Little Witch Nobeta Review
Story And Setting
Visuals And Performance
Little Witch Nobeta is a gem of a game in a genre that is littered with mediocre titles with little creativity.
- Captivating Atmosphere
- Good Character Designs
- Engaging Combat
- Creative Boss Battles
- Uninspired Story
- Weak Cutscenes
I understand that people are tired of constantly seeing games called Soulslike, but as you will see in our review of Little Witch Nobeta, the comparisons are sometimes hard to ignore. Over the years, the term has become synonymous with a certain type of challenging game, and, as such, many studios have tried to replicate the experiences offered by FromSoft titles with varying results.
- Editors Note: We thoroughly tested Little Witch Nobeta on PC, putting just over 10 hours into the campaign.
Most studios try to deliver on this format by raising the difficulty, constructing a dark world, splashing a new coat of paint on an overused fantasy template, or writing up lore nobody understands and calling it a day. But I don’t think anyone would have expected a game with a little anime witch to go this route, and yet it did.
Story And Setting
Little Witch Nobeta starts by giving you very little information about the world you inhabit, and you are given a single objective: getting to the throne room of the mysterious castle you find yourself in front of. At the beginning of your journey into this mysterious structure, you meet a black cat who serves as your guide throughout the castle.
The story is really mysterious at the start, but it does start to unravel as you progress. Collectibles are scattered throughout the castle, which can help fill some gaps in the story, like in many other SoulsBorne titles. As is the way with most of these experiences, the narrative is not upfront and primarily serves as a vessel to carry you from one plot point to another.
The real depth comes from going out of your way to dig into the item descriptions and learning more about the world.
The real depth comes from going out of your way to dig into the item descriptions and learning more about the world. The problem, however, is that Little Witch Nobeta’s lore is not all that interesting, and borrowing the formula from one of the best-realized worlds of all time, Dark Souls, in this instance, does not automatically make the writing good.
As far as the setting alone is concerned, the castle has a really good atmosphere. It is riddled with traps and enemies at every nook and corner, keeping you on edge. It has a mysterious vibe that urges the player to explore it while simultaneously being alert not to be surprised. Puzzles are also present at several key locations, which must be completed to progress through the story.
Where the story disappoints, the gameplay shines. The enemy variety in the game is really good, and each follows a specific pattern that you’ll need to learn to defeat them. As such, fights can be challenging a few times. But fret not, as our witch has a number of spells at her disposal for taking down her foes from afar and also melee enemies up close with her staff. These spells are divided into four categories, which can be upgraded.
These categories usually determine the range and damage of the spell since some are suitable for long-range spells, like the lighting spell, while others are more suitable for close-range spells, such as the fire spell. You’ve also got your standard all-purpose spell, the arcane spell, and the rapid-shot ice spell.
The enemy variety in the game is really good, and each follows a specific pattern that you’ll need to learn to defeat them.
Each spell also has unique special attacks that can help turn the tide of the battle in a sticky situation. Using magic tailored for combat can deplete your MP meter, which keeps track of your mana, and the complete depletion of this meter will render you unable to cast at all. The MP meter refills automatically, but you can refill it faster by using melee attacks or evading attacks timely.
While evading attacks, you must watch for your stamina meter, as actions such as evading and sprinting can eat it up. If this meter is completely depleted, you’ll be a sitting duck and more susceptible to attacks. But all is not lost if this happens and you run out of HP, as you can respawn at the last Goddess Statue you encountered. These statues are scattered throughout the map and basically serve as your bonfires.
However, these spells aren’t the only powers Nobeta holds, as she can also use incantations that provide different temporary buffs. For example, lightning incantations can slow down time, while ice incantations can provide more durability, reducing the damage input.
The different combinations of offensive spells, mixed with incantations and a few melee attacks in between, make for a fun gameplay experience.
On the other hand, fire incantations greatly increase the damage you can deal to your opponents. These incantations are lifesavers when a large number of enemies surround you. However, the downside is that you are vulnerable while casting them and usually take some time to cast.
Defeating your foes rewards you with Crafted Souls, which can be used to buy some single-use buffs or level up your stats. You can grind through enemies to level up your stats to stand a better chance at taking on more powerful enemies. And if you die, you only lose a portion of your Crafted Souls, which encourages you to take more risks while exploring without the fear of losing all your progress due to a single misstep.
The different combinations of offensive spells, mixed with incantations and a few melee attacks in between, make for a fun gameplay experience. I did not get bored, even though the spells were limited. The key here lies in the good enemy design, especially the boss battles, which are surprisingly well done.
Visuals And Performance
This title’s visuals are not up to modern standards, but they are passable. They possess a retro feel of mid-2000s dungeon crawlers, and I’m all up for it. Some castle areas can look pleasing due to exceptionally good lighting, but others look downright ugly.
The character designs and animations, especially Nobeta’s own, are really good. Her movements are really well done for the most part, though I do have a bone to pick with the standard casting animation, but that’s more of a preference than anything else. The same can be said about enemy designs. The attention to detail given to each character is commendable, but there is some low-quality animation and textures here and there.
This title’s visuals are not up to modern standards, but they are passable.
This title is not demanding either and is suitable for running on mid to low-end hardware. During my playthrough on a GTX 1060 6GB with a Core i7-6700, I also did not encounter any game-breaking bugs or crashes, so that’s a plus.
I can confidently state that Little Witch Nobeta is a gem of a game in a genre littered with mediocre titles and little creativity. It has a good atmosphere with some mystery, even if the narrative is not that interesting. The engaging combat kept me coming back for more, and the puzzles and boss fights were also interesting and provided enough of a challenge to keep me pushing forward.
I urge you not to be fooled by the harmless looks of the main character of this game and to take it easy because if you do, this title will take you by surprise due to its surprisingly steep difficulty curve.
This has been our Little Witch Nobeta Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
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