Witch and the Hundred Knight is a bit of a bitter pill. On the one hand it has a diablo style gameplay that I find very rewarding. The protagonist (the terribly named Hundred Knight) is adorable. The animation style is pretty good (one of the things that interested me in it). The music and sound effects are forgettable, minus the sound when you sell things that’ll deafen you. But the character with the most dialogue is an unimaginative irritating annoying monster.
“Mettalia” who really wants you to stop calling her “Lia”, a joke they make almost every single time she’s on screen (a few times a mission chapter, it feels like), is disinteresting on nearly every level as a character. If you are familiar with the story of Disgaea you immediately know what her arc is going to be once she starts talking. The problem is that while the story worked for Laharl because he was charming it falls apart for her because she’s just not fun. If I’m going to be playing or working directly for an asshole I want them to have some level of depth. She is basically the stereotypical bad boss you might experience in a minimum wage job but she demands you also murder people in between cleaning the aisles.
I want something. I already know she’s going to “turn a new leaf” by the end of this story, and trust me you do too when the game starts, but that’s not rewarding if the journey to that end is an insufferable slog. It’s a shame too because, as I said, the actual gameplay isn’t half bad. I had fun mixing my weapons to chain together combos based on their rank value, weapon type, and even their effects. I liked going ahead far too soon and using strategy to defeat monsters that would OHKO me otherwise. That’s super cool and even the time limit ended up being pretty cool instead of a pain in the ass.
Nothing feels right or interesting. I kept trying to force myself to complete it and I realized I just couldn’t. No matter how much I thought the combat was passable I just couldn’t justify what was turning into me helping out an NPC that was just completely boring. She was killing me with how badly she was written and its irritating. I could see under the surface she was one of the NIS characters with great levels of power and those tend to be fun to play. The kind of character you happen across in a future crossover game and think “Oh shit.” Like stumbling upon a pissed off Black Adam.
I wanted her to grow quicker, to become a nice iconic staple of villainy. If I’m going to be working for someone evil either make them funny or make them interesting. These are basically the only two options. If you aren’t certain you can do interesting then just fall onto the side of funny and go full tilt silly. And for the last time I don’t care what your damn name is! I get it! Ok yes, in Japan apparently her name was “Metallica” which obviously wouldn’t work in the US. Maybe the Japanese name and “Lica” had some kind of cute wordplay that made sense there. But once you localized it for the US its just obnoxious.
Sometimes people call me Mikey, I might be annoyed the first time, but we are to believe he’s been calling her Lia for hundreds of freaking years. At a certain point you let that shit slide because its obviously never going to change.
I sincerely think she would have been better off just being the villain. If they were going to make her obnoxious at least let her be the villain so that I know I’m supposed to stop the obnoxious character. They have already done the sassy powerful female character before with Etna, they had the template all ready and they could have copied it again with perfect precision. I don’t think anyone would care to have another Etna style character floating around. I just don’t get it. I suppose about the only thing I can say nice about her is that I like her character design. I know some folks are put off by “too much skin” or whatever but I thought she worked. I was really excited to see her saiyan up, maybe in a future Disgaea game as a DLC character? That would be lovely. I’ll buy it.
I wish I had more to say but this game just really disappoints me. The gameplay is fun, not life changing but not bad. The Hundred Knight is cute and I have no complaints about him really. The story is literally so predictable that I feel like you’d only consider anything I say a spoiler until you read the first 5 lines of dialogue. The villains for the most part are not people you are interested in killing.
Imagine a Grand Theft Auto where you spent the majority of the beginning basically hunting down perfectly normal people, torturing them, and then killing them. Not because its possible (since we all do stupid stuff during free play in GTA) but because the game specifically called for it. Imagine that torture scene from GTA 5 (that is one of the more powerful moments for me in a video game) but completely without the self awareness of the situation and without any semblance of character development.
Take that situation and carry it out across hours of gameplay. I’m sure that about 60% of the way through she becomes bearable and by 90% of the way through she’s fun, but I’m not going to drag my balls through a bed of nails to get there. I have the considerably better experience of Divinity: Original Sin asking me if I’d rather drink the finest drink and tip my monocle instead. Review for that coming soon I guess…shorthand is its amazing.
This…this not so much. Darn shame.