The Knight Witchby Aethyna Dec 4, 2022 | 1 Votes | 25 Played | 0 Reviews
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The Knight Witch is an adventure game that blends Metroidvania with shoot-‘em-up into a unique experience. In this game, you play as a budding Knight Witch, Rayne, one of the five chosen by the Children of Gaia to wield incredible powers that are fueled by gratitude, trust, and belief. As such, the Knight Witches are protectors of the people and have been even after the war against the powerful Daigadai family ended.
However, they were called upon yet again as descendent of the Daigadai, who was previously thought to be completely annihilated, who decided to exact her revenge on the people who survived the war. Unlike the previous war though, this time, you are ready to take any enemy head-on! Assume your role as the protector of the people, rescue many people from their cages, and find a way to end Daigadai’s invasion!
Set in a world after it was devastated by greed and the subsequent war that followed, you play as a budding Knight Witch, Rayne, one of the five chosen by the people of the Children of Gaia revolution to wield incredible powers that are fueled by gratitude, trust, and belief.
Things were tough but peaceful for quite some time in Dungeonidas, that is until the enemies from the war, the Daigadai who was previously thought to be completely annihilated, made a surprise invasion in their thirst to get revenge, specifically the supposedly “icons” of the revolutionaries, the Knight Witches.
However, since Rayne wasn’t part of the team of Knight Witches who ended the war by slaying the Daigadai as she wasn’t ready yet, she has so far been spared. This time, Rayne is determined to step up and play her part. Assume your role as the protector of the people, rescue many people from their cages, and find a way to end Daigadai’s invasion!
The Knight Witch features a Metroidvania-styled level design and progression and a fairly hectic, though it’s not close to true bullet-hell, shoot-'em-up gameplay that, when combined, makes for a delightfully addictive game!
As a Metroidvania, every level in this game is made up of interconnected rooms with exits – yes, oftentimes more than one – that lead you to other parts of the map. Some rooms are locked behind doors or obstacles that can only be unlocked once you’ve gained new abilities that will allow you to do so, resulting in some amount of backtracking as well as revisiting previously “completed” map just to unlock and explore every single room there is. Note that blocked doors are indicated on the map, so it’s easy enough for you to find and revisit a blocked door once you have the necessary ability to unlock it.
Of course, there are also plenty of secret rooms, usually filled with traps like a spikes-lined narrow tunnel or a crowded room filled with spikes-covered squares that will draw you in like a magnet if you get too close, for you to find by yourself or with the help of the map. Each of these secret rooms houses special rewards ranging from Yupi Coins to new cards for your Spelldeck… more on these later! There are well-placed “checkpoints”, a.k.a. the arcane beacons, around the map as well, allowing you to quickly get back to the room you’ve died in.
However, it’s not really a true Metroidvania due to its fairly linear exploration path. Secret rooms are also hinted at via the map, so finding one does take away some of the joys of discovery. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t provide a simple teleportation system to help ease the tedium of backtracking as well, such as allowing you to teleport between beacons on the same map. It’d definitely be nice to have such an option since Rayne doesn’t move as fast.
Most rooms feature the standard fare which consists of a nice smattering of enemies and traps that typically don’t pose too much of a challenge, but sometimes you may encounter events – they don’t seem to be randomized, but instead, are built into the level design – that can pose quite the challenge. There’s the “Ambush” whereby enemies will spawn in waves and you’ll need to make it to the end of the timer in one piece.
At least once a map, you’ll also bump into one of the Underbaker’s skeletons. Muffin-sellers by trade (the muffins will restore health when consumed), they are willing to craft a variety of armor for you for some shards. Most armor will shatter after only one blow, but at least your health would remain intact. There are also many different kinds of armor you can unlock and buy at the shop by collecting any Armor Magazines you find. You can usually find these after going through some obstacle course in a secret room.
Occasionally, you will also encounter caged residents of Dungeonidas whom you’ll want to rescue. Every person you free will add their gratitude, trust, and belief to your link, much like experience points do. Eventually, you’ll level up, allowing you to choose a Knight or a Witch upgrade. A Knight upgrade will increase the stats of your basic attack like damage or rate of fire or your total number of lives, while a Witch upgrade would increase the stats of your spells or number of mana orbs you can carry at any time instead.
