The lights are on
This review will be
over the not so well known game White Knight Chronicles since Gamefly
sent me this game instead of Transformers: War for
Cybertron...because it makes them feel powerful and in control of my
life, deciding what and when I play. Sorry, this isn't the time to
rant and rave...wait...yes it is.
Chronicles is a JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) developed by
Level-5. I saw this game and thought it looked pretty fun. Even
though it got pretty mundane reviews, I don't really trust other
reviewers fully and decided to give it a go myself. Throughout the
game I saw so much potential that it hurt to play. It hurt because
despite the said large amount of potential, I also saw nothing but a
slew of bad decisions on the developers part.
Chronicles takes you to a Final Fantasy-esque type of setting. One
of castles, knights, kings, princesses, and monsters that roam the
land. The story centers around a young boy who has the hots for the
local princess. *** goes down and the boy is given the task
to...wait for it...wait for it...SAVE THE PRINCESS. Yeah. Save the
*** princess. Who would have thought right. Good new though!
Before the princess is nabbed, the boy gains the power to morph Power
Ranger style into a HUGE white knight which gives him incredible
power, which makes most fights when in this form boring and
uneventful as hell. You travel the land with a party of companions
in true JRPG style, encountering monsters and killing said monsters.
Bad decision on the developers part to give you God-like power at the
beginning of the game. You know what? Lemme try this. The rest of
this review will be done in list form listing the bad decisions made.
Bad Decision No.
1: Using the old SAVE THE PRINCESS storyline. Come on man.
At least try and be creative. Even if Mario and Zelda hadn't already
done that story to death, it still would be old due to all the fairy
tale story books and...well...ANY GAME WITH A PRINCESS IN IT!!
Bad Decision No.
2: The Character Creation option. In White Knight Chronicles,
before you start your adventure, the game has you create a character.
You select body type, facial features, hair, facial hair,
everything. Don't get to excited though. This character is just a
minor, silent character that follows around the main character during
the journey. That's right! Your character is not even the MAIN
CHARACTER OF THE GAME. You can control him in battle and such, like
the other characters, but mostly he just follows you around like a
puppy and helps you fight the bad guys. Giving the player so little
control over the character they created is a good way to start the
player off with regretful feelings really early in the game.
No. 3: Making the graphics look like something from the early
PS2. The graphics in this game are just...outdated at best. The
areas are pretty expansive and cool looking but they still, along
with the characters, buildings, monsters, everything, look like a
horrible excuse for a PS3 game.
No. 4: The Combat System. Now this is the big one and I have a
lot to say about it. White Knight Chronicles advertises a Real Time
combat system. What it actual has is a Real Time/Turn Based combat
system. You are free to move around while fighting and the enemies
are always on the screen and combat happens whenever you get close to
them. When this happens you seamlessly enter combat mode. Here's
where I just started hating the game. You highlight whatever move you
want to perform and hit X. Your character attacks. The the Basic
Action Gauge comes into play. This is a giant circle on the right
side of the screen. After you perform an action, such as healing,
casting a spell, attacking, guarding, or using an item, you have to
let the gauge fill up before you can do anything again. It takes at
least four, most of the time five, seconds for the *** thing to fill
up. This slows combat down to a craaaaaaawwwwwllllll.
Now I know what
some of you are probably thinking; Star Wars: Knights of the Old
Republic's combat system was similar to this. Yes it was. However,
KOTOR allowed you to use awesome force powers like push or lightning,
or cool lightsaber moves like flurry or...jumpy spinny sword slice.
It also didn't make you wait five seconds after every action to make
another. It was very fast paced and felt just like Real Time combat.
White Knight Chronicles slows that down and makes it clunky and
clumsy with single little swipes and slashes and several second
intervals in between.
This bad combat
system also takes one of the only good decisions and shits on it.
When you level up, you get points to spend in several different skill
trees. You can choose sword, spear, bow, magic, etc. In these trees
you spend the points on the skill (most are certain attacks) that you
wish to learn. This really cool way of leveling up gives you quite a
bit of control over how you character grows and fights. Keeping that
in mind, you can also create your own combos in the game. I know!
That is so sweet! You choose which attacks you want and what order
to use them in. You can throw the opponent into the air, knock them
out of the air, finish em off with a little lightning or fire. You
set the combo in you move bar and you choose it while in battle.
Your opponent does the whole combo at once and it looks really
cool...then you wait without doing anything else for five
seconds......oh, that's how they *** on it. It's still just one
action every five seconds.
You can't use your
combos every turn either. Combos use up Action Chips, which you
gather by defeating enemies. You also use these chips to go Super
Knight on the baddies, and it takes about seven to transform. So all
you will ever really do in combat is use you most powerful move that
doesn't use up AC. Build that up. Use a combo once or twice if it's
just a little nothing baddy. If it's a boss then you just wait until
you can transform. Once you transform, you have nothing to worry
about, you just use the one really strong combo over and over until
the enemy stops moving. Let me break down what the entire game will
consist of combat wise: highlight move, press X, five seconds, press
X, five seconds, press X, five sec-- I think you get the boring
The way I have
always perceived JRPGs is just a game that has you move your
character from one cinematic to the other with not much control over
anything. You know how JRPGs make themselves fun, if that's all
there is to them. THEY MAKE THE COMBAT FUN. KOTOR did it. Legend
of Dragoon did it with an immersive combat system of timed button
presses and combos. White Knight tried this. During the combos you
have to press X at proper moments in order to continue the combo.
The game does register when you don't press the button. However, it
doesn't seem to care if you hit the button as fast as you can. I
pulled off perfect combos every time by just mashing X really fast.
Not a lot of skill involved.
Like I said before,
White Knight Chronicles had a lot of potential. It, however, fails to
capitalize on the potential and instead, sh**s all over a good
leveling system. I would love to see that system in future games,
just leave all the other decisions at home...in the garbage
disposal...and then burn the house the down.
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