White Knight Chronicles Impression 1

While passing through Sony’s booth, I happened to spot a game that’d I’d been interested in for quite a while: Level 5’s White Knight Chronicles. As soon as a station became available, I picked up a controller and tried it out.

First, I started a new game. What’s interesting about White Knight Chronicles is that while it follows the story of a young man named Leonard, you create a custom character (ideally one that represents yourself). There are a lot of facial customization options; it’s at least as detailed as the character creation in Mass Effect, for example. I skimmed through the options but kept my character basic so that I could jump into the game as quickly as possible. I also skipped the opening cutscenes due to time restraints.

The game started with my character walking through town and talking to Leonard. They had an errand to run, so I worked on that for a bit while checking out the town and talking to NPCs. NPCs are much like those in Final Fantasy XII; you can only talk to certain ones, which are marked by a little speech bubble icon above their heads. I eventually triggered a short cutscene of a parade in celebration of the princess’s birthday or somesuch.

Eager to try out a battle, I reloaded and opened a file with level 10 characters. A Sony representative finally noticed me and came over to talk to me about the game. He started talking to me about the basics, but I started asking him very specific questions so he cut right to the chase and started giving me information about advanced battle mechanics. He showed me how to execute different kinds of attacks by selecting them with the D-pad and perform combos with my party members.

The battle system is a little like the one in Final Fantasy XII. Enemies freely roam the area, and you can run up to them and attack. You control one character at a time, and it can be whichever party member you choose. You’re also able to transform into the White Knight and take on much larger enemies.

Overall, my impression was quite positive. I found the controls for the party as well as the ones for the White Knight to be quite user-friendly. Unlike with Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, White Knight Chronicles was working with me instead of against me. The visuals were very pretty, though somewhat generic. Monster designs were fairly unique though. The demo didn’t exactly blow me away, but the game looks quite polished and the short demo was enjoyable.

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