I cannot remember how I stumbled upon this review last night; my dotage or the Ultra Amber tends to make me forgetful, but I digress. HookedGamers have put together a compelling White Knight Chronicles: International (WKC:I) review, awarding the game an 8.5/10. This is the first review I have seen that truly recognizes WKC:I for what it is and does not dissect the game for not being Final Fantasy or a Western style RPG.
For example, take WKC:I’s much beleaguered combat system. This reviewer actually gets it and is not afraid of taking the contrarian view.
The game is Final Fantasy-esque at heart, but strays from the negative aspects of that franchise. No longer will you be so rudely interrupted by a battle sequence, on a screen completely separate from that which you were just traveling. You will inherit the same turn-based rules, but the enemies are free-roaming and present on the map on which you travel, enabling you to fight and keep moving, not having to wait for the screen to change and a battle to begin. Once you realize that you are in a strict, turn-based system, but with a touch of freedom and convenience, you will begin to fall in love with the gameplay. It is everything that a turn-based RPG should and shouldn’t be, without straying too far from the family and becoming a complete real-time system, such as Dragon Age:Origins.
Beautifully said; gamers with short attention spans need not bother picking up WKC:I. Much like the majority of reviewers, they will be sorely disappointed. Now on to the all important visuals …
This is where the game becomes iffy, again. The environments are absolutely beautiful, as you would expect from just about any next-gen RPG, but the characters and animation leave a bit to be desired. This, however, is because of when the game was made. White Knight Chronicles is actually a port from Japan, where the original was released in late 2008. In order to truly appreciate the graphics for what they are, you have to take yourself back to that time. It is very well done, but by no means are the visuals in the upper-echelon of today’s newest releases. Given the time that the game was created, it is difficult to speak negatively of WKC’s visuals.
In other words, graphics whores will complain. WKC:I is not for connoisseurs of eye candy. I can understand that the majority of reviewers are critical of the game for its dated graphics, but as I have previously pointed out, it is disingenuous to say WKC:I features PS2 graphics. That is simply not the case.
I had to get this off my chest for a couple of reasons. First, I always enjoy a well written review. Second, I think WKC:I is being unfairly criticized. Is it possible that the majority of gamers do not really want freedom of choice? Be careful what we wish for because a day may come when the only RPG available is Final Fantasy and to me that would indeed be a sad state of affairs.