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Hack n Slash

Croixleur PS4 photo
Croixleur PS4

Doujin brawler Croixleur Sigma coming to PS4


Devil May Cute returns! Again!
Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Croixleur Sigma is coming to PlayStation 4, Playism announced this week at Tokyo Game Show.  "We're hoping we can get a western release out as soon as possible," Playism marketing manager and localization editor Nay...
Hellraid photo
Hellraid

A bunch of skeletons explode in the first 20 minutes of Hellraid


Footage of the hack-and-slash title running on a new engine
Sep 18
// Jordan Devore
Techland's decision to delay Hellraid and move it to PS4, Xbox One, and PC seems to be paying off. That said, you may want to skip the first half of this 20-minute video -- it begins with the first level, which is slow to ge...

Review: Hyrule Warriors

Sep 17 // Chris Carter
Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)Developer: Omega Force, Team Ninja, NintendoPublisher: NintendoReleased: September 26, 2014MSRP: $59.99 The madness that ensues in Hyrule Warriors may not be canon, but it's explained rather well. Characters provide their typical grunts and guttural sounds over a text-based dialog system, but every level begins with a special voiceover narration -- a first for the Zelda series. The actor that provides the voice fits the mystical theme of the game well enough (even if she under-delivers a tad), and I found myself enjoying the story, no matter how tertiary it is to the real action at hand. What you're getting is a typical tale of dark vs. light, with Link and his crew battling the evil Cia (a newcomer created for the game) and some villains from the hero's past. It's all very predictable, almost in a comical fashion, but a lot of love and authenticity was put into the characters, as they all operate how you think they would after meeting each other. The development team also put a lot of work in when it comes to differentiating every character (both aesthetically and mechanically), and the cast feels wholly unique. Control-wise, Hyrule plays like your typical Warriors game with the addition of one extra (items, which I'll get to in a moment) -- meaning it's insanely easy to pick up and play, even with no prior knowledge of the series. The "combo" move setup returns, allowing players to press the standard attack button any number of times for a full combo, with the option to alter it with the special attack button. For instance, if Link attacks twice then uses a special, he'll summon a projectile with his sword, and if he attacks three times then prompts a special, he'll use an air-juggle launcher, and so on. All of this works seamlessly with the Hyrule cast, since every character has a radically different moveset. This is rare in a Warriors game, but I found myself liking every playable combatant, and since characters have two distinctly different weapons that alter their movesets on top of that, odds are you will find a play style you'll gel with. For example, it's amazing how they translated Fi into a hack and slash so well, as she looks and plays like she was transplanted 1:1 from Skyward Sword. No one feels like a clone character. Sub-weapons are also included, and seek to differentiate Hyrule from its pedigree. Bombs, arrows, and the hookshot (among others) all make an appearance, and all serve a purpose -- like bombing rocks in the overworld just like a real Zelda game. You can also level-up each character individually, and earn "badges" -- a huge skill-tree like system that you can progress through by earning Rupees and materials through normal play. It's an easy and fun progression mechanic that encourages players to replay levels for items without feeling like a grind. The lock-on system is one of the best I've seen in the series, as it actually works as intended. While locked on, you can dodge with the press of a single button, or guard by holding the left trigger and circle around your opponent. The only problem I found is that sometimes the camera gets a little wonky while locked on, but this only happens briefly once every 10 levels or so. When playing on the TV, the visuals are beautiful (though not as amazing as some other current-gen games), and there is hardly any slowdown to speak of. Once again, I'm finding myself glued to the GamePad as a control method. It's my favorite controller out right now, and I absolutely love how it feels. Players can also opt for a Pro Controller or Wiimote and Nunchuk if they please, and controls are fully customizable. There's just one major problem -- Off-TV play feels rushed in Hyrule Warriors, and really exposes the lack of power on the GamePad. Simply put, Warriors games typically display up to 100 models