But does it have 100 reasons to play?
NISAmerica is one of my personal favorite publishers. I’m a fan of the RPG genre, and they bring a lot of niche RPGs to the States. Quality isn’t always there on all of the games, and localization and translation issues abound on some, too, but games like Ys VIII (even with its “charming” translation errors) and Disgaea make it a stand up publisher. The Witch and the Hundred Knight was a game with an interesting premise and a unique style (especially for the types of games NISAmerica bring west), but it fell flat on numerous occasions thanks to recycled gameplay, slow pacing, and dull aesthetics. Enter The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2, another game released in March of 2018 that attempts to build on its predecessor’s successes or failures. How well does this one handle the task?
In The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2, you’re instantly greeted by two orphaned sisters, Amalie and Milm. When Milm comes home from picking a flower in a terribly dangerous locale, the town harboring the two girls essentially kicks them out. A while later, Amalie is a valkyrie in training with the Weisse Ritter (WR), a guild/organization with a mission to study, capture, and destroy witches and their manania (creatures they can control). During a botched surgery attempt to free Milm of her witch’s eye, the little girl succumbs to her Witch disease and transforms into the brash and mouthy Chelka, a witch of powerful renown. Amalie is forced to follow Chelka in an attempt to bring back her sister, while mysteriously gaining control of the witch’s hundred knight (a toy she had given Milm that was transformed into a manania). By doing so, she eventually keeps secrets from the WR and attempts to keep Chelka hidden from her organization. As far as the plot goes, it’s a little convoluted, but it works.
From the moment you take control of the hundred knight, the action really begins (unfortunately, it’s about a full 45 minutes into the game before you are actually able to play). The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 works as a top down RPG in a vein similar to Diable but with much less innovation. You can equip your knight with various weapon types and about five on each knight type (as you progress, you unlock different variations of the knight that come with different abilities and strengths/weaknesses). Gameplay typically consists of mashing the Square button to cycle through your weapon attacks. Once you land the final hit, you have a chance of devouring your enemies and replenishing your calories (your knight runs on Gigacalories. Each knight variant can equip up to four skills, and the triangle button unleashes his mega attack. Dodging can be done by hitting the X button, and proper timing can induce a slow motion, damage increasing period of time (for you).
As with most games from NISAmerica, the sound may be its weakest aspect. Music in The Witch and the Hundred Knight is rampant with flair; it’s extravagant in serious situations, boisterous in mournful moments, and silly when it needs to be. In all, it certainly harms the overall experience. Voice acting, on the other hand, is done well enough. It’s nothing memorable, but some of my favorite voice actors (like Jamieson Price, for example) make appearances. Visually, the aesthetics is a combination of anime styled characters during dialogue sessions and a colorful world. In this aspect, the visuals are a lot shinier than the first iteration thanks to the PS4 capabilities, and I found the overall look pleasing. It’s nothing that will knock your socks off, but the game presents itself well.
When everything flows well, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 is a smooth and enjoyable action RPG. Unfortunately, it’s plagued with slow pacing, repetitive (if a bit addicting) but enjoyable combat, and a lot of the same issues that held the first game back. On a personal level, I enjoyed The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2. If you’re like me and familiar with this type of game, you’ll probably like it, too. So – if you’re someone like I am, I’d say the game is probably worth an 75-80%. You’ll probably enjoy it, and it’d most likely make a good pickup. If you’re not into the niche, however, and are looking for an objective review, the reality is that The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 is not for everyone and suffers from a few of the aforementioned flaws. Watch some gameplay videos before making your choice and shop around other reviews.