The Witch And The Hundred Knight is an action role-playing game exclusively for the PlayStation 3, developed and published by NIS (Nippon Ichi Software). Originally released on July 25, 2013 in Japan, The Witch and the Hundred Knight saw its release in Europe on March 21, 2014 and in North America on March 25, 2014. At first glance The Witch and the Hundred Knight comes off as a generic Japanese developed RPG, but upon further review The Witch and the Hundred Knight does try to separate itself from that argument, though it’s not always successful.
The story of The Witch and the Hundred Knight focuses around the Swamp Witch Metallia (or Lia as she is often referred to) and the Hundred Knight. Metallia summons the Hundred Knight as her new familiar in order to spread the Swamp across the world. Metallia is a loner witch as she is not able to leave the swamp without the fear of her death, but a vision of her demise in 100 days has ended her permanent residence at the swamp bringing her to the outside world. Although as you progress through the game it seems that Metallia’s true intentions are only to be recognized by the rest of the witches as a Great Witch. Your character Hundred Knight is a legendary demon who is summoned by Metallia on a contract and will only be able to go back to where he came after Metallia’s wishes are complete. Throughout the early stages of the game the main cast is assembled: Visco, the cursed princess, Arlecchino, Metallia’s butler and servant, Lucchini, Metallia’s apprentice, and Mani, the swamp fairy. To spread the swamp you must activate pillars: The Pillars of Nonsense which are the smaller pillars that are used as checkpoints can be activated after hitting them with your weapon a few times and The Pillars of Temperance can only be activated after defeating a protector of the pillar.
Visually The Witch and the Hundred Knight come off both pretty and ugly at the same time if the you can believe that. Certain levels such as ChocolattaPalace, Elusive Realm, and Cicite Reverse come off very eye pleasing while locations as Old City Ruins and Castle Courtyard just come off all dull. The colors are what really set the levels apart from each other and make everything fresh instead of just rehashed copies. Character models are the same way, while the Hundred Knight and enemies are decent for the most part, when compared to the human based characters that’s when The Witch and the Hundred Knight look like they came straight out of a PS2. With this being the end of console generation you have to wonder why the models look so bad. The camera is also a big negative for me, The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a top down game which when done right can be something very nice but alas the game doesn’t execute it well and the camera becomes one of the biggest hindrances in the game. During combat for example, the camera seems to have a knack for finding the most obscure position where your blocked by a wall or just another abstract part in the game in which you can’t see anything you’re doing trying to find a better position while keeping a distance from enemies to prevent your death that happens all to often.
Combat is basically hack and slash with some tactical elements to try to keep players on their feet. You have three different types of weapons Magic, Slash, and Blunt. You have five weapon slots that can be used to create a chain attack depending on how you set up your combination though it is often more of a tedious hassle than fun being you must switch them so often. The Hundred Knight can explore but he has to return to Metallia’s swamp before his timer reaches zero to restore it. This is another area where it could have been done better. Early in the game Metallia tells Hundred Knight about GCal and if he is out longer than the timer has he will lose health and eventually die if he doesn’t return to the swamp. Now, you can gain more GCal by using items found searching through different areas in the game such as cookies and 100 day rolls or when you first find a Pillar of Nonsense to distribute points, but this is only temporary if you return to base you will lose the points and go back to the default attributes you had before distributing them. Your weapons also gain experience as you use them and each weapon has different titles Common, Rare, Epic, and Legendary which allow weapons to level up higher than others. You also have an AP meter, when filled gives you a special that increases your Attack and Defense which is very helpful against bosses but be wary in just randomly using it because it does increase the speed of your timer.
Level design is perhaps the biggest negative to The Witch and the Hundred Knight. Early in the game it is not as big as when you get to later parts of the game making wall hugging a huge annoyance but massively necessary if you wish to progress. There were many times where I couldn’t find where I needed to go without wall hugging. It brings out a level of frustration that makes playing The Witch and the Hundred Knight incredibly tedious and completely takes you out of the experience truly making you just wanting to end your time with it. Exploration isn’t needed but does help you come across different items and secrets that can facilitate the progression going through the story but rarely that makes it any easier.
In terms of sound, The Witch and the Hundred Knight does not help itself either. Outside of Metallia and a few other characters, the voice acting of the game is awful. The dialogue of the game is just so generic that it does not pull you into it at all and for the most part you just want to skip it and get to the game. Vulgarity is also a big part of The Witch and the Hundred Knight which just makes it seem like a poorly executed anime, and it seems as though they just threw profanity in because they didn’t know what to say or to get some cheap laughs further demonstrating its immaturity. Not saying that profanity can’t be funny when done right but The Witch and the Hundred Knight just doesn’t pull it off and really suffers for it. The music for The Witch and the Hundred Knight is completely forgettable and nothing you really focus on. While most of the game has voice dialogue there are parts where you have just text dialogue and not just in small chunks but long conversations that again take you out of the experience and makes the game just that more forgettable.
Overall, The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a fairly mediocre game that falls into an all to familiar trap of not really knowing what it wants to be. There is fun to have in the game if you can get past through all the generic dialogue, tediousness of the mechanics, and a few poorly designed levels. The Witch and the Hundred Knight is not a game I could recommend to just go out and buy, but if you do happen to get your chance on, it does have its enjoyable moments that do help you get through all the negatives that the game has.
PS3 Review Copy of The Witch And The Hundred Knight Was Provided By NIS America. The Witch and the Hundred Knight is available now.