Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
8.6
Sound:
8.4
Control:
8.5
Replay Value:
8.9
Online Gameplay:
8.0
Overall Rating:
8.5
Publisher:
SCE
Developer:
Level 5
Number Of Players:
1 (2-4 Online Co-Op)
Genre:
RPG
Release Date:
February 2, 2010


RPG games aren't very easy to develop, and they especially take a long time to bring over to a region outside of Japan. White Knight Chronicles is one such example, and it was not only in development for a number of years, but it also took a long time to finally arrive stateside. Now, I've been playing WKC for a number of weeks, before it even arrived on store shelves, and admittedly, every time I sat down to play, I was enjoying myself. Now, I normally never bring up other reviews, but when I saw some of the absolute bull some of these critics wrote about WKC, a certain feeling came over me…I can't explain what, but it wasn't a pleasant one. One major online site says WKC is worth a 5.1 – and that's absolutely moronic, because a 5.1 is practically unplayable. And unplayable this game is not…

…in fact, White Knight Chronicles is a solid RPG game. What beef these high-strung critics have are unknown. This is basically a Final Fantasy XII clone, and that's a very good thing! The story revolves around a young hero named Leonard, who during a siege, stumbles upon a mystical armor called the White Knight. Leonard sees no choice but to try and use the knight, and when a princess by the name of Cisna, recites a spell, Leonard and the knight are bound together. Cisna had unknowingly recited the words, perhaps occurring only because she sensed danger and her instincts kicked in. But it turns out she may be tied to an ancient race, and so she is quickly kidnapped in hopes that she will bind her captors with the remaining knights scattered around the world. So, of course, it's up to Leonard and a cast of characters, including one of which you create, to embark on a journey and save Cisna, defeat her kidnappers, and bring peace to the world.

WKC borrows heavily from not just FFXII, but also from other Square games, such as Final Fantasy VII (the story) and Xenogears (the knights). You'll notice the FFXII similarities almost immediately when you realize the combat system is practically identical, save for the targeting lines. Combat is turn-based, but engaged in real-time, just like FFXII. There is even a small set of gambits you can enable for your A.I. fighters, allowing to either heal first, fight as they please, attack only your target, and a few more. The 'gambits' here are certainly nowhere near as in-depth as FFXII, but for general purposes, they do the job quite well. Though it is the Skills system, which is essentially this game's Licenses, that reminds me most of FFXII. Although, in all honesty, the Skills are laid out much neater than the license board in FFXII, and they are also broken down by categories.

In combat you will be able to use your knight only when you have enough action chips, so make sure you save those for when you really need to use your knight, such as during portions of a quest where a number of giant high-HP enemies stand in your way, or a boss fight. Just like many other Level 5 games, you can bind weapons together, enhance numerous items, fix weapons, and so forth. But of course, it all comes with a small price. Now, something other RPG games typically don't do are combos, which WKC does. You can enter the options menu and setup a chain of combos you'd like for your character to perform when you timely hit the action button. But be careful, using certain stronger attacks will use up your action chips, so choose your battle strategy wisely, you never know when you'll need summon your knight.

A multiplayer mode good for up to four-players is here for your enjoyment. It's composed of 50 side-quests, and you'll embark on these using your created player. The side-quests are pretty decent, for the most part, and there's certainly nothing to dislike here, especially considering they're just extras to an already lengthy adventure. With that said, WKC is a game full of value, and if you're looking for a solid, traditional RPG, you really should ignore most of the negative reviews, this is certainly a solid playing RPG title.

Visually, this isn't Final Fantasy XIII. But don't forget, this is a game that's been in development since before the PS3 launched. Still, the art looks pretty nice, and you should enjoy the towns and locations all throughout the game. Character detail is a bit on the simplistic side as far as textures, but this is still a game good enough to be in this generation. The framerate is super smooth, albeit there is some minor draw-in of enemies off in the distance, but it's not that bad, because you'll see little markers where the enemies are, even if they haven't been drawn-in yet. The environment are nice, and there are some sharp textures to be found in numerous places. Lastly, because there is such a lag of aliasing quirks, it makes WKC a fairly pleasing game on the eyes.

Audio is abundant here, as much of the game's dialogue is voice acted. The voice acting is done pretty well, with every response and line on cue and using just the right tone. All of the voices give each unique character their distinct personality, as well. And the soundtrack is traditional for a J-RPG, so you'll likely get a lot of these tunes here stuck in your head. As far as miscellaneous effects, you won't get blown away like you would with a large-scale shooter, but some of the cut-scenes still do provide enough 'oomph' to shake the floor.

