After playing the original many years ago on the PlayStation 3 and not really enjoying it I had my doubts about this game, but so much had changed. It was a whole new cast, a whole new plot and storyline. The very game itself seemed to be distancing itself from its lacklustre predecessor. Would this be the game be like a fiery phoenix rising from the soiled ruins of its old skin or would it be just another witchy kitchy kawaii game?
The developer Nippon Ichi (nis) have made a name for themselves in the strategy RPG market with games like Disgaea. Their North American branch especially has been publishing more anime style titles and it is here the witch and the hundred knight comes in. Although still an RPG, jumping from strategy RPGto action RPG isn’t as easy a transition as you would think. The first hundred knight really suffered in that respect. Unfortunately, so does hundred knight 2. We open on a panel-based scene with cutesy characters that my kids loved the look of, make no mistake, this is a visually beautiful anime game. However,after what felt like a solid 10 minutes of nothing but tapping x to go to the next panel the shine of the vibrant game was wearing off. Long text dumps were frequent in its predecessor and though they work in a strategy RPG which tells a deep story. They feel out of place amongst the fast-paced action scenes that this game boasts.
The story centres around Amalie and her sister Milm. Milm has caught the witch disease (a disease which literally turns you into a witch) and they are forced to flee their village. A hospital dedicated to fighting the witch disease is where we next see them, after a failed operation to cure her Milm is reborn as a fully-fledged witch who has bestowed immense power upon her stuffed teddy, the hundred knight. You play the hundred knight who has no real say in events apart from occasional opportunities to either say yes, maybe or no. Your answers will shape the course of the game but not to a huge extent, all they really do is let you decide how much of an arse you want to be. Chelka the witch (previously Milm) is like a spoiled teenager who has just learned to swear, isn’t doing it very well but uses it at every opportunity. You may be wondering are there no other characters? Yes, there are, hundreds in fact. All of whom have so little depth to them as to be completely forgettable. Since you are aiding a malevolent witch the normal characters have to be not the nicest of people. Imagine the uproar if they made the characters lovely people and you had to go around hurting and killing nice people? In making the characters arsey they have made them fully succeeded but to the point you genuinely have no emotion for any characters at all.
This game has so much potential, fully customisable weapons array all with different properties, different items, spells, power ups, etc but once you have a set that works for you, you never need to change. There are loads of things in this game like that, characters, weapons, armour, spells, moves but none with substance. This is a prime example of too much detail and not enough depth. Even the fight sequences, although enjoyable and fun, blend into one and you could happily button bash away without any worry, safe in the knowledge you will be fine. The only part you really feel like you have earned your win is with the rather lovely looking perfect dodge function. Time your dodge just right and everything slows down, you become invincible and attack away before returning to normal. You can’t help but feel that half of the development team have poured time and effort into this to make a great game, and make no mistake this could have been, while the other half have been told to polish and shine it, with anyone who was spare left to do everything else. You end up with a beautiful game with loads of detail everywhere you look but nothing to tie it together. No Joy from playing the baddy, no yes moments at finally beating the enemy, no satisfaction.
A whole new cast, a whole new story, same old game with the same old faults
Like looking at a really good 3d image, it looks great, has great detail in everything, but once you get up close you realise its just a bit of paper with no depth at all.
Overall Score: 4/10
Developer: by Nippon Ichi
Publisher: NIS America
Release Date: 30th March 2018
File Size: 3.43GB
PlayStation 4 copy provided for review purpose.