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White Knight Chronicles PSP -- First Gameplay Details

First details on the Ren Force forms, PS3 data sharing, and the quest-based story system.

 
How will you take on those giant knights in Dogma Wars? Your Ren Force form appears to be the answer!

The veil has finally come off the PSP entry in the White Knight Chronicles series. Although first revealed months ago (see this report for some early story details), this week's Famitsu delivers our first solid details on the gameplay systems that will feature in Shirokishi Monogatari Episode Portable: Dogma Wars.

Your avatars play the main role in the story Sony has cooking for the new PSP entry, which serves as a prequel to the PS3 titles. Of course, you'll be able to customize your avatar, setting face, hair style, voice and other areas using a precise number-based system. You can also change equipment, with the expected visual alterations.

The basic combat gameplay in Dogma Wars is based off the PlayStation 3 White Knight Chronicles games, but arranged for ease of play on a portable system. Just like in the PS3 version, you combine skills in skill slots, then switch between these slots as you fight. To use your skills, you deplete AP (Action Chips) that you gain as you defeat enemies.

There are some differences for the PSP. When making use of magic, you deplete MP rather than AP. There are some all new gameplay systems as well, but these will be detailed in a future update.

It may be hard to believe, given how packed the PS3 game screen was, but the Dogma Wars battle screen layout looks similar to the PS3 title. Your skill slots are shown at the bottom of the screen. The statuses for the four members of your party are shown in the upper left. There also seems to be a chat system of some form, with messages shown above the skill slot area.

Anvietta (with the long hair) gives you the stone that lets you transform into Ren Force.

As with the PS3 White Knight games, you can "transform" in Dogma Wars. You have a special stone which lets you transform into a form known as "Ren Force." This transformation makes the casting character take on the form that he feels ideal while also gaining "ikki tousen" level power.

The Ren Force is different from the giant knights that you transform into in the PS3 titles (you'll recall that in Dogma Wars, you're actually fighting against those knights). You'll find many different forms. Famitsu introduces the "Brave Form," which is colored red and black. It seems that male and female avatars will have different versions of the forms.

You get the special transformation stone from a mysterious girl named Anvietta during the game's story part. The story progression system in Dogma Wars is quest-based. After clearing a number of "regional quests," which are given to you by a variety of people, you'll encounter an "event quest," which is tied directly into the story.

Outside of the story part, multiplayer seems to be a central area of the Dogma Wars experience. The game will support four player cooperative play. Playing co-op will, of course, make the battles easier, as you have three other players with you. Famitsu also says that there will be some additional merits in the form of the rewards that you get after clearing quests.

The magazine's information box lists both "ad-hoc" and "infrastructure" support for the game. It's unclear if this means that quests can be played through both forms, or if infrastructure is reserved just for downloads.

Finally, some details on the connectivity between Dogma Wars and PS3's White Knight Chronicles 2. If you have your PS3 save file on your Memory Stick, you can import it into Dogma Wars, which will then automatically select parts that will make your portable avatar look similar to the avatar in the PS3 title. There will also be some bonuses for those who use the PS3 title's Georama mode. The connectivity will go the other way too, as by working your way through Dogma Wars, you'll get some exclusive equipment in the PS3 title.

Famitsu lists Dogma Wars with a general 2011 release time frame.

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