The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 – PS4 Review!
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We have another PS4 review for you, this time for The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2!
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 is a sequel to the original of the same name (minus the 2), and has been developed by Nippon Ichi Software, the same developers that brought the world the SRPG known as Disgaea. Also published by Sega, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 takes a lot of what the original did so well and fleshes those mechanics out, all the while creating a new story to focus our time on. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the stories are connected, because even though the lore and the world they share is similar, the story focuses on a new pair of protagonists/antagonists to explore the world with.
From what the game has shown me so far, it does borrow a lot of inspiration from the Disgaea franchise, a decision that works impeccably well for the game’s structure. The characters all have that detailed, anime look to them that make them distinct; all the while keeping their vibrancy. Each character you come across is designed in such a way for you to instantly look at them and know whether they’re good or evil. Every new character you meet is just as memorable as the last, and at times they may even get a bit wacky, such as a Drag Queen Raven, but that’s where part of the charm really shines for this game.
Even the music, humour, and in-game animations prove that Disgaea is a clear inspiration for the game and while you could say that the game is too much like Disgaea at times, it’s hard to agree with that statement. The style itself just works so well that it’s hard to brush off and if Nippon Ichi Software ever decide to make The Witch and the Hundred Knight 3, that style will only proceed to impress more and more.
Now, you could be wondering how this is a sequel, but the stories don’t actually match up? Well, how that one works is that in the previous game you focus on the witch named Metallia. In the original, she summons the Hundred Knight to help her expand her swamp, as she cannot leave it – her one flaw.
In this game, however, you focus on the story of Amalie, Milm, Chelka, and the Hundred Knight, collectively. In this world, children under the age of 10 can contract a disease that provides them with a third eyelid, which upon opening will ‘awaken’ an evil witch inside of them. At the start of the game, Milm is one of those children and eventually awakens to become the witch Chelka, a small but formidable force that feels the need to destroy pretty much everything in her way. Amalie is set to cure/kill Chelka to try and return her sister to the young girl she once was, before Chelka took over her body. At the start there isn’t much revealed to you but the basics, but before too long more and more of the condition and the world is uncovered around these characters lives; all the while the Hundred Knight pretty much does as he’s told.
Moving onto the gameplay, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 did use a lot of the mechanics and tools from the original game, but vastly improved and simplified on almost all of them. The game has you in a somewhat top-down view, similar to a classic action-RPG and by pressing square repeatedly, you will proceed to go through your general combo with whatever weapons you have selected. At any point during the game you can change your equipment between sword, staff, hammer, lance, and spear. This weapon system uses a rock, paper, scissors scenario where everything is strong against something and weak against something else, so you must swap out your equipment when necessary or you can change facet.
In the original game, you would have to switch between weapons sets, but in the sequel, they’ve streamlined it through the facet system. A facet is effectively a different version of the Hundred Knight and has different statistics, such as higher defence or attack; so, for one facet you can have exclusively hammers, and the other could be a mix of sword and spear – all depending on how you like to play. This style seems to work much easier, as you can switch on the fly with just a button push, and it gives you a reason to play with one type of facet over something else.
Levelling up works just like in any-other RPG – when you level up, your stats go up; nothing special there. To improve other than simply levelling up, you can “Kraft” weapons and armour, which basically means you can improve a chosen item. How it works is you pick an item you wish to strengthen, and you sacrifice other weapons to improve the selected one. It’s a very simple mechanic that’s easy to get to grips with and gives you a reason to do a little bit of grinding here and there to ensure your favourite weapon is still up to snuff.
The old “Gcal” system is still in place, where if you move it ticks down like a timer and will refill your health, but at the cost of the Gcal bar. It effectively works like a timer, but it ticks down in such a fair manner that you never truly feel as if it’s a threat to your success. To even make your life easier, there’s a new attack named Depletura and can only be activated after doing five normal attacks, with the last one having to land on a target. After it has landed, a prompt will appear above your head and can be pressed in any direction to suddenly dash, dealing damage to an enemy it may hit. When Depletura kills an enemy, you’ll go through a quick and satisfying animation and will gain back some AP (to use skills), as well as some Gcal. In the original the Gcal system felt as if it was there to hinder you, but it seems this time around it is more of a fair system for the user.
Overall, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 takes a lot of what the original did, while improving on almost every aspect of it. The combat is vastly improved, as it plays much smoother now with less confusion, and at no point do you feel like you’re racing against the clock through the use of the Gcal system. Once again, though the story is excellent and will keep you engaged from beginning to end and every character you meet will be one to remember, especially the Drag Queen Raven, who is simply hilarious.
For anyone looking for a good action-RPG to sink their teeth into or any fan of Nippon Ichi Software and their line of titles, you won’t want to miss out on the addictive The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2.