The Legend of Dark Witch is one of my favourite indie games on the Nintendo 3DS, so I was super, super excited to hear that it was getting a sequel. The Legend of Dark Witch 2: The Price of Desire is very much like its predecessor, but somehow, is even better. If you’ve ever had the joy of playing the first game, then you’ll be familiar with its 2D action-packed Mega Man-esque style of gameplay, and its catchy music. The storyline of The Legend of Dark Witch 2 really doesn’t differ much from that of the first game at all, which is fine if you’re just in it for the gameplay. It’s the same premise: find the missing Syega crystals. Personally, I enjoyed the game regardless of its plot, and it just felt like what the first game should have been all along. Take it as a sort of “v2.0” instead of a straight sequel.
You only have to play the game for thirty seconds to realise that The Legend of Dark Witch 2 draws a huge amount of inspiration from the Mega Man series—think Mega Man, but with anime girls. There are eight starting stages, which can be played in any order you like, which is great if you don’t like sticking to a certain path. Each stage is beautifully designed, fast-paced, and is jam-packed full of enemies—a perfect combination for the style of game. I’ve played side-scrolling shooters before where the enemy count is scarce in places, but you really don’t have to worry about that with this title. Once you’ve completed a stage and fought its anime witch boss, you’re given that boss’s signature move to use as you please. These new moves can be upgraded and switched around in any order you like. Bored of your current move set? Simply switch moves out for different ones.
There are four Syega crystals hidden in every stage. Collect them quickly though, as they’ll drop off screen if you dawdle. These crystals can be fairly difficult to find at times, but that’s what I love about it. If you give a game hidden collectables, but then make them easy to find, what’s the point? There is a consumable available to purchase in the customisation shop called the “Syega Searcher”, which summons an arrow that points to where the next hidden Syega crystal lies—perfect if you’re really stuck on finding one. It’s one of the skills you’ll want if you really want to squeeze everything you can out of the game.
The main campaign takes about an hour, give or take, to complete. This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the post-story content that really makes The Legend of Dark Witch 2 shine. You get new stages, challenges, mini-games, and more, which adds at least three hours’ worth of game time. This means that it’s got almost double the amount of content as the first game, meaning that if you enjoyed the first, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth out of this one.
One major difference between The Legend of Dark Witch 2 and its predecessor is that it now includes a weapon meter. No longer do you have to choose between weapons or power ups—you can use weapons you’ve acquired at will, if you’ve got enough power in your weapon meter, of course. The meter recharges constantly, which is a fantastic upgrade to the last game, in my opinion. Another is the largely expanded customisation shop. You come here to purchase weapon upgrades, increase your stats, and customise your power-up meter. These additional purchases are made using Tres, the in-game currency, which is rewarded as you defeat enemies. In The Legend of Dark Witch, Tres was used as the power source for your weapons, which was somewhat of an annoyance, but now you have the weapon meter instead. Yay!
My favourite thing about The Legend of Dark Witch 2 is the overall presentation, with its beautifully detailed sprites and backgrounds, colourful stages, and incredibly catchy soundtrack. Prepare to have certain songs ingrained in your brain for days. Sadly, it isn’t compatible with the 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS, which came as somewhat of a surprise to me when I tried turning it on. It would have looked even more gorgeous in 3D, given that it’s such an aesthetically pleasing title as it is, but it hardly matters. I also love the fact that, unlike the first game, the sequel has full voice acting. It’s in Japanese, of course, but what did you expect? Even though I can’t understand the voices, it definitely adds to the overall Japanese aesthetic of the game, and makes it that little bit more enjoyable.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the Mega Man series, I think you’ll enjoy The Legend of Dark Witch 2. I’d definitely choose this over The Legend of Dark Witch as it just seems like a better version of it, rather than an upgrade. Is it worth buying both? That’s up to you, but personally, no. As much as I enjoyed the first game, the sequel just packs even more of a punch and is an even better experience for your money. If you’re looking for something challenging to play on the go, or in short bursts, then this is definitely the game for you.
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