Naturally, the goal of every level is to defeat the main boss to progress the story and access the next map or location, so at one point you’ll have to face whatever “big bad baddie” the game has in store for you. Personally, the bosses here aren’t too difficult to defeat, even with my mediocre twin-stick shooting skills, as long as you learn the attack patterns quickly and pay attention to the projectiles as the screen starts to fill up.
The twin-stick shooting combat in this game is, frankly speaking, very entertaining. Dodging projectiles feels fun here. Plus, the game makes it so that every hit you receive, which would cost you a life out of the three you start off with, would clear the entire screen of projectiles so you’d have time to get your bearings before diving back into battle.
Besides your basic attack skills, you’ll also get to use special abilities that will cost you mana. These abilities come in the form of cards in your 6-card Spelldeck... and yes, by “6-card”, I meant you can only add up to 6 cards to your deck. You can easily modify your Spelldeck by heading to a nearby beacon and you’ll likely do this quite often since you do discover new cards pretty often, as many as 2-3 times per map.
New spellcards are often obtained either by defeating bosses (Memento cards) or finding a card-containing chest in a secret area after going through the obstacle challenges it contains. You can also get new spellcards at the Jester once you’ve unlocked access to the Castle after completing the first map in exchange for Yupi Coins you may have found in your adventures. He will give you three completely randomized spellcards that you can only choose one of.
At the castle, there’s a witch who would duplicate any card you have, including those not in your deck, in exchange for shards. Even if you have no need for the duplicated cards, duplicating cards is still beneficial to you since it increases the multiplier for any shards gained from defeated enemies in case you eventually come across a card that you’ll actually want to duplicate.
Note that by default, you’ll already get more shards if you slay enemies using spells, so that’s definitely one way to “farm” for more shards. The game also provides you with a way to try out new spelldeck combinations – you just need to visit the Training Palace at any beacon to do so.
Considering that your Spelldeck is very lean in this game, it’s crucial to have a well-varied deck even though mana is pretty easily obtainable here – they drop from slain enemies often enough. Not to mention, once you get to the second map, you’ll start to realize how important your spells are especially when the attack power for your basic attacks really drops off. At that point, you’ll be forced to rely on your spells which deal a lot more damage, and your mana management skills, to get through any combat-related challenges that you may encounter.
Now as interesting as this form of combat system is, there are, unfortunately, some pretty glaring issues. For starters, the cards you have access to via the spelldeck is randomized and you’ll only get to access three of them at a time. This meant that during battle, where projectiles are flying left and right, up and down, and even diagonally, you’ll be forced to look to the bottom right corner of the screen to see which spells you have access to before choosing to invest the mana you have into activating one or more of them.
For anyone who is familiar with any “shmups” or bullet-hells, they would know that taking your eyes off the battlefield even for a second or two can be fatal for your character. This risk is even higher when the screen starts to really fill up. So, although it’s not entirely impossible to play, having such a combat system can easily turn a fairly midcore-level game into a game that’s a lot more challenging.
Although there’s no penalty to death and you can attempt a fight again and again until you make it, there might be times when you just want to throw your hands up and move on with the story. If this is the case, you might like what the developers have included in The Knight Witch – actual cheats that you can activate to help you get through whatever that is rooting you in place and preventing any meaningful progress.
The Knight Witch is undeniably a very fun game to play, but the game isn’t without its issues. Besides the ones pointed out above, the game also has some not-so-obvious game features that lack explanation, like the floating stone with a blue aura around it. Even with some tests, I still couldn’t figure out what this stone actually does. There’s also the underwater level where you need to pilot a submarine that many players, us aside, have complained about. Of course, the game also has very long loading times that can at times, crash the game.
The Knight Witch features absolutely breathtaking graphics with a vibrant cartoony art style that is both charming and endearing. I especially love the character design and the background here. In terms of sound, the game features a nice selection of soundtracks that really help set the tone and the atmosphere of different locations and cutscenes throughout the game.
The Knight Witch is truly an incredible mix of Metroidvania and shoot ‘em ups, offering a delightful new experience that’s addictively fun to enjoy! Couple that with gorgeous cartoony graphics, a satisfyingly-paced game progression, and lots of secrets to find, this is the sort of game that’ll suck you in and keep you entertained for hours on end, despite still having some balancing and optimizing issues that the developers would hopefully patch up soon.
So, to sum up, if you love playing Metroidvania and shoot ‘em ups, you’ll definitely love The Knight Witch! Buy it now on Steam.