Hundred Knight was a game that come out far too late in the PS3’s life to make a big impact, it was not well advertised in the west and sort of game out without notice, and faded out just as quickly, which is a shame, because it was a great game, and was something different compared to other games from Nippon Ichi at the time. The game was a different take on the JRPG story, you play as a summoned magical being, which looks more like a little gnome more than anything else, and your master, Matallia the swap witch, wants nothing more than to spread swap around the place.
It’s definitely not your standard, here are your heroes, go and kill the big bad guy, and it’s quite refreshing, you spend the first part of the game killing and slowly spreading swap for your master as you level up, with some entertaining cut scenes along the way. Though on cut scenes, it seems odd to censor swearing in such a game, as it’s pretty clear what is being said. It’s also nice to see a story that doesn’t resort so as many cliché tropes, have a witch, who does not care about being nice, and only wants her way, even when the story expects her to be nice, she still acts show she wants which again, refreshing to see with so many hero/villain story lines.
I really want to touch on the music in this game, it is so fitting and great, I really love Nippon Ichi’s sound tracks, from the annoyingly catchy shop theme in Disgaea to Phantom Braves fantastic score, yes a lot of the songs are very similar and you could easily be forgiven for mistaking the game they come from, but they are all so catchy and upbeat I never get bored of it.
Graphically the game isn’t anything spectacular, mostly this is due to the game originally being a PS3 game “remastered” to be re-released on the PS4. Though the majority of this is down to the fact that, Nippon Ichi is just not good at 3D, cut scenes are lovely, with characters being drawn beautifully in 2D, in different poses and everything. 3D however is a little bit muddy and samey, everything is a bit… weak in the 3D department, with most of the game looking like a PS2 game, and in some cases maybe an early 3D title, it is a bit disappointing but at this point think many people have come to accept this from Nippon. Though it does have its moments, some of the lighting looks really nice, and in some areas the detail in some areas makes up for the muddy textures.
Gameplay wise, the closest thing I can compare this game too is probably a Diablo-like, you have your top down camera, you run around a level killing everything you can, and picking up new weapons and items as you run around hoping to get a slightly better weapon from a drop. It’s a tried and true formula that doesn’t have to go wrong as long as it is done right, with some additions you would hope, and here you get… some additions, in this case there are some differences that make the game somewhat different to other dungeon crawlers.
For one you have a limit to how far you can go in one level, the map is not revealed to you from the start, and walking around slowly reveals more of the map to you, but this will use up your energy as you move. Moving through fog drains it quicker, whilst going through already revealed areas drain it slower. If you run out, that’s it you dead and back you go to the load game screen, there are “pillars” you can open that let you teleport back or to another pillar to reduce backtracking through the game, and even through larger areas which is nice.
Another is the fact that the more you kill the better bonus gauge you have, which gives you more inventive to kill every enemy and maybe stay in a revealed area to try and get as many bonus items at the end as you can, which is pretty satisfying as you go along the game.
Finally, is your ability to equip facets to change both your appearance and stats to weapons and health/defence. You can equip a main facet with 2 sub facets. Your main facet changes your appearance and proficiency with weapons, but sub facets only effect stats, so you can have quite a few different arrangements to match your play style and weapon usage.
Hundred knight may be a rerelease, and some people may really not like the idea of them, but when you have such a fun and polished game that got pretty much ignored on release, it’s great to see people get a second chance to have a go and enjoy the game. With plenty of gameplay elements and a good length story there is a lot for many people to enjoy, and if you missed it the first time, you really should try it out this time. A very enjoyable and different JRPG, that might supprise if given the time, 9/10.