|Jagged. Like really really jagged. Seriously.|
Since I've recently dumped 60 hours of my life into this game I thought I'd review it. The main reason I'm doing this is to justify dumping 60 hours of my life into this (or any,) game when I could be out in the fresh air with real, live humans, fishing or barbecuing or... watching football... or... whatever it is people do when they're not updating their Facebook.
The ever-petulant/entitled/whingy reviewers over at IGN gave this game a 5.1 out of 10, their readers, being normal-ish humans that don't get paid to play video games, gave it an 8.1. IGN's review can be found here: http://ps3.ign.com/articles/106/1066138p1.html
The reader's reviews can be summed up here: Decent. If you're looking for an old story with new twists, like Skinner Box reward system grinding, enjoy the idea of killing dragons with your friends, and are too hip to play pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons, go ahead and buy it.
IGN's review being reviewed by me can be found under this sentence.
Although it took years for White Knight Chronicles to arrive in the United States, it was still eagerly anticipated by RPG fans.In real person time it took about 14 months, from it's Japanese launch in December of 2008 to it's North American launch in February of 2010. I can understand the reviewer's confusion, since 10 is two more than eight, and nobody can be expected to count individual months, since that would take up to multiple seconds.
Unfortunately, White Knight Chronicles...is one of the first major disappointments of 2010.Right after Dark Void, Army of Two: The 40th Day, Bayonetta, MAG, and Thexder NEO, all of which were released in January to much hype while the cries of "How can you screw this idea up this much?!" echoed in TV rooms across the country.
The end result, which is far removed from the promise of the original concept trailer, not only looks far worse...If final-product games looked like the concept trailers mocked up by developers to generate buzz, they would come on blu-rays the size of vinyl records, would take 2 days to install, would crash every five minutes, and would cost $800. It's the same reason the greasy, lukewarm cow-product you're eating doesn't look like the mouth-watering, steaming hot, perfectly grilled delicacy on the drive-through menu.
|Giant robot. Fuck whatever you want to call it.|
...but has a flawed battle system, poorly-told story and a number of technical issues.In Composition 101, students learn about essay writing. One of the first lessons learned about essays is the 'opening paragraph,' in which, the essayer states a general overview of whatever it is they think is important enough to write down, followed by a sentence previewing what will be discussed in the following paragraphs, such as: no it doesn't, no it isn't and I agree but so does everything. They also teach students not to start paragraphs with prepositions.
...there are a number of narrative crutches that are used throughout. The most obvious of these is the introduction of special telepathic birds that can be used as holo-phones. Yes, you read that correctly. These super birds lead me to believe that the developers couldn't come up with anything clever for allowing the characters to communicate across long distances...Yes, they did come up with something clever. They came up with telepathic birds that can be used as holo-phones. That's a fucking awesome idea.
When it comes to the actual gameplay, White Knight Chronicles is a mix between a traditional JRPG and an MMO.When it comes to actual gameplay, WKC is a mix of Phantasy Star Online and Final Fantasy XII. Just say it. That is exactly what the gameplay is. What you just described sounds like Dragon Warrior crossed with Farmville.
|Oldboy, wondering where he left his claw hammer.|
This dynamic is certainly appetizing, but the pieces that make up the experience just don't work well. The battle system is the main reason behind this failed effort, because it's not only boring but flawed.The pieces that you don't think work well being JRPGs and MMO[RPG]s. Why, exactly, are you reviewing an online role playing game from Japan? For the record, I think holding two pieces of wood together for an hour while waiting for the glue to dry is boring, while some carpenters think C-SPAN is boring. Boring doesn't tell me anything except that you think an abstract concept, like what you think is boring, should be used to tell me what to spend my money on.
Also: The battle system is not flawed. It involves quite a bit of learning, experimentation and a LOT of grinding to excel at, but that doesn't mean it's inherently defective.
...players control one character at a time while the AI handles the remaining two. Occasionally a fourth guest character will join the group, but that's neither here nor there.No, it is here and there. Here in the review you have written about the game you played over there. If it's irrelevant don't write it. If you felt it needed mentioning don't dismiss it as irrelevant.
