- Summary: White Knight Chronicles II is enhanced with stunning graphics, over 400 weapon and armor choices, and new fan-requested features. For the first time, players can create an Incorruptus (a unique knight) for their own avatar and use it during online multiplayer quests for the first time ever.
I am getting sick of hearing games get qualified as "JRPG" or "Western Developed" or "Old-School." Role-playing elements exist in every genre now, from third-person action games to first-person shooters. Coming from someone who has been devoted to role-playing for more than 25 years of video gaming, I still love to see companies try new things, but too often critics categorize games and belittle their finer points by forcing them into unecessary stereotypes. Japanese programmers often have a hand in developing Western titles, and likewise, American and European programmers are often brought in to assist on Eastern projects to make a game more appealing to the international market. Too much synergy and genre crossover occur in today's gaming market to call anything old-school or refer to them by national origin.
That being said, White Knight Chronicles II (along with the previous WKCs on PS3 and PSP) attempts to appeal to both Japanese and Western markets, with robust single-player and online multiplayer options that allow gamers to approach the game in whichever way they prefer. This effort does not succeed on all points - story sequences feel shallow and incoherent at times, with sub-par English voiceovers doing little to elevate the game's presentation, and MMO features sometimes feel tacked on. Still, the accomplishments that WKCII gets right serve as redeeming factors overall.
For years, I have looked for an RPG that brought many existing features together under one title - character creation, open-world exploration, a full day-night cycle, dynamic weather systems, seasonal changes, player housing, town construction, solo and multiplayer features, social elements, and branching storylines. While Mass Effect and Dragon Age do all of this except multiplayer, and Persona 3&4 contain their unique and refreshing take on many of these systems, practically no other games come close to completing this wish list of role-playing features. White Knight Chronicles II does not successfully integrate all of them either, but as you explore the massive world the game offers, it becomes evident that (despite shortcomings) the creators acknowledged all of the desires of RPG gamers and tried to deliver.
The graphics in WKCII are clean and at times gorgeous. Like the first game, GeoRama features allow you to build a custom town and recruit residents to improve its functionality, though the whole thing feels like a glorified online multiplayer lobby. Customization is extensive, from creating a player character and changing out equipment to creating your own combo attacks. Combat itself is improved over the first game, though it still needs work. Exploration is also well-rewarded, and the game world is fairly enormous. But my favorite tweek to the whole package is the day-night, weather, and seasonal changes. This is an immersive quality that is largely overlooked by developers (or simply left out for programming, budgeting, or deadline restraints), but seeing trees sway in the wind, hearing ambient noise, or having environmental shifts affect combat are really valuable for drawing a player into the game world. Also, since you often backtrack in RPGs, these environmental factors allow you to see familiar locales in unfamiliar states upon revisiting them, which adds to variety and replayability.
Overall, WKCII is worth the purchase, and in case you haven't played the first game, it's included in the North American release, complete with tweeks from the sequel retrofitted into the original. You can even carry your stats and equipment from one game to the other, which the online players will most definitely appreciate. I'm not claiming that this is the answer to all of your RPG dreams, but it is another step in Level-5's quest to bring all of the best RPG features into a single game. That's not an easy pursuit, but it is a process that I want to be a part of... and a goal that makes me respect any developer who tries for it.… Expand
Firstly, I am very tired of games being scored down for being Japanese. Some of the negative comments about this title are really cynical and misplaced. This is a pure JRPG that has obviously taken a huge amount of work to create. The graphics are very nice, the customisation is interesting and varied and the game is huge. As an added bonus, and one that deserves massive praise, they have included the complete first game on the same disc, remastered and looking great. This represents great value for money as you get the whole story, well over 100 hours of play for the price of one game.
If you like JRPGs, then really do pick this up. Reviews of Japanese games cannot be trusted anymore as too many sites rely on advertising revenue from American companies. I can only assume there are strings attached to this income as American games can be utterly dire yet still score well.… Expand
7White Knight Chronicles (and WKC II) as a story falls rather flat on it's face. WKC's story is so bad takes a three point hit its score because of it. It's a very cliche "Save the princess!" love story with the youthful hero chasing after the princess and time after time the bad guy pulls her away at the last moment. Not a big fan of that. However; in terms of game play I actually enjoyed this game a lot. The AI used for the companions is smart about attacking and using magic. The enemies are reused quite often but are difficult enough while not being too hard. You get to design your Avatar player's appearance right from the get-go. There is a well thought out system for crafting new armor and weapons called Binding and even a mini-game where you design a town (called your Georama).… Expand
4This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. while this game gets an improvement on the battles, everything else is just the same and worse;
Yes, WKC is fun, beautiful and extensive Voice overs sure catches an eye, plus the story is competent, in WKC2, there are NO new characters, the plot is THE SAME, no change in graphics, Online content is limited to Per-account online pass, which ruined my experience since i gave my pass code to my wife who also plays.
Your Avatar still is silent and oblivious of the world, the game forces you to clear already visited dungeons at least 3 times each, and the new option of Creating your own Knight, it's just an extra option, that has ZERO story value, ZERO plot impact and ZERO interactivity with other party members.
The las battle is ridiculously hard if you didin't played online and the ending gets hacked off to force you go online to finally end the game properly.
WKC2 feels far more like a overpriced DLC than a new brand game that adds new content.
Also, the last 2 dungeons and it's hours and hours of gameplay are boring as hell… Expand