The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition ReviewAmy Hazel
There are those that grow up with a gift for magic; usually gifted with a strain of magic so powerful that without a careful guided hand they may never truly achieve their full potential. It is then that these apprentice witches seek out a Great Witch where they will dedicate their lives to study for a number of years before they can then be affirmed as a true witch of their own. However, not all witches choose to walk this path. There are those who are simply born a Great Witch whether officially recognized or not. The Great Swamp Witch Metallia is one such example of this rare breed.
Metallia is rather young, as witches go, having only walked the world for around 100 years and yet her power is incredible. Unfortunately, and this is no secret to her, she only has but a limited number of days before her life force is snuffed out for good. Metallias dream and goal is to see the world or rather, control it! However, to make this slightly more difficult is the fact that Metallia can only tread on areas covered in her beloved swamp. It is then that she schemes the plan to make one of the most legendary creatures in witch lore become her personal familiar: the Hundred Knight. It is said that the Hundred Knight is a fierce deity with the strength and power of one hundred soldiers and fighters well, this should make accomplishing her dream easier, right?
The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition is a top down combat JRPG with visual novel-esque cutscenes that move the story along. The Revival part points out the fact that this is something of a remastered PS4 edition of the original PS3 version which released back in 2013. Players control the familiar Hundred Knight ordered around and guided by Metallia. Its main mission being to travel the world seeking out Pillars of Temperance which, once destroyed and made to bloom, flourish and transform the land into something reminiscent of the swamplands Metallia holds so dear. This allows Metallia to travel the world, viewing the sights, gaining additional power and otherwise completely destroying all those who she deems enemies.
The game itself is broken down into 13 chapters with each chapter focusing on a different NPC character which may prove to be an ally of sorts or an enemy which must be reckoned with. Each small story arc aids in progressing the story along nicely as well as gaining insight into the various characters and personalities found throughout. It also grants the oftentimes rare opportunity at playing from the villains perspective where numerous actions involved in the story and decisions made feel oh so wrong, yet are oh so right!
While there are certainly enough story cutscenes to go around (all of which can either be read at a normal pace, fast forwarded through, or skipped entirely a rather nice feature for those who would rather get back to the action faster), it is the action and combat portions of the game that truly makes up its heart. Players control the Hundred Knight through a medley of colorful locations seen from a top down perspective beautiful sunlit forests brimming with life, quaint little towns, castles made from a Valentines Day dream, windy canyon paths, dimension altering caves and even decaying mountain treks. While there is certainly a similar feel and grind to each location, it does a fairly good job in at least making the environments interesting enough to explore and spend time leveling up in. While the environment hopes to truly immerse the player into the game (and it does to some extent) it can get obnoxious at times as Hundred Knight runs under a tree and all visibility disappears; so forewarning, get used to working the camera joystick fairly often or simply swinging blinding in case something attempts to chew Hundred Knights face off while out of sight!
So now that the scene is set, lets get into the actual combat of this title. As stated earlier, this is a top down dungeon crawler where various enemies will be stationed throughout the map waiting to ambush and be slaughtered by the Hundred Knight. In additional to larger boss creatures, usually the pillars guardians of each area, there are regular trash mobs to kill. These enemies usually can be found in small groups but also individually; some remain stationary until approached while others will have a limited area in which they roam. Enemies also respawn on their own after a short while which aids nicely when attempting to grind some levels and grind levels you will be doing! Hundred Knight has 6 facets or forms, each of which can reach level 99; however, only one main facet (which gains 100% xp) and two sub facets (which gain about 30% xp) can be equipped at a time. These facets each have their own unique skills, perks and weapon prowess stats so equipping the right ones for the correct situation can make all the difference!
So we have story and combat, but what is any kind of RPG without weapons and gear? Hundred Knight can be equipped with three different gear sets each made up of 5 weapons that can be strung together to make devastating combos. Of course there are various weapon types that each have a special attack rate and type (slashing/magic/blunt/etc) which will prove either quite useful or less than effective against certain enemies. Up to 4 additional accessories can also be equipped to help raise the Hundred Knights defenses and resistances. Additionally, each weapon and accessory has a rarity and the higher the rarity the more the weapon or accessory can be upgraded. There are also some specialized abilities that can be used called Tochka which vary from projectile attacks to bombs to small creatures that help fight or distract enemies.
It probably sounds like a lot is going on (and it is) but it is nothing that cant be mastered with a little bit of practice and there is plenty of that to be found! To make things a little bit more interesting, Hundred Knight has something called Gigacals which are pretty much the main resource that Hundred Knight uses to explore unknown territory, regain hp, use abilities, dodge, block and use special modes and attacks. Each area starts with 100% and it then decreases as Hundred Knight goes about the level. Should the Gigacals run out, Hundred Knight will start having some issues: HP will decrease, attacks will do less damage, all special abilities cannot be used and should HP run out completely there is no reviving. Luckily there are methods to replenish Gigacals but it is always a timer that players must keep careful stock of. Lastly, the no reviving part mentioned doesnt mean complete game over; but seeing as Hundred Knight does not level up, obtain any items/weapons collected or have the ability to save until a level is left either via completion or manual warp back to base, it can be quite the devastating loss depending on the area and progress made.
On a different note, aesthetically the game is quite enchanting albeit simple. With the Revival Edition also granting a nice graphical overhaul, the art style can only be described as vibrant, magical and dark with a very fairy tale feel to it. The character design is also unique and varied and yet never feels out of place with the theme. Probably one of my favorite aspects of this game is its soundtrack. The overall atmosphere of the game is perfectly brought out by the numerous instrumental and vocal tracks found throughout. Each track helps bring out the emotions coming through the scene regardless if it is mysterious, dangerous, tragic or simply whimsical it is truly a highlight and joy to listen to.
While this game has quite a lot to offer both in overall experience as well as gameplay time and value, keep in mind it certainly is not for everyone. You will be grinding out a lot of levels (regardless if you plan to hit the 99 cap or not) simply to keep up with the difficulty of enemies and bosses especially towards the end. Additionally, you will be getting bossed around constantly by a bratty, selfish and oftentimes snarky witch that uses plenty of colorful choice words. The game has quite a bit of content from the main story, multiple endings, level grinding, equipment upgrading and additional levels such as the Tower of Illusion. The challenge creep of being properly geared and leveled to handle new areas as well as learning enemy weakness all while keeping a watchful gaze on the Gigacals makes for a fun overall experience that adds a unique perspective to the genre.
Personally, I was happily surprised by how easily The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition pulled me into its grasp. Even after all the hours I have put into this game over a short amount of time, I am still excited to go back and continue working towards that platinum trophy!
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
Just a happy-go-lucky girl working in the gaming industry and spending nearly all her spare time writing, recording music, working on cosplay, watching anime and horror movies, and trying not to obsess over getting that 100% completion rating on every game she touches.
About the Author: Amy Hazel
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