There’s a chance you’re already familiar with the name The Witch and the Hundred Knight –while it’s not a brand new release in its own right, the Revival Edition is a passable remake of a previous gen release, with added glitz and glamour and a couple of well-rounded new features thrown in as well.
Your weapon choices are varied and because you can equip any combination of up to five at a time to create lethal combos, your options are almost endless. Indeed, we found it was quite possible with the right combination of higher-level items to decimate pretty much everything in our path – including the boss encounters.
The dodge function works well, and the ability to employ the use of various helpers called ‘Tochka’ means you can make good use of all areas of the various maps, and offers more exploration possibilities as you progress. These maps are relatively easy to traverse, with numerous checkpoints in the form of pillars that you need to attack to make them bloom, and each is scattered with a decent variety of enemies. Each area is designed differently and there’s not a great deal of repetition in the environments, which range from lush forests to sparse desert.
Careful exploration of each area is key here, because while Hundred Knight is away from the swamp (and therefore Metallia) he can only carry on as long as his GigaCal counter is not depleted. Once this happens, Hundred Knight will be significantly weakened, with both attack and defence powers being reduced by 30%. This condition will persist until the GigaCals are replenished. There are a few ways to replenish them – you can use consumable items, you can trade grade points obtained through combat to fill the meter slightly, or you can consume your enemies once their HP is low enough. Reducing them to low HP will result in the ‘consume’ action prompt, and using this will result in a ‘Quick Time Eat’ (yes… QTE) screen where bashing the triangle button as quickly as possible will earn you a GigaCal bonus. The whole system can feel a little tiresome after a while and adds a level of frustration you could probably do without.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight, much like many releases by NIS, is quite niche and isn’t going to appeal to everyone
The world around Hundred Knight is full of unique, humorous and sometimes cruel people. Character and world design is very much reminiscent of Disgaea, which may put some people off with its cartoony visuals and often child-like humour. In typical anime style, none of the women are particularly well covered up either, which can be a little irksome (admittedly this is a bug bear of mine in games anyway). The English dub is well done and the voices suit the characters, however there is an option to change to Japanese if it suits you.
The Revival Edition offers a brand new game mode in the form of The Tower of Illusion, where you can offer up weapons to battle floor upon floor of enemies in an effort to obtain powerful new loot. This new area also allows you the opportunity to summon the swamp witch Metallia to fight alongside you. Collecting catalysts in the Tower will also give you the opportunity to use alchemy to improve your weapons. It’s also seen a visual upgrade from the original, and as a result looks much more vibrant and generally nicer.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight, much like many releases by NIS, is quite niche and isn't going to appeal to everyone. However, it is great fun to play, and a challenge if you want to completely master it. The visuals are fun and bright, the character development is brilliantly done and the story is the main focus which is so rare these days it needs commending.
It’s never going to break out of the niche market it appeals to, but it is a genuinely decent game let down only by a couple of convoluted systems that many won’t have the inclination to bother with. If Disgaea and the like appeal to you, then The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition is well worth your time.
Score – 8/10