on-screen at once in heated situations, and the GamePad cannot handle it. In some levels -- the Twilight maps in particular, with looming towers in the background -- I've gotten full slowdown spurts as lengthy as 30 seconds (again, this doesn't happen on the TV). Now, the game is doable, and for the sake of experimentation, I completed the entire campaign on hard using Off-TV play. But if at all possible, it's not recommended. While the story and characters are wonderfully presented, the missions are going to be your typical Warriors fare. Even on hard mode the game isn't that much of a challenge, and although many levels have objectives like "capture this keep" or "kill this captain," your main goal 99% of the time is to enter the enemy base and kill the big boss. It can get tiring if you're going at it alone to say the least, since your fun factor is cut down by obtuse objectives, sometimes forcing you to slog to and fro across the entire map. You'll also have to gradually unlock characters by playing the story, starting with Impa by completing the first level, and so on. You won't even have the full cast until you complete the game, which fits in terms of the story (as you have to meet them first), but with many levels limiting you to just one character (Link), it feels restrictive. Thankfully, there is an exploration element in Hyrule Warriors that somewhat mirrors the Zelda series proper to help break up a lot of the repetition. As previously mentioned you can look for rocks to bomb, cuccos to find and mess with, hidden chests to grab, and special items to gather. When there isn't an imminent need to press on, I liked running around levels trying to find things, and it gets even more fun as you accumulate sub-weapons throughout the story. Slashing grass for health and breaking pots never felt this fun in the Warriors games. Your enjoyment is going to be increased ten-fold if you play the game with a friend. Hyrule Warriors features a full co-op mode for two players, but like other aspects of the game, it's very particular. For one, there is no online co-op of any kind. It's a huge bummer that really makes the package less appealing if you can't wrangle up a friend locally. Another thing to keep in mind is the aforementioned poor off-TV play. In Hyrule Warriors, there is no support for split-screen -- one player has to use the GamePad screen, and another has to use the TV -- no exceptions. The good news is that every single level and mode (except the first stage after booting up the game) is playable with a friend. What's really cool is that the second player can pick anyone unlocked so far in the story, even if the first player is limited to say, Link-only. Despite the lack of online play and inherent issues, couch co-op is an absolute blast, and I've played at least 30 hours with my wife, even though the campaign is roughly 10 hours. I cannot state strongly enough how much fun it is to share the experience with a partner. There's also a big bonus that makes up for the repetitive campaign -- adventure mode. This is also fully playable with two people, and features a retro-flavored map from the original NES The Legend of Zelda. You'll explore the entire overworld from the first game as you tackle each "square," which is a challenge level of sorts. Some squares might require you to kill 400 enemies in 10 minutes, and some might task you with killing three or more bosses on-screen at once. After beating a stage you might earn an old-school item like a lantern or a bomb, which can be used on the map to open up even more areas. It's crazy how fleshed out this mode is, and it cuts down on a lot of the fatigue from playing the campaign -- especially since many levels are actually challenging. If you're looking for even more to do, there's 100 collectible Gold Skulltulas that are hidden about the game. If you wanted to complete the story, adventure mode, find every Skulltula, and max out every character, it would probably take around 100 hours at minimum. That's not including the planned free updates and upcoming paid DLC. For instance, over the course of the review, a new challenge mode was even added as an update that essentially delivers more story-like missions. Hyrule Warriors can fall into the same trappings as any hack and slash, but the amount of effort that went into making it enjoyable for Zelda fans is staggering. This is one of the best couch co-op games I've ever played, warts and all.
Hyrule Warriors review photo
A Skyward Link to the Twilight Ocarina
We never could have imagined this mash-up in our wildest dreams. Nintendo, Team Ninja, and Omega Force together, co-developing a game based on the Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors series. Few stranger things hav...

