White Knight Chronicles

White Knight Chronicles: AKA Baby’s First RPG

While this article is mostly an excuse to post the utterly cute picture you see above for My Baby: First Steps, it’s also a long-overdue chance for me to write about a game I’ve been playing and haven’t finished yet. That game is White Knight Chronicles for the PS3.

I believe that there are no unplayable games, only people who dislike playing those games because it’s not a good fit with their personality. To that end, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to best come up with an impressions article for WKC that explains the concept well without sacrificing the idea that all games are just looking for the right audience. I guess we should start with the ending idea, if only to make this clear: White Knight Chronicles isn’t a game for babies. It’s a game that is, perhaps, best suited for people who have never played an RPG before.

The story isn’t WKC’s strongest suit. At it’s core (at least, for the majority of the time I’ve played it) it lends itself out to the Mario Bros. genre of Saving the Princess, failing, then trying to save her again, getting stronger and more skillful as you go through trials. While this type of story may leave long-time RPG players somewhat jaded, it seems like the perfect entry point for someone who’s never played an RPG.

Under normal circumstances, strong gameplay mechanics and assorted other accoutrements would help to make an RPG playable for most everyone. Unfortunately for most veterans, WKC doesn’t serve up the same kind of experience. The main game itself is less of a strategic endeavor as it is the forcible use of a single cheap attack to store up Action Chips to summon your White Knight to speed up the process of killing stuff. While you could kill most everything as a human, it just takes way too much time to do that with the larger enemies, and mastering the art of healing and attacking is basically all you need to survive White Knight Chronicles.

The Georama system for this game, which is basically a town creation simulation and online RPG combined, adds value to the game, but doesn’t do much to enhance the experience. At its best, the game currently only has 50 online quests, forcing you to rerun kill quests if you want to get a higher guild rank and do more quests of the same type. The town creation system is nice, but you need quite a bit of coin to really make it work, which I haven’t been able to do at my current level.

One of the other minor annoyances I’ve found for this game is that you get to create a character for Georama use at the start of the game, but he not only doesn’t speak, he also doesn’t get credit for any of the heroic things he’s done in the Georama questing system. Even if he finds a rare item that could benefit the party in the main game, there’s no mention of him being thanked for it at all.

Does that make the game bad? To me, perhaps it’s a bit disappointing, but if I were to introduce this to my younger cousin, who’s never played an RPG before, he’d probably be in love. The game is a perfect wish fulfillment for being the knight in shining armor out to rescue the princess, and the game’s various systems are easily accessible to just about anyone. Best of all, if you’re new to the genre, and liked what you played, you’ll love the fact that the game doesn’t end here.

The knowledge that this game’s ending is gearing up for a sequel (White Knight Chronicles: The Awakening of Light and Darkness) also makes it clear that this is an entry into a world, rather than a definitive RPG experience. It’s probably not meant for long-time RPG fans, but as an entry-level RPG, it’d probably make for a wonderful first foray into Japanese role-playing.

Speaking of which, did I get to mention that you become a giant armored knight robot thingy?!

Notes Left Behind, PS3 Troubles, and White Knight Chronicles

So I found out Negative Victor was trying to get you guys to troll me, but that didn’t work out as well as he would have hoped. Unfortunately, that means he’s prone to coming back eventually since I’ve yet to kill myself and I don’t have a thicker skin.

He did leave behind a note in the private drafts of the blog, wherein he essentially says “F you” to everyone on my blogroll. I guess that’s his way of saying goodbye or something. I dunno.

In any case, I’ve been remiss in updating the blog due to school concerns, as schoolwork is starting to get heavier with multiple requirements piling on top of one another. That meant getting my life back in order, reading like a madman, cramming my work, and getting some gaming in for inspiration for this blog when there was a decided break time in the preparations.

That said, those of you who’ve read my Twitter entries know that I recently purchased White Knight Chronicles for the PS3, only to find out that the Blu-ray drive on my PS3 wasn’t working. Since we’re not officially supported by Sony, I had to go do the next best thing, which was to visit a game console repair shop here in my country. They opened it up, tested the drive, and basically replaced the thing that allows the PS3 to read discs. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but it’s probably not going to be a year before it conks out again unless I take extremely good care of it.

I’ll have an impressions article up within a day or so once I find more time to see how it handles. As it stands, I have some reading to do. In the meantime, feel free to tell me what you think of White Knight Chronicles if you played it.

Obssessives Beware: White Knight Chronicles has Purchaseable DLC

The PlayStation Blog decided to drop some “interesting” new tidbits of information regarding White Knight Chronicles: International Edition today. If you thought the long time it took to adapt WKC was an indication of how much they packed into the disc, well, they apparently have more than could be packed into the disc!

Let me just quote Cristian Cardona from the PlayStation Blog for this one:

1. Many of you have had questions about clarifying micro-transactions in White Knight Chronicles. The Georama will have parts that you can create and parts that you can choose to purchase using micro-transactions to further enhance your space. These are by no means mandatory purchases, as there is PLENTY for you to work with in the game itself, but an option for those of you looking to take your Georama spaces even further.

2. For those of you who are going to be investing significant time in your characters, there will be an option to remake them without having to start the game over by purchasing a special key through the PlayStation Store for only $4.99. This will allow you to redesign your avatar at any point and keep all that hard work you’ve put in intact. This feature will go live this Thursday on the PlayStation Store.

In the comments section of the post, you’ll also note that the character remaker DLC is a one-time deal, so you better make sure you get it right the first time.

Personally, I’m a bit annoyed at it all, but since these two types of DLC are optional for this game, I can probably pass on them for now. What’ll be somewhat more annoying would be additional Mission DLC for the online component of the game, which I probably won’t pay for, but will feel bad that I don’t own. Oh well, such is life.

Picture Source: PlayStation Blog Flickr Account

White Knight Chronicles Online Mode: A Diabloville?

Destructoid put up a new article today on the upcoming PlayStation 3 JRPG now known as White Knight Chronicles International Edition. In it, they discuss the multiplayer component of the game, which makes me think of MMORPGs, albeit a in a “very limited MMO” kind of way.

The game allows parties of four to take their avatars and go out into the game world to quest, killing 10 of the the WKC equivalent of rats, I suppose, among other things. I don’t know if their quests will have any depth to them, but there are 51 so-called missions in the game, so at least there’s something to do.

There is also a form of “housing” as the game allows people to known a Georama, or a plot of land that functions as a player lobby for people to congregate. As you fulfill requirements for the town, NPCs start coming in offering their services to players. It’s a nice touch, really, to make the NPCs “questable” rather than bought.

The previewer in the WKC article says that it’s “not quite a JRPG, and it’s not quite an MMO.” I think their description makes it more of  a turn-based, online Diabloville (I’m trademarking that!). It’s hardcore enough to make people want to try it, but probably only in the casual sense.

I’m still at odds as to whether I’ll pick up the game, but it does make for an intriguing thought experiment.

Would you try a Diabloville-styled game, with some of the amenities of hack-and-slash and MMO games, without any of the hardcoreness associated with it?