Little Witch Nobeta (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 14.03.2023

Review for Little Witch Nobeta on Nintendo Switch

Souls-like games are still coming thick and fast as the Dark Souls craze dances ever forward. Here is the latest 'like' to hit Nintendo Switch, Little Witch Nobeta. Coming all the way from Japanese developer Pupuya Games, it's promising a challenging game with magical combat. Originally released on PC in June 2020, it has now made it to EU and US consoles in 2023! So how does this conversion stack up?

Little Witch Nobeta, aside from being a somewhat bizarre title, is a great little Souls-like game, following Nobeta as she explores a mysterious castle trying to find out who she is. Was she always alone? What she finds is a myriad of enemies, a mysterious cat and a lot of different monsters / doll girls who want her dead. It's a bit anime as expected but, a few slightly iffy localisations aside, a solid little adventure story befitting of the genre. There are loads of characters in the dialogue and the characters are all voiced in a purr-ticularly decent fashion. As the game progresses, it manages to make the breadcrumbs add up to a decent conclusion, but how does the game actually play?

Gameplay is surprisingly unique; there are elements of a third person shooter with the magical combat. Each spell has a defined effect: for example, ice is the machine gun. All the spells can be powered up by chanting which usually has some devastatingly high damage or cool homing effect, and it's fun to experiment and mix things up, especially in a boss fight. Boss fights are at the end of each segment of the game and are usually bookended with cutscenes. Difficulty-wise the boss fights seem fair, and the normal enemies are quite easy to beat with a little planning. Each boss also has a unique look and attack pattern which is expected but not always a given. Beating a boss nets players new abilities, such as double jumping, which increase power and mobility, making progression fun and rewarding. Surprisingly, this controls well on Switch which isn't a given in some indie conversions, but the movement is pitched at the correct speed and aiming isn't too twitchy. Jumping and fighting feels great and it even allows for some platforming challenges.

Screenshot for Little Witch Nobeta on Nintendo Switch

The levels themselves are quite varied and colourful, much more so than the first area would suggest. They are punctuated with occasional details and little crannies to hide collectables. Enemy placement is usually obvious and not designed for cheap surprise hits. Saving is done with statues à la fireplaces from ye-olde Souls' series. At the statues it's possible to upgrade stats using experience farmed from enemies, and it's advisable to keep on top of this light RPG element as it can mean the difference when facing down some of the harder challenges in the game.

Atmospherically the game has some great music, it is quite refreshing to have this somewhat magical soundtrack giving life to such darkly themed spaces. This is accentuated by some great voice work and sound design, meaning things pop surprisingly well. Visually the game is a treat, too. Obviously, there can be a bit of slowdown or overbearing bloom (which can be turned off) but in general levels are cleanly presented and have agreeable colour palettes. Character and enemy design are excellent with Nobeta getting the brunt of the polygons. Her design is deliberately cute, and the animation work accentuates platforming and attacks in a pleasing way. It's possible to unlock new costumes for her too by hitting milestones. Enemies tend to have doll-esque designs that are just verging on creepy, which seems to be the intended effect.

Screenshot for Little Witch Nobeta on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Little Witch Nobeta is a surprisingly fun little indie Souls-like title. It has charm and challenge in equal bags, and it even pulls off a competent, if slightly oddly translated, story. It isn't Dark Souls but fans of the genre would be remiss to pass on this game, especially if they like cutesy anime witches. Thoroughly recommended.

Developer

Pupuya

Publisher

JustDan

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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