Onechanbara Z2 photo
Onechanbara Z2

[NSFW] Shake it, baby: New Onechanbara Z2: Chaos screens


No, I mean, literally shake that blood off your sword
Aug 28
// Brittany Vincent
Look, I'm not gonna mince words. The last Onechanbara title I played was absolutely horrible. For some reason I thought Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad for Xbox 360 was going to be this sexy amalgam of zombie-slaying goodne...
Gauntlet photo
Gauntlet

Blue Valkyrie needs food badly: Gauntlet delayed until September 23


Still on track for Steam
Aug 27
// Chris Carter
Warner Bros. Interactive has announced a new release date for the upcoming Gauntlet -- September 23rd. While the game is still set to arrive on Steam next month, the publisher states that "additional time was needed to ...
Fan service photo
Fan service

[NSFW] Onechanbara Z2: Chaos opener & alternate costumes


The costumes are just small fruit over the genitals
Aug 26
// Steven Hansen
The problem with having a super "fan service" sort of game is that it can be hard to add more fan service. Like, there are plenty of upskirts in Onechanbara Z2: Chaos' opening cinematic, but when half of your characters are ...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

The sound and the fury of Bayonetta 2's angels and demons


Finding the opposite of angels
Aug 20
// Brittany Vincent
Bayonetta 2 sound designer Daisuke Sakata touched on how he goes about designing sounds for his games in a recent post on the PlatinumGames blog. In particular, Sakata talks about the presence of both angel and demon enemies...
Sacred 3 photo
Sacred 3

A Sacred 3 developer apologizes for the game


It is currently sitting at zero positive reviews on Steam
Aug 18
// Alasdair Duncan
Sacred 3 wasn't a very well received game; I felt it was an average and uninspired hack-'n'-slash game with some terrible attempts at humor. Comments on my review either sided on "hey, it's not too bad in co-op," to "this is ...
Zelda Wii U photo
Zelda Wii U

Grass cutting CONFIRMED for Hyrule Warriors


It made the cut!
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Cutting grass is an important part of The Legend of Zelda, you know. So, we were happy to hear series producer Eiji Aonuma confirm during tonight's Nintendo Direct that this time-honored tradition would be making a glorious return in Hyrule Warriors. Who needs online multiplayer when you can chop up grass by your lonesome? Hyrule Warriors Direct [Nintendo]
 photo
This is a Longshot from good news
Nintendo confirmed that Hyrule Warriors will not have an online co-op story mode. A lot of Zelda fans have been excited for this creative treatment of the series, but how much of a blow will this news be to the hype? If nothing else, this at least sucks a little.

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos photo
Onechanbara Z2: Chaos

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos trailer full of tits, upskirts, and murder


Kill zombies, wear bikinis
Jul 31
// Steven Hansen
Holy crap, that song it goes into around the 45-second mark is so damn bad. Onechanbara Z2: Chaos is hitting PS4 in Japan this October, where it can hopefully help shift some units, as the PS4 library isn't tickling the country's collective fancy. Looks I lot better than the Onechanbara I played on Wii. 
Onechanbara PS4 photo
Onechanbara PS4

Onechanbara Z2: Chaos announced for PlayStation 4


The scantily-clad zombie slayers return to Japan this October
Jul 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Sony's PlayStation 4 isn't setting Japan ablaze just yet, like it is in much of the world. Part of that has to do with the dearth of software specifically targeted toward Japanese audiences. Enter Onechanbara Z2: Chaos, ...
Bayonetta 2 photo
Bayonetta 2

Go in for the kill with these new Bayonetta 2 screens


AZAZAZ PIADPH!
Jun 27
// Brittany Vincent
"Do you want to touch me?" I mean, I wanna touch Bayonetta 2. I need my hands all over it. I can't wait much longer for its release, and we've already covered climaxing together. Here's something to keep you going while ...
Samurai Warriors 4 photo
Samurai Warriors 4

Samurai Warriors 4 hacks and slashes west this October


Celebrating 10 years of Musou!
Jun 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Samurai Warriors 4 will launch in North America on October 21 and throughout Europe starting October 24, publisher Tecmo Koei announced today. The action game from developer Omega Force supports both co-operative play and cr...
Sacred 3 photo
Sacred 3

