When I’m playing games I generally want one simple thing, to be having fun. With a needlessly long and convoluted story, repetitive combat and a series of boring environments and enemies, The Witch & The Hundred Knight 2 is sadly very far, from fun.
The story starts as the main character Amalie is looking for her younger sister Milm, the local townspeople come to her aid and manage to track down the sister, but it turns out she has been infected with Witch Disease and now holds a third eye. Milm is rushed to be operated on to remove her eye when tragedy strikes, and her third eye is opened meaning that she has now become the witch known as Chelka. She then uses her newfound abilities to bring her favourite toy, the titular Hundred Knight, from an inanimate object into a walking and living being. Whilst there is more around this, including warring factions and the older sister Amelia working to track down Milm, there is very little of interest beyond this conceit.
This beginning section of the story is told with still pictures, with animated moving mouths to the voice acting. Though occasionally the game demands a choice from you as to the course of action, but as far as I can tell none of this has any consequence to the overall story. The voice acting is a mixed bag of fairly good and barely tolerable, with the awakened witch Chelka being a particular nail on the chalkboard for my ears. This opening section is also so long that for a while I thought the game was just going to be the still images like a dating simulator.
When it eventually opens up, you play as the newly alive Hundred Knight who now has to go through a series of corridors, swamps, fields and other environments whilst battling hoards of enemies. The problem is in the lack of variety in every aspect of this. Each environment is needlessly cramped, forcing you through tight corridors or along narrow pathways and each enemy type is repeated over and over. The combat itself starts out fairly bland, with most enemies being easily dispatched with the main attack assigned to square. However, it does manage to slowly introduce ways to chain combo attacks, adjust the attacks dealt my equipping different weapons and even uses a Bayonetta-esque slow down when you manage to master the dodge right before an enemy attack. However when compared to other actions titles, the combat is just too slow to be considered fun. If the groups of enemies were so large that is was fun to mow through them like Dynasty Warriors, I could maybe forgive the slower combat and lack of accuracy for pure escapism and numb entertainment. But in TW&THK2, you are mostly pitted against 4 or 5 enemies or one large one, all of which can be easily dispatched by mashing the main attack button.
Special moves are introduced, yet you won’t need to use them. In my hours of playing the game I died once and the times I was using the special moves it was mainly to dull boredom, instead of being a necessary tactic to defeat an enemy. Coupled with the uninspired enemy designs, the gameplay sections look like a HD remaster of a PS1 game. There is so very little of note or appeal in all of the visuals, which is so disappointing as the hand drawn models used for the story cutscenes are generally fantastic and offer interesting and varied character design.
Ultimately, the frustrating thing about this game is that occasionally I would get swept up with elements of the story or the characters, but the actual gameplay was such a sack of bricks over the head for ever beginning to enjoy myself. Derivative of much better games whilst looking much worse and never truly offering anything of it’s own, this game is largely better avoided unless you really want to just press one button for a few hours. A majority of the story content is also recycled from the first game, so even fans of that game will have little to do here.