The original White Knight Chronicles was a pretty big disappointment for me. I had issues with the story and the ploddingly slow battle system and it just didn’t live up to my expectations for a game by the developers that made the Dark Cloud series. White Knight Chronicles 2 was recently announced for North American release this summer by D3 and I got a chance to talk to one of their representatives and take a look at how the game hopes to improve over the first.
White Knight Chronicles 2 takes place a year after the original. Everything’s gone to hell just as you would expect in a direct JRPG sequel and Leonard and his posse are out to add another member to their team of knights. Seems the Moon Maiden is up for grabs and they have to find her and protect her from the Empire. The D3 representative promised me a lot more development in the story and characters than the first game had and that it was the finale of the series so we wouldn’t have to put up with another cliff hanger.
After that it was straight into the gameplay. Seems this time the character you get to customize and use as an avatar online has a knight of his own and you can actually customize this knight as well. Your knight can use a variety of weapon types like the avatar character including a hammer weapon specific to your custom knight.
The first question I asked was how the battle system was changed, as I mentioned this was one of my biggest problems with the original game. He told me that the battle system had been sped up considerably by having the action meter start out full at the beginning of every battle and increasing the rate at which it fills back up after that. Distancing also becomes more important as it affects your accuracy so a dash attack was added so that melee focused characters could quickly move about the battlefield. Another added attack is a charged attack which requires a short little QTE to execute.
White Knight Chronicles 2 will also come packed with the improved original game with a redone battle system from its sequel as well as more weapons and armor to collect and a bit of a graphical improvement. Improvements to the multiplayer aspect include more georama items and the ability to play with a party of 6 instead of 4.
Jury’s still out for me on what I think of White Knight Chronicles 2. I like the promise of a sped up battle system and better story since those are my biggest complaints with the first, but I’m not sure what I saw will be different enough from the original. The battle system looked sped up, but not amazingly so, and I really didn’t get any chance to see if the storytelling had improved. But let’s be real here, I’m a JRPG fanboy and I’ll play this even if it doesn’t end out that great. So we’ll just have to see if the sequel can be all that it promises to be come the release this Summer.