The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition Review

By Shawn Collier on April 4, 2016

Almost two years ago, NIS America released The Witch and the Hundred Knight on the PS3. A 3/4 top-down action RPG similar in approach to games like Diablo but with a Japanese RPG bent to it, we thought it had some unique ideas to it but was hampered by the lack of restraint on the part of the developers to know when to reign in some of their not-so-good ideas or remove the focus on things that clearly overstayed their welcome.

So now with a new console generation comes re-releases of old games. And not to miss out on the fun, NIS America has decided to join in with their own re-release and upgrade of the game, entitled The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition. But does it fix enough of the issues from the original and include enough extras to warrant veterans to pick the game up again for another spin?

Like stated prior, TWatHK:RE is a top-down 3/4 camera perspective action RPG similar in vein to other games like the Diablo series. Compared to the original, there's a slight graphical upgrade present in here, although it's not a major change so unless you're trying to look for the changes you won't likely notice them.

For those who played the original, you already know that instead of playing as the first character in the game's title (the Witch Metallia), you play as the Hundred Knight. The Hundred Knight has access to a pretty unique combo system, where he can equip up to five different weapons at any given time. Pressing the Square button in succession cycles through them in sequence, with the weapon's number and type determining the damage multipliers. So in certain circumstances, it might be more advantageous to have weapons in a specific order. There's also the ability to choose different variations (or "Facets" as they're called in-game) of the Hundred Knight, where one may give you more HP and ATK in exchange for slower movement. The game also has support units (known as "Tochkas") to play around with.

The issue I noted in our original review of the PS3 version, which carries over here, is the annoying "Gigacal" mechanic that limits what you can do. You start out with 100 Gigacals, which slowly tick away the moment you leave your home base for the current mission, even when you're walking. You can recover Gigacals by getting an enemy below 20% health and pressing Triangle to enter a mini-game, but this doesn't pause the rest of the world, so if you have other enemies around you can easily get surrounded the moment the mini-game ends.

One thing that was particularly unique about the original game, compared to most of NIS America's other releases at the time, was the game's main female character Metallia. Renamed from her original Japanese name Metallica (just imagine the case why), she summoned the game's namesake the Hundred Knight to do her bidding as she attempts to take over the world by spreading her swamp to encompass the whole world, as she can't leave the swamp without dying.

The real difference from most of NIS's other characters is that Metallia in particular is quite ruthless, being downright sadistic and offensive in most circumstances. One example of this, which happens very early on, is when she defeats the Forest Witch and promptly turns her into a rat. But not letting that be enough, she sends a bunch of male rats off to chase after her --- you can put together the rest from here. The game passes it off as comedy, but it's still quite dark compared to what most players usually expect from the developer and makes you wonder if it's really the best thing as the Hundred Knight to help her.

New to the Revival Edition is the new "Tower of Illusion" area, a procedurally-generated tower that has you face off against increasingly more powerful enemies. There's a bit of a loot aspect involved, as you can either leave the tower after clearing a floor or try your luck on the next floor in an attempt to gather more loot. The catch is that you'll lose some of the items if you end up dying, although the game does give the option of retrying the floor or quitting all together if you die. There's also a basic alchemy system at play where you can upgrade weapons using catalysts picked up inside the tower. It's not a major addition, but it's a nice bonus and a decent time-sink for those who liked the gameplay elements of the game.

Final Thoughts

In our original review, we found the PS3 version of The Witch and the Hundred Knight to be a game that had some unique aspects but was held back by missteps by the developers. The new "Revival Edition" PS4 port doesn't provide any major changes, but it does fix up some of the graphical issues from the original and the new "Tower of Illusion" area provides for some good fun if you enjoyed the game's combo system. If you were interested in the original, this version is easily recommended over the original, but for those who played the original, it'll depend on how much the new additions entice you.

The new Tower of Illusion area provides a nice loot feedback loop for those who enjoyed the combo elements.
Still one of the most unique NIS-devloped characters, for sure.
Graphics, while not majorly upgraded, received a slight upgrade.
The Gigacal mechanic is still somewhat of an annoyance.
You'll often have times where you'll be surrounded after trying to regain Gigacals from an enemy.
Outside of some minor changes, there isn't a whole lot different here compared to the original.
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