It’s Gradius/Mega Man with anime girls! It’s exactly what you expect! Except maybe the fire-breathing snowmen wearing speedos…
|Console||Nintendo 3DS, PC (Steam)|
|Purchase (PC)||Purchase from Steam.|
|Purchase (3DS)||Must be purchased from Nintendo eShop app.|
|Purchase Soundtrack||Purchase from Amazon.|
The Legend of Dark Witch -Chronicle 2D Act- is an indie game originally released for the Nintendo 3DS and has recently been made available on Steam.
It features… a bunch of adorable super deformed anime girls. Oh goodie. Where is my barf bag?
Okay, OKAY. You caught me. I actually did enjoy this game for a while. And for its price tag of $3.99, I got my money’s worth.
The game is like a hybrid of Gradius and Mega Man. Killing enemies allows you to collect these small butterfly-shaped things called Tres to charge this “Enforcement Slot” at the bottom of the screen, which can be used to grant you temporary powerups. Whether these powerups occur automatically or manually is up to you. Personally, I prefer the manual option.
Zizou Olympia’s default attack is firing a straight shot (Line), but she can also switch to the star shot (Comet), provided you have enough Tres. While either one can be effective, their differences only show when you level up the shots.
You also keep the Tres by the end of the level, where you can spend it in the “Growparts” menu to permanently boost your power-ups.
The stage selection screen is reminiscent of the Mega Man series. Each stage features a specific boss that you can fight in any order, with two more unlockable stages after you defeat all six default bosses.
Even the actual boss battles have a similar pacing to Mega Man. And furthermore, you get the boss’s special attack after you defeat her. And of course, every boss has a weakness to a specific attack and it’s up to you to experiment and find those weaknesses.
It is definitely possible to defeat every single boss with just your default attacks though, provided you are skilled enough to dodge their attacks.
There are two hidden crystals in most stages called Pure Syega. Coming in contact with their hiding spots will reveal the crystals and gain their benefits. This will increase the number of times you can spend Tres on certain abilities. As far as I know, it’s not necessary to collect them and they only serve to make the game a little easier.
One annoying issue I had is that the scrolling sometimes takes a while to adjust. This makes it easier for enemies off-screen to sneak in a cheap jab. Keep in mind that there are no health pickups and you cannot heal, so every part of your health counts per life.
It’s all straightforward and most enemies have the constitution of graham crackers, but what are these weird creations?
Okay, so we have silly-looking ghosts…
Ogres with blonde hair and butcher knives…
Fire-breathing musclebound snowmen wearing Santa hats and speedos…
Overall, the game is pretty fun to play and you can revel in its bizarreness. Oddly enough, the story is straightforward despite the weird enemy variety.
The game clarifies that the crystals called Syega are responsible for magic in the world, but someone has ended up stealing them for an unknown purpose. Sensing this disturbance, it is up to the goddess Zizou Olympia (nicknamed the eponymous Dark Witch) to investigate the thefts and interrogate the girls somehow connected to their disappearance.
While there are minor discrepancies in the English translation, you still understand what is going on which is ultimately what matters in the end. There’s not too much to the story overall, so I hope you’re not pressing for some depth here. Therefore, there isn’t a whole lot of suspension when you reach the final stages. It is meant to be a short pick-up-and-play type of game after all.
When you complete the game once, you unlock a new character with very different abilities. I find the game significantly harder playing as her due to the fact that her normal attacks are ineffective. Like seriously, they suck.
The graphics are appealing overall, with some zany character designs and nice-looking environments. The game looks and feels like an old-school arcade sidescroller. As for the soundtrack, just listen.
The Legend of Dark Witch is a fun hour-long distraction with some unique boss fights and plenty of achievements to challenge yourself with. Throw in some chibi anime girls and let the fun begin.
The Legend of Dark Witch$4.99
- The gameplay is reminiscent of both Gradius and Mega Man, merging the mechanics of both into an interesting experiment.
- The boss battles are pretty fun.
- The Japanese art style and overall presentation are appealing.
- The jazzy soundtrack is quite rhapsodic, being both catchy and mellow.
- The level scrolling itself can be an obstacle, making it easier for enemies to hit you.
- The story overall is underwhelming. Though given the brevity of the game, this isn’t unexpected.
- The game is short.