+Insanely fun hack’n’slash mechanics in late game progres
+Creative Character Designs
+Level designs are beautifully artistic and lively
+Use of item pick-ups is unique and different
+Weapon attack rotation system is deeply intuitive and will require some thought
+Tower of Illusions adds an immense amount of gameplay
-Cussing.. Sooo much cussing that it seems to be there just to be there.
-Maps could use a bit of redesigning as many of them seem rather.. The same.
-Major plot holes that just never quite get filled in
Originally released on PlayStation 3, The Witch and the Hundred Knight hit the shelves just a mere two years ago, and gained a decent amount of fans who wanted something new. Like any Nippon Ichi Software game, The Witch and the Hundred Knight has their unique touch of using anime like graphics, and anime-like graphic novel story telling. This time around the game has been launched for the PlayStation 4 with upgraded graphics and framerates, but with only one minor addition – Tower of Illusions that adds around 100 floors for fans to smash through with some difficulty later on.
When playing a game that has been remastered, many of us expect to see a game that has been heavily upgraded. To see a game that has new mechanics, new graphics, more content, and all the bugs and kinks fixed by the time it launches. Issue here? The remastered version, rather the Revival Edition doesn’t see many upgrades, if any at all. Instead it’s rather hard to see where the game has been remastered at all besides frame rate and slight changes to the graphics where rough edges have been decently smoothed out. Besides that frame rate drops intermittently happened when combat became graphically intensive for the games engine, but even caused the PlayStation 4 to significantly warm up, something we’ve not encountered outside of graphically far-more intensive games such as Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and even Bethesda Zenimax’s Fallout 4.
While The Witch and the Hundred Knight seems to attempt improving upon itself the game is still rather fundamentally flawed in every aspect that was wrong with the initial launch. While the story can be said to be original, creative, and or like an anime, I’d have to disagree at almost every statement to the fact. While it is rather entertaining for around the first six hours, I found myself bored by the three hour mark due to repetitious combat, the overly absurd amount of cussing that comes out of Metallia’s mouth (Metallica in Japan). While the unprecedented use of foul language can be amusing to some, to players like myself, it was a quick turn off, and one that made me want to skip every cutscene possible, but for the sake of the review I didn’t. Fans of JRPG’s such as myself should be used to something that attempts to push the boundaries, in this case, it was a little too much, but nothing near as bad as the massive amount of plot holes, unexplained events, and poor character development that happens. When it comes down to it, Metallia’s reasoning behind summoning our poor character “The Hundred Knight” is to bring revenge upon those who wronged her, without knowing who they are, we assume they’ve wronged her horribly. The first victim was quite easily one that was understandable to not fear, her mother, which she quickly turns into a rabbit, and she lets horny other male rabbits chase her mother off into the woods. Issue here? It was odd, a portion of a story that quite easily made me question the design choice, and even the choice as to what made her hate her mother just this much. Without it being explained, I shrugged my shoulders and continued trucking on to uncover more of the story.
All that I came to really uncover? She summoned the One Hundred Knight in order to expand her swamp due to his power and his strengths in combat. Well also the fact she can’t go where no swamp land is left. With only 100 days to live, 99 if you count out the tutorial, The Witch and the Hundred Knight troubles itself with explaining why Metallia has so little time left. Only assumption we can make is that she is cursed or she screwed herself over completely somehow. While the campaign does have some redeeming factors such as its comedy relief, the title completely breaks the trend we’ve come to know Nippon Ichi Software for, which in ways is a redeeming factor for the title. If they had left the story out? The Witch and the Hundred Knight would be an astonishingly interesting hack-‘n-slash title that wouldn’t need a campaign due to its creative use of combat and puzzles.
When stepping away from the campaign, as stated, the game has many redeeming qualities that to some can be repetitive, but to others will be enjoyable. When looking at the game mechanically, our titular hero in this story – the Hundred Knight- is rather enjoyable. Combat with him is unique as weapons can be assigned in five slots. If players set these up right, his weapons can unleash a devastating combo that can quite easily place enemies out of combat and force them to become Knights food to regain GCals or Gigacals. These Gigacals are essentially Knights way of staying energized for the fight. Starting at 100 they will quickly begin to be consumed as Knight enters combat, explores the map, or even healing over time upon taking damage. While raiding buildings he will even consume his Cals in order to raid buildings where he can find unique items.
Combat in the game can be creative even though it requires constantly smashing on the square button. But it gets harder than just that when players are looking to dodge, block, and isolate enemies in order to weaken them enough to become food. If done wrong? Players will find themselves surrounded by enemies if the enemy isn’t even fast enough or a button order is messed up. The only issue here? It becomes a game of isolate the enemy only to beat them down as quickly as possible. Unfortunately these mechanics are all that makes the game unique outside of the fact you can’t use items found in the field. They must first be extracted from the Knights gut by returning to Metallia’s little home base before they can be equipped or left unused for the time being. Downside of this? It does begin to become a lot of items to sort through rather quickly.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed)
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Cost: 39.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available
The last redeeming factor is what many would know as an Endless Tower. Sitting at around 100 floors, the Tower of Illusions is a place where players can attempt to scale it by completing floor objectives. For a short while this includes quickly dispatching enemies through beating them up. As enemies are defeated and floors are scaled, the game grows increasingly difficult, enough to the extent that the game could quite easily make several players beat their heads into walls in an attempt to try and make the agonizing pain stop as floors become too difficult. If that happens? Go back out to the main area, level up some by completing the story, and revisit the Tower of Illusions to see just how good you can do. While this may seem fun for a short bit, again, it grows repetitive as players will find themselves smashing square while they aren’t fighting through hordes of enemies that they may be unable to beat in the long run.
With all this being said, if you are one for a game filled with plot holes that aren’t quite filled, cut scenes make little to no sense, and constantly smashing square; this is a game for you. If you are one for a deeply intuitive game that requires plenty of thought and understanding for situational awareness? It’s advised to look elsewhere, but for those who love JRPG’s like this? The game is right up your alley and will keep you busy for hours on end as you uncover the lands around you, its secrets, and attempt scaling The Tower of Illusions. Unfortunately? Even then this game could be a bit more troublesome as even that might just get repetitive as well. Though if you are one for a game with a 29.99 USD to a 39.99 USD price tag? This one may just be for you. If you have a PS3 and can find it on sale? That might be the better choice as many of the flaws from its original release remain intact and Tower of Illusions seems to be the only addition worth noting in the scheme of things.
Our review is based on a review copy that was provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.