White Knight Chronicles Impressions - New Online Content

Though it's still not out yet, there are some new additions that could make it worth the wait.

Last year at the Tokyo Game Show, we were able to see White Knight Chronicles before it was released in Japan during the Christmas holiday. We've had the opportunity to see it a few times since then, but we haven't been able to find out when the game would be released stateside. At a 2009 Tokyo Game Show presentation, developers from Level-5 went over the new additions and announced that the game is expected to be released by spring of 2010.

The presentation primarily focused on the online mode, which will be receiving some interesting features, as well as North American and European-exclusive content. We learned early on that the online mode can be unlocked after a couple hours of play after you've completed the first chapter of the offline story mode. The reason for this is so that beginner players can go through the tutorial chapter first before jumping into an online game.

Three modes have been added, which include Geonet, Georama, and subquests. Geonet is a social networking service for players online. You can set up a profile and blog, participate in message boards, send mail, and customize your friends list. Only one home page is available per PlayStation Network user. You can access Geonet at anytime via your menu or from a logic stone within the game. You'll receive administration announcements and be able to read who commented on your blog.

Georama is a mode that lets you create your own town, which will then function as a lobby. You can set up a shop and invite your friends over to take a look around. We were given a quick demo of the editing mode, and it seemed pretty easy to follow. Once you place your objects down, you can immediately wander through your creation to see whether it looks good from your character's angle. You pick from a huge list of objects that range from houses, fences, garden objects, and anything that you would need to customize your own town. Depending on what you want, you can have your town situated in the plains, desert, or wilderness, and there are six variations for each field type. Elevated platforms, embankments, trees, and other items can help you shape your hub. If you want, you can create your own obstacle course or maze within and watch your friends run through it like mice. There are colored crates as well, which you can place and stack on one another to decorate the landscape if you're into pixel art.

The attributes of your Georama changes depending on who lives in it, meaning you can also recruit non-player characters to join your town from the Story mode. NPCs have jobs and specific skill levels, which will affect the kind of materials and items you can use in your georama. Each person on Geonet can create up to 20 georama rooms. A maximum of 12 people can hang out in your customized town and four can enter your quest room.

Subquests are multiplayer quests that you can clear with four players. You control your own avatar instead of using Leonard, the in-game character. Your avatar's level and equipment is the same as in the Story mode, which is nice so that you don't have to start over. As you go through the story, more quests will become available. By accumulating points, your guild rank will increase, which will unlock more quests and give you access to stronger weapons and armor that you wouldn't be able to get on your own. You can always play these quests on your own as well.

Joining a subquest seemed relatively easy. You ask your NPC for the subquest that you want and recruit the players that you want to have join you. If you don't have friends to play with, random matchups can also be done. You can mix and match as well, so if you don't have enough friends online, you can pick up some more. The developers talked about how they want players to enjoy the community aspect of White Knight Chronicles, not just the offline Story mode.

When the game ships, there will be 50 subquests to tackle online and more will be added. Voice chat will be available for the North American and European edition, and there will be a live-talk feature (similar to Rogue Galaxy) that is exclusive to those regions. Characters will talk as they go through the game, so that you get a sense of what they're thinking and feeling as you play. We also learned that the new environments that have been added to the Japanese version will be included, and as of right now, it is possible for North American and European players to visit each other's georamas. For those of you who are wondering, there will be no Japanese voice acting included.

A date hasn't been announced yet, but we were asked to be patient and that White Knight Chronicles is expected to ship sometime in the spring of 2010.

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Discussion

41 comments
lozvil
lozvil

OMG, thy said it's gonna be out today, Feb 02, but when i called GameStop they said today is the shipment but they will sell it tomorrow. I was so excited... i can't wait for another day, Oh Dear Lord help me!!!

Abberon
Abberon

@ zurcn That's the whole point of a good translation though. People seem to think that each word or phrase has a direct translation to the other language. A lot of the time it doesn't. All a good translation has to do is get the general "idea" of what's being said while transferring that to the proper local dialect. Aside from that, yes, there's obviously the issue of possible bad english voice actors, but that's less a matter of dubbing and more a matter of hiring crappy actors or bad translations/writing. If you understand Japanese, or you're an anime dork, I don't doubt you'd rather play the game in Japanese. I would too. I prefer French voice acting in French movies to English dubbing. That only makes sense. When you don't understand the language/culture, however, it's an entirely different matter. Personally I cannot STAND Japanese voice acting. It makes me want to stick knives in my brain. I can't handle the bubbly high-pitched voices of Korean/Japanese animated media and the majority of western audiences can't either. It's so fake I just want to punch every character in the junk. Like I said, the people who prefer reading subtitles with Japanese voice acting are the manga reading anime geeks who show up at the conventions etc. I'm not saying that as a bad thing (that's my sister lol) but you're certainly the minority.

zurcn
zurcn

@abberon I prefer the original voices and subtitles "of what they are saying" (as opposed to subtitles of the english dub), since that way I'm able to get a bigger part of the humor and character reactions. Been seeing the 1st level on FF13 on tube and i'm already dreading how they might translate the continuous use of "nee-chan" that the afro dude keeps using on Lightning. miss? lady? cutie? english ppl don't talk like that, it sounds weird and forced (though it's probably true that jap ppl don't talk like their anime conterparts) also plenty of games get bad english voice acting when they had good jap ones, never heard of the reverse though (bad jap acting then suddenly wonderful english acting),

