Price: currently £34,99
The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a JRPG game from the creators of Disgaea, Phantom Brave and Makai Kingdom. Nisa this time gives us a game with demon like story with far darker humour wrapped up with the familiar art and music we are accustomed to in a 3D model form.
Firstly we aren't tied to tactical movement, you can roam freely in a real time area and fight whatever fiends you come across you are given an assortment of weapons to use and experiment with to create different combos: sword, spear, lance, staff, and hammer. Each with a different Slash or Blunt quality, they can also inflict different status ailments like poison. Also with the ability to equip five weapons at the same time you can find the best combo to have the highest chain to beat downs to your enemies and trust me this is really important.
When roaming the maps and fulfilling quests you can often die and then lose all your possessions you have collected and item bonuses. The bonus system differs quite a bit from Disgaea, you can gain bonuses from fighting or opening chests and lose them from dying. Not something I likes brought back nasty memories of Phantasy Star online of losing my booty and then being robbed by other online players. This raises another question why not have an online co-op mode?
In the game it's good to collect Tochkas which are special skills - obtained either from chests or at certain moments in the story, and include abilities such as laying down a timed bomb, or kill enemies who are low in health, etc. In the beginning you are guided through the basics of the game in the tutorial which explains R1 lock's on targets, letting them focus on whatever they are looking at.
Actions made by the character like walking or fighting affects the GigaCals aka your energy. Your hungry so feed the Knight with an item that affects it or by returning to base or else game over your attack and defense drop and you eventually pass out, lose your possessions and have to travel back tot he last pillar you activated.
This is what frustrated me about the game I could hardly enjoy grinding as one does in RPG's when I'm constantly worrying about the status bar, it doesn't even stop drainign when the ga,e takes control over the character. Overall, the combat was fun and you button bash thropugh the fights and run when appropriate. Customising was my favourite part, dressing up the knight.
You can pretty much complete maps without using the pillars but the game forgets to mention that by doing so you lose out on all of your earned XP and items in your stomach if you decide to do this, and does it without any kind of warning. The stomach feature was a little confusing, you can use items stored in there, but you couldn't put items in unless you found them on the map so I couldn't really do much for healing in boss battles when running in circles flailing.
The story starts out interesting you play as the minion of super pissed off swamp witch Metallia, she forges a contract with an unlikely hero who she names "Hundred Knight" to help her spread her swamp throughout all of Medea. As the Hundred Knight, your mission is to do whatever your master, the Swamp Witch, commands. Explore the world, destroy Pillars built to prevent her swamp from spreading, and wreak indiscriminate havoc on town, raid and loot to your advantage. However, in the back of your inhuman mind, you begin to wonder... What prevents Metallia from leaving the swamp? Why do the other witches shun her, and how can she survive in a swamp that is notorious for how poisonous its fumes are? Is Metallia really a witch to respect, or something far more deadlier?
We are given so may characters, we hardly have an time to connect with them. It's a shame as I was looking forward to getting to know the characters from the beautiful designs by Takehito Harada in the the art book. The not so glamorous butler Arlecchino, is a magical being who has faithfully served Metallia for well over 100 years he does not get enough air time deispite being quite humourous in the mostly crude conversation. Sadly this is a solo player game.
The maps vary from large and expansive with an atmosphere and lots of treasure laid out and some are tedious labyrinths with barely any monsters around. If it wasn't for the music by Tenpei Sato I'd be banging my head on the table from annoyance.
Metallia has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as I love the witty and risque conversations in previous Disgaea games Metallia likes to take things a bit too far. I wouldn't recommend this game to under 16 years olds, too much inappropriate swearing and even I was suprised about the random spurts of violence. Considering the same team made Disgaea, they made us care about evil characters in this game we feel more like 'well that served that jerk right.'
The Witch and the Hundred Knight decides to focus more on 3D model graphics than character development. A new battle system is introduced and hoepfully never again into the Disgaea series. The 3D models felt that of a PS2 game so I would have prefered the 2D sprites, they still hold charm! You can get about 30 hours of game play plus you can always turn the notch up on difficulty to keep yourself challenged. Despite the not so great 3D models the environments, were engulfing really dark forests creating that outer world atmosphere like that of Jade Cacoon. I would rate this game 7/10. Most people will appreciate the character deisgns, music and voice acting as much as I did.
Click on the photo to see other photos in the gallery.