Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Half-Minute Hero + Protect Me Knight + Ys = Witch and Hero (3DS)

My first encounter with the recently released 3DS eShop title called Witch and Hero (or Witch & Hero, if you get off on ampersands)--which basically involved me stumbling across its fabulously retro logo and a small handful of screenshots--was so positive I was sure it was my cup of tea.

My second run-in with this Circle Entertainment-published game--a write-up that made it seem like little more than an overly simplistic tower-defense title, although in this case you're actually defending a petrified witch, rather a tower, from swarms of enemies--wasn't so favorable, unfortunately, and pretty much convinced me to give it a pass.

Unsurprisingly (given my history as a gaming flip-flopper), the third time I rubbed eyeballs with Witch and Hero--thanks to the second video below--I was pushed to consider it once again.

Even then, though, I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about its asking price. I know $3.99 isn't much, especially in the world of video games, but considering I spent just $4.99 on Crimson Shroud last week, forking over a dollar less for a digital title that at the time appeared to have a lot less content didn't much appeal to me.

So, with that in mind, I contacted the folks at Circle Entertainment and asked if they'd be willing to give me a free (review) copy of the game. Shockingly, they were.

I've since spent about five hours protecting the titular witch (while in the shoes of the pixelated hero also seen in the video above), and let me tell you: I've enjoyed pretty much every second of those five hours. Sure, I've had my ass handed to me once or twice (maybe more) in that time, but that's never frustrated me--mainly because the game barely punishes you for dying.

That's not to suggest Witch and Hero, developed in tandem by Flyhigh Works and FK Digital, is a pushover. On the contrary, although the game sports just 20 stages, I've only made it to the 16th one so far. You see, you don't play this title as you do most others--play a stage, beat it on your first try, move on to the next, beat it on your first try, rinse and repeat. Instead, you may beat a particular stage, move on to the next, find you're overmatched, head back to the previous one, beat it a few more times, earn enough dough to improve your weaponry (or magic) and then return to the previously troublesome one to wreak havoc.

Sound boring and repetitive? Maybe so, but in practice it's anything but--or at least that's been the case for me so far.

It helps, of course, that the game's graphics--which bring to mind those of Half-Minute Hero or even What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord?--are as charming as can be, as is its Final Fantasy-esque soundtrack.

There's much more to Witch and Hero than what I've shared here, but I'll save my chatter about them for the "somewhat gay review" that I'm planning to publish next week. In the meantime, I'd highly recommend checking out the videos above if you're at all curious as to what this eShop gem has to offer.


Justin Difazzio said...

I just saw you on my friend list playing this game and wondered why I'd never heard of it. The progression sounds a little like Final Fantasy: ATB. I enjoyed that aspect of it, so I think I'd probably like this!

thegaygamer.com said...

Yep, I play it whenever I have a free moment these days. It's really good for little bursts of gaming :) I can't compare it to FF ATB, sadly. If you decide to pick it up eventually, though, let me know what you think of it!

Steve Pixel said...

I'm glad this turned out to be good. I guess I'll be picking it up eventually then. That's interesting that it's a co-production between a Japanese company (Flyhigh) and Taiwanese one (FK). Do you know how they split things up? BTW, have you grabbed Pic-dun 2 yet? It's another eShop title that's been flying under everybody's radar as well, but I think it's fun enough to be worth the price.

thegaygamer.com said...

Yes, I think you might like it, too, Steve. That said, I don't think there's anything wrong with waiting a bit and seeing if it's given a discount. Personally, I think the game is worth $3.99, but I think $2.99 or even $1.99 would make more sense for most people.

As for how Flyhigh and FK divvied things up while making this game: I don't know at the moment, but I should know it soon, as I just sent off a batch of questions to both companies, whose team members have agreed to participate in a bit of a Q&A. Fingers crossed that they actually return their replies to me :)

Thanks for mentioning Pic-dun 2, by the way. I've never heard of it, so I'll have to check out some videos of it to see if it may be something I'd be interested in.

apricotsushi said...

This game certainly looks neat! It flew under my radar, but I saw Madam Luna talking about it on Twitter and was intrigued. I'll definitely have to check it out

thegaygamer.com said...

I'll be interested to hear if you like it, too, Anne. It's really flipping all my switches at the moment, if you get my drift, but I worry that it may be a bit too ... grindy for some.

Oh, and it's nice to hear others are talking about it, too! :)