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The Witch and the Disappointing Sequel

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    SundownKid
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    The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2

    Rating: 3.0 – Fair

    The Witch and the Disappointing Sequel

    I had eagerly awaited the Witch and the the Hundred Knight 2 ever since playing the original but prudently waited until it went on half price discount before purchasing. And honestly, I’m glad I did, because there is no way in hell this game is worth full price. I wanted a sequel – but not this sequel. In every aspect of it, it screams "budget game", and the Revival Edition of the original title is still superior in almost every way.

    It’s a game that could have been good if some more money were invested into it. As it is, though, it’s a large step down in gameplay even despite its new streamlining of the combat system. Its story, while having some interesting bits, is not sufficiently fleshed out. It seems crazy that they released it at a price point of $50. As much as I loved the first game, it pains me to say that not even fans might enjoy this one.

    Story – 7/10

    The game goes with a dual main character format in this installment, with one being Celka, a witch who is put into the body of a young girl named Milm, and Amalie, the adoptive sister of Milm. With Amalie working for the Weiss Ritter, a dubious organization that hunts down witches, it puts her in quite a predicament when her "sister" is actually a witch. She must live a double life while not having the organization find out about her secret, and the fact that a mysterious being called Hundred Knight is fighting all her battles.

    As a sequel, I can’t help but compare it to the original game. It doesn’t hold up very well – many of the characters feel like worse versions of more memorable ones from the first title. Instead of going with something new, the writers made Celka into a budget Metallia. Amalie herself felt unnecessary as main character, as her lack of intelligence or bravery just becomes annoying after a while, and her obsession with Milm is just grating when we don’t have much of a reason to like or care about Milm as a character beyond the fact that she is an innocent child.

    The story is definitely more cohesive than the first’s, which is a plus, and the voice acting is very well done. But, many of the characters are hardly fleshed out at all. One antagonist was hardly explained. The game ends rather abruptly and underwhelmingly, with the Hundred Knight’s relative importance in the story greatly reduced.

    Overall, while not bad by any means, the story is definitely a downgrade to the original and barely reveals much information about the Hundred Knight and his dimensional powers. I think I would have much preferred a return to Metallia’s world (and the return of Metallia herself).

    Gameplay – 6/10

    While some annoying parts of the game’s combat were fixed from the original, and streamlined over all with the addition of a drain attack that allows you to steal Gigacalories from enemies to fuel your rampage indefinitely, sadly they are overshadowed by a massive flaw. The custom designed levels from the original game are given a huge downgrade in this one. Now they seem to be randomly generated using a few different layouts that go together in squares. You will notice the repetitiveness pretty fast, especially compared to the original game, where there are puzzles in the levels. In this one it’s a pure hack and slash, which seems to obviously be the result of some pretty large budget cuts.

    The enemies suffer from the same problem, and are pretty much entirely reused from the first game. Not only that, but they are reused so much within the game itself that it becomes laughable. I seriously broke out laughing when I saw how much the same enemies were recolored and placed in different areas, and once a few levels used the exact same enemies I knew there weren’t going to be any more in the rest of the game. It doesn’t seem like they bothered to make any new 3D models besides the main characters, a few mooks, and bosses, which is EXTREMELY questionable for a $50 game. This is one of the largest problems with the game, it should have had entirely new enemies and consistently introduced unique ones for each area that require different strategies. Using the exact same strategies got boring quick.

    Graphics – 7/10

    The character art is intriguing and well drawn. The game has a cohesive and solid art style. Unfortunately, so many assets are reused from the first that it feels like they spent far less effort on making new content in this one. This is problematic given that it’s supposed to be a sequel. The home base in this one is smaller and uglier than in the original, which is saying something given that Metallia’s house was in a swamp. The graphics are still PS3 tier even though it’s a game that was natively developed for the PS4.

    One example of how underwhelming the graphics are is the game’s ending. The previous game had several animated cutscenes of characters in addition to the boss battle while this game has it take place entirely against the same background in visual novel style the entire time. Besides the final boss (which is a lot more basic and annoying) there are no cutscenes. None. It really disappointed me that they lacked the budget for it and exemplifies the feeling of the game as a whole.

    Music – 7/10

    What new music there is is superb. However, most of the music is (you guessed it) also reused from the first game. It’s really catchy and good music, mind you, but I was hoping for a full new soundtrack for a $50 game.

    Overall – 6/10

    While Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 takes a step forward with improving the core gameplay of the series, it treads too close to the concept of the original instead of trying to take it in new and interesting directions. Rather than a witch who is different in personality from Metallia, or maybe a different Hundred Knight, it copies the original, to its detriment. Additionally, it suffers from large amounts of repetitiveness, and was clearly a lower budget affair that cribs much of its assets from the original game, with its level design being the most obvious step backwards.

    While still a fun game in its own right, and the combat being a whole lot smoother, it was not the sequel I was hoping for. With some more money invested into level design and enemy design, it would have been a lot better and a true successor to the original game. It’s hard to recommend unless you’re willing to tolerate a lot of repetitiveness.

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