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whatshot White Knight Chronicles 2 PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 9.0
Sound 7.0
Value 10
Distributor: Sony
Classification:
PG
Review Date:
June 2011
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

9.0


White Knight Chronicles 2

White Knight Chronicles 2 is the western port of this popular Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) and continues the saga, a year later in game time from the previous title. Set on a strange world of sword and sorcery, a battle rages between light and darkness as players are caught up in this never ending struggle.

Like most JRPGs, players work for the side of light and this is where you are given control of the Incorruptus, a giant ancient knight which is controlled by your avatar to change the tides of war. A small party will also accompany you on your adventures as you explore this diverse world, meet new characters, find weaponry and more particularly equipment to assist.

However before you get the crux of your RPG experience, you first need to create your character and customise the behemoth of a knight, the incorruptus. Very cool.

FEATURES

  • Signature combination of singe player and multiplayer returns allowing players to share characters from your single player game in multiplayer

  • 2 games in 1! This game includes all the content from the first game with improved and enhanced features of the sequel adding up to over 100 hours of combined gameplay

  • Improved gameplay mechanics that fans demanded makes battles more fast paced and dynamic

  • Character can now select new skills and spells such as dual wielding weapons to make characters more customizable

  • For the first time ever, create and customize your very own Incorruptus that you can use in both single and multiplayer modes

If you love titles like Final Fantasy, than White Knight Chronicles 2 is definitely up your alley, however just be warned that this game contains classic JRPG element. This means that you can expect to see epic battles, lengthy conversations and cinemas that sometime go on for forever. For those wanting something less intensive, I suggest you look elsewhere because this game will consume your life once you start playing.

Like the original game, White Knight Chronicles 2 boasts at least 50 hours of play and has been designed more as an online game rather than single-player. However for those that don't want to play the game online, you can still successfully complete the game without logging on the PlayStation Network but we'll get to this part a little later.

For those who have played the original game, it is possible to transfer your characters, equipment and gold from the original title. Given the intensity of the game, it is a little difficult to play if you have not played the previous game as the world of White Knight Chronicles is quite complex as is its gaming mechanics.

However the clever part of White Knight Chronicles II is that Sony have included the first game as well, so in essence, you can play the original and then continue with the second game. It's a good move but if you work and have a life, it doesn't really mix too well.

One cool aspect of the original game is that has been slightly tweaked and features the new battle system of WKC2. The gameplay basically involves a plethora of missions and side quests as you engage with NPC's and explore this diverse world. You are awarded points from your battles to customise your characters and there's plenty of booty (like the Pirate) to be found.

Battles play a key role to this JRPG and as you progress, some battles become quite lengthy as you play the game of healing and fighting. As you fight your way through the various thugs and bosses of this world, you are awarded action points which can be used to up the ante of your fighting prowess. Once you have collected a set amount, this allows your character to transform into a giant Knight which is needed to take on the larger monsters that you fight. This kind of reminds of the excellent Voltron series but in White Knight Chronicles II, its more myth and magic as opposed to technology. The more action points that you collect, the more powerful your Voltron... err... White Knight will be.

The new battle system of WKC2 is far smoother and faster than the original game and giving orders to your characters is far more fluid. Nothing is more satisfying than chaining your combos together in order to unleash some devastating attacks on your opponent, especially the boss battles.

Positions also play a key role for your party members as well and this can be quite tricky in getting your characters in the right place. However certain places are more strategic and can lead to more damage than others (e.g. behind your enemies). Another highlight in the new battle system is that the players can now disrupt enemy attacks and when an icon flashes on a particular part of the enemyís body, you can focus on that area in order to prevent an attack.

There is a good amount of customisation in the game for your characters and through skill points, you can fine tune or specialise your character for a particular occupation in the game. Needless to say, as you do "level-up" them, the player has access to a plethora of skills to improve the flow of your battles. Grinding is required to "level-up" your character and you need to ensure that you have a tank and healer in your group because without one or the other, you'll soon find out what the word frustration means and controller rage.

If you need a break from the single-player game or want to try something different, White Knight Chronicles II supports a rather clever online mode. By engaging in the multiplayer mode via the PlayStation Network, you can play with up to 5 other players (2 more than the original game) to embark on a variety of online quests.

This is a nice break from the single player mode and best of all, experience points gained online revert back to the single-player game. You can even customise your characters hometown through the Georama mechanics of the game which allows you to tweak your home town and then upload it. By uploading your home town, others gamers can visit your little piece of the world.

Although itís free to play the online component of White Knight Chronicles II, there are certain items that can be purchased from the PlayStation Network if you want to go beyond the standard. With that said, the online mode is quite interactive with other players and really enhances the gameplay.

Graphically, White Knight Chronicles II is a visually impressive game and whereas the first looked a little dated and lacklustre, the sequel is truly a work of art. The first thing you will notice about White Knight Chronicles II, besides the lengthy cinematics that do look nice are the environments and developers Level-5 have created this truly engaging universe that comes alive in FULL HD.

It's also the attention to detail from the trees to the grass and even the skies that mirror the real-world well but with fantasy elements. Characters are well designed and have some great texture detail, ensuring that characters are not all lumped into one basket but there is a considerable amount of variety here, especially with the heroes and the bosses that they fight. Add in special effects and some beautiful lighting and this game looks quite decent. The pre-rendered cinemas is definitely the wow factor here. The soundtrack has this Final Fantasy feel to it as do all the sound effects and voice acting. With that said, WKC2 comes together rather well.

Final Thoughts?

In conclusion, if you're after a very lengthy JRPG than this is the game for you. After the relatively poor performance of the latest Final Fantasy game, White Knight Chronicles II is a clever game but doesn't try to be too clever to Westernise this game too much. Nonetheless it is a rather complex game and with at least 50 hours of play, you'll be fighting in this world for a considerable amount of time. It's definitely great value for money and if you love JRPG, than you really should check this out and don't listen to the naysayers!





 

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