Thursday, December 18, 2008

White Knight Chronicles Doesn't Go Over Well with Famitsu - 29/40

Famitsu's reviews generally don't sit well with me; it has long been speculated that reviews in Famitsu are easily bought with advertising money. Final Fantasy XII comes to mind....

Anyway, it surprised me to find out today that the Playstation 3's Great White Hope, "White Knight Chronicles" was flunked by Famitsu in their latest issue.

White Knight Chronicles: 7/7/8/7
--lots of optional content
--big boss battles
--simplistic combat
--customizable combos
--is basically like every other Level 5 RPG. Sadness befalls the land.
--Online has chat issues and a reviewer "hopes it will be patched in the future"


Now, let's pretend for just a split-second that Famitsu does post honest, critical reviews...it's still a wonder that they'd score the game so low. Being a magazine that caters to Japanese tastes, they must know what makes a good Japanese RPG and what doesn't. Reading the Western press to figure out what makes a good JRPG is generally a bad idea, since they're really more into games that are essentially big open-ended gameplay sandboxes (and where the story essentially boils down to "Here's a big sword, now go destroy evil!"). So regardless of what you think of the legitimacy of Famitsu's reviews, they're pretty much the only media authority that you can somewhat trust for understanding what makes a good JRPG. Don't go bringing in a review score of a western-inclined site to a discussion about Japanese RPGs because the truth is, they just don't get it. Famitsu reviews are bought and paid for....BUT, they get exactly how a Japanese RPG should work.

So I guess it works in reverse for me. For Western sites, you generally add a point or two to figure out what a game is really worth. For Japanese mags like Famitsu, you have to subtract a point or two.

That just makes it worse for White Knight Chronicles. I bet gaming forums everywhere are already burning with even more Internet rage than they used to, because WKC was supposed to be the game that was going to make the long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long,long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long,....long wait for Final Fantasy XIII all the more bearable.

I guess some people will just have to keep on waiting. Meanwhile, let me load up Tales of Vesperia.....

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