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The Legend of Dark Witch review for PS Vita


Platform: PS Vita
Also On: Nintendo 3DS, PC
Publisher: QubicGames
Developer: QubicGames
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

The Legend of Dark Witch features a trophy for completing the game in 45 minutes or less. This should tell you a lot about the game — specifically, that when you play the game on the easiest difficulty level, you’ll quickly find that it’s sufficiently lacking in content and features simple enough mechanics that beating everything in under an hour is relatively simple.

That isn’t the whole story, of course. It elides the fact that the game’s final level is exponentially more difficult than everything that’s come before it. Whereas you can beat each of the first six levels just by holding down the “shoot” button and an occasional well-timed jump, the final level is harder by several orders of magnitude. Suddenly the game demands that you execute perfectly-timed jumps, shoot significantly more intelligent enemies, and generally play in a way that isn’t required of you at any point until then.

In this respect, I guess, the game is just giving “easy” players a taste of what’s in store for them on other difficulty levels. See, the other thing that the 45-minute trophy doesn’t tell you is that The Legend of Dark Witch owes a pretty major debt to Mega Man. It’s not nearly as good as Mega Man, of course, but you don’t have to look too closely to see how the two games have quite a bit of common DNA.

That’s not the only place The Legend of Dark Witch borrows/steals from either. While the game’s general aesthetic is “generic Japanese anime” every so often you’ll come across characters that look like they stepped out of a Kirby game. It doesn’t mean much in the big scheme of things, but every time they show up on screen, it makes for a jarring contrast.

Unfortunately, that’s just about the only time The Legend of Dark Witch makes any kind of impression. In general, it passes by in a blur of jumping and shooting, and doesn’t give any reason why it’s worth your time or money.

Grade: C-