Well not as tough as nails as I thought it was going to be…
Son of a Witch – Nintendo Switch – Released: 9/4/18 – $14.99
Short Review (Review copy provided by Bigosaur)
Son of a Witch is a roguelike beat em up game and if you have read my previous reviews you know that I have mixed feeling about them. This game is on the better side thankfully as my vision of what it was, kind of matched. I went into this game only seeing the art style and was reminded of the times I sat with my friends playing Castle Crashers. This is a lot like that game but doesn’t have the weird charm of Castle Crashers or the same humor. There are some parts that try to match it but never pushes the envelope too much which was greatly appreciated since I didn’t like the humor of Castle Crashers.
Starting off the game you will pick a character to start your adventure and to unlock more characters you will need to beat stages and bosses. Once selected you will be tasked with going through multiple rooms to eventually get to the boss. Think of this like Binding of Issac since you will also need keys to unlock rooms or blow up doors that may have new weapons or magical items.
This is when the cracks start to show since it is a mix of several games and tries to take the best aspects of them. It does it well but there is one fatal flaw, I never got used to how to switch between items. Your main item that you attack with can be swapped out and you can carry three other items. The problem I had was there shouldn’t be an option to carry certain items. I would find keys and bombs so I am now down to one free slot to carry any extras. The game likes to drop a lot of items most of which you have to use to find out the effects for the next playthrough. Another issue that isn’t as bad is enemies can quickly kill you if you are sandwiched but this rarely happened for me but something to be mindful that could happen.
Rooms always had to be left since I would rather have at least one key at all times so I didn’t have to backtrack as much. Then the problem comes up to switch to the right item you may have to press a button up to 2 times to get exactly what you want and if you miss it you will need to cycle again. During an intense fight this can be rough which had me being sandwiched because I was trying to look at the item I had selected before using it. I never got used to this and would end with me using a bomb I didn’t want to use or using a potion when I didn’t really need it.
Besides that the game is really fun certainly when I had my friends over to try it out. It isn’t perfect by a long shot and this is the other flaw… for a roguelike game it isn’t that hard. It took me a few tries to beat the regular mode but it didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought it would. This could be just because I’ve been playing games like this on the Switch pretty frequently that I worry about making sure I am ready for each and every room.
The other modes is where I spent most of the time with my friends. Even though this game claims to be a roguelike, the option to play as a normal game is there and oh boy I love that option. I couldn’t see my friends enjoying it if it was just one life game over so we played the casual/party mode and ran through the game in one sitting. It was great fun and I highly recommend if people are missing that Castle Crasher feel to dive into that mode with friends.
There are also two other modes that make it feel more like a roguelike and where the challenge really is, these are Barbarian Challenges and Hard Mode. Barbarian Challenges is tough as nails and what I wish the main game had options for. Each challenge has a unique function such as being locked to a single weapon, only being able to use magic, or my favorite which is all enemies have one hp and is like a horde mode. Hard Mode requires you to beat the game and unlock all the characters. This is the mode the regular mode should be as everything hits hard and succeeds at being hard mode. I never went back to the regular mode once I unlocked this and I haven’t been able to beat it.
Son of a Witch is an interesting game that melts together games like Binding of Issac and Castle Crashers and still being a fun multiplayer game. Is it perfect? No as a single player experience but it is a great multiplayer experience that keeps things pretty simple minus my own personal issues with the items. If there was an option to have bombs and keys selected by other buttons or just having two buttons it would be better in my opinion. Song of a Witch was told to me as being a game that is just as hard as Dead Cells but what I got was a fairly easy regular mode, a great casual/party mode, and the real challenge modes that lived up to that toughness.
My Gameplay Footage:
Whew! Finally another big review out. This one took a while but the main issue is school and work hit me pretty hard. We have been getting half days at work due to the heat but we had to be there until the kids left and since all the kids decide to stick around it is a pain as I can’t work on anything like this in front of students. I get a little too focused while writing and I didn’t have anything at the editing at the time. I have been posting my “Split Second” reviews which should be coming out almost daily. I plan on doing those at least 3-4 times a week with 1-2 big reviews filling in the rest of the time. If anyone would like to join the team just hit me up and we can work something out. I really need an extra hand with reviews but I do enjoy doing them myself at times. I haven’t been requesting as many games since school has been chaos. I had to practice for a small recital and practicing piano takes about an hour each day. I’ve been talking to different liquor companies as well to push for getting some review products and only heard back from one so one is enough to produce dozens so I look forward to hearing back more information from them. I got an offer to review a case as well so that might be posted here as a review within the next few months as I am waiting for them to launch the product.
As always I’ll see you in the next review!
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