White Knight Chronicles User Review
I often switch up the blizzards I purchase, and I often try whatever the new "Blizzard of the Month" is. However, my traditional Blizzard of choice is the Chocolate Extreme blizzard. On top of that, I pay an extra 65 cents for "extra stuff" and get them to throw in some brownie chunks and peanuts. *drool*
The reason Blizzards are so appealing for me is because I can take my favorite Blizzard foundation (Choc. Extreme) and mix in my favorite ingredients with it. White Knight Chronicles is the same for me.
You see, my favorite video game foundation is the RPG (preferably JRPG). My favorite RPG's included Xenogears and a couple Final Fantasies (I enjoyed many other RPG's, too). Since WKC is a mixture of a few aspects of different FF's and Xenogears, it's my personal video game version of the blizzard.
The story is fairly straightforward at the start. You play a character you create, but follow the story of Leonard. Leonard is an easy going fella just trying to earn a living by helping out around a store and making deliveries. He decides to sneak into the kingdom's castle to scope out the festivities after making an important delivery, only to get caught up in an all-out siege. Since the princess Cisna is in danger, Leonard takes it upon himself to do his best to save her while the troops are battling. In the process, they stumble upon a massive gear-like robot from ancient history. Since they are in danger, the princess begins chanting an ancient spell that somehow takes Leonard into an alternate dimension where he battles the soul of the gear. His victory results in becoming one with the gear. As you can imagine, the princess is soon captured, and you and Leonard get caught up in a battle to save her and eventually the world.
Graphically, I can't say it really impressed me much. I understand this game began it's development before the PS3 was released, but it's still a current release that I feel could have been better. Still though, the effects are appropriate, the CG is still fun to watch, and the game runs fairly smoothly. Environments are colorful and creative, and it's still a bit of a treat. It by no means, however, competes with other games released around the same time.
The gameplay is real-time/turn-based. The best way to describe it is to compare it to the battle system of Final Fantasy XII. There are quasi-gambits where you can select your character's battle styles. You may set up their combos as a way to manipulate the types of actions your ally's take. Basically, it's the same, only a little more neat and tidy.
There are plenty of side-quests, most of which are online which you may engage in with friends or acquaintances(an awesome feature, I might add). Not only does this promote a high level of possible gaming hours, but it also gives you an immense amount of customization as you can basically build your own town.
Lastly, I fully appreciate the customization of each character and the skills they learn. You can make every character evenly balanced in skill (although some are more inclined to certain skills than others) or you may incorporate your own version of job-types. This certainly manifests itself later on through the types of equips you employ for your characters.
Audio isn't too bad. It doesn't 'wow' you like many other games out there, but the music is catchy and traditionally JRPG-ish. The sound effects are appropriate, and the voice acting is well executed. A good experience.
At times the control felt a little bit gimmicky when entering commands. I found a few times, especially at the start before I got a full feel for manipulating this game's version of an ATB. A number of times, I screwed up the action time by resetting it and taking more damage than I should. It works, as a whole, but it did little to teach you entirely of the mechanical feel.
This game will give you a ka-jillion hours of game play, however. It has a long story mode, and the online opportunities are expansive. You certainly get your money's worth from a replay value perspective.
In the end, this game is a good production. It's true to what RPG's are and have been, and to those who loved RPG's of yesteryear, you will find yourself overcome by nostalgia from time to time, as I was. As I said before, this is a tasty blizzard treat full of ingredients you already know you love. It's not a perfect title. It isn't very revolutionary. But it's a solid experience worth any RPG-er's time.
I highly recommend this game to any RPG fan. It's the kind of title that will give you solace in the fact that RPG's are not dead. It probably wouldn't qualify for any sort of RPG of the year, however, this title, ladies and gentlemen, is probably the Blizzard of the Month.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.