XIII so this i’m in no way trying to compare WKC to it.

    But one of the problems I have with WKC is that the combat is flawed and boring.
    First of all there is a lot of combat and not a lot of difference between the various monsters you encounter. You can run from the creatures, but they can attack you from a distance even though they only use close combat attacks. I mean, I have encountered a lot of creatures that stood about 20 meters from me. Still they were able to bite into thin air and damage me. Also the game told me that I were too far away to attack the monster. That is just unfair.

    During combat you can move around but since the monsters can attack you from any distance this moving around doesn’t do anything in the game. When you engage in combat a circle appears on the screen. The combat is also sort of turnbased. When combat an on screen circle slowly fills up. When the circle is completely filled up then you can do something ie hit a monster, cast spells, use an item and so on. When you have done that, the circle has to be full again before you get another turn.

    Also you are supposed to make combos out of different attacks, but there is no need to. I am at level 21 at the moment and I have only made one combo which I don’t even use that much.

    Also you can create wapons and other things via the stuff you find. But you can just as well buy the stuff from the shops.

    I think that the graphics are good, the music alright and the sounds in the game is ok. The story is not fantastic, but allright. The online stuff is intriguing but the combat, which isthe main part of the game is downright badly thought out and ruins the game experience for me. I’d give the game a big 3 out of 5, but mainly because of the online part of the game.

    Cheers goes out to Level 5 though for giving out free quests via the PSN Store.

  7. #7 by fleakitten on March 13th, 2010 [ 26489 Points ]

    @ Glitch I don’t have any complaints about the combat system. I think they made it easy to pick up and play.

    @Eddie The story gets better once you pick up your 5th party member. I was skipping cutscenes during the first half of the game until they became more interesting later on.


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