All in all, even though White Knight Chronicles may not be the pinnacle of innovation, it still does a lot of things right and manages to create a fun game. This is an enjoyable Japanese-RPG that fans of games like Final Fantasy XII should eat up. The combat is great, the back-end mechanics are solid, the graphics are nice, and the voice acting is more than fair. I'm probably a harder critic on games than anyone I know, but even I coudn't deny that this is a very good game. Don't ignore this just because it doesn't have a Final Fantasy logo on the cover, White Knight Chronicles is a winner!

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Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Been playing for about 20 hours so far. Its been great. Like you said, this is no Final Fantasy but its still a great JRPG none the less.

Akuma_
Akuma_
11 years ago

Even Final Fantasy doesn't have a Final Fantasy logo on the front anymore ='(

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

I work till Sunday but we need to game together soon. I'm a lvl 34 Mage.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

ooh I'm behind you. doesn't matter though right?

I'm only lvl 19 Knight.

piratedrunk
piratedrunk
11 years ago

I've definitely been enjoying the game so far. This is a much more reasonable review than most. I'm not a huge fan of the battle system but its not so bad as to take much away from the experience as a whole.

mexgeo86
mexgeo86
11 years ago

I'm about 10 hours in and concentrating on the single player at the moment. I've gotten a taste of the multiplayer though and I can assure anyone that it is a lot of FUN. It should keep me busy 'til Heavy Rrain.

Riku994
Riku994
11 years ago

I just finished it tonight:) Not gunna give anything away, but I can't wait for the sequel!

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

i kindda wished it didnt need a sequel because who knows how long its gonna take them to bring it to the US. This first one took forever. But i do like the idea that this games story is bigger than 1 game release.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

We…must…learn…Japanese
With how some American critics are treating jrpgs, it might become a no-no for publishers to want to release them in the US anymore

I can't believe that's what's happening….but yeah 🙁 Just look at Namco-Bandai and Tales of Vesperia (bet they gave that a poor score too)

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

They should just hire Japanese speakers.

archs13
archs13
11 years ago

hmmm.. i'm thinking if i should get star ocean international or this….

Riku994
Riku994
11 years ago

Ben will tell you to get WKC, we all know of his dislike of Star Ocean 4 😛

piratedrunk
piratedrunk
11 years ago

honestly I've been enjoying star ocean more but this is definitely good

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I'll be getting both, Star Ocean at the cheaper price though.

Oxvial
Oxvial
11 years ago

Hmm..Ben hated Star Ocean 4 ? I remember that he played that game in his 360.


Last edited by Oxvial on 2/11/2010 10:04:34 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I never said I hated Star Ocean: The Last Hope. I played it for about 30 hours but the combat really started to wear on me, so I got rid of it.

Yes, I do like WKC more (just played a bit of it tonight) but right now, my focus is on Bioshock 2 and a third play-through of Heavy Rain. 🙂

archs13
archs13
11 years ago

ugh.. i wanted to focus on jrpgs but it seems that there are too many great games other than jrpgs that are getting released.. the choices are not so simple anymore like the ps one days 🙁

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

yeah, i would agree with picking white knight chronicles. simply just watching star ocean being played just put me off to it. dont get me wrong, i tried it a few times but i couldnt get into it at all.

ExhumeART
ExhumeART
11 years ago

While dated, if you take into consideration how long ago the idea of this game was conceived, then you'll have a blast. Too bad graphics whores and impatient bastards ruined the reputation of this game through rude, idiotic, and ignorant reviews. Fun game, I suggest it to all looking for a good time consumer.

Roach721
Roach721
11 years ago

I am 16 hours into WKC and the story and gameplay just keep getting better the more i play. The lands and monsters are colorful and creative, very smooth looking. I can't wait to see the rest of the knights.

Me and my friend both bought this the same day so that we can play the side quest together and we are having great fun, playing and discussing the game and all of its items,weapons,and enhancements there is on it.

If you enjoyed Final Fantasy X or Xii you'll love WKC,defitnetly recommend.

Fane1024
Fane1024
11 years ago

I agree that graphics aren't everything, but FFXIII and GOWIII were both conceptualized at the same time as WKC, so that's really no excuse.

But, as I said, it doesn't really matter.

p.s. I this ends up a double-posting, I apologize and will attempt to delete it.

NightHawk17
NightHawk17
11 years ago

Finally an honest review about WKC, I really enjoyed it. The reviewers were being way to harsh and most didn't even mention it online.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Awesome Arnold, and totally wierd that you handled a JRPG review and not Ben!

I'm still waiting for this game to arrive (slightly worried I have been swindled on ebay) but if I have then I will file a case and get it when the case is resolved. I want this game to play alongside Dante's Inferno. Action and RPG in separate games is where those two terms belong.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 2/11/2010 9:51:59 PM

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

I usually handle RPG games. I'm an RPG freak.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Then there's two freaks! 3 if you count John 😉

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

@worlds,

Sone would argue that you can't really be a gamer and not like RPGs…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

And I might be one of them, but there is an inordinate amount of JRPG lovers around here. Which is good, suits my taste just fine. A lot of twitchers these days are against them though, and ruining them I might add.

napoleon85
napoleon85
11 years ago

RPG freak #4…. Present! lol…

The only reason I have a ps3 is because of the upcoming RPGs, but the lack of them have kept me away from gaming. It is a good thing though; after all I'm a senior in college and wouldn't be able to play anyways.

Arvis
Arvis
11 years ago

I'm with you guys. Is this a meeting?

-Arvis

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

A meeting? An informal one perhaps, you know that the twitchers will try to have JRPGs outlawed right? Just as they eradicated turn based play, their next target will be the JRPG, and we're next….

Roach721
Roach721
11 years ago

Am with you guys RPG whore right here, and proud of it. Ever since I played Adventure,with those fat looking dragons slash ducks,lol.

DIsmael85
DIsmael85
11 years ago

I love the score you gave this game, it is deserving of it. I love the game, and cant stop playing it. The other critics really tore it up for no good reason. JRPG's are not dead.


Last edited by DIsmael85 on 2/11/2010 10:01:25 PM

godsman
godsman
11 years ago

I don't understand why can't we customize the main character to look like us instead of adding the mute avatar. Everything, including cutscenes are rendered in-game, so there's no reason why we can't do that. Maybe they can do that on the sequel?

Honestly, the main character doesn't look so special, I bet, if i can customize him, he'll look more like an FF character.


Last edited by godsman on 2/11/2010 10:41:42 PM

OtisFeelgood
OtisFeelgood
11 years ago

I'll be picking this up tomorrow.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
11 years ago

did you ever get a PS3?

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

No… He's picking it up so he can put in his toaster. 😉

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
11 years ago

lol, Orvisman, Otis always talks about games he is going to get, but somewhere along the way he let us know he doesn't have a PS3. I think his broke.

Kiwi of DOOM
Kiwi of DOOM
11 years ago

This game is definately worth any RPG lovers time just like you said Ben. i can't seem to stop playing.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

It's Arnold!

Hmmm! The game's addictive?
I remember cloking in 224+ hours in Final Fantasy XII

If this game can hook me like that it'll be one of my faves games this year :O

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Thanks Arnold for a fair and balanced review. The oddly harsh reviews from other sources are really strangely negative, almost as if the reviewer had an axe to grind with someone, or a butt to kiss with someone else… It's nice to see that PSXExtreme is not subject to such pressure.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

They were negative becuase I really feel their has been a backlash towards JRPGS. JRPGS need not be innovative, simply give the fans what they've always enjoyed and they will be happy. I don't care that the storyline is blah, I love the gameplay and collecting the various accessories.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

THANK YOU!

OMG finally someone else says what I have been thinking for years now. I am sick to death of people demanding that JRPGs evolve and give something different. If I wanted something different, I would buy a different genre of game.

I want a bloody JRPG. The more 'new' they become, the less JRPG they are. Changing the game to appeal to western fans equals movement away from what makes a JRPG a JRPG. Stop innovating for the sake of innovating. And stop listening to Microsoft, they wouldn't know a good JRPG if it sat up and bit them.

Mr Bitey
Mr Bitey
11 years ago

I enjoyed Dragon Age a lot. But it was a re-imaging of The Lord of the Rings. Plus it was one of the ugliest games I've put into my PS3.

Seeing how the critics swooned over DA:O and slammed WKC, it makes one wonder.

WKC is cliche, but DA:O was original? WKC's graphics are bad, but DA:O's were good? WKC's online modes don't amount to a hill of beans?

I think most critics are already set in the mind frame of WRPG=good JRPG=bad. It's pretty obvious.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

Thanks Arnie…….WKC has been added BACK to my wishlist.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

I was losing hope in this game. Glad to see you gave it a decent play through before pumping out a review.

I gotta say though, I'm totally shocked at the 8.9 replay value. That's quite high and yet you don't mention in your review why that is. You've really piqued my interest with that one.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Well, the main story is about as long as you'd expect from a J-RPG game, and the additional 50 side-quests help too.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Damn. Sounds like a really good game.

Roach721
Roach721
11 years ago

Leveling up and killing monsters certainly gives it it's replay value for me. I love just walking around its vast land just slaughtering creatures for experience. 😉

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Cant wait to play it. This reminds me of old school rpg goodness. Certainly better than watching FF 13 …eer I mean playing it.
Heh.

End of Line.

NeoHumpty
NeoHumpty
11 years ago

Ok. I'm still wondering if I should get this or Bioshock 2. Already buying Heavy Rain, so I have no room in my budget for all 3. I loved Bioshock, but FFXII was one of my least favorite in the series. What do you say, Ben? Probably Bioshock 2, I'm guessing?

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