Monday, May 12, 2014

Game Review: Witch and Hero

Tower Defense/RPG; 3DS eShop; CIRCLE Ent.; 2013
Sorry this review is a day late. I went to Michigan over the weekend to visit my Mom, which meant I had no access to a computer until I came back. Things are also going to be a little hectic around here because within two weeks or so my brothers and I are going to move into an apartment together. I am a little sad about moving considering I've lived in this house for several years, but nothing lasts forever. Anyway, even though I'm now working, I still want to do this for a living, unfortunately my view count isn't high enough for me to deem it worthy to put ads. So if you are reading this and want to help out, just send people my way. If you like me tell your friends about me, if you don't tell your enemies. Anyway, without further ado, it's time for my review of Witch and Hero a game about a Witch..... and a Hero.... I think that just about covers everything.

Slimes, the weakest of the weakest.
A long, long time ago, there was an evil monster named Medusa who terrorized all the nearby villages. The village elders beseech two young adventurers for their aid, a Witch and a Hero. The two ventured forth on their quest for justice..... Okay, it isn't so much justice, the Witch wants the reward while the Hero wants to impress the Witch. And so they faced off against the dreaded Medusa.... and lost. The Hero was completely trounced and the Witch was turned to stone by Medusa's magic. After their humiliating defeat (so humiliating that they where both de-leveled back to Level 1), the Hero decides to face off against the dreaded Medusa again, this time to break the curse on his companion, dragging the now petrified Witch along for the ride.

The story isn't much. With the game being a more arcade style pick up and play game there isn't much of a narrative. Pretty much, what I just explained is all there is to the game. True it isn't much but it all has a kind of charm to it, helped mainly by it's retro graphical presentation. I mean, it's hard not to love a story about the selfless determination of a guy who probably just wants to get lucky. It isn't much, but it doesn't need to be.

The game is incredibly hectic and this is only Stage 4.
So kind of game is Witch and Hero. Well, it's like if Ys ran headlong into Tower Defense game. W&H is split up into 20 stages where the Witch (completely petrified) stands in the middle of the screen as various enemies close in on her from all sides. You control the Hero as he tries to defend the Witch from the enemy horde. And how does he do that? He runs into them. I'm not kidding, see running into enemies is the Hero's ONLY attack, which not only damages the enemy but the Hero as well. Now before you worry about dying, it's alright, the Hero can die as many times as he likes. When the Hero's HP hits zero he will faint and you have to rapidly move the Circle pad to help him get up. It's only game over if the Witch loses all of her HP. When an enemy is defeated, they will drop Gold, EXP, and blood which all have to be collected. While the Gold and EXP is used to upgrade yourselves after the battle is over, the monster blood is taken to the Witch where if you fill her MP gauge, she will be uncursed... for a while that is. While uncursed the Witch becomes a living turret, summoning tornadoes that damage all enemies for a small amount of damage or throwing fireballs that deal more damage but have to be aimed with the L and R buttons. Treasure chests also appear which take a few hits to break open, but will yield more Gold, EXP, Blood, or the very useful Medicine to heal the Hero. If all this bumming around sounds boring, dull, and repetitive then it kind of is, but it is also strangely addicting. While the game isn't complicated there is some strategy to it since enemies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some being fast but weak, others really tough to kill but slow, and the snakes in particular deal a ton of damage to the Hero but the Witch can make easy work of them. You also have to balance who to attack when and when you have to go back to the Witch to replenish her MP. And finally when you get the ability to go into Hyper mode, the nuance of the timing becomes important. And even if you die, you still get to keep half of the Gold and EXP you picked up.

"Hey baby, are you for sale?"
Unfortunately the game isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. While I can praise the little nuances of the mechanics, the mechanics themselves are really shallow. There isn't a whole lot that changes as you progress through the game, which is a shame because there is potential to make each stage more unique. While the enemy placement and wave design is unique enough, I really would have liked it if the size and shape of each stage to change since, while each stage has a different backdrop, they all behave the same. For example, you have two stages where you are on the beach next to the ocean, and you can walk on the water as well as the boat, equally as well as the sandy beach. They could have made either the water impassible or slow down the Hero as he is moving through it. This would have change out the stage felt and played out. The game balance is also wacky as you can go through several stages without any trouble, but then you hit one stage that almost requires you to grid for money and EXP to continue. The final boss is also tricky that if you don't know what to do you will die and die and die again (So that you don't go through what I went through, on the final boss use the L and R buttons, you're welcome).

Witch and Hero is the type of game that you will either love it or hate it. I've seen people praise the game for it's simple fun, and others rail against it for it repetitive grind. Some think it is a charming Retro inspired game, others think it is pandering to nostalgia with it's aesthetics. Me personally, I liked the game. It was fun and a great time killer for how much I paid for it and how long it lasted. But I'm giving it a Limited Recommendation for the reason that it might not appeal to everyone. It is dirt simple and that might turn you away if you are looking for something with a little more meat to it. But hey, there is a demo for it on the eShop if you are curious and if it peaks your interest, it is only $4. Witch and Hero gets a Limited Recommendation.

Until next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment