(Final?) Thoughts on White Knight Chronicles

#1
So I just finished White Knight Chronicles and I’ll break down my thoughts on the game into categories. I didn’t want to flood the main thread anymore than I did. I’m gonna be doing a bunch of spoilers as well (marked of course) as well. Also, MOD ABUSE!

Anyway, I’ll do it by area and point so it’s easier to read.

Graphics and Sound:

- Pretty awesome. The environments, especially, are fantastic looking. Very detailed, very pretty, and very expansive. A few of the areas really remind me of Final Fantasy XI and a bit of Final Fantasy XII at times. They’re also pretty well-designed so it’s not just a bunch of straight corridors most of the time.

- Character models aren’t shabby. They look pretty decent after you look at them for a bit. The monsters are pretty good looking, particularly the big ones and the Knights look good. The character creator is pretty good and you can really create your own character if you want although I was disappointed that the game lacked a few options like eye-patches and scars.

- Armor and weapons are all reflected on the character which is a nice touch and very welcome.

- There’s a bit of slowdown later on in one particular area when there’s a ton of stuff going on.

- Music was ok, didn’t really stand out to me though. Voice-acting was solid enough in the game as well. The OP song is still the thing that sticks out in my mind the most.

Gameplay:

The battle system is MMO-like akin to FFXI, FFXII, or a few other console RPGs I could mention. So you face your opponents on the field and can attack when your battle ring fills up. The bars at the bottom of the screen are the commands you can choose from during the battle. The game runs on Action Chips to determine the more powerful attacks in the game and your combos. You gain them by attacking enemies or taking enemy attacks.

- In general, I was pleased with the battle system. It reminded me of FFXI the most with aggro control, positioning, and the general flow of combat being manageable. Action Chip gain and loss doesn’t seem to have hard and set rules so gaining it simply by fighting is really funky. This makes relying on some of the game’s systems like Slash/Pierce/Blunt and the elements harder to take advantage of because many of the stronger attacks require AC and most of the time, you want to save AC for big enemies or boss fights.

- Custom combos are fun to make. However, I really wanted to do more fancy ones without having to waste so many Action Chips. They really needed also to make more combo enders to give an incentive to experiment with more expensive Combos.

- The game really needs a system in battle to make it a bit more lively like how Skillchains in FFXI are. Team combos or follow-up combos would’ve been really cool.
The skill system is pretty decent but a bit simplistic. You get 4 points every level and you can allotment into any of the categories by simply buying attacks and skills. They start off as unknown and unlock as you buy more in a certain category. A bit more synergy between categories or doing something specific would be much nicer.

- Crafting and upgrading are in the game and while nice, they’re a real pain in the ass. It seems they were definitely designed to suck up time.

Online:

I haven’t spent a huge time on this so these are my impressions of it so far.

- The structure of Geonet (the WKC network) is not bad. Each has a page they can manage and rooms they can use for people to come in and play with them. You can update it with messages and customize it to an extent.

- The “My Town” section has 20 rooms that can fit 12 people a piece. The current rooms are simply a corralled grassy area with two vendors (selling basic items) and two guards, one to start/participate in quests and one to leave the room/town.

- Quests are done in groups of 4. This gives it a bit of a Monster Hunter, Phantasy Star U/O, etc feel.

- You rank up in the guild by earning points, either solo or online, during quests. While this isn’t so bad, the problem is that there currently aren’t that many missions, 2 or so up until the guild rank I’m at, which means to get the next rank, you need to do the missions you’ve done already several times. With the limited number of areas (because of how short the story is), unless they really jump the quality of questing up, by making them inventive, this might get a bit tedious.

- There’s no drop in graphic quality playing online but there is input lag specifically during combos.
It’s promising but it remains to be seen if it’ll get better IMO.

Story & Characters (some spoilers but marked of course):

- The story starts off very slow and particularly routine. Kid meets princess, gains superpowers to protect, she gets kidnapped and he has to save her.
It’s particularly offensive early on because of some stupid gaffes that are used to keep the plot going like
having the princess be kidnapped again right after you save her because no one was guarding her during the fight

- The story does pick-up fairly quickly though with the introduction of
Cesar at the city of Greed or whatever
and continues to get more interesting form that point on.

- The back story is interesting what with the
the origins of the Knights and the truth behind them being explained then what they were meant to be used for, to fight an ancient war. This also reveals the overall plot of the game beyond “saving the princess”.

