Being able to avoid damage is just as important to Hundred Knight’s wellbeing and is a skill well worth learning about early on. In addition to a basic block, moving around and giving the dash button a tap gives HK a quick dodge. Timing it just right will result in a Mystical Dodge, giving him the ability to counter-attack and dish out extra damage for a short period while time slows down to a halt
Hundred Knight has an option for customization by way of Facets. These facets are unlocked through the course of the game and each gives HK a new mask. Each facet has a couple of unique skills as well as proficiencies with different weapon types that increase/decrease damage accordingly. One main facet and two sub facets can be equipped to be switched on the fly during combat and each are leveled up individually like a new class.
Tochka are another ability unique to Hundred Knight and operate as his other form of offense beyond wildly swinging his weapon. These vary in scope but most tend to operate as offensive. Early on, you’ll gain access to a time bomb that’s used primarily to blow up obstacles to advance the story but also makes for a pretty handy weapon. There’s also abilities like a capture trap that can be used to entrap an enemy with low health and convert them into an item (using this on the harpy-like creatures early on will result in getting a fresh pair of Pink Undies).
Similar to many dungeon-delving RPG’s, The Witch and the Hundred Knight boasts a stamina based mechanic to discourage grinding and over-extending the Hundred Knight’s adventures. Known as GIGAcals, this energy source powers HK and must remain filled to keep going. There are a few ways of replenishing his stamina, none of which are infinite. Bonus Points earned on a map can be used to replenish a handful of GCals, but there are only so many BP to be earned on a map. Cookies and other consumable items are handy in a pinch but have a limited inventory space. Lastly, Hundred Knight can literally consume enemies that are below a certain HP threshold and recover an amount based on how quickly you can mash buttons and chew up the enemy. Doing so will result in also consuming a great deal of garbage, useless items that waste space in your stomach.
The Hundred Knight doesn’t actually have any pockets, so any items picked up are kept in his stomach for safe keeping until he can get back to the witch’s base. There’s a limited amount of space early on that can be greatly expanded by picking up Stomach Stones along the adventure..
The Witch and the Hundred Knight is certainly a mixed experience to my senses. The Tenpei Sato soundtrack is just as catchy as the Disgaea setlist and the 2D character designs have the same detail and personality that I’ve grown to enjoy from the NIS team. Combat feels enjoyable and responsive to the touch. Thankfully, I can’t smell or taste the green muck Metallia plans on spreading across the world.
However, its the visual sense that divides me the most. Contrasting the beautifully colorful character portraits is a world filled with 3D models that don’t seem to match. Much of the world is derived of a palette that only consists of greens, yellows, and browns. Environments are expansive and have very little architecture or substance besides the erratically planted tree or building fixture, so there’s a great deal of running around similarly detailed levels looking for one particular item or exit.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight certainly has the same TLC that Nippon Ichi Studios invests into their other titles. As their first venture into creating a 3D action RPG, their style still shows but it’s muddled by a visual presentation that lacks in comparison to its strengths. While a wholly competent RPG experience, it’s important to focus more on the characters and combat than the world around the Hundred Knight.
[Editor’s Note: The Witch and the Hundred Knight was reviewed on the PS3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]The Witch And The Hundred Knight Review,