Friday, March 22, 2013

Failure to Launch Title: White Knight Chronicles

Level 5's White Knight Chronicles is certainly a game. There is no denying that. It has all the trappings of electronic entertainment. You place a disc in a slick black machine and its data is transmitted onto a television screen by means of either lasers or magic wrought from ancient tomes unearthed years prior by the Arcaneologists under Sony's employ. I was never very clear on the details. Whatever the means of conveyance, soon this information is in your eyeballs, where you might desire it to be.

White Knight Chronicles was intended to be a launch title for the PS3, and one that caught quite a bit of attention as a reason to buy the console. It looked like nothing anybody had seen before. Rapid, intense combat in sprawling environments against giant beasts where you could transform on the fly into a giant robot of some kind. When the PS3 was first unveiled to the masses, that kind of dynamic action in an RPG wasn't something we had really ever seen before. The graphics were stunning, the combat looked intriguing, and the hook - being able to become a sleek, enormous suit of animated armor - had people scrounging the depths of the internet for more news on when to expect this sure-to-be-classic to drop.

So when the PS3 finally came out sans knights of any hue, it was an ominous sign about the future of Level 5's bouncing baby boy. In fact, it was another year after the PS3 release before we even saw a playable demo. If you are reading this from the dimension in which the Backlog normally derives its readers, you know that White Knight Chronicles did not exactly live up to its hype. For those of you viewing our blog from across the constraints of time and space, I apologize. You should still buy a PS3; eventually Level 5 makes a game with Studio Ghibli and it's awesome.

"Also, blowjobs aren't that great." - GameInformer

So this post is going to be about how playing White Knight Chronicles made me put it's sequel on the backlog almost immediately. I gave it a good try, a few solid attempts at putting time into it, but the much-hyped and now much-maligned failure-to-launch title just burned me out, and I really don't know when I'll make an attempt at going back. Let's take a look at just what makes a game that by all means should have been a Charlotte Bronte instead will be remembered as a mere Anne.