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RPGamer Feature - White Knight Chronicles Interview
White Knight Chronicles
Platform:
Developer: Level 5
Publisher: SCEA
ESRB: RP
Release Date: February 2010










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Since White Knight Chronicles was confirmed for North America, SCEA has been pretty quiet about it. This is because SCEA has been busily working on the game to make sure that it is up to a higher quality and adding new features to the North American version, so they haven't had time to show it off. Thankfully, we were able to interrupt their busy schedules to speak with Tsubasa Inaba and Kumi Yuasa, the SCEA producers for the game.


For those that don't know about the game, could you give us a brief overall of what White Knight Chronicles is all about?
White Knight Chronicles is a Japanese RPG developed by Level 5 Inc., currently known for their success with the Dark Cloud series, or Rouge Galaxy. It is their first product coming to the PS3 platform, and we are happy to be bringing this to the US market.

Early in the story, Leonard discovers his fate is to rescue Princess Cisna of his village Ballandor, who was captivated during a ceremony. He soon obtains the skill to transform into the giant White Knight, but with confusion. “Why me?” are his and his peers’ thoughts.

The story unfolds as the player sets out on a journey with the objective to both save the princess, and to solve the mystery behind the White Knight.

Since there is both an online and offline mode, is the player-created character used in both?
Great question! The answer is yes.

One of the first things players will do is create their avatar. What’s great about White Knight Chronicles is players have the option to use the avatar they have just created in the single player campaign, giving them a stronger sense of being “part of the team”. The players’ avatar will also appear in all of the cinematic scenes in the game as well.

The avatar is also your representation when you choose to play online. During online gameplay, players will not be able to choose the remaining main characters such as Leonard.

The level of flexibility in character creation is very extensive. Spend some time on this when you start White Knight Chronicles. Trust me, you will want to be happy with the way you look online!

Will a player's online experience transfer over into the story mode?
Yes of course.

The actual online game play will be centric to online quests that are 1 hour conclusive missions. During these quests, players may find items that are unique to the online quests (ie; cannot be obtained in the single player campaign regardless of money or player level). Once these items are obtained, players can bring such items back into the single player mode.

Can a player pause the game, or will the game continue in the background while accessing menus?
Yes there is a pause function in the single player mode, but the game will continue in the background (obviously) when players are in the online mode.

In the story mode, how are parties managed? Will players be able to pick and choose who is active in the party? Will experience from battle be only earned by the active members of a party, or will there be ways for the non-active members to receive experience?
Precisely.

The number of party members will fluctuate during game play, but players will have the option to choose which of those members are active, including their avatar. Non-active party members will also level up while the game progresses.

Are there hidden playable characters to be found, or will all party members be part of the story?
All playable characters will appear in the story.

What about in online mode? Is there options for having NPCs assist in online?
NPC’s will not assist you for the online quests.

However with the new Georama feature we are introducing to White Knight Chronicles, players can build their own space, which will also act as a launching pad for their online quests. There are some NPCs from each of the towns or villages the player can recruit to populate their Georama space. These NPCs will eventually help the player, although not related directly with the online quest experience.

Will there be a world map to traverse, or will players just choose places to visit from a menu?
The menu will indeed feature a world map approach, allowing players to pick out which areas they wish to explore. Accessible locations will gradually be un-locked as their game play proceeds.

What are some of the additions that have been made to the North American version? And we have to ask, is the chest size slider still going to be in the North American version?
Features such as voice chat (during online quests), and a feature we call live talk are unique to the US and European versions of White Knight Chronicles. We obviously will be up to speed with the Japanese version from day one, which has experienced a number of updates since its release last year.

As for the chest size slider??? We have kept all of the character editing elements, so yes!

I'm a big fan of the White Knight Chronicles OST. Have you made any changes to it for the North American release such as translating KAZCO's songs? Any chance of a soundtrack pack-in? Any other bonuses being considered?
For the US and European version, we have opted to use an instrumental version for the opening sequence as we felt it would better fit the market. We very much appreciate the enthusiasm behind the original sound track in Japanese, and thus kept the ending sequence in Japanese. As for other bonuses, I wouldn’t want to spoil things just yet. Please stay tuned for more information updates as we approach our release window of early spring 2010.


RPGamer would like to thank Tsubasa Inaba and Kumi Yuasa from SCEA for taking the time to answer some questions for us, and we look forward to the finished game when it launches next year. While the world map news might dishearten some, the possibility of free stuff always is a reason to cheer up. Stay tuned to RPGamer for further news regarding White Knight Chronicles, due to be released in February 2010 in North America. Also, for anyone that is interested, if you all have a suggestion for an interview you would like to see here, feel free to email me at: madhtr[at]rpgamer.com with "Interview" in the subject.



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