The Witch and the Hundred Knight is an action RPG title published and released exclusively on the PS3 by NIS America in North America on March 25th of this year. It is a stage based hack and slash game with a top down isometric view similar to games like Diablo.
The player controls a powerful demon/creature named the Hundred Knight which is summoned by the swamp witch Metallia to help her in accomplishing her goal of spreading the swamp to other regions of her world. As the Hundred Knight you must activate Pillars spread throughout the world which also double as warp points between pillars and Metallia’s swamp, where you will be given quests to complete.
As with any video game, this one has both positives and negatives. After playing roughly 20 hours of the storyline, and only progressing through about one-third of the game I will try to give everyone a good rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly up to this point.
From the moment I started the game I was impressed with how easily the game was presented to the player. Controls start off simple (which is a good thing). After a short introduction on how to play the basics of the game, you are allowed to go on several small tutorial quests to get a hang of the combat, controls, and leveling up system. Hacking and slashing is controlled by just two buttons with an action button assigned to pick up or examine items. The D-Pad is used to access your items, map, bonuses, and weapons.
Stages are good sized and well laid out with the difficulty set just right. In game dialog is informative and funny. I found myself chuckling quite a lot with the what was being said by Metallia and the other characters. I found that the writers managed to put in a fair amount of cursing, which is hilariously “bleeped” out. The English translation in the game appears to be done really well as I found no instances of “engrish”. The music in the game is also excellent, and is probably one of my favorite things about this game. Both during regular play and boss battles the mood of the music helps to set the tone of the game. You get a mix of traditional instrumental music and what I can only describe as K-Pop.
Even though the game is fun, I was a little underwhelmed with some parts. Normal graphical gameplay looks slightly fuzzy and seemed almost as if the game developed on standard definition and then ‘up-res’d’ to high definition. While not a huge deal, the game could benefit from better graphical fidelity.
Something that did hinder my play through however was the save system in the game. While map progress is saved on the fly, the game does not permanently save the items you pick up unless you exit the current stage by activating a Pillar. To save your progress completely, you must go back to the swamp, and save there. Time after time I forgot to save as I progressed through a level only to die and lose all my new weapons, power-ups, and bonuses. I screamed more than a few obscenities when this happened for good reasons.
And then there is the dialog. Even though I enjoyed the conversations not all of it was voiced. I really could not tell why the developer decided to use voice overs for some parts and not for others. There is an extreme amount of dialog as well, so much that I often just skipped it to get to the next part of gameplay. A cut scene with dialog would occur at an end of the section that lasted several minutes and then also at the beginning of the next section. A good deal of the dialogue was not essential to the story-line and while funny, I found myself getting bored with it after a while.
The game crashed on me randomly. Several times, for no reason, both during normal questing and boss battles the game would crash out to the XMB. And of course, I had forgotten to save so I lost several hours of game play. This was by far the most frustrating part of my experience with this title. Word for the wise…save often!
If you are in the niche market for a good action RPG with a strong story, lots of dialog, and plenty of gameplay then this game is for you. Even with the complaints I had I found it easy to pick up and play thirty minutes here or there. While an update to fix the crashes would only make the game that much better, I can still recommend this game to those interested.
I give this game a 7 out of 10.
Overall Score: 7 / 10
RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America
Available on: Sony PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Eric Willard on 20140423 and was last modified on 20140424 .