Title: The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2
Platform: PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software, Sega
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: An empty shell of the original in terms of gameplay but the story is still gripping.
Price: PS4 – £45/$50
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight began back on the PS3 in 2013 with quirky storytelling that focused mostly on comedy, typical of a Nippon Ichi Software title. Later the game was ported to PS4 with several enhancements. Jump to the current day and we have a brand new entry in the series with The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 that follows a whole new cast of characters.
Does it hold up against the original? Let’s find out.
In the world of the witches, Kevala, there are evil beings of tremendous power who everyone fears. The story begins with a kind yet naïve girl named Amalie, in search of her missing sister, Milm. Her younger sister returns, but to everyone’s shock, she is marked by the third eye, an indicator that she is infected by the hexensyndrome, or in simpler terms, witch disease. A year passes and Milm undergoes a surgery. However, the surgery is a failure and she passes away but as the surgeon is prepping her body for her burial, her third eye opens awakening the witch, Chelka in her body.
You play as the adorable Hundred Knight, a doll given to Milm by Amalie as a good luck charm for her surgery but after Chelka awakened, she gave life to the doll. Now, you are tasked to keep the witch Chelka, who is inhabiting Milm’s body, from going haywire, while assisting Amalie in search for the cure.
The gameplay is a top-down isometric hack-and-slash, with loot popping out of your earholes. Beating the holy hell out of a giant thunder snail shell or giving a bunch of hopping demons the old’ slice’n’dice is quite rewarding when they spit out loot boxes containing cookies and magical weeds.
There are five types of weapons; Swords, Hammers, Staffs, Spears, and Lances, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Enemies might be particularly weak to a specific type of attack, so you have to vary up your weapons if you want to make it through the game. One of the more interesting systems is the way that the game lets you equip up to five weapons, each corresponding to one attack in the combo. So this means you can start off with a sword slash, fire off a magic orb, follow up with a lance trust and end with a powerful hammer strike which will leave the enemy forces battered, skewered and toasty. But, the game isn’t all about flailing your weapons around at enemies, you also have an awesome dodge mechanic, similar to Bayonetta’s witch time, which allows you to turn the tide of battle if things get a little hairy.
Unlike most hack-and-slashs you won’t just be paying attention to
your HP, but to your GigaCalories as well. This is a kind of hunger meter, which gets consumed by running, dodging and even standing still. When the gauge drops to zero, your powers will be greatly reduced, and the hundred knight will lose his passive healing ability, forcing you to eat some snacks to recover, although unlike the previous game, this system isn’t as punishing as it was before. Completing a full combo lets you execute the so-called Depletura move which lets you restore some of your GigaCalories and AP. Unlike the consume ability from its predecessor, you no longer fill your stomach with garbage by doing it, so you will rarely run out of GigaCalories except during the lengthy boss battles.
Now, unfortunately, the exploration is a lot weaker compared to the previous entry as the maps procedurally generated,
meaning you could end up with similar maps – unlike the previous game that had handcrafted maps which required some backtracking to open up paths that you need late game skills to open. This strips away the magic of the fairytale-inspired setting as maps begin to look exactly the same without any landmarks to identify them…
Overall, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 is a pretty good game but feels like an empty shell compared to the original. The procedurally generated maps lose a majority of the magic
but luckily the story is gripping and the combat is fun. The three modes for PS4 Pro allow you customise the experience to your liking, whether you prefer frame-rate, graphics or a bit of both, but unfortunately, the game performs poorly on the graphics setting as the frames fluctuate.
If you like
dungeon crawling, hack-and-slash games, I’d highly recommend skipping this and playing the first game as it is cheaper and more rewarding.
- Addictive hack-and-slash combat.
- Likable characters and Nippon Ichi comedic story-telling.
- Beautiful art style.
- Reptitive maps due to procedural generation.
- Empty shell of the original.
- High graphics isn’t worth it…
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 is rated T for Teen by ESRB and PEGI 16. The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 contains animated violence and language not suitable for a younger audience.
This review is based on a digital copy of the game provided by the publishers for the purposes of this review.