It’s not very often I find myself looking on at a game’s cutscene and feeling generally confused as to what is unfolding before me. After an intense and somewhat awesome fight with a great and powerful Witch I have just witnessed my master turn this woman into a mouse. Not only that, but she has now summoned some male mice which, and I quote, are horny. As all of them run on into the distance the credits roll and I’m sit confused as to what is going on. Once more, that was only the prologue. Welcome to The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition.
Confused? You should be. The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is a revamped release of the game by the same name from 2014 which released on PlayStation 3. The new version on PlayStation 4 offers the same experience with a few new features and some general improvements. As for the above, well I felt it best to just throw you in the deep in of what is easily one of the most random, yet enjoyable, stories in a game to date. In this action role-playing game your be controlling the legendary Hundred Knight and work for your master the great witch Metallia. Your job is to defeat her rivals, cover the world in swamp mud and generally do her bidding. Now I’ve already summed up what you can expected from the story within the first hour or so but how about we dive deeper.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is played from a top down isometric view which is best explained by comparing it to games such as Diablo. You be running around the world, it’s dungeons and the newly included tower of illusion battling a number of foes and trying to stay alive. One of the main things you will be continuously paying attention to during your playthrough is your Gcals level as this is what keeps you alive. Every second you spent in the field will see this number slowly drop with some actions using this meter to unleash those moves. You’re also able unleash a serious burst of power by burning through these Gcals at a faster rate but this should be saved for boss battles. The only way to keep yourself alive and your Gcals up is to consume enemies or going back to your base. If you hadn’t worked it out by now The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is very much a hardcore dungeon crawler is many respects. Now there is a casual mode and the game is a lot more forgiving than some other games but it is still a nice challenge.
When out in the field you’ll be driving into the bulk of the combat and the game’s story. What is interesting about combat in The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is that you can have three weapon sets active at any time each holding five weapons. You see you don’t have combos in fact combat is just the square button. However the way you order your five weapons can the way your combos play out. For example you may want to have a spear to unleash a wide attack, then a hammer for some brute force. Follow that up with two quick magic attacks and end with a sword slash. Your weapons are a world of options that really open the combat up and allow for a range of strategies. Giving that each enemy type has strengths and weakness it makes sense to have at least one weapon set ready to unleash pure heavy damage and break through their armour. You even have a number of different facets which work like your class, changing your basic starting stats and affecting the way you play.
It is also worth noting that as The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is a dungeon crawler of sorts you’ll need to manage your inventory carefully. The Hundred Knight likes to eat so anything you pick up goes into his stomach and then is removed once you return home to your base. If you eat someone however to stay alive longer your find some rubbish in your stomach which lowers how many good drops you could pick up. Furthermore you can’t manage the items in there unless you have another special item. So think carefully about which loot to pick up and which loot to leave. Likewise, experience points are applied once you return to base as well and your attributes are leveled in the field but reset every time you leave and return.
As a whole the gameplay within The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is somewhat satisfying but does start to become rather repetitive after a few hours. There are only so many times you can lift a rock to a pressure pad or pull a lever to open a door. The same goes for mashing the square button to defeat your enemies and advance forward. Also it is worth noting that the game, even on the PlayStation 4, has a lot of loading screens and some feel a bit longer then they maybe should be. The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition does however look nice and seem to run smoothly even during the most chaotic of moments. From the models of the enemies to the 2D character artwork The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is a polished looking game with a nice visual flare going on.
Take note as well that the game has some seriously good voice acting both in English and Japanese. As a matter of fact it is one of the few times I’ve prefered to play a game with the English voice cast then the Japanese one. The localization is just that good and the actors have done a fantastic job delivering the lines. Though the script can be somewhat over the top at times The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition does offer some rather funny moments. The censoring of some of the swearing however did not make much sense but that does not take away from the game. You should take note though if you’re sensitive to some foul language because Metallia loves to insult people.
So where do I stand with The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition? The trouble is on one hand the game is a lot of fun as you run around dealing out massive amounts of damage and progressing the story. On the other that just is not enough to keep it going for many hours. Sure the included tower of illusion does help add some replay value as this randomly generated challenge offers a good way to grid for epic loot drops but that is about it. The world, characters and humor is all there but the gameplay falls just short of delivering on a memorable experience. A bit more range in the ways of combat besides pressing one or two buttons would of made the experience just that bit better. This is not to say that The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is a bad game it’s just frustrating that it could not be more than what it is.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is fun. If you can overlook the repetitive gameplay and embrace the confusing, yet laugh out loud story then you have a winner. That said however if you’ve already played the PlayStation 3 release of the game then maybe pass on this one. It does not bring enough to the table to earn a second visit but for those jumping into it for the first time it does an okay job and holding you in. As someone who is a big fan of these types of games, I still found it a bit hard to fully enjoy the experience. The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is worth a look, but you might not stay for the whole ride.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight Revival Edition is available now for PlayStation 4.
This review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy of the product provided by the publisher.