Released two years ago on one PlayStation 3 walking on the avenue of sunset, The Witch and the Hundred Knight it was a pleasant surprise in the panorama of Japanese-style action RPGs, which arrived in the West thanks to the tireless NIS America.
Today, two years after the original release, the witch of the swamp Metallia is ready to return to PlayStation 4 with the adventure that made her known and appreciated, in a remastered that brings with it some news and some tricks to a system game in need of some small finishing.
What happens in the swamp stays in the swampMetallia is an ambitious witch, ready to take over the world
Metallia she is a powerful witch who has proclaimed herself mistress of the swamp. Irreverent, rude and foul-mouthed, Lia is ready to leave her "prison" with the help of a legendary creature, the minute but incredibly gifted Hundred Knight, a familiar who will serve her without batting an eyelid and lead her to conquer the kingdom of Medea. Unfortunately Metallia will not be able to take action in the first person due to its symbiotic relationship with the swamp in which it lives that does not allow it to leave it. And here we enter the scene, taking on the role of the little black helper who will find and "blossom" the Pillar of Temperance, pillars that enclose the essence of the swamp and that allow Metallia to leave her home and dominate the world, letting everyone know her greatness. On her journey the witch in addition to the help of the Hundred Knight and the thoughtful Harlequin, longtime servant who will do anything to please his whims, Metallia will make the acquaintance of Visco, a girl struck by a terrible curse that has partially transformed her into a dog, who will be looking for a cure for the evil that afflicts her, and the talkative Lucchini, anthropomorphic beast with a passion for astrology and the dream of becoming a witch's apprentice.
Not only friendly figures on the path of Metallia, who will learn firsthand how bad people can be, starting from their own kind, the "colleagues" witches ready to bully and mock others without a real purpose other than personal gratification. Metallia will discover on her skin that The Witch and the Hundred Knight is actually a gloomy world where witches are not frowned upon by the inquisition and the fear of the different hovers heavy among the inhabitants of the kingdom. In fact, these will be the recurring themes of the whole adventure that will unfold within a story that, as per tradition Nippon Ichi (Disgaea above all), manages to alternate reflective moments with others that are decidedly more carefree and light where the protagonists will get lost in conversations that are often too dispersive.
One, none, Hundred KnightCompared to the first release, the equipment management has undergone minor changes
The Witch and The Hundred Knight is a top-down action RPG in which we will find ourselves controlling Metallia's henchman. The strength of the game lies in its combat system which mixes simple hack'n'slash mechanics with more classic RPG elements, creating an immediate and easy-to-learn formula.
Our knight will be able to equip a maximum of 5 different weapons from a wide selection of swords, hammers, magic sticks and spears, allowing us to create the combination that best suits us or useful for certain situations. Each weapon, in addition to the values of the statistics (attack, defense, element, etc.) will have an icon that will determine its use within the combo, with an increasing value from 1 to 5: following this scheme you can get chains ( chain combo) which will amplify the damage dealt.
Compared to the first release, here we already find a small difference, that is the ability to use and manage 3 different sets, which can be changed in real time in the field by pressing the lats L2 / R2. This change substantially changes the approach to the game, not only streamlining and speeding up the change between the various sets, but allowing you to "build" real attack strategies aimed at certain enemies, usually more difficult to knock down, such as bosses at the end of the level, which will oblige to a careful study of the attack patterns, exploiting the weaknesses of their defense to be knocked down more easily.
Hundred Knight will be able to rely on the basic attack through Square, with which he will use the 5 equipped weapons in succession, or, through Triangle, make use of a more powerful blow that will consume a notch of the AP bar. With X he will perform a quick evasive leap, which if executed with the right timing it will trigger a kind of bullet-time (in a very similar way to Bayonetta's Climax) which will make us dodge enemy shots, guaranteeing us a few seconds of invulnerability, useful for counterattacking.
Where there is familiar, there is homeOur every action will be marked by stamina and GigaCals
Each of our actions will be marked by 2 indicators: the first that of bunting, will adjust the number of combos that can be performed in succession or that of dodging (or running in the case of prolonged pressure of X) and once it is drained we will have to wait a few seconds of cooldown to get back into action. The second takes on a more decisive role within the mechanics and will tangibly affect the exploration. There GigaCals it will be a sort of value of the "hunger" of our protagonist who, starting from 100 will slowly go down during the clashes, reducing as we enter the dungeon. This will therefore affect the time spent in the maps, forcing us to restore it at the Pillars that we have unlocked, using special points earned by defeating enemies, using healing items or "eating" enemies (with repercussions on the capacity of the inventory). As long as the GigaCals value is high, this will allow us to return to the field even in the event of a defeat (losing only 1 of the collected items) and to continue the exploration. We will be able to draw from GigaCals by exploiting a “berserk” mode (Chaos Revelation) which will enhance our combat statistics, while significantly consuming our supply, forcing us to resort to this expedient right in the moment of need avoiding unnecessary abuse. When the indicator hits zero, attack and defense will be halved, making us more vulnerable to enemy hits, while if we are defeated we will be forced to leave the dungeon to be returned to the base camp, losing all the loot collected, but keeping the experience gained that will be added allowing us to level up.
