The Legend of Dark Witch is a simple platform game from Circle for the 3DS. The game feels and plays similar to Mega Man, so if you’ve played those games you’ll know what to expect, and it doesn’t let you down.
The plot of the game is simple to get you going. In the game, somebody has stolen all of the Syega Crystals, which gave their powers to the people of the world. After all the Syega crystals are missing, the world plunges into darkness. As the dark witch Zizou, you must retrieve the missing Syega Crystals.
The first thing that drew me to this game is the look of the game, to be honest. The Legend of Dark Witch is a 2D side scrolling platform game where you run and jump, shooting enemies and avoiding obstacles. There is definitely an anime flair to the art in the game, as well as the look of the sprites. They are all beautifully done, as are the levels and backgrounds. There was definitely a lot of attention paid to these elements, and they make playing the levels more inviting.
The goal of each level is to reach the end and then defeat the boss. After you do so you’ll be rewarded with their special attack ability, which you can then use in other levels. The neat thing about this is that it gives you a variety of attacks to choose from. You’ll start with the simple shot, which I find to be the most useful to be honest, but can add another six to that repertoire.
The different attacks all have their usefulness, especially for striking harder to reach enemies. Some of whom shoot or throw weapons at you.
As you play through the levels you collect tres, which look like little butterflies. Every enemy defeated releases these which you will automatically collect. Through each level as you collect these your Dia Missles will become increasingly more powerful, and you will also gain the ability to float briefly. These tres can also be used outside of the levels to level up some of your abilities.
You can level up your stock to give yourself more lives before a game over, the number of hearts you have before you die and the power of your attacks. You can even use the tres to level up that ability, which will allow you to collect them more quickly in the level. This will help you through the levels.
Most of the enemies in the levels are either stationary or very slow moving. Couple this with the fact that you can shoot very quickly, these enemies are very simple to take out and often with just a few shots. There are tougher enemies scattered through the levels though, which more very fast or break apart when you defeat them. These are the ones that can easily cause you a headache.
The sprites are of course well done and look fantastic.
There are three difficulty levels in the game. I always start games on normal, and found the boss battles very hard. The levels themselves weren’t too difficult, but it took me several hours to beat the bosses on the first two levels. Once you drop the difficulty to easy they don’t take too many hits to defeat as your attacks do more damage. The boss battles are very much pattern recognition. Watch the attacks and figure out where to stand or when to jump. And as the boss weakens their strategy will change. Tough, but satisfying when you beat one.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on what happens with the story, but one thing that was surprising and very much appreciated was the audio of the game. The music is great, but the real applause comes from the fact that the story before every boss battle is fully narrated in Japanese, which as a fan of anime I simply loved. There is something about listening to Japanese with the English text on the screen that I prefer than having an English dub in the game.
The end game slides are not voiced though, which I found a bit odd.