The-Witch-and-the-Hundred-Knight-2-Review The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 Review

   28/03/2018 at 17:44       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - PS4, PC, Loot, Dungeon Crawler

Review by Ashley Fiddes.

 

The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 is many things, it is a visual novel, an action RPG and a strategy game. Most of the time spent playing this game will be watching well drawn characters talk to each other in overly long story driven scenes. These scenes can be up to half hour long and on many occasions don’t really move the story forward very much. It can be frustrating at times but thankfully between story sections you gain access to the world map, it is here the titular Hundred Knight gets to strut his stuff and the game really shows us how good it is.

Hundred Knight is a manania created by the awoken witch Chelka, one of the stories main protagonists who has chosen to protect Amelie, Chelka’s ex-sister and second main protagonist. In this role as protector Hundred Knight is required to reach a certain tile in the world map whilst defeating/running past the enemies that cover every inch of the floor. This triggers another cut scene and usually a boss fight.

As you start to play through the map tiles you begin to think of hundred knight as a mindless button masher, you equip weapons into each of your 5 combo slots and by jabbing at the square button you find yourself defeating everything that stands in your way.  However, by the second boss fight you quickly learn that the game has a lot more depth than that and if you refuse to pay attention to it you will fail.

For starters each weapon has a class and a damage type, which is either effective or ineffective against enemies, swords, spears and lances tend to be sharp whilst hammers are blunt and staves are magic.  Enemies can be strong or weak to a damage type which makes certain weapons either effective or ineffective against them.  That means if you choose to have a hammer in the middle of a sword/spear combo and go up against an enemy strong against blunt your third attack will always be weak or if you go up against an enemy weak to blunt you would need to get to the third hit to do any damage.  To help, the game gives you a number of facets, each facet gives hundred knight different strengths and weaknesses as well as a number of different skills.  The starter facet is wonder which is the jack of all trades version, the next two Power and Magic are good with hammers and magic respectively.  This allows you to create combos using specific weapon types that you can take on missions and quickly flick between one of the three facets you can take with you.

Quickly changing between facets becomes really important by mid game with a number of different enemies surround you and you will need to take advantage of all the different skills/weapon types available to you whilst ensuring you have the best defensive capabilities.  Going up against a magic user wearing the power facet is a sure fire way to lose all you HP, thankfully the game appreciates that sometimes dying is going to happen, and rather than you lose all the progress and sweet loot you have acquired you are given a second and sometimes even third chance.  These chances are dictated by your gigacalories.

For every second you are away from the castle, Hundred Knight’s gigacalories (read timer) decreases.  It starts at 99 and once it hits 0 Hundred Knight finds himself much weaker. When you faint, as long as you have enough gigacalories to convert into health you are respawned back at the beginning of the tile you started on, whilst only losing a few of your current items. If you die on 0 gigacalories you will lose all the items currently stored in your stomach.  Additionally, if you are in a bind and have no more healing items you can use gigacalories to restore health or to dodge attacks.

As you defeat enemies you gain xp which levels up Hundred Knight, increasing his health, attack and defense as well as giving you additional stomach space.  Stomach space is a really interesting mechanic as it stores all the items you gain until you either warp back to the castle or complete a stage. This means that although you collect a ‘legendary’ sword mid-level it is unusable until you get back to the castle. Additionally, if you die and are respawned through gigacalories you lose a few random pieces currently stored in your stomach.  Thankfully there is never too long between check points and you can easily run through areas with low giga in order to warp back to the castle with your precious cargo.

All of this combines perfectly to create an enjoyable experience as you battle through hundreds of monsters but the real highlights are the boss battles.  Here you put everything you have learned previously to fight incredibly tough enemies. The boss battles are a step up in difficulty from the rest of the game.  I would reach the fight with ease, but get beaten without doing any damage to them.  This would send me back to the starting area, where I would take my time to change up my load out, use any level up points to upgrade my skills and use the weapon levelling system, Krafting, to buff my weapons before attempting the boss again.  It still takes time to understand the bosses weaknesses and patterns but the brief periods of rest back at the starting area allowed me to strategise how best to beat it and then create a build that took advantage of the enemies weaknesses.  I would go back in and try out Hundred Knight's new loadout, fare better but usually fail again, so another smaller change, I could check out what I can upgrade back at the castle, rinse and repeat until I finally find the correct strategy to use which makes the previously unbeatable boss simple and easy.  

Then back to 20-30 minutes of cut scene.

I truly enjoyed my time with The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2, it was during a particularly difficult fight whilst I was deciding on which of the lances I should use for the third combo attack that I realised that the game had its hooks in me and it never let go. It is just a shame that the story side doesn’t quite hold up it's end of the bargain.

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