Abberon
Abberon

You guys have to be joking...I understand using subtitles for real life movies and keeping the normal voices, but preferring Japanese voice acting with subtitles with anime and video games is only for super-nerds. Japanese media does such a lazy/bad job with facial animation that you could have them speaking hyena and it would still work fine. As for this game, it looks pretty lame. The reviews have been tepid and it hasn't been strongly received anywhere. I would LIKE it to be good since Square doesn't seem competent anymore to deliver a good experience, but nobody else has been able to beat them in their niche either :(

roge666
roge666

Abecale first: i can understand japanese very well (i lived in japan for 5 years) second: its just a matter of preference. I think japanese voices are waaaay better than english voice acting

Silviiwilvii
Silviiwilvii

Abecale, Not everyone speaks just English. However, on many occasions, the native language of a game (or any other type of media. Looking at you Spanish-dubbed American movies.) always sounds better. Japanese acting plus subtitles beats English voices trying to lip sync and sounding horrible because of it.

Abecale
Abecale

@roge666 Whats the point of having japanese voices if you cant understand them?

triggercy
triggercy

This game sucks! .... naah.. of course I'm lying! :) I'm gonna buy this. I get addicted to games because of rpg like this. Not to mention FF XIII. 1 month to go..

felipebo
felipebo

I'm buying this game just for the Georama

roge666
roge666

no japanese voices? =(

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

Hay can the fan boys stand down for a minute? The Xbox360 is a great platform thats for sure. I don't bother questioning that. But TBH it's starting to show it's age now. The ATI chip set in it has been pushed to it's limits, while the SPU system only has 2 cores left for developers to finally take advantage of. Thats not to say it's done as a platform the PS2 proved that a great price point, and good enough graphics can capture a market thats for sure, and the Wii has proven that again as well. Right now the PS3 sits at the top tear for console platforms it has the most untaped power, and devs are starting to take advantage of it. The fallowing titles have been confirmed to look and play better on PS3: Red Faction: Guerrila (better FPS rates, more effects, and much better textures) Tales of Vaspira (better FPS rates, and smoother performance) Star Ocean 4 The Last Hope: International (AA added, motion blur added, Japanese VOs, more HUD options, tweaked targeting system)

jamesmck486
jamesmck486

No Japanese voice acting makes me sad.... :(

Gubitz
Gubitz

this game reminds me of what i always believed dark cloud 3 would be like if they ever made one. i cant wait for this game.

lestat23l
lestat23l

of course its not a seperate mmo within the game, it's not WOW, its a story driven RPG with some Online Multiplayer Capabilities, which I think is simply awsome!!

shinspikes
shinspikes

So its not a full on seperate mmo within the game. Its just extra quests. Hmm, not what I expected.

roge666
roge666

this game got my attention

kamizuka
kamizuka

Vasot why do you go to exclusive games ps3 news and say that the game suck? get a life and grow up

Leo-Ace
Leo-Ace

When are they going to give a date?!

Vasot
Vasot

Meh the graphics are completely anime and does not look so good

krylon36
krylon36

almost a year and a half to localize?

shii666
shii666

So Dark Cloud's Georama feature lives on spiritually... Lol. This game really gets better and better every time I see it.

calvinsora
calvinsora

Even though I don't like RPG's online, I still want to try this game out.

davidyang1123
davidyang1123

this online is gona put this game through the roof i already had high hopes for this game without online content but now its going online it makes it even better

DarkBuhamut
DarkBuhamut

bout time a good jrpg came out game develpors need to stop fussin over online though, nothing beats offline multiplayer

youngsexynerd
youngsexynerd

im loving the online for this game, this game is gonna be sweet

SaintAjora
SaintAjora

It's almost been a year since itcame out in japan...come on! Give us WKC! The new content sounds great^^

ProProzach
ProProzach

god there are to many great rpgs coming up in the next year i just dont know which one to crack out to and patheticaly lose my life to nerdism

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

With online offer, it'll make the game worth replaying more. :)

EvanDeWickeD
EvanDeWickeD

I want a NEW DRAGON QUEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

This looks like a great game and will hopefully live up to expectations. I couldn't give a damn about the online content though. It is the offline experience that should make a great game.

amkalfus
amkalfus

this sounds pretty epic! watch out FF XIII, hahahahah i want both of these games! come out already!

ShockG707
ShockG707

Its a shame this game is not out yet but I'm still quite hyped for it.

DFBTG
DFBTG

Hm, so Level-5 is behind this? They seem to have generally produced good games, and this game is becoming more and more appealing as more information is given. The whole building your own town thing sounds pretty cool in and of itself, and the other stuff seems more standard, but nifty nonetheless. I just hope that this offers a more substantial story (and NOT waste a good idea to explore), more varied gameplay, and not so annoying and repetitive 'live chat' as Rogue Galaxy did.

SchumiF1
SchumiF1

Happy to hear they are adding this stuff to the NA/EU release!