In our review of the first The Witch and the Hundred Knight back in 2014, Zack enjoyed the gameplay but had some major issues with the game's characters and story. I must admit - I haven't played the game, so when I sat down to give that game's sequel a play at NISA's recent press event, everything about it was new to me.
From my understanding, the gameplay in this sequel is remarkably similar to the first title. The Hundred Knight still can chain together 5 attacks at once, is beholden to the GigaCal meter, and has access to various facets that once equipped can be swapped via the use of the DualShock triggers. Items are still stored in the knight's gut, to be accessed only after leaving a level. While it seems like there should be at least a few changes to the formula, nothing so drastic has been changed to make the combat a radically different affair. Essentially, however, The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2's combat revolves around this initial combo system, special attacks (which require energy to use, and are activated using R1+their respective face button), and the Third Eye and GigaCal systems.
You see, as players crawl through these various dungeons, a meter in the upper left portion of the screen will slowly tick down. When it empties you are essentially dead, so maintaining this meter is of the utmost importance. Occasionally when battling enemies you'll be given a prompt to press the L1 button. Doing so will have the Hundred Knight dash in the direction the analog stick is pointed... if this dash kills an enemy, a portion of the GigaCal meter will be replenished.
The other meter that players have to worry about keeping filled is AP, which goes towards using special attacks. Naturally, these attacks are your deadliest - doling out considerably more DPS than your standard square-button combo. However, they're very much beholden to how much AP you have and are able to expend. You can use items to replenish AP manually, but activating the knight's Third Eye mode is probably a more efficient way of doing things. When the mode is activated, not only will the knight's speed and attack power drastically increase, but you'll recover this energy at a rapid rate as well. Of course, defeating an enemy with a dash will recover your AP as well.
While combat certainly doesn't seem to be too complicated, what I managed to play kept me hooked for the duration of the demo, as well as got me interested in checking out the first game on my own time. What certainly seems to be a more engaging hook at first glance would have to be the story. The dynamic between 2 sisters - one possessed by a witch, and the other tasked to hunt witches - not only sounds better on paper than the story dynamic to the first game, but seems like it's more likely to give players a reason to sympathize, or at least tolerate, this game's witch in comparison to Metallia.
The Witch and the Hundred Knight 2 launches on March 27th in North America, and March 30th in Europe, for PlayStation 4.