- The story keeps mounting up until a pretty great high point then, after that, the game ends leaving you with everything that was building up hanging! The game feels like it’s just starting and they end it there!? ANGER!!!!!!!!!!! The supposed ending in this isn’t satisfying either. >=|

- Directing is still Level-5 quality stuff, so it’s not great. A little annoying but passable at least. It’s far better than Rogue Galaxy at this point.

- Characters aren’t bad but they suffer from under-exposition. So they feel a bit flimsy overall. A bit more time on them would make a big difference and especially considering what the story setup for them.

So on the positive end, I enjoy the gameplay overall although I do think they require improvements to the system. I’m enjoying the story and now I’m looking forward to it. I like the graphics as well.

On the negative end, WHY MUST YOU END THE GAME LIKE THAT JERKS! And I have a few reservations about online at the moment.

Eh, any more questions, feel free to ask.
 
#3
Thank you for the impressions! How does this game compare to other jRPGs of this generation? How long did it take you to complete the game? Did you skip a bunch of optional quests or were there not that many? Are the items/weapons/armor in the game plentiful enough to have a Diablo style feel of loot rewards? This would make the online aspect a 1000x more appreciable.
 
#6
Guled said:
give it a score out of ten
Ignoring my fuming anger at ending the game the way they did? Probably 8.5-8.9

Oni Jazar said:
Thank you for the impressions! How does this game compare to other jRPGs of this generation? How long did it take you to complete the game? Did you skip a bunch of optional quests or were there not that many?
Took me 43 hours to complete with a bunch of lollygagging around to get my characters evenly leveled and some guild rank grinding.

I haven't played all of the jRPGs this gen, only some. Comparatively, I like this more than The Last Remnant and I like it about the same as Vesperia's equivalent in story (since WKC's is incomplete.) There seems to be more guild quests in the areas I've already been in and crafting but I rarely ever do all of those to 100% (well, crafting anyway).
 
#7
Sounds pretty good. The batle system still worries me because I wa snot a big fan of the one in FF12.

Still hope this will gets a release in teh west pretty quick.
 
#10
Tom Penny said:
So I guess Famitsu was off on the 29/40 score?
If I were to insert my anger, it'd probably be 28/40. I mean, at least end the story so this is complete rather than doing what they did. =|
 
#17
There may be but I'm not quite sure. I reloaded my data and no new dungeons popped up but a new quest did that seems to require me to be at a certain level limit or something.
 
#18
Is there a new game + option when you start a new game or anything similar to that?

Shame about the ending. When a game ends badly it really irritates me, especially an RPG which I play mostly for story and such.
 
#20
FFObsessed said:
Is there a new game + option when you start a new game or anything similar to that?

Shame about the ending. When a game ends badly it really irritates me, especially an RPG which I play mostly for story and such.
Doesn't look like it. When you reload the save you make after the creds, it's right at the last save point.

Tom Penny said:
That's not leaving me very optomistic....
Well, the climax was pretty good so it's more like "GODDAMMIT, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! NOW! GIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMME!
 
#21
Shouta said:
Doesn't look like it. When you reload the save you make after the creds, it's right at the last save point.
Wow, ultra mega super duper fail.

I like cliffhanger ending though, it means you actually want to know what happens next, meaning the story was good, because if it wasn't then you wouldn't care. It also means there is a good chance of a follow-up!

But back to NG+. Why do developers fail at this?
 
#22
Kyoufu said:
Wow, ultra mega super duper fail.
Well, that quest I mentioned opens up when you do that and it has the characters that participated in the last battle as well. but yeah, not a NG+ really.
 
#27
Euphor!a said:
Is the ending as incomplete as say Assassin's Creed? I mean that pissed me of to no end...
I haven't played A'sC so I don't know but this feels like it was the first quarter or half of a game rather than a full one.

fortified_concept said:
It sounds exactly like FFXII. Gameplay MMO-style, story that collapses at the end and characters under-exposed.
The story doesn't really collapse as much as it builds up and then it gets cut off abruptly. WKC's story starts off kind of bland and gets more interesting as it goes. It's by no means a fantastic story but I do want to see what happens.
 

industrian

will gently cradle you as time slowly ticks away.
#28
Shouta said:
The story keeps mounting up until a pretty great high point then, after that, the game ends leaving you with everything that was building up hanging! The game feels like it’s just starting and they end it there!? ANGER!!!!!!!!!!! The supposed ending in this isn’t satisfying either. >=|
A plea to game developers: I understand that you may be budget/deadline constrained to write or design a proper ending, and I understand that you may want to set up a sequel so you just throw in a cheap cliffhanger, but at least fucking make the ending's quality relational to the amount of effort put in. Especially in a fucking RPG.

