The Witch and the Hundred Knight, as I remember it on PS3, is vile, vulgar and offensive – and I remember enjoying it a whole lot. I never played much of it originally, so it’s arrival on PS4 was my time to properly get into it.
There’s very little to differentiate to two other than graphical improvements and it now runs at 60fps, both of which are noticeable especially with items such as lamps and lanterns now actually emitting light rather than being there solely for decorative purposes like on PS3, but you can also play as swamp witch Metallia too! She’s solely playable in the new Tower of Illusion which allows you to offer up your weapons to defeat powerful foes whose strength is determined by the weapon you sacrifice, and the more powerful they are, the better the loot you get! The additions may not pull people back in for a second time round, but they make for a definitive version otherwise and with such lovely visuals which create a storybook-like fantasy feel, you’ll want to see it at its best.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a top-down (what an odd phrase, when you think about it) action RPG where you control the adorable little Hundred Knight, a creature with spectacular power who has to fill a contract with cruel and vulgar swamp witch Metallia who’s planning to spread her swamp to the rest of the world. Once Hundred Knight has achieved this task, he’ll be free again! However, Metallia only has 100 days to live so he better get a move on. There are plenty of twists and turns in the story, many of which I did not see coming, and there’s a great balance between the abundance of dialogue and gameplay that makes it feel that neither aspect bogs you down too much. There’s plenty of beeped out swearing, implied moments and other things which could unsettle some but overall it created a fun experience which has a lot more depth than I initially thought it would.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight, being an ARPG, means you’ll be mashing square a lot to inflict damage with your various weapons – you can equip 5 at a time with each one appearing one after the other until the combo is complete, and different weapons will deal more damage to certain enemies. You can equip several sets of weapons that you can change in battle, too. Attacking, sprinting and other things use up gigacals and you need to eat food or consume enemies once they’re weak to replenish them otherwise you become far weaker – it’s always good to return to based when you open a new pillar as you can spawn back on it. You can use cross to dodge (dodging as soon as their attack is about to land slows down time) or sprint, triangle to do a stronger attack if you have the AP, guard with L1 and lock-on with R1 whilst using the right stick to change target, and these make up your principal options during a battle and what you’ll become wholly familiar with over the course of the game.
There is a special attack by the name of chaos revelation and considering that the game can become rather difficult, you’ll want to utilise these in boss battles, along with facet changes which changes your form and stats that makes some forms more fitting for certain situations. There are also ‘tochka’ items which range from bombs to traps, and you unlock more as you progress and need some to access certain areas. You can use items when on the field to replenish health amongst other things, and you’ll unlock checkpoints along the way to return to base and you can then later pick up where you left off. There are multiple endings to the game including a true ending, so keep an eye out when you get to the later chapters of the game!
I adore the visuals for The Witch and the Hundred Knight. It captures a storybook-like gothic feel which I love and it’s slightly reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the forest levels from Tombi! 2 (maybe even Shrek’s swamp!). I’m a big fan of the looks, character and enemy design and although it can be a shade darker than you’d originally have expected the game to be, it really does feel like a twisted child’s storybook come to life. The visuals might not be wholly impressive from what you’d expect on PS4, but the art design, 2D portraits and appealing 3D models make for a great experience.
The English dub is fantastic and hilarious. Sarah Williams gives an energetic performance for Metallia which I found both funny and shocking at times, and it’s clear she had plenty of fun with it! Other voice talent includes the lovely Cristina Vee, Erica Mendez and Christine Marie Cabanos, all of who give life to their respective characters brilliantly and it goes to show that, once again, NIS America are great at casting people for their English dubs and certainly deliver some of the best and most memorable performances around. The OST perfectly compliments the storybook-feel of the game with plenty of orchestral, soft and lingering themes accompanying you on your journey, reflecting the world around you as if the art team and composers were brought together with the knowledge that they could work off of each other with little trouble.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight may not have completely engrossed me in its gameplay despite nothing being inherently wrong with the controls but its story, world, art and audio are superb, and it makes the game an easy recommendation especially as it’s already priced at lower than the usual RRP and I’m sure many missed it when it originally released on PS3. If you’re interested in any of the above the visuals of the game then I recommend giving it a try, and please remember that to use items you have to press the left side of the touch pad as I found this out much later than I’m ashamed to admit, and it’s vital to your survival!