Co-op hack 'n' slasher Sacred 3 coming August 5


PS3, 360, PC
May 27
// Steven Hansen
Thanks for not calling it Sacr3d. This new Sacred game features online (four players) and offline (two players) co-op, which will probably be its main draw when it releases on August 5 for PS3, 360, PC. Plus, your homies' voices can drown out those badly acted, hokey combat barks from the trailer.
Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

Tecmo Koei hopes Hyrule Warriors will be a million seller for Wii U


Seems reasonable
May 18
// Kyle MacGregor
Hyrule Warriors, the Dynasty Warriors-esque action game set in The Legend of Zelda universe, is coming to Wii U this year. And developer Tecmo Koei hopes the game is a big hit, obviously.  Speaking in interview with Nikk...
 photo
I hope the final boss is the Gibson
Max recently sat down with Brandon Dillon of Double Fine, Programmer and Project Lead on Hack 'N' Slash. Brandon walked us through a demonstration of the game, which allows players to manipulate the actual code of the game with the protagonist's USB sword, and we all learn some lessons in critical thinking.

Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors slashing through nameless enemies in Japan this summer


Those droves of enemies had families...
May 08
// Brittany Vincent
Ready to cut through legions of Zelda opponents a la Dynasty Warriors? Tecmo Koei's Hyrule Warriors is releasing in Japan for Wii U this summer, according to a document recently released by Nintendo. As far as how long it'll ...
Croixleur Sigma! photo
Croixleur Sigma!

Croixleur Sigma is hard to pronounce, but fun to play


Devil May Cute returns, and is better than ever
May 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Doujin hack-and-slasher Croixleur debuted on western shores early last year, and it packed quite a punch. The game drew inspiration from the Devil May Cry series' Bloody Palace mode, pitting players against waves of...
Dynasty Warriors photo
Dynasty Warriors

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete hits Steam this month


Launching May 13 for PC
May 02
// Jordan Devore
Tecmo Koei has honed in on the North American and European PC release date for Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition -- it's coming to Steam on May 13, 2014. The publisher included a handful of screenshots along with the announcement, including a shot of the graphics menu if you'd like to see what settings are customizable. Find those below.
Japanese indie games! photo
Japanese indie games!

Croixleur Sigma attacks Steam on April 30


Doujin action game gets an extreme makeover next week
Apr 23
// Kyle MacGregor
Croixleur Sigma is being unleashed next week, localization outfit Nyu Media has announced. The hack-and-slash brawler will hit Steam and various other digital retailers on April 30 for $7.99. Created by doujin studio Souveni...
Dynasty Warriors photo
Dynasty Warriors

PC release confirmed for Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete


Dynasty Warrior? I hardly know her!
Apr 17
// Jordan Devore
One of my great gaming sins has been managing to somehow skip out on the entirety of the Dynasty Warriors series, but now that one of them is releasing on Steam, my days of being uninformed about all things Lu Bu are numbered...
Toukiden DLC photo
Toukiden DLC

Soul Sacrifice crosses over to Toukiden in DLC form


New multiplayer missions and armor
Mar 31
// Chris Carter
Toukiden: The Age of Demons is about to extend its lifecycle, with extra DLC crossover content from fellow Vita hack and slash Soul Sacrifice. Tecmo Koei has announced a series of new add-ons that involve new themed armor and...
Doujin Games photo
Doujin Games

Croixleur Sigma hacks and slashes onto Steam in late April


YISSSSSS!
Mar 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Croixleur Sigma is tentatively scheduled for an April 25 release on Steam, Nyu media announced today. The lovely doujin hack-and-slash initially hit western shores early last year, but has since been outfitted with a myriad o...