Every action is governed by the Command Circle, which is essentially a cool-down meter near the middle of the screen. Players must wait for this circle to fill up before executing an action, then wait again after the action is performed -- and the wait times are almost always the same. This process is repeated ad nauseumTranslation: I have never played a JRPG before.
My overriding complaint with the game -- one that dampers the entire experience -- lies in the game's measurement of distance. In White Knight Chronicles, distance is irrelevant to your enemies. Monsters can attack your characters with a close-range attack from across rooms...If your characters are forced to play by the rules but your enemies are not, this is called a "gameplay imbalance."Translation: I'm the kid that throws the controller at the screen and yells "This stupid game cheats!" when I walk into a Goomba.
there have been countless occasions where my characters will be running through a valley and suddenly a horde of monsters will pop into existence around my party.Although not well-versed in the nature of MMORPGs myself, I have been alive and awake enough to know that one of the standard features is a concept called "re-spawning mobs." Without this strange and television smashingly unfair mechanic World of Warcraft would have been online about three hours, two of which would have been a half-dozen spazzy Korean kids sending each other smiley faces at having successfully killed every monster in the game ever.
...I stumbled upon two separate occasions of the game freezing, and one occasion of my controls locking up during battle. This might not happen to you, but one of my colleagues also experienced the same control problem, which is troubling. There were also a select few NPCs in the game that didn't have complete text bubbles when spoken to. Unusual indeed.Great Scott! Troubling Game Freezes?! The sincerity of your humble complaint does you justice sir! Thank the Christ the developers of Dragon Age: Origins(8.5,) Fallout 3 GOTY (9.4,) Falout: New Vegas (8.5,) and TES4: Oblivion GOTY(9.2,) didn't allow slop like that into their games. They would most certainly be unfit for the title of Game of the Year, or justify Collector's Editions re-releases. As for the incomplete text bubbles I'm not sure exactly what he's talking about. I think maybe he's unfamiliar with the idea of figurants, in that not every body on a given map is to be interacted with, but to add color, character and depth to the world without having to write dozens of pages of dialogue that all boil down to "go to the cave and fight the dragon."
|How dirty! Come! Wash your face!|
With all these complaints leveled at the game, it might be hard to imagine that any enjoyment could be gleaned from the experience...Yes indeed. Especially since almost every complaint you've leveled came across as "I like cars that are fast!" or "Why am I not good at punching things hard?!"
I must give special credit to the design of Greede -- a sprawling industrial city built upon the back of a gigantic monster. The architecture, music and culture built around Greede were certainly highlights of the White Knight Chronicles experience for me.Oddly enough, Greede was my biggest complaint in the game. It featured one of the things I would personally outlaw in an RPG Bill of Rights: the tedious, back and forth, poorly explained, totally unnecessary, fucking-long-ass fetch quest. This one involved having to acquire a statue from a black market. Had to have a pass to enter the black market. Had to wonder around the motherfucking 'sprawling' city until someone mentioned asking at one of the pubs. had to get honey to trade for pass. had to wonder around the goddamnit-they-didn't-have-to-make-this-place-so-goddamn 'sprawling' city until you find the other pub. had to get jewel to get statue. had to wander around the Jesus-fucking-Christ-this-shit-never-ends 'sprawling' city to find a retired adventurer to find out where to find the jewel. had to revisit the previous dungeon. had to drop down a hidden pitfall into a cave to get the jewel. had to go back to the black market in the city. And just so we're clear here: the city is divided into several sections, each one having to be traveled to by monorail. Every time you get on the monorail the game treats you to two cutscenes: one of the monorail departing and another of it arriving. Thanks Game! I would have gotten confused if you hadn't attempted to play those EVERY FUCKING TIME I CHANGE ZONES!
The music in White Knight Chronicles is generally quite good and the English voice acting is also commendable. There is some serious talent contributing to the cast, so it's unfortunate that the lip synching technology behind White Knight Chronicles is so abysmal.See what he did there? He pretended to give the game a compliment, then negated the compliment with his next insult. It's officially recognized in the Book Of Things as 'Shitty Parenting Approach #6: Tell them you love them even though they're repulsive, horrible failures.'
I was extremely excited for White Knight Chronicles.We know. Reading your review was like watching Virginal New Inmate Day at the Prison For Violent Butt Rapists Who Enjoy Raping Virginal New Inmates' Butts.