The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 Review – Facets and Tochkas (PS4)
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 saw release in Japan over a year ago on February 27, 2017. NIS America has come to the rescue and localized the RPG for Western audiences. Curious to see if this quirky action RPG is something you’d be interested in? Read our The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 review to find out all the details.
This second entry in the Hundred Knight series was developed solely for the PS4. As such, the engine it runs on consistently hits 60 frames per second, at least on the regular graphics setting. There are three graphics modes if playing on the PS4 Pro. One favors frame rate above graphics, the middle setting balances graphics fidelity and frame rate, and the highest setting loads in higher-quality graphics and effects at the expense of frame rate. The drop in frame rate for the highest setting is noticeable, and those on PS4 Pro will likely want to limit the game to the medium or lower setting. Textures tend to get blurrier the lower the setting, while aliasing also drops off, resulting in jagged-looking environments and characters at the lowest setting. The option is there to play around with for those who care to bother with it.
One thing that has stayed the same from the first entry is quirky storytelling. The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 tells the tale of Chelka, a witch who has possessed the body of Milm, younger sister of would-be anti-witch warrior Amalie. The player once again takes on the role of the Hundred Knight, a small, ugly being created from a doll by Chelka, which can take on many different forms known as facets. The entire story is properly voiced, with both likable and annoying characters as before. Fans of the series or of JRPGs in general will find plenty to love in the lore of The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2, as this story is geared only towards them.
New active skills are now available for the Hundred Knight. These are special attacks which can be performed so long as the requisite Adrenaline Points (AP) are available. Some skills perform multiple small attacks over a short amount of time. Others do a wide spread of damage. Each skill can be leveled up for skill points, which are earned as the Hundred Knight levels up. These skills make the Hundred Knight a bit more unpredictable force in battle.
Item and weapon crafting makes a return, as the Hundred Knight collects materials and items of various rarity from fallen enemies and random chests scattered around the world. The Hundred Knight also maintains a stomach stock, where collected items are stored until the end of a level. If his HP reaches zero, some or all of the items in his stomach are emptied out and lost. Players can also increase his stomach capacity over time, which sadly doesn’t result in a pudgier-looking character.
The Hundred Knight can still equip five main weapons, plus two pieces of armor and two accessories. The order of his weapons can determine what kind of damage can be dealt. Sticking with one type such as lances can result in a bonus, while mixing things up just right can result in a controlled burst of damage. The Hundred Knight can go into battle with up to three facets, which are different forms of the character tailored for certain types of gameplay. The Power Fortress is a tank-like class, great at wielding hammer weapons, while the Marginal Gaze is weak to physical attacks but excels at using ranged magic weapons and attacks. A handful of other facets ensure there is no one right way to play a given scenario. Facets must be chosen back at home base between levels, but can then be freely switched between using the L2 and R2 buttons.
Tochkas, or minions which can be summoned into existence by the Hundred Knight, have returned, and there are even a few new varieties to boot. Some tochkas are best suited for taking out groups of enemies, while others act as tanks to allow the player to flank distracted enemies. Remembering to utilize them during battle can be the hardest part of actually using Tochkas. Indeed, there are a plethora of options at the player’s disposal for fighting, which can be mixed around to hopefully match any play style.
Since a lot of mechanics have stayed the same from the first Hundred Knight game, some of the same issues remain. Notably, the camera has hardly been touched. The same isometric vantage point is used, which can wreak havoc at inopportune times. Lining up certain special moves becomes more difficult than is necessary when an enemy appears to be at more or less of an angle to one side than the camera is displaying. This can result in the loss of potential bonuses such as Gigacalories obtained via the new Depletura move, where an enemy is absorbed, giving a boost to the Hundred Knight’s energy levels.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 improves upon its predecessor, and should appeal to fans of the first game. The story may put some off given its plodding pace and numerous quirky side stories, but most people who are interested in this game likely enjoy exactly that kind of storytelling. New Tochkas and new active abilities for the Hundred Knight give more battle options to players, though the camera angle may create a few missed opportunities to finish a sweet combo or get a surprise attack on enemies. Additional graphics options are a welcome surprise, and ultimately summarize the general feeling of The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 – improved where it counts.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 review code provided by publisher. Version 1.01 reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy here.