Simply looking at Witch and the Hundred Knight conjures familiar feelings, notably, that of Disgaea and its strategy-RPG brethren, though initial impressions can be deceiving. This action RPG features witch Metallia, who lives in a swamp, brooding there with her newly-risen servant Hundred Knight, and now forced to do Metallia’s bidding.
It’s a completely different beast than Disgaea’s brand of quirky humor, so if you’re looking for that to be the case, you might be better served with a different game.
No, Metallia is as heinous as they come, sentencing even her own mother to a fate worse than death. You’ll very quickly begin hoping for more interaction with the mute Hundred Knight, who would likely be one hundred times more palatable than the evil Metallia, as the game plays out more like a slide show of how cruel and selfish she truly is. Make no mistake, you’re on the side of the darkness, and the game never lets you forget about it.
Metallia’s errands take you on a rogue-like adventure throughout several dungeons in the swamp, most of which you’ll explore and utilize the Gigacal and search systems while doing so. Gigacals are essentially energy units that must be managed wisely, and finding hidden items and treasures is also managed via said system. Once you run out of Gigacals, your Hundred Knight takes a hit to strength and defense debuffs, while his health slowly begins to drain.
You can replenish these points via strategic actions such as eating enemies or items, but newbies will undoubtedly need to hit up each area several times before feeling confident enough to advance properly. The game won’t hold your hand, and if you can’t figure out your next move or how to properly string combos together, well, that’s just too bad. You’ll want to consider this when deciding whether or not you want to purchase the game.
Exploration is the meat of the game, complemented by the bizarre plot that tends to make very little sense. Metallia’s misdeeds are entertaining enough despite making you dislike her completely, but lengthy text conversations at the beginning and end of each chapter can feel like a slog. In a game riddled with action-packed sequences and austere mechanics, it seems bizarre to place so much emphasis on plot revelations when the game doesn’t spend much time fleshing it out or caring.
Witch and the Hundred Knight is a strange combination of quirk and hateful snark, and its gameplay isn’t very forgiving either. It’s commendable to see a darker take on familiar archetypes (especially given its disarming art style) but in the end you might want to stick with a different strategy-RPG that doesn’t try so hard to be edgy – it’ll prove more enjoyable in the long run.