Back in 2014, a delightful 2D action game debuted for 3DS and now, it's available for Switch in remade form to mark its 5th anniversary.
I remember reviewing The Legend of Dark Witch shortly after launching Video Chums in 2014. In fact, it's now just a few days after the 5th anniversary of me publishing that review. I must say; I sure have got a lot better at writing reviews since then but I digress. I absolutely loved the original Dark Witch game and have introduced quite a few gamers to it and its sequels and spin-offs over the years so... you're welcome! It really is a fantastic franchise that's criminally underrated to the point that it's actually kind of frustrating. I mean, each game is super-inexpensive for what you get and I've played plenty of games that were over 8 times the price which ended up being far less fun. So, what are you waiting for? Just buy this and don't bother reading my review. You definitely won't regret it!
Oh, you're still here? In that case, allow me to discuss what makes The Legend of Dark Witch so much fun. I won't go too in-depth because I already reviewed it but as a general overview, you play as Zizou who runs, jumps, and shoots her way through stages. At the end of each level, you fight a boss and if you beat it, you get their weapon. There's also a cool upgrade gauge that you fill by defeating enemies and can deploy upgrades at certain thresholds. If this sounds like a mix of Mega Man and Gradius then you are correct. But is it as fun as those classic games? Absolutely and you also get a wonderful anime setting and cast of characters that'll keep you smiling.
This 2019 Switch version of The Legend of Dark Witch looks a lot better than its 3DS predecessor and it honestly amazes me how the developers completely overhauled the visuals yet aren't charging an arm and a leg for this. Everything is colourful, detailed, and smoothly animated while the HUD remains intuitive and does a great job of compensating for the Switch's lack of a second screen. Meanwhile, the audio is superb with loads of familiar tunes and effects that sound much better this time around. You can even listen to 20 bonus songs including ones from the other Dark Witch games as well as the spin-offs and crossover game Drancia Saga.
When it comes to content, this remake of The Legend of Dark Witch has some very welcome new features. It has the same difficulty and character select from the first game but now, you can toggle completely new boss attacks and there are new unlockable change style and change colours options, too. Although the achievements (AKA Playing Level) are the same, the unlocked content is much better-looking here and the menus are very appealing to browse through. Next, you can watch a few anime clips that are absolutely hilarious and I've conveniently compiled them here in the tweet above so feel free to watch that video. There are also 9 funny and brief comics to read as well. Finally, on top of the addictive poker mini-game, you can play a lane-based endless runner called Avoid Runner and a simple Breakout clone named Breakers. They really went above and beyond when it comes to content, didn't they?
Of course, even though I love The Legend of Dark Witch, I have to review it fairly so here I go. First, it's a very short game so if you're skilled at 2D action games, you can complete it in one session which is rather disappointing. I also wish that there was more additional content such as new playable characters or a bonus stage because all of the extras here are merely supplementary to the package and don't add much to the actual campaign. Seeing as those are the only negative points I can think of, just buy this thing already.
The Legend of Dark Witch was a blast back in 2014 and it's still a treat to play 5 years later. Whether you're new to the series or not, it's a must-play game for any 2D action game enthusiast.
- + Same awesome 2D action gameplay that's as fun now as it was back in 2014
- + Huge visual and auditory upgrade
- + New mini-games, boss attacks, etc.
- - Could have used even more content to change up the campaign
- - Still a fairly short game