About this, the management of character growth will only be possible once the stage is completed, while inside the dungeon we will be able to decide whether to spend Grade Points to temporarily improve all our statistics. Hundred Knight will also be able to equip the Guy, which like real classes will change the attributes of our hero further diversifying our approach to combat. Among those available we will be able to use 3 at the same time, one as main (which will level up normally) and two as "sub" (receiving a smaller amount of experience points), adding together the effects and creating more or less useful solutions. As you may have seen The Witch and The Hundred Knight throws into the cauldron several found in terms of gameplay (we recommend a reading of the Witch Guide Book which illustrates every aspect of the game, often overlooked during the various tutorials) more or less successful. Among these we find the TOCHKA, special objects that will give us unique abilities (obtainable by exploring the dungeons or with the progress of the story) but which, excluding those linked to the story, do not find a real place within the game and end up never being used during the adventure. Even the management of the Karma, a value that influences the relationship between us and the villagers (who will attack us or sell objects at high prices in the presence of off-scale values) is managed in an approximate way and quite an end in itself.
A swipe of the sponge and that's itThe Tower of illusion is one of the biggest additions to the game
This new version subtitled “Reveal Edition" it does not touch any aspect of the plot that remains unchanged from the original edition but, as we have seen, it refreshes some gameplay aspects here and there. Alongside the adventures of Metallia we find the Tower of Illusion, a tower to climb whose plans are procedurally generated sacrificing part of our equipment, which will define the level of the enemies we will encounter in the floors of the tower and the quality of the looting that the enemies will "drop" once they are defeated. Here Metallia and her friends will find themselves dealing with old acquaintances in a sort of reimagining of the witch's adventures who will have to face some of his ghosts from the past again in order to reach the summit. Access to the tower floors will go hand in hand with the story unfolding, making it necessary to complete the main adventure first to fully enjoy the tower. The introduction of the Tower of Illusion immediately brings immediate benefits on the grinding front, practice required in several steps to advance from chapter to chapter. Here, thanks to the massive presence of enemies and a customizable challenge level, it is possible to grow faster and more reasonably, as well as increase the possibility of obtaining new and precious equipment. Another novelty that we find is that of being able to upgrade our inventory, sacrificing an object and a catalyst that merged together will give new characteristics. This alchemical process goes to expand the old improvement system which involved using mana collected in battle and Fool's Rock.
Despite the substantial addition of the Tower, at least on the duration side, those who have already played the adventure on PS3 will hardly be tempted to face it all again, and this is where there is a lack of a cross-save option that would certainly have incentivized some "old" fans to make the generational shift, thanks to a reduced price which stands at 40 euros.
Last but not least, as advertised by the trailers that anticipated the game, the possibility of finally being able to use Metallia. At first glance this appears to be one of the most important introductions, especially in terms of gameplay, but it is necessary to make the appropriate clarifications. Metallia will be usable, but everything will be limited to the Tower of Illusion, where our knight will be able to summon the witch for a short time, who will replace him in the battle. This limitation is partly necessary in order not to unbalance the balance of the original game, which otherwise would have seen a dizzying collapse in the level of challenge to the advantage of the player. In fact, Metallia immediately shows a decidedly high power and a propensity to use magic, with devastating area spells for enemies. Despite all the use of Metallia is an interesting variant that can hint at excellent developments in the perspective of a sequel.
At 1080p, everything is more beautifulOn a technical level, this new version sports the same visual sector seen in the original version
On a technical level, this new version sports the same visual compartment seen in the original version, improved with support for a resolution of 1080p and 60fps, which tend to be constant (every now and then, even in the quietest situations, it is possible to feel a few clicks too many). However, some problems related to the management of the camera, which can be freely controlled, are not corrected, but which in more than one situation cannot manage the play area (in particular in indoor dungeons or forests) where the surrounding elements create dead zones which prevent us from understanding what is happening on the pitch.
Unfortunately, in addition to the higher resolution, which contributes to a better rendering of details, as well as more defined textures, no changes of any kind have been made to the polygonal component, making it even more dated than two years ago.
On the other hand, the good artistic direction, both as regards the illustrations (limited in the number of transitions of the animations) and the sound (perhaps one of the most successful aspects of the whole Nippon Ichi work) compensates for certain shortcomings, approaching conceptually and stylistically to the various chapters of Disgaea, especially in the sonority.
As in the previous release, the game comes to us with double English / Japanese audio, while for the texts English will be the only language available.
✓ Strong and current themes
✓ Several extras than the original
✓ Multi-faceted combat system ... x ... perhaps too many and not very detailed
x Grinding always present
x Tedious camera
x Some superfluous gameplay elements