Saturday, September 20, 2014

Games Thirst Review: White Knight Chronicles II

White Knight Chronicles II picks up right where White Knight Chronicles left off. It continues the journey of Leonard and his comrades as they try to stop the rise of the Yshrenia Empire.

There where many problems with the first game and with the release of the second game, did Level-5 fix the problems and make enough improvements?

Same Old, Same Old

Returning to the White Knight Chronicles universe, I expected to experience some of the same content from the first game, but I did not expect to encounter as much as I did. In the first area you play in, it feels like you have just stepped right back into White Knight Chronicles. The level design is exactly the same and the graphics do not show much of an improvement.

I at first thought that maybe they are just slowly introducing you back into the world, but many of the levels are like this. Yes, there are some new levels, but they are not large and detailed like the first game. In many areas, I felt like they just copied and pasted areas.

The same can be said for the voice acting. Some of the lines felt like they were just taken from the last game and put into this game. The voice acting feels uninspired and boring, which makes the story telling even worse.

The story in the game does not improve from the first, but somehow feels weaker than before. There is just not much there, and though the story in the first game was not that great, it still intrigued me, but now I have lost interest in it.

When you are not doing main story missions, you can go on side missions that have you do a different number of things, but the main problem with these side missions is that they can take a while to finish and will take you away from the main story which can cause the player to feel distanced from the main story of the game.

While playing, you will face many enemies throughout the journey and though this may sound fun, it can become tiresome and repetitive. You will fight the same creatures over and over throughout the game. The only thing that makes them different than a creature you fought earlier is that they may be a different color, not a new character design, just their color. There are even many enemy types that have been recycled from the first game. In fact, the first set of creatures you run into are recycled from the first game.

There is also a large learning curve when you begin White Knight Chronicles II. You are not given a tutorial or anything and you just expected to know what to do. I can kind of see why they did this because the first game is included on the disc and they expect you to play the first game before the second, but for people like me that have already beat the game but have not played it in months, you can be lost. I am not willing to go back and play through the first game and learn how to play when I have already completed it.

After learning how to play again, the combat becomes very repetitive. You will end up spamming the same attacks over and over. Once you find out which attack does the most damage, all you have to do is keep spamming that attack. They did do some nice upgrades to the combat system that feel pointless due to the fact that you can just spam attacks. They added some new combos for the characters, and some new additions to the attacking system which makes it a little better than the first game.

They also did not improve the character emersion from the first game. Like the first game, your character is customizable, but silent. You are just there in the group and nothing more. It is a little disappointing. I wish they would make your character a bigger part of the story.

The ability to find, buy and upgrade weapons and armor is back, but there is no real difference from the first game. There is new armor and weapons, but that is about it. If you remember how to find the material needed to upgrade, and create better weapons and armor, then you already know how to do it in White Knight Chronicles II.

The multiplayer aspect has returned in White Knight Chronicles II and they have made some good changes. You can now play with up to 6 people online with little or no connection issues online. If you do not have friends to play with, you can now use the AI characters to help complete the missions, which is a nice feature. You can still create your own town and upgrade it, but the things you do online does not transfer over to the single player.

Overall

Though this game is not much different than its predecessor, I still have a lot of fun playing it. Grinding for hours with friends never seems to get old. I love playing online, but I am very disappointed with the single player. This game is definitely not for everyone, and if the first game does not appeal to you, this game will not. It will surely satisfy fans of the series and keep them playing for hours, but for other people, it is just another mediocre RPG.

6.5/10

About Joshua Tompkins