White Knight Chronicles International Edition Review (PS3)

White Knight Chronicles International Edition
Release Date: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Genre: RPG
Developer: Level-5
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3
Players: 1-4
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB Rating: Teen
Website: White Knight Chronicles

Wow. Well, first let me say sorry it took me a bit to get this out to you guys, I played for a bit longer than normal I’m sure, I just  love to level up before continuing on. Habit.

I read a few bad reviews for this before I started the game, and I have to say, they are SO wrong! If they were even playing the same game I’d be surprised…

Let’s start you out with a bit of information about the game, mainly for those who haven’t really heard too much yet.

Leonard, a young orphan and employee at Rapacci’s Wines, finds himself thrust into the center of a great conflict on the day he delivers wine to the castle for the Princess Cisna’s ball. While at the castle, the kingdom is attacked by the Magi, an evil army bent on overthrowing the kingdom of Balandor. Leonard finds Princess Cisna, and while helping her escape, they stumble across a long-forgotten and powerful weapon, a Knight.

The kingdom needs a hero, and it seems Leonard has been the one chosen to unlock the power of the White Knight. He manages to run the Magi from the castle, but not before they make off with Princess Cisna. Leonard, with the help of his friends,  goes on a quest to save the Princess and stop the Magi from finding the remaining Knights.

You travel as Leonard through the dangers of the world to try to save the kingdom. He will have up to three friends accompanying him which are all played by the AI. You are allowed to switch if you would rather use another character, but I stayed with Leonard the entire time.

The first thing you will do when starting the game is to make an Avatar. Many options were put with this so there is a great chance you can really make your Avatar look a lot like you. This Avatar goes with you on your journeys, and will show up in all of the scenes, including cut scenes or “movie scenes.” Don’t be surprised though, it will never talk unless it’s hacking or slicing something, then you’ll get the occasional “Hi-yaa!”

You learn to battle almost immediately, and I have to say, though it’s an interesting set up, I was quite fond of the battle system. In order to learn new things you have to, of course, level up and gain Skill Points. You use these Skill Points in the area of your intrest to pick the skills you want. For example, if you want more sword skills, just go to sword or long sword skills and pick what you would like from them. From there you can start making your own combos, which I thought was a big plus.

The one thing you must remember to do is that once you learn a skill, you must put it in your command lines, or you won’t be able to use it.

Another thing I was extremely fond of was your ability to pick what you would like the AI to do with your characters. If you are going into a big battle, you can choose to have the Avatar concentrate on healing more than anything, then switch them back after the fight. The other tactics you can choose from are: Auto, Go All Out, Conserve, Stay Safe, and like I mentioned, Heal First.

There are a few things that take some time to get accustomed to though. When you first start the camera angle seems to be set funny, but if you go into settings you can switch it to Inverted, which, to me, makes it much better! Once you get it to your liking it is extremely smooth.

Another thing that is a bit odd, but easy to set your mind to, is the way that you target an opponent. You always have to watch for which enemy has the yellow arrow above it’s head, because that is the only one that your hits will go to, and if you’re not close enough, they won’t hit anything. Sometimes it does seem a bit random, but after you’ve finished off one enemy, and you’re still in battle mode, just twist around to see which enemy now had the yellow arrow on top of them, and go after them. You can switch that though, if you’re targeted to someone you’re not wanting, there is an option to switch targets.

Graphics throughout the game pretty much stay the same, through gameplay and cut-scenes, it all looks pretty good. The design for some items, like the castle and some of the other towns was very well planned out, and nicely done.

There really is no waiting for loading on scenes or long wait times to get to the next area, it’s pretty much a one fluid motion game. The most waiting you do is just in saving, which is always worth doing every chance you get. Yes, I learned that the hard way… You think I’d know better by now.

One of the things I was really fond of was the availability they give you to level up. There is no time limit to cross an area, so you can run around and level up as much as you want, enemies will continue to reappear after a while. (This would be one of the things I’m addicted to…)

I also really liked all of the different things there are to do in the game. You of course have your battle system, which is extremely fun to play with and set up. Then there is GeoNet, a place for you to build your own town, upload it and share it with everyone. This in itself is practically it’s own game. I wish I could go into it more with you, but I haven’t gotten to play online with anyone yet. I have enjoyed building my town, and learned that when you set up your shops it’s easier to just go there and buy stuff when you’re at a save space than going back to town.

There are also many side quests that can be done with online friends, I can’t give too many comments on that though, as that is something I have not done yet. But I am really looking forward to someone else getting this game so I can try it all out!

If I had to change anything it would be a few minor details. The one that irks me the most is that the Avatar does not talk. Small thing to think about, but when she (or he) is just standing around every time you see them with this odd grin on their face, they start to get annoying.

The music isn’t terrible, very RPGish, if you know what I mean. Everything is good and fits together, but nothing really pops out.

A few things about the battle system would be nice to have rearranged. I wish it was easier to switch between targets, as an example, just hitting L2 or R2 and going back and forth. You also have so many Action Points to do things, and it seems to run out quickly, it would be nice to not have to use them so often or so much. You do replenish them by fighting, but not too many.

All in all it is a really good game, one I would recommend to anyone that was thinking of getting it. There are so many things to do, it could easily be played more than once!

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  • Great review makes me want to pick this game up even more. With gameplay and pieces so related to gameplay this game will be great. Should be picking it up with in the next week or two.

  • Glad to see a review that actually understands what this game is all about. Good job. I’m enjoying it quite a bit… and I’m pretty sure the guys at IGN and Gamespot weren’t playing the same game. Or they are just stupid.

  • Great Review !!!

    I was on the fence about getting this game, but now I’m pretty sure I will get this game.

  • I’m not much of a JRPG fan (I that’s what this is right?) but it’s nice to get a proper opinion on the game. I’d consider getting it now.

  • Deltroy

    Wow great review I agree on everything I am really enjoying this game also, very well written.