FeaturesPlayStation 3Reviews

The Witch and the Hundred Knight Review

0

NIS, or Nippon
Ichi Software, is an interesting company. This is the alternative company you
look to for niche titles when Atlus isn’t doing anything else besides Persona-related games. They have
released a lot of their games over here in the states, and a couple of their
games have fan followings. Like I said however, they are pretty niche titles.
Some people will enjoy the Disgaea’s
high level of difficulty and weird quirky worlds, and some people won’t. I
haven’t played too many of the games released by the company, but one of their
more recent titles has caught my eye, The
Witch and The Hundred Knight
for the PlayStation 3. While an action-oriented
dungeon crawler is nothing new, since we have seen a few of those kinds of
games do well, it is definitely not the normal kind of game the Disgaea creators usually make. For an
attempt at a different genre, this game isn’t that bad. It has some big pros,
but like any game, it has its flaws. Let’s put on our swamp boots and pick up
your +1 fire sword and read on about this little action RPG.

The main story is
about a swamp witch named Metallia, voiced by Sarah Ann Williams. She decides
to make a deal with a spirit that is known to be extremely powerful, with the
ability to shoot fire, have four arms, and command an army of 100 mystical knights.
Unfortunately, this so-called spirit is about knee height and is adorable
looking. She decides to call this little guy Hundred Knight. Metallia tells
you, the person playing as the Hundred Knight, that you must travel across the
land and unleash these powerful artifacts known as pillars to expand her domain
as far as possible. Along the way, you will meet a multitude of characters,
from a witch hunter who got cursed with dog-like features, Metallia’s snarky
and rather sassy butler, to a multitude of other witches that have their own
magical abilities. The game’s story has a mix of light goofy elements and some
rather dark moments. I will talk about the problems of the story later on, but I
will say that I liked a lot of the characters, like Metallia and her butler.
The conversations between those two are funny, and the witch hunter girl is a
pretty fun character also. Overall, the story is solid.

The Witch and the Hundred Knights is a dungeon
crawler, in the same spirit as Diablo
and Deathspank. You play as the
Hundred Knight as you traverse across a multitude of locations and
environments, unleashing smaller pillars, finding loot, and taking down bosses
to unleash the pillars that you need to spread the swampy power of Metallia. Your
main forms of attack are swords, spears, lances, hammers, and magical staffs.
You can equip up to five weapons at once, and can make some pretty devastating
combos depending on how you set up your weapons. Each weapon has a strength and
a weakness, like the lance is a good rush weapon, but isn’t the most accurate,
or how the spear is weak, but you can hit a multitude of enemies at once and also
when they are surrounding you. You can use these little critters called
Tochkas. There are a multitude of Tochka, and they have abilities ranging from
being a timebomb, a trap to seal up weakened enemies, little miniature knights
that help you fight, to decoys, just to name a few. Like in Bayonetta, if you time your dodge
correctly, you can slow down time, and then slaughter your enemies for a few
seconds. All of your attacks, running, and dodging run on a stamina meter that
quickly refills if you don’t do any of those actions I just listed. Now,
instead of being able to freely roam around, you will be under a timer of
sorts.

The timer consumes this energy called giga calories or gcals. While you
are exploring the levels, the timer will go down quickly when you are in new
areas, but will slow down when you walk through areas you have already
explored. There are many ways to keep the gcals up, but they require either
food, using grade points that you can gain from leveling up your weapons, and
eating weakened enemies in a mini-game. Basically, what I would do in each
level is traverse my way to the smaller pillars, unlock them, leave the level,
and then go back to it and grind a little. It’s finicky, but the game makes you
earn your way through the experience since it won’t just give it to you. You
can carry items with you, but items found in the levels from chests or raiding
houses will end up in your characters stomach, which is separate from the items
you carry on your body. You can wear different types of armor that will give
you different traits, like stronger defense and attack stats. You can have one
main armor and three sub-armors. If you are thinking there is going to be only
one ending for this game, you are wrong. There are three endings, and certain
levels will not be unlocked unless you get the bad ending. This is once again a
long RPG, and it will take you about 30 or maybe 40 hours to complete. There is
replay value due to the three endings.

