Home > Game Reviews > Review: White Knight Chronicles

Review: White Knight Chronicles

So, what are the downsides? A large number of small ones. The menus, while generally laid out well, do have some deep options that should have been made much quicker to access. The friends list on GeoNet is bugged and only seems to add some people properly, claiming others have pending friend requests while actually adding them but not sending the recipient any request at all. There is no option for Japanese voice overs, although it has to be said the Western ones are quite amusing at times, purists will hate it. Comparing item stats and effects is a little easier than in Star Ocean but still awkward. The camera can be occasionally annoying, especially when you’re the White Knight or there are a number of large mobs in the room. Skills you haven’t learned yet don’t tell you how much MP and AC is required to use the skill. More than 4 players in a quest instance would have been preferable. The game is initially confusing while you’re learning the combat system. The health bars are tiny little vertical crystals instead of bars and there is no progress indicator to show how far you are to the next level except by going into the Learn Skills menu and looking at the numerical value of your character’s experience and next level experience. You can’t see how many AC other members of your party have without selecting them. The story cut scenes are often a yawn-fest. Some may feel the story is too short and too easy – for me this wasn’t an issue given the rest of the game.

I’ll tell you what really got my goat, though. Feel like renaming your character or editing its avatar? Prepare to reel in horror as Level 5 asks you to buy a $5 one-time use ticket to do so. That’s right, every time you want to edit your character’s appearance, that’ll be $5 please. No, I think not. I think that is the action of a bunch of money-grabbing bastards and the final review score reflects that. Those with more money than sense can also buy housing items with real money from the in-game store.

On the other hand, if Level 5 came up with new locations, items and quest DLC, that would represent value for money and a game that could essentially continue in perpetuity. Hopefully they will look to Borderlands for inspiration on that front.

I’d also like to address some common criticisms I’ve seen leveled at this game in online reviews. White Knight Chronicles hasn’t received particularly glowing scores, and it seems like many of the reviewers either didn’t see past the story into the game’s true depth, didn’t play past the story, or just didn’t understand the game mechanics. The complaint that most of the combat time is spent waiting is partially true, but it is in line with other RPGs and not particularly a bad thing. The complaint that NPCs can attack you regardless of range but you have to be in close range to attack them is a misnomer: you are not meant to kite NPCs in this game, and if you want to get out of combat you can just hold circle to order everyone to stop fighting and run away; the NPCs stop following after a relatively short time although you may have to take out a couple of the more persistent ones. I’ve even read the combat system described more than one as “dull, boring and broken”. That almost made me not buy the game, and in my opinion, the combat system generally works well and has been competently thought out and put together, so I almost missed out on a lot of entertainment from reading that. Never trust reviews!

Finally, a quick note on the graphics and sound. The graphics aren’t breathtaking but they are certainly good, and certainly up to par with current RPGs. The areas are almost all pretty and pleasant to view and explore, and the designs are interesting and varied for the most part. The cut scenes have some brilliant artwork in them. The music is excellent, always complementing the scene well while never becoming annoying. I never felt the need to turn the music down during this game, there are lots of nice ambient tracks to enjoy. The overall presentation isn’t slick as such, but it is very smooth and there’s really nothing to take umbrage with.


  • Enormous longevity if you dig in
  • Flexible and well-made combat system
  • Online questing and town building are both somewhat unique for a console RPG and very fun


  • Some minor interface, menu and online bug nuisances
  • You may be unhappy with only a 30-hour main story

White Knight Chronicles is a very good game. What you get out of it really depends on what you’re going to put in. It’ll be over in a few days if you just plow through the story, but if you get into the meat of the game and start developing your town and binding new items together to take on those tricky online group quests and grind up your guild rank, this is going to suck up a lot of your time.

I really want to give White Knight Chronicles a higher score, but all the niggles and uncertainty of future expansions just hold it back a little. To a non-RPGer this game can easily pass you by and you won’t feel any great sense of loss, but if your interest is piqued by RPGs at all, the advice is simple: buy this game and play it to death.



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