Review: Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition

Mar 29 // Chris Carter
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (PS3 [Non-"Complete"], PS4 [reviewed], Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Tecmo Koei Released: March 25, 2014MSRP: $39.99 (PS3) / $59.99 (PS4) / $39.99 (Vita) Just to be clear, the PS4 and Vita versions of the game are labeled the Complete Edition because you're getting the base Dynasty Warriors 8 experience combined with the new Xtreme Legends expansion. With the PS3 version you'll have to upgrade, but at a cheaper cost. Got it? Good! In terms of new content, you're getting a storyline featuring Lu Bu, a Challenge Mode, a new difficulty (Ultimate), an extended Ambition Mode, some gameplay tweaks, and five new characters. Lu Bu's campaign is very brief, weighing in at around three hours or so, but nearly every battle is enjoyable, and his moveset in general is a blast to play, with moves that include amazing Dragon Ball Z-style electric choke-slams. The new characters are all welcome additions as well, bringing up the total count to 82 -- ensuring that there's something for everyone. As was the case with Dynasty Warriors 8 vanilla, Omega Force has made a concerted effort to ease up on clones, and nearly every single fighter has a unique set of moves and weapon-set. My personal favorites are Fa Zheng and Chen Gong (who merely orders people to do his bidding), which both feel wholly unique to the franchise, while still fitting the (wacky) universe. [embed]272305:53138:0[/embed] If you're so inclined you can use the new Weapon Fusion system to boost equipment as well as bring along a second weapon. It's a small concession that strengthens the roster even further, as you can customize them to your style of play -- albeit at a price, involving lots of grinding and continued play. This is the deepest game in the Dynasty Warriors series yet, as the elemental counters of each weapon are taken further down the rabbit hole with even more choices. Challenge Mode is basically built for hardcore fans, adding in bonus levels that task you with fulfilling certain objectives like killing as many enemies as you can. These sport online leaderboards, which is the real draw for those who want to show that they're the best damn warrior around. For most players though they'll lose their allure after a few playthroughs, so don't expect much. The new difficulty isn't anything to write home about as well, since the game was particularly well balanced from the get-go -- this is basically just a way for people to mess around with the extended level cap (now 150). Finally, new "What-if?" scenarios are unlocked, and with the Complete Edition in tow that has the core game inherently built-in, you'll have access to around 100 hours of content -- which makes this particularly appealing if you haven't picked up Dynasty Warriors 8. For the purposes of this review I was able to test out the PS4 version of the game, and I'm pleased to say that it handles quite well. Although there are still a few minor hitches here and there, I didn't really encounter any noticeable slowdown, and the PS4 is capable of showing more soldiers on-screen than ever before. It's not a graphical overhaul in the slightest (there's a weird filter in place, as well as the franchise's standard fog effect), but what really matters is that the engine doesn't feel limited and gameplay isn't compromised. There's also the ability to take advantage of Cross-Save features between the PS3 and Vita, and if you had the PS3 version of Dynasty Warriors 8 you can transfer in your save file to the PS4. If you haven't played a Dynasty Warriors game in a long while, picking up Xtreme Legends on your shiny new PS4 isn't a bad idea. It doesn't offer up anything mind-blowing that demands the attention of casual fans, but as a complete package it's a wonderful entry point.
Dynasty Warriors review photo
Feel free to pursue it
I still remember the first time I ever laid eyes on a Dynasty Warriors game. It was a cold winter afternoon in 2000, and for whatever reason, one lone copy of Dynasty Warriors 2 was calling my name at a local Blockbuster...

