The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 - PS4 Review


Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 follows in its predecessors veins, being an action RPG where you take the eponymous "Hundred Knight" through a series of areas, beating up anything that crosses your path with a series of different weapons that you harvest off your enemies.

Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 (WatHK2 ) follows a new series of characters than the previous title instead focusing on Amelie and her younger sister Milm, who has contracted the "witch disease" that has been sweeping the land of Kevala. Witch disease causes a person, or specifically a girl, to have a third eye appear on their forehead, turning them into a witch. After undergoing a failed surgery to get rid of her witch disease, Milm becomes host to the witch Chelka. For whatever reason, Hundred Knight (you), decide to listen to Amelie, instead of Chelka, as you help her try and find a cure for the witch disease.

As the Hundred Knight, you progress through a series of maps beating up enemies for equipment and experience so you can get to your destination. Combat is quite an interesting change from the first game with the basics remaining the same where you can equip a series of up to five weapons of five different types to create a combo, smack enemies by hitting the square button and dodge with X.



One of the first additional aspects affects the Facet system where you can equip up to three different facets to affect your stats. As a change from the previous title, facets seem to change your stats more drastically (including weapon type proficiency), and they also come with certain skills both active and passive that you can upgrade with skill points you earn when you level up. Each facet has its own set of active and passive skills which I didn't realize since I was still working off the first game's system which I came to regret pretty fast. Remember to always choose your facets according to the situation.

As you traverse through the field maps, and during combat, you expend energy, or GCals, as they're called in-game. Movement doesn't cost much, but every time you dodge you also expend energy, and when you're damaged, you'll heal at a set pace, but consume a lot of GCals while doing so. Thankfully, this energy limit is a lot less strict than the first game and isn't really an issue unless you either don't stop by the checkpoints to restore your energy or you keep running out of health (which will happen a lot more than you'd expect, particularly when some enemies can one-shot you). Every K.O. will sap 25 GCals out of the 100 you start with, so you want to try to not die, although enemies remain dead until you leave an area, which is quite useful when you find an optional enemy who hurts just a little more than you'd like to see.

Weapons can be equipped to any facet, although certain facets will either boost or decrease certain weapon type damage, and you can have either five of the same weapon, or a combo of the available swords, hammers, staffs, lances, and spears, all of which can have either a slash, blunt, or magic damage type, and each function differently in a combo. Skills are used with AP, of which you start with 100, and have a cooldown.


Skills are learned through the points you receive upon leveling, and can be upgraded with those same points. You can assign up to four skills or tochkas to a facet at a time. The tochkas you can buy, and will upgrade in a similar way to skills, but can be equipped to any facet. Each set of weapons/skills are specific to the facet that you're wearing, and you can swap between the three you have equipped, so you'll be swapping a lot to fit the situation, which adds an interesting component to the battle system.

While there are a lot of improvements from the first game, there are also a lot of aspects that I found to detract from the original system. Most notably, after a while the combat gets extremely repetitive after a while, and towards the end of the game, I found myself skipping entire areas because I was getting fed up with it. Also, unlike the first game with its different areas, this time, it's almost entirely forest. I mean, yeah, there's a green forest, a red forest, a snowy forest, a wtf forest, but the vast majority of the areas are all forest.

Even within each map, the areas are subdivided in-map-segment as smaller individual parts, that will show up in your smaller map area as you walk into the "zones". Unlike previously where each area was an individual series of "rooms", where map was explored by an area of view around you, all the areas are now interconnected through a large world map, but the small components that make each area are reused in the interior segments, so much so that you can walk three feet and instantly know where chests/enemies/paths are, purely because you've seen the same layout 58 times in the last two minutes.


All the enemies suffer from a similar trend, as each zone basically has the same palette swapped enemies, just stronger. Speaking of stronger, WatHK2 may as well have the subtitle "git gud edition", because I'll be damned if some of the bosses/notorious enemies didn't roll me over like a cheap carpet before I got the hang of them. The game also suffers from the occasional long load time if the area is large, and the time it takes to respawn if you die is longer than I'd like to see, although that's due to the animation.

At least you don't really game over, you just get sent back to your house and lose any items you've gained since your previous return to the house if you die without any energy left, and if you've opened a check point, you can easily warp back to where you were, and yes there is a checkpoint at your house, which I failed to realize for far longer than I'd like to admit. The music is also mostly rehashed from the first game, which isn't an issue if this is the first one you're playing, but it feels like a major cop-out, but at least the soundtracks for both games are pretty good.

Energy is easily regained with the "depletura" attack, which you can activate after you get off a whole five attack combo (as long as you hit something with the final hit it counts), and will remain usable for a while as long as you don't get hit. If you kill an enemy, you steal energy from them, and energy varies between monsters, mostly based on size and difficulty, as I've had some enemies restore about 2 GCals, and others restore up to 20 GCals, so running out of energy isn't a super big issue unlike the first game.


One serious problem the game has is that you can soft lock it at a certain point. Basically, after you beat a boss of an area, you aren't allowed back into that area. Except third time entering a certain area that gets progressively blocked off, as you aren't actually blocked out for a short time after beating the boss and before you head to the next area. So of course I went back, re-entered the boss room, and then couldn't leave unless I quit to the title screen. Speaking of the blocked off segments, it happens a lot, much to my dismay. You get a wall of magic that prevents you from getting into areas the game doesn't want you in so much it's just plain ridiculous, although at least you can check this via the purple lines on the world map.

Final general complaint is that Milm calls Amelie "sissy", which I suppose is an accurate translation of the Japanese appellation, but it just annoys me to no end.

Although Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 suffers from a couple of major setbacks, it does show some major improvements from the previous title. If there is a 3rd installment to come out, I'm fairly certain even more improvements will be shown now that the system seems to be more fleshed out. With interesting characters, some good music, and an enhanced battle system, although the story can be a little convoluted, corny, or sometimes just downright '?????', there's still a lot to enjoy here, although it may be better in moderation

Game Information

Platform:
Sony PlayStation 4
Developer(s):
Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher(s):
Nippon Ichi Software America
Genre(s):
Action
Adventure
RPG
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
NA

Source:
Provided by Publisher




Article by Richard
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