Reviewed on PlayStation 3
Given how crazy the attack skills and spells are in other NIS games, I expected to see lots of fun-to-use abilities, but alas, the handful available in Hundred Knight are pretty bare-bones. They’re all so underwhelming that I forgot they were there half the time. Why would I bother summoning a bomb that takes longer to blow up than it takes for me to slash my foes to ribbons, or a group of minions who run in circles doing barely any damage? The Hundred Knight is supposed to be a destructive force to be reckoned with in the lore, but all he seems to be good at is swinging around whatever weapon he’s holding while occasionally dodging.
Thankfully, there’s some fun to be had doing both of those things. Dodging with perfect timing activates a neat slow-motion effect that gives you time to unleash on opponents with very little fear of retaliation. Not only does the effect look slick, but it was one of the few times I felt rewarded for my skill.
On offense, there’s a little thought required in custom-building your five-hit attack string by equipping a wide variety of different weaponry. For instance, spears offer wide-arc, multi-hitting attacks, while hammers deliver slow, crushing blows to enemies right in front of you. Each deals different types of damage too, so building attack strings that are functional and well suited to a variety of takes some planning. Getting creative with my equipment setups felt rewarding, because I could see the payoff every time I pummelled a group of enemies who used to give me trouble. Still, once I found a setup that covered most of my bases it was easy to go on autopilot, so I found myself mentally checking out during longer stretches of combat.
Switching between different character classes is also a dud, since they didn’t vary significantly enough to bother with, and new areas never really introduced new challenges to make what few abilities the different classes have feel valuable. But the biggest offender is the GigaCals system, which is basically a fancy name for “time limit.” With every action you take and move you make, GigaCals are expended, and once they’re depleted you’re more or less defenseless. But again, this is an arbitrary form of challenge because you can just teleport out of an area, and teleport back in with a fresh GigaCal stock. It’s a needlessly restrictive system that didn’t really do anything but waste my time by forcing me to endure extra load screens every so often.
- +Equipment system
- +Attacking and dodging
- –Pointless systems
- –Joyless characters
- –Boring abilities