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TGS hands-on: White Knight Story

White Knight Story is a game we've kept in our peripheral vision since we first saw its trailer at TGS last year. Today we got the chance to get a hands on with the game. The demo guides you through leading a giant ox creature, and its suspiciously Taru-Taru-like owner, down a road filled with dangers. The dangers come in the form of evil armoured humans and animated vegetation. Similar to Mandragoras. We're drawing a couple of parallels to Final Fantasy XI but, thankfully, the similarities stop there.

The slightly cel-shaded nature of the earlier trailer has been toned down a bit so that now the world looks more realistic, whilst still maintaining its obvious anime inspiration. The game dropped jaws with its incredible stylised JRPG graphics when it was revealed at TGS last year and is still graphically stunning.

The first thing we noticed when we started the first combat segment was what first appears to be an aiming circle. This is what we affectionately call the "Wait Circle", which has a loading bar elongate along its circumference. Once it finishes the circle you can perform your next action. The Wait Circle also helps you out with your combo timings.

For those of you not interested in micro management, allow your eyes to peruse the other articles further down the page. The battle system relies on a one-button system which allows you to pull off chains of moves via pre-battle menu setup. Along the bottom of the screen runs one of your three combo bars which are edited in the main menu. Skills are placed into the combo bars and certain skills can be linked together to increase damage. In order to pull combos off you are required to time your button presses accurately, which is where the Wait Circle comes in.

With the combo bar at the bottom of the screen, which blinks when you're required to hit the button to perform the next attack, there was a danger that the player was destined never to actually be allowed to watch the action on screen. Thankfully Level-5 saw this problem and gave the Wait Circle another important job: it blinks, as your combo bar does, but it also shows you the name of your next attack as well as dancing around the screen with the action, making sure you don't miss a beat.

The demo unfortunately starts to unravel once you've led the Ox-owning-Taru to the end of the road and your party gets ambushed by a giant monster. The main character can then transform into the eponymous White Knight. At this point the game starts to feel a little less polished, with the character having no weight when you move him. Not to mention the fairly ridiculous spectacle of your other party members running around your feet like lunatics. The experience becomes even more jarring once your character starts to get lodged between walls and trees.

Despite this, we're still quite excited about this game and hope that any qualms are cleared up before release. Whenever that may be.

Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Lucky bastards. You get to play on those new Bravia tv's. Thats the tv I really want but I could only afford a Sharp.

Posted at 7:29PM on Sep 20th 2007 by Andy

2. I think it'll be swell. Level 5 has cleaned up all the flaws in their other games before their releases, so I see no reason why this shouldn't be the same.

Posted at 7:32PM on Sep 20th 2007 by Kattleox

3. hehe.. ive got that exact tv sitting in front of me :)

Posted at 7:43PM on Sep 20th 2007 by phattie

4. I hope its good. I want some good RPGs for the PS3.

Posted at 7:47PM on Sep 20th 2007 by ruibing

5. Didn't you guys read the sign?

No photos.


Wanna trade tvs? My 1080p 32" Sharp for your Bravia?

Posted at 7:52PM on Sep 20th 2007 by Andy

6. "The battle system relies on a one-button system which allows you to pull off chains of moves via pre-battle menu setup."

Sounds kinda boring and repetitive. Guess I'll skip this game.

Posted at 9:44PM on Sep 20th 2007 by SKI

7. WKS is brilliant. Still lots of work to do but the game won't even be out this year.

Posted at 3:37AM on Sep 21st 2007 by Egster

8. @6 its not your fault a lot of people think kingdom hearts sucks ass. Alot of people are following the one button system now a days. so your a multi tap button kind of guy huh. sometimes i hate learning too many button combinations as specially in a single player RPG .the one button kind of keeps the pace going without break so you dont really have to think about the next button combination you need to put in whcih can be frustrating when you have to wait for the opening again.

Posted at 9:27AM on Sep 21st 2007 by MYPS3KilledMy360

9. i luv ^_^ KH and KH2! if you were wondering.

Posted at 9:29AM on Sep 21st 2007 by MYPS3KilledMy360

10. I really hated KH. I tried it at the recommendation of the EBGames staff and I couldn't stand the slow pacing. Don't even get me started on traveling from planet to planet. Jesus if that wasn't a colossal waste of time. However a ton of people loved it so it must have some merit.

Posted at 9:53AM on Sep 21st 2007 by Popfrogs

11. @6
You know, Dark Cloud 2 and Rouge Galaxy both used one button and they worked fine. In fact, FFXII utilized a no-button setup.

Posted at 7:59PM on Sep 24th 2007 by Kattleox

12. Yay, another game where I get to mash triangle for 37 hours.

Posted at 10:29PM on Oct 2nd 2007 by Tom

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