At the same time of Sony's second press conference during Tokyo Game Show, I attended a White Knight Chronicles presentation about the online modes in the upcoming Level 5 RPG.
White Knight Chronicles has already been released in Japan, but it has been enhanced for its release over here and Europe. One big addition to the US version? Voice chat. It's amazing to think this wasn't in the original release of the game, but apparently it will be added to the Japanese version via patch at a later date. It will be on the disc for us, however.
White Knight Chronicles will also have the live talk feature pioneered in Rogue Galaxy, which simulates conversation between the characters on the screen as players move through the environment, and this should come in a patch for Japan, too. The North American and European versions will also include downloadable content that's been released in Japan on the disc.
In order to unlock the online modes, you must play through the first chapter of the game.
GeoNet is a dedciated social networking service for White Knight Chronicles players. Each user is assigned a specific home page to track their statistics while playing the game. The profile includes blogs, message boards, messages, friends lists and more. GeoNet isn't a separate menu on the title screen, either; it can be accessed at anytime during the story mode by hitting pause.
Georama is something completely different, as it gives players the opportunity to customize their own town in White Knight Chronicles. Your town can also serve as a lobby for your friends before jumping into the game and is populated by characters met in the story mode. Each character has different jobs and skill levels, which actually affect your own Georama attributes. Players have three options for customizing the theme of the town and there are variations on each major town theme. Players can place everything from trees and grass to houses and water fountains to elevated geometry with stairs. Even further customization is possible by creating your own pixel art to adorn the environment.
Though up to 12 players are able to enter a single Georama at once, only four can embark on a quest together. The nice part is that you can request to leave for a specific subquest and if you don't have a full set of friends, the game can automatically match you up with random gamers and Level 5 has implemented the ability for North American and European gamers to play together. At this time, there are no plans to let you play with Japanese gamers.