White Knight Chronicles - Cheat Happens Game Review
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White Knight Chronicles
Playstation 3

Reviewed on: Playstation 3

Developer:
Level 5
Publisher: SCEI
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

I’m not very big on RPGs, so for one to catch my interest; it needs to be something special. I’m looking for an epic story that drags me in. I want awesome side quests, memorable characters and amazing visuals.  Sadly, Level 5’s White Knight Chronicles does none of these things and ends up being nothing more than a clunky and forgettable adventure that can in the process of trying to do so much, manages to pull off so little.

Let’s start with White Knight’s plot – could it be more predictable and filled with genre clichés? You’re in the kingdom of Balandor where a Princesses’ coming of age party is crashed by an evil corporation called the Magi. When things start to go bad; a young villager named Leonard whisks the princess into the safety of the castle cellar where they find an odd suit of armor with the power to transform people into the powerful “white knight.” Seriously? That’s the best they could come up with? Haven’t we seen this before? A young boy goes from poverty to great powers, goes on a life-changing quest and saves the princess from evil? What’s next, a childhood friend of Leonard’s that plays an “unexpected” role in his quest? Yep, that’s there too.

The real tragedy of White Knight’s story is that it fails to resolve some of the game’s biggest plot threads. Seriously, this game is full of plot holes. Don’t be surprised if by the time you finish the game’s main campaign, you forget just what you set out to do. Yes, you’ll eventually use your new found abilities to defeat the evil Magi and save Balandor, but even with a few surprising plot twists, the road you take to get there isn’t the most exciting.

"...the entire campaign is one long advertisement for the online play?"

 
   

You can expect the game’s main quest to last around 30-hours, which though it’s a bit short is fine; my only question is why do I feel like the entire campaign is one long advertisement for the online play? Take for instance the game’s robust character creation suite. You’ll spend a lot of time fine tuning your hero’s looks, then when you get to the actual game you realize that your avatar doesn’t even serve as the game’s protagonist; you’re just kind of there as a silent member of the party. Really. Where your character comes into play is in the game’s online suite where you can join up with other players to take on side-quests and odd-jobs around the kingdom.

Catch that? You and your fellow online players can only team-up with each other on the game’s side-missions, there’s literally no-way to experience the game’s story online. It’s this that makes the game feel like the developers at Level 5 couldn’t make up their minds if they wanted to make an MMO or a classic RPG. I would have loved to saddle up with a group of friends and take on the game’s main quest, but unfortunately the game’s online suite feels like a waste of time and space.

"...some of the spells may look cool, but they all feel and affect your opponents the same."

 
   

If there’s one thing that can save even the worst RPG, it’s an awesome combat system, full of cool attacks and rad spells. Yeah, White Knight Chronicles manages to mess that up too. Trying and failing to blend MMO style combat with the more systematic combat of traditional RPGs, even the simplest action in the game feels clunky. In combat you’ll have access to a number of different attacks and spells that you’ll unlock through leveling-up, but odds are you won’t use many of them. After each attack, you’ll have to wait until a meter fills up on your screen to perform another attack. Yes, this process is as tedious as it sounds and yes it’s that boring. Furthermore, some of the spells may look cool, but they all feel and affect your opponents the same. I was able to get through most of the game using the same attacks. Oh but don’t worry, your enemies won’t have these problems – they can somehow hit you from anywhere on screen and cause an excessive amount of damage at all times.

To its credit, the game does look impressive in certain aspects. Some of the spells are animated superbly and the environmental effects are well-done, but the game is incredibly glitchy. There were several aspects where my copy of the game froze up or failed to load my last save-point, causing me to replay an entire section of the game I had already cleared. These issues will more than likely be fixed with a patch sooner rather than later, but it just sucks for early adopters to have to deal with these frustrations.

From Dark Cloud to Dragon Quest VIII, Level 5 has given us some classic RPGS – but this isn’t one of them. A cast of forgettable characters using a clunky combat system in a bland universe makes for one incredibly disappointing experience. I really wanted to love White Knight Chronicles, but in the end there are so many more worthwhile RPG experiences on the PS3 to recommend. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Trophies

As of this writing, there are no cheats available for White Knight Chronicles – but what could there really be? Sure, you could get an unlimited amount of skill points, but what’s the point when you’re not even going to use most of the attacks you unlock due to the game’s poor combat system? To put it simply – even a god mode couldn’t save this game.

 

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