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.