In my opinion, the
best part about this game’s presentation is the art style. It’s colorful,
cartoony, and it has a unique personality. I love the designs of some
characters, like Metallia’s butler and Hundred Knight himself. The 2D artwork
looks great, but the 3D models and environments look like the quality of the 3D
models seen in Diablo 3. It isn’t
bad, but I guess I would think they would have obtained a bigger budget to not
make the animations look slightly stiff, and the 3D models not look like a
PlayStation 3 game that came out in 2006. The voice work is okay. The voice
actors do a good job, but it isn’t anything award winning, though, some of the
more childlike and small creature characters have annoying voices. Music is
hit-or-miss. I liked a lot of the tunes I heard, but some were forgettable or
annoying. The game’s composer is Tenpei Sato, who does the music for series
like Disgaea and Phantom Brave. One of his more memorable works for me is with the
PlayStation One cult classic, Rhapsody: A
Musical Adventure
. It’s a solid package, but the game won’t win any
graphics or musical awards.

Unfortunately,
this charming dungeon crawler has some issues. Even though I don’t mind dark or
goofy humor, sometimes, it doesn’t mix with this game. Some dark humor used in
the game is a little too dark, and it feel out of place. I think this game
would have been so much better if it was all a humorous story and not have so
many grim moments. I also hate the giga calories timer. I don’t know why
developers think we need pointless timers. They are only there to try and add
something serious to the overall game, but in the end, become more of an
annoyance and just another thing to worry about, and not in a good way. These
need to stop, since it didn’t work in games like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. I also hate the pacing of
the game in certain areas. Like I said, the most productive way to get through
the levels is to get all the pillars unlocked first, then tackle the enemies,
and grind, and finally, take out the level boss. It’s manageable, but it’s
tedious due to the fact that timer that is going down while you explore the
levels. The pacing for the tutorials and learning new moves is a little
lopsided. You get a lot of information upfront, but then you only get to know
more helpful abilities when the time comes. I wish I could have learned how I
can eat enemies to gain more gcals early on instead of later. I wouldn’t be
bothered by this, but if you pause the game and look at the controls in the
main menu, you find out about these moves, like eating enemies or using your
little minions right on that one menu. Why show those moves when I can’t
perform them yet? Like I said, some of the voice acting and music is annoying
so I won’t go into too much detail there.

Final verdict: A solid dungeon crawler worth checking out!

In the end, this
game will be fated as a hidden gem. If they ever do make a sequel, I hope they
take out that stupid timer, and fix some of the design choices that I mentioned
above. If you see this game for about $20 or $30, I would pick it up. I can
think of better dungeon crawlers that I have played that had a consistent
overall experience like DeathSpank,
but for one of the few unique games from a developer that pretty much only
makes tactical RPGs, I think The Witch
and the Hundred Knight
is a mostly successful experiment. When you can,
find a copy and play it yourself!

No
ChannelImages
7
Our Verdict
The Witch and the Hundred Knight
Colorful graphics, memorable characters, solid gameplay, and some good music tracks.
The mix of goofy and dark themes don’t blend well, screw the giga calories timer, tedious grinding, average 3D models, and some slightly annoying music tracks.
Top

Cameron Ward
Hello Gamnesia! My name is Cameron Ward, but you can call me camseyeview. I have been gaming since the mid 90’s and I still enthusiastically play video games today! I have been writing reviews for about 5 years now and have recently made a website called camseyeview.biz for my reviews and other special feature articles on gaming. I love many varieties of game genres, but I am mostly a Nintendo and Sony fan. However, I do enjoy Microsoft games also. Got a question to ask me? Have a video game to recommend for a game review? An upcoming game or game developer you want me to do a Thoughts On um, on? Ask away!

Refurbished Wii U Deluxe Set with Nintendo Land Only $200

Previous article

Persona 4 Coming to PlayStation 3

Next article

You may also like

Comments

Comments are closed.

More in Features