- Summary: Two powerful witches have been battling one another for over a hundred years. Now, the Swamp Witch has unleashed the legendary Dark Knights, and seeks to destroy the Forest Witch once and for all!
Mar 24, 2014While far from Nippon Ichi's best game, The Witch and the Hundred Knight's interesting interlocking game systems and unconventional, dark narrative make it an enjoyable affair well worth spending some time with, assuming you have the patience to deal with its quirks along the way.
Mar 26, 2014If any one element of The Witch and The Hundred Knight had been truly great, you could look over some of its warts, but without any strong focus its just a bog standard action RPG that's artificially attempted to be made interesting with tons of superfluous gameplay mechanics tacked on.
Mar 25, 2014It always happens that some of the very best titles on a platform are released toward the end of the console's life. They're called anchor titles, named so because they make it seem unnecessary- for a time- to pick up a next gen console. The Witch and the Hundred Knight is one of those anchor releases.
I got the game on the 21st (EU release) and played it day-in day-out until I finished it. I did the grinding for bonus objectives and items and fully explored every map, so this review is based on a complete experience.
Despite its ostensible billing as a darkly twisted comedy, TWHK is actually quite earnestly dark for a JRPG. Metallica, the titular Witch, is a genuinely wicked individual for most of the game (or all of it, depending on your sensibilities), and as the Hundred Knight you'll witness her committing some straight-up deplorable acts. I was delighted that Metallica's evil wasn't the whimsical, inoffensive cartoonish sort, but your mileage may vary so consider yourself forewarned.
The story is quite unconventional, especially by the standards of JRPGs. Metallica's goals- and by extension the goals of the Hundred Knight are very straightforward in the beginning, but just like the various combat and resource systems, the story acquires and incorporates additional layers as you progress. That it manages to do so without falling into Squeenix-patented contrivance and convolution and without messing up the pacing is worthy of some praise.
Speaking of the combat and resource systems, they're introduced at the rate of about one or two per map after the tutorial until they're all in place. If you need to run the tutorial panels again then you can always do so from the main menu, but TWHK's systems interlock so neatly, and are so intuitive, that I very much doubt you'll have to.
The most significant mechanic is Gcals, which is both a resource and combat mechanic. If I have one big criticism of the game, it's that the Gcal mechanic micromanages the player somewhat, and if you don't pick up on this through regular play, the consequences might worsen your experience.
Gcals burn down from 100 to zero as you perform actions with the Hundred Knight. From map start, you have about ten minutes worth of Gcals which can be replenished at checkpoints in return for a temporary currency called GRADE. You earn GRADE by killing regular monsters.
And that is what the micromanagement of you boils down to: TWHK punishes you for bee-lining from way-point to way-point in a race to the map bosses without building GRADE by almost guaranteeing that you'll run into those bosses with too few Gcals left to win. The penalty for death is minor, but it's still an inconvenience, so make sure you nip it in the bud by doing a little fighting all the way.
Luckily, you'll probably want to fight!
In order to do violence to Metallica's enemies, you'll build your own combos from weapons that deal either Slash, Blunt or Magic damage. The aim is for a mix that flows smoothly, suits you personally and mixes all three varieties. If this element has one flaw, it's that you can't save configurations and load them at will. That occasional irritation aside, it's a really great element that I had a lot of fun constantly tinkering with.
The fighting itself is a simple, well trodden concept with solid execution. Dodge, defend and deploy a mixture of attacks and special skills to overcome your enemies. Overhead prompts coincide with enemy wind-ups, but they're neither intrusive nor patronising. Pulling various types of enemies together is incentivised by the soft Gcal time limit and the desire to earn GRADE, and is what ultimately will provide you with the most rewarding battles, as you dodge direct and indirect attacks from all sides while slaying foe after foe.
Finally, on non-visual atmospheric elements like soundtrack and voice-work, I'll admit up-front that I'm not an audiophile, before saying: the music is fun and catchy- some tracks more than others- but for the most part I didn't notice it (although I might have noticed the absence of it, had I turned it off via its separate slider). The English voice-work is incomplete, not covering all the conversations that are voiced in Japanese. For me this was not a problem, as the Japanese voice-work is usually superior and I switched to it immediately after a quick test.
Overall, a mighty anchor title for JRPG fans. If that's what you call yourself, then do yourself a huge favour. Buy this excellent game!
Note: review is *intentionally* bereft of narrative details. Also light on mechanics details, as I only single features out if they are an impediment to the game or like Gcals, require specific addressing. Review is also bereft of commentary on the graphics, as anybody can review TWHK's appearance for themselves on Youtube.… Expand
Apr 3, 2014With highly addictive gameplay, challenging levels and bosses and a dark, twisted storyline, this is, in my opinion, one of the most unique titles in the PS3 library. Its gameplay elements and music remind me a lot of of some classic RPG games for the SNES and Playstation.
This is a unique, unconventional, fun and amazing game. However, there are some cons worth mentioning. I summarize some of its pros and cons below:
Pros: Challenging levels. Interlocking gameplay mechanics that complement each other well. Addictive gameplay. Extremely good music. Unconventional storyline.
Cons: The lengthy tutorial in the beginning doesn't explain well the game mechanics. Maybe this is why the critics are giving it such low ratings. Mainly, you have to either figure out things on your own, or do some research online before you give this game a try, and indeed, this can be frustrating. Also, graphics are a bit outdated and the action is obscured by the scenario sometimes.
However, once you understand how each element works, and how they fit together, you'll realize this is one of the best games in the PS3 library. Worth giving it a try, specially if you like dungeon crawlers.… Expand
Mar 25, 2014Pay no mind to the bad reviews from critics who clearly have no appreciation for great Japanese titles. they are all just mind numbed by the **** 4 hour long, western, one big giant quick time events that we call games over here.
this game has a lavishly beautiful world and equally stunning and sumptuous character designs as is the norm for a NIS title. If you like the Disgaea series you will find everything to love in this game.
Metallica (Metallia in the western release) is an awesome character and a great change of pace from your normal protagonist! plus shes super easy on the eyes if that's you kind of thing (almost as good as Etna/Flonne (disgaea). i found myself stopping to admire the character art so many times during the dialogue scenes in this game!
The combat is hands down the best part of the game and will keep you entertained customizing your combos for the entire length of the game. Its always very fresh.
The music is definitely the music of a NIS title.. and believe me NIS titles have some of THE ABSOLUTE BEST MUSIC IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY.
The story is solid as well, and as a whole Witch and the Hundred Knight is a fantastic entry into the PS3 Catalog of finely crafted Japanese titles!
If you are a fan of JRPGs, Action RPGs, or NIS games in general you need to pick up this title! If you don't Metallica will likely kill you with swamp gas, or her devilishly good looks. Both of which are a distinct possibility.… Expand
Mar 26, 2014"Metallia is so immediately distasteful that most players will be turned off in the first hour" REALLY! You are going to rate this game so badly because you don't like character that is supposed to be the mean person? I would expect this from a YouTube commenter but not from a serious game critic! This game is very good, its not the best but its good. I feel like this game would have been better if it were on the Ps4 (or even the Vita) but most games, especially these lesser known gems, tend to go unnoticed when they are released at the end of a consoles life.… Expand
Mar 27, 2014No one but a Nippon Ichi fanchild could possibly enjoy this game. The gameplay is repetitive and linear, the characters are completely vapid, and the story is childish beyond belief. The non-cutscene art is even bland and ugly. Seriously, save yourself some time and money and skip this garbage. Even if you like JRPGs, you should think long and hard before you dive into this mess.
The music is decent, I'll give it that.… Expand
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