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In my opinion, there's nothing worse than mediocre games. A good game you can love and happily put hours of time into, and a bad game you can hate and just not play, but a mediocre game makes you want to keep playing with the hopes that it may turn into something good or exciting, but it doesn't, and you walk away disappointed. White Knight Chronicles is a mediocre game.White Knight Chronicles starts out a little slow in the beginning, but eventually finds a decent pace to maintain for the remainder of the adventure. Though before all that, you get to make a character in a moderately deep character creator. That prospect is always intriguing, but this character soon becomes the victim of circumstance. He (or she) just happens to be the coworker of the main character, and will be dragged through the whole story. He (or she) won't say a word through the whole adventure. Though he (or she) can be easily formed into any kind of fighter you want, and is used when you plug into the PSN and do some online missions.You're following the tale of Leonard; a young buck (with a weird hairstyle) working his way through life, who is charged, by his boss, with the task of retrieving a large order of wine for a celebration at the castle. This quickly devolves into the assassination of the king and the attempted assassination on his daughter Princess Cisna, whom Leonard saves. From there the White Knight is discovered in the dungeon below the castle, the princess is captured, and you set out to save her with your new found power granted to you by destiny. I'm sure you can tell by now that the story lacks originality, (Mario has been saving princess' forever). Though there are some twists and turns; the story has nothing special to offer.Combat is carried out by selecting a target, waiting for a bar in the middle of the screen to charge, then hitting the X button to carry out the action you've selected. Spells naturally need MP to be cast, and sometimes they require AC. AC (Action Chips) are points you use up in battle when you use special skills (and as previously stated, the occasional spell). They're also needed if you want to transform into the White Knight. In fact, turning into the huge (and awesome) suit of armor uses up all available AC (though you need at least 7). However much AC you have when you turn into the White Knight determines how powerful it will be when it comes onto the field. Between your MP count, HP count, AC bar, all the text telling you what's going on, the action bar, the mini-map, and the hotbar lining the bottom of the screen; you have a really cluttered screen. The customization White Knight Chronicles offers, deserves some credit. It has a good amount of it in fact (I already mentioned the avatar that's a victim of circumstance?). From making new weapons, to the deep level up system, you can easily make each party member into whatever fighter you want by learning them skills in a certain weapon. These skills you can then set to a hotbar for easy selection during combat. Though you'll find yourself remapping your hotbar every time you get a new skill, which is a pain.Whenever you're not fighting, you're trying to find your way to your next objective. This is all well and good, except your party members trade wry remarks and mock each other just about every 30 seconds. This gets obnoxious when you hear them say the same thing a hundred times while you're lost and trying to work out the map. Not only that, but all enemies respawn when you leave an area (I could not discern what causes them to respawn (straying a certain distance, a certain amount of time elapses, etc.) which means if you need to backtrack, you have to fight through all the enemies again.Playing as the White Knight is very empowering and entertaining. Unfortunately, that's the only aspect of the gameplay that remains entertaining throughout the whole game. Everywhere you go you'll have to fight your way through many creatures, and some bad guys. Either way, you have to face large enemies (that stand about 20 feet tall!). To defeat these beasts you have to attack their knees to get them to kneel, then you attack their torso, or face. It's a fairly simple process, but unfortunately, a time consuming one. So time consuming, that I almost stopped playing the game during it's climax due to the fact that I had to fight so many of them. (Keep in mind what I said above regarding enemy respawning)In the end I think that's what hurts White Knight Chronicles the most. Everything gets dull and repetitive. The characters failed to keep my interest, all the enemies are recycled with different colors about halfway through, and boss battles feel like you're just fighting a big, tough enemy, rather than facing off against a diabolical fiend of immense power. Add on the lacking story, easily forgotten soundtrack, and you have an incredibly mediocre game. To be honest, I didn't even bother playing any of the online missions. I just didn't have any interest.
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