Review: Toukiden: The Age of Demons

Mar 27 // Kyle MacGregor
Toukiden: The Age of Demons (PlayStation Vita)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Tecmo KoeiRelease:  February 11, 2014MSRP: $39.99  Toukiden takes place in a world where the last vestiges of humanity hang by a thread. Beset upon by an endless horde of demonic Oni, embattled villages depend on warriors called Slayers to repel the tide of monstrosities that constantly crash at their gates. As a Slayer, players will venture into the corrupted lands beyond their borders to cull a particular number of a particular type of demon. Then it's time to collect their remains and use the spoils to craft new weapons and armor before pursuing the next bounty. And that's basically it. With little in the way of frills, Toukiden takes that tried-and-tested Monster Hunter formula and, um, well, it certainly sticks to the blueprint. That's for sure. The story and setting are perhaps the most unique aspects of the experience. It's just a shame that it's all so terribly bleak. Toukiden's world is cheerless, eschewing the vivid natural environments and amusements like the talking cats that its inspiration employs, for dreary landscapes and oppressive situations where things always seem to be going from bad to worse. Sadly, the characters are rigid and prosaic, offering precious little comic relief to a world that so desperately needs it. [embed]271663:53150:0[/embed] The gameplay makes up for most of the title's shortcomings, and should win over fans of the genre with its familiar structure and solid combat. Once you take a mission, players are whisked away to an array of arenas populated with enemies. From there it's a basic hack-and-slash where teams of up to four Slayers grind through waves of smaller foes and occasionally tackle larger creatures. Missions are typically short and well suited for portable play, though more powerful Oni may test some players' patience. Boss fights are repetitious affairs where larger demons must be carved up one limb at a time. These baddies possess excessive amounts of health and take what seems like forever to take down. These events seem to drag on and on, before the frustration climaxes in a moment of relief as the tired affair comes to a close. Adding insult to injury, these encounters lack variety, as boss types are recycled over and over again. In the heat of battle players will need to lower their guards in order to purify the corpses of slaughtered demons, which yield the materials necessary to craft new weapons and armor. While the game supports both local and online multiplayer, allied characters are surprisingly competent at taking out enemies and watching the player's back while one is otherwise indisposed. And should you fall in battle they're rarely too far off to help you back to your feet so you can rejoin the fight. In terms of weaponry, there's a myriad of blades, bows, and other implements of death to play with -- like the chained sickle. On top of standard attacks, Slayers can equip the tools of their trade with Mitama, souls of fallen heroes that offer different combat bonuses and abilities. Much of the game's appeal comes from equipment progression and kitting your character out with new and more powerful gear. Beyond that, though, Toukiden lacks variety and nuance. The objective never changes. It's all demon slaying and equipment crafting all the time. Which is fine. But by never straying from the beaten path, it does little to differentiate itself from its competitors or step out from Monster Hunter's shadow. Those starving for that type of experience would do well to give Toukiden a go. It's a good bit of fun and certainly a pretty experience that might well satiate your desire to kill and collect for a few dozen hours, especially if you play with friends. Just don't go in expecting anything particularly great or revolutionary. If you're going to steal, steal from the best. And that's precisely what Toukiden's done, for better or for worse. It's a very competent Monster Hunter clone, but, by adhering so rigidly to that winning formula, it lacks an identity of its own. That's not to say that this is a bad game, far from it, but it isn't a great one either. It just doesn't do enough to separate itself from the crowd or demand your attention. A touch of color, a few diversions, and some fresh ideas could really have gone a long way to making Toukiden something special. As is, it's merely pretty okay.
Toukiden review photo
Off-brand Monster Hunter
Originality is a pretty hard thing to come by, and ideas don't just materialize out of thin air. They're a patchwork of experiences lifted from our surroundings, filtered, and diffused back out into the world. Many of us hide...