White Knight Chronicles is still a day one game here though. I hope they announce news regarding US/EU release dates soon.
 

Kintaro

Worships the porcelain goddess
#29
Well, since I know the usual crew will pick this game up, I guess I'll be looking forward to it. I just hope Sony/Level 5 fix up some gaffes (voice chat) before US release.

Thanks for the impressions.
 
#30
Shouta said:
I haven't played A'sC so I don't know but this feels like it was the first quarter or half of a game rather than a full one.



The story doesn't really collapse as much as it builds up and then it gets cut off abruptly. WKC's story starts off kind of bland and gets more interesting as it goes. It's by no means a fantastic story but I do want to see what happens.
Wait a minute... you mean they didn't finish the story? They put a cliffhanger on a fucking RPG?
 
#31
fortified_concept said:
Wait a minute... you mean they didn't finish the story? They put a cliffhanger on a fucking RPG?
Correct. They didn't finish it in this game which means they want to do a part 2. It's not like other games where they finish a story then connect the two games. This is more like part 1 of game 1 is done.
 

industrian

will gently cradle you as time slowly ticks away.
#32
fortified_concept said:
Wait a minute... you mean they didn't finish the story?
The "Chronicles" part of the title made me fear that this would happen. And it looks like it's happened.
 
#33
Shouta said:
Correct. They didn't finish it in this game which means they want to do a part 2. It's not like other games where they finish a story then connect the two games. This is more like part 1 of game 1 is done.
so it's like .hack endings
 
#34
Shouta said:
Correct. They didn't finish it in this game which means they want to do a part 2. It's not like other games where they finish a story then connect the two games. This is more like part 1 of game 1 is done.
So is it the "friendly" kind of cliffhanger (where the sub-arc is finished with a nice climax, but the greater story is still far from over -- think Mass Effect) or does it cut off more arbitrarily? I'm fine with the former, not so much with the latter. Will still get the game though, I like almost everything else I'm reading.
 
#35
xero273 said:
so it's like .hack endings
Kind of yeah.

Durante said:
So is it the "friendly" kind of cliffhanger (where the sub-arc is finished with a nice climax, but the greater story is still far from over -- think Mass Effect) or does it cut off more arbitrarily? I'm fine with the former, not so much with the latter. Will still get the game though, I like almost everything else I'm reading.
Former but it's a lot more aggravating than that because there's no closure to the "chapter" beyond a brief montage. It's not like say, Arc The Lad 1 -> Arc The Lad 2 or Growlanser V to Growlanser VI.
 

Kagari

Crystal Bearer
#36
Didn't read the spoilers, but really nice impressions. About the ending though, L5 did say they wanted to make WKC a series, so I guess it makes sense now.
 
#38
Sounds decent enough. But not enough to get me to play through the JP version. I'll wait for the US version and the inevitable improvements like voice chat.
 
#42
Shouta said:
Correct. They didn't finish it in this game which means they want to do a part 2. It's not like other games where they finish a story then connect the two games. This is more like part 1 of game 1 is done.
Episodic content!!! Damn, knowing this I'm a bit less excited about the game.
 
#44
Uhm regarding the quests, there are about 50 (see one of the trophies for the game which asks the player to get an S Rank on 50 quests), so yeah... not the very few stated on the OP :) Unless the source where I found the trophy info was wrong, of course.

Also you unlock a few quests by traveling around, not just by leveling up on the Guild Rank.
 
#45
Sounds like the inclusion of an online mode detracted from the story like I thought it would. I don't think I would be interested in playing a FFXI/FFXII style rpg without a solid soundtrack they both had. Thanks for the impressions.
 
#47
Shouta said:
Well, that quest I mentioned opens up when you do that and it has the characters that participated in the last battle as well. but yeah, not a NG+ really.
I'm curious about the extra quest. Will you be leveling up to do it? Or are you done all together?
 
#49
If it's any consolation, we'll probably get the follow-up game(s) pretty quickly now that the engine is in place.