Review: The Witch and the Hundred Knight

Mar 24 // Chris Carter
The Witch and the Hundred Knight (PS3)Developer: Nippon Ichi SoftwarePublisher: Nippon Ichi SoftwareRelease: March 25, 2014Price: $49.99 Witch may have one of the most confusing titles in recent memory, but when you break it down, it's not so bad. The game stars the Witch Metallia ("Metallica" in Japan), as she attempts to wreak havoc on the world by summoning the "Hundred Knight" that's you) -- one of the most powerful familiars of all time. The problem is, this "legendary" creature starts off as nothing more than a cute little helmet with arms and legs, leading to an interesting dichotomy between Hundred's adorable nature and Metallia's fiery damnation. Metallia herself is one of the most absurd "protagonists" NIS has created to date, as you're not really supposed to find her likable. In fact, she's more than downright evil, as she often times assaults her victims in ways that some may find unsettling (seriously). It's a really weird juxtaposition to NIS's typical stable of evil characters (especially Disgaea), which are usually more talk than action, with most of the evil done off-screen or merely described in an extended monologue. Nevertheless, you'll have to live as Metallia's servant, and serving her every whim time and time again is basically how the story plays out throughout the adventure. She's lived in the swamp all her life, and since she's too lazy and stubborn to leave it, you'll have to do her bidding, then periodically report back with your findings and loot. So, it's your job to maim, kill, destroy, and ransack as many villages as possible -- fun! In theory, at least. [embed]272062:53012:0[/embed] Most of the action will be done straight hack-and-slash style -- no turn-based cycles here. The Hundred Knight can move around just like an adventurer in a Diablo game, top-down view and all. Our hero has the ability to attack and defend, but the former discipline quickly becomes a complicated affair with combo weapons, counter strategies, and enemy diversity. It's an interesting design that transcends the typical genre conventions. For instance, hammers are perfect for single encounters, and spears are great for crowd control -- so combining the two into a combo that leads with a spear and mixes into a hammer could be a great way to thin out some ranks. Add in hundreds of nuanced weapons, more attack types, and a cavalcade of items to buy, and you're in menu-scrolling heaven. Then there's the GigaCal meter, which puts a cap on how long you can stay out in the wild by linking your actions to a timer. It makes sense in that you're constantly worrying about how far you can go, and thus need to play cautiously, but in the end it just causes needless frustration, and messes up the pacing considerably. There are ways around it like using certain items or consuming foes, but this mostly just delays the inevitable. There really isn't much to Witch and the Hundred Knight, as you're basically going to be doing the same pattern over and over, fighting menial enemies as you make your way to the boss, followed by a lengthy cutscene. While it's always interesting to see what's going to happen next, the fact of the matter is the scenes themselves often go on for way too long (sometimes 20 minutes or more), and will have you reaching for the fast-forward button on more than one occasion. It's strange how uneven the action portion of this action-RPG can really feel, and some paring down of cutscenes would have been a good place to start. Combat is also fairly repetitive when you break it down. While the macro-level equipment trappings of typical NIS RPGs are here in all their glory, the Knight is limited in what he can actually do, and it leads to a lot of dull moments. Hacking up enemies is fun enough, but it's not often that you'll face anything worthy of your skills outside of the few and far between boss characters. If you enjoy crazy stories that constantly top themselves and deep action-RPG conventions that others find frustrating, you'll enjoy The Witch and the Hundred Knight. But with a lot of small adjustments, it really could have been a great gateway into the world of complicated isometric titles.
Witch review photo
Harvester of Sorrow
Nippon Ichi Software is one hell of a developer. One day they could be lighting the world on fire with one of the most celebrated games in a genre (Disgaea), and the next, they could be milking a franchise into oblivion (Disg...

Heart & Slash photo
Heart & Slash

Heart & Slash looks like a grand old time


I can't get enough beat 'em ups
Mar 03
// Chris Carter
Heart & Slash is currently very close to its Kickstarter goal, and for good reason -- it looks like a pretty entertaining beat 'em up. The game takes place in a future where humans are no longer around, and instead, mach...
Valhalla Knights 3 Gold photo
Valhalla Knights 3 Gold

WTF: This is one of the weirdest Japanese trailers ever


Oh my gold!
Feb 22
// Wesley Ruscher
I have no idea what's going on in this trailer for the recently released, Japanese and PS Vita only, Valhalla Knights 3 Gold, but I have to say I'm mildly entertained. Well more entertained than I was when I reviewed th...
Sacred 3 photo
Sacred 3

Sacred 3 is coming to the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 this year


Expect it in the summer
Feb 20
// Chris Carter
Deep Silver has announced that Sacred 3 is on its way to the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 platforms this summer. As always, it'll feature co-op hack and slash gameplay, and lots of dungeon crawling, as well as offline and onli...

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