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Little Witch Nobeta (PS4) Review – A Soulsborne For The Casual Player

Little Witch Nobeta PS4 Review – Little Witch Nobeta is an exciting take on a formula that’s become its genre. The now-dubbed Soulsborne genre has taken the industry by storm, and Little Witch Nobeta adapts this template for the hardcore gamer and the casual players to much success.

Little Witch Nobeta PS4 Review

A Simple Story With Great World-Building

Little Witch Nobeta sees players take on the role of Nobeta, an amnesiac witch who enters a mysterious tower to recover her memories. On her journey, she encounters a kitty that can speak to her and leads her through the tower into the throne room, where all her questions will be answered.

The story is relatively simple, without many narrative plots driving it forward. It’s a shame because the game features treasures you can pick up that also act as collectables that provide information about the world.

I found these bits of information tell a better story than the primary campaign. You learn of a church that can harness souls and has wiped out entire species, such as Ogres, from the world.

It also goes on to explain what happened to Nobeta without directly linking her to world-building but rather explaining what happened to witches and their persecution by the church, which you can then connect the dots to find out what happened to her.

It’s a much darker and more brutal world than the presentation of Nobeta, which features a more cartoony anime style in its character design. Sometimes I feel the world you learn about clashes with what you see on screen.

Magical Combat Is Entertaining And Strategic

Combat is the bread and butter in Little Witch Nobeta, utilizing unique long-range magic spells and melee combat. Your primary attacks come from your spells; you learn four elemental attacks. Arcane, Ice, Fire and Lighting. The best way to describe how these spells work is to compare them to firearms.

Arcane acts like a pistol allowing semi-automatic attacks. Ice acts like a machine gun shooting rapid-fire icicles. Fire acts like a shotgun and is excellent in close-range proximity. Lighting is a powerful single-shot spell, much like a sniper rifle, and requires a longer cooldown before being used again.

Each spell also has a secondary attack. Nobeta can use a chanted spell as an alternate attack. She can power up the spell by chanting and unleashing a devastating attack. With Ice, she can lock on to enemies and fire off homing icicles on her enemies, while Lighting allows you to pound down lighting bolts in a big area of effect attack.

Unleashing A Powerful Spell Is Exillirating

Chanting also imbued your staff with the element you selected. You can use your staff for melee attacks for close encounters.

I never found a good time to use melee outside of boss encounters. You may run out of Mana during boss fights and use items to replenish it or avoid combat as it regenerates.

Melee attacks provide a slight boost to Mana regeneration, but again, I never relayed on it because of how I built Nobeta in my playthrough. Each spell can up upgraded by finding books in hidden rooms and treasure chests to increase their overall damage.

Solving Puzzles With Spells

Chanting spells are also used to solve some puzzles. I wish there were more instances of this, but only a handful of puzzles utilize your spells to solve. One involves using your Ice lock-on spell to target three switches that must be struck simultaneously.

Much like a souls game, Nobeta uses a similar level-up system. You obtain souls to level up various stats by defeating enemies like HP and MP. You can also use your souls to decrease how long it takes to use chanting spells which I recommend maxing out as soon as possible.

Fun Exploration Is Held Back By Barren Environments

The tower itself isn’t something spectacular to look at. Most of the game involves running through open rooms and corridors made of brick walls. The variety isn’t there. Later on, the environment does open up somewhat, but by the time you get there, you’re already in the final parts of the game.

Furthermore, the locations aren’t even populated with remnants of past life. You would expect to see a lot of bookshelves with books, some tables and chairs, but it’s all rather barren.

On a positive note, there are plenty of hidden rooms to find behind destructible walls and utilizing unorthodox platforming to reach hidden chests that may provide upgrades to your spells. There are also 103 collectables to look for that provide valuable information about the world.

Visually, Nobeta isn’t something that’s going to turn heads. Its environments are rather bland and dull, but the character designs, at least for the Nobeta and the bosses, are good.

A Great Soundtrack Can’t Save The Lacklustre Monster Designs

There are only a handful of enemy types; some are even reskins of enemies you’ve already faced, and two of them appear for the majority of the game. A giant shadow monster with red eyes comes in black, red and blue.

The other enemy you’ll encounter the most off is a marinate puppet with a creepy walking animation that sometimes shoots some energy attack at you. Thankfully the soundtrack is a standout, with some haunting themes as you progress through the tower. Spells also sound like they pack a punch and sound great when using 3D audio.

Overall, Little Witch Nobeta is a fun Soulsborne title for the casual player. It may not tell the best story, but its world-building is top-notch, and combat is a real highlight. I enjoyed exploring the tower for secrets to uncover and for every collectable I could get my hands on.

I enjoyed my time with Little Witch Nobeta and hope this is a world I can return to in a future sequel, as it has so much more to tell.

Little Witch Nobeta releases on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility on March 7, 2023.

Review code kindly provided by PR.



The Final Word

Though it seems like a simple anime dungeon crawler, Little Witch Nobeta is a fun romp with an excellent combat system and fantastic world-building. It also features some great exploration full of plenty of secret rooms and treasures to find and I found myself lost for hours just looking for that next little collectable or scroll to level up my magic. Little Witch Nobeta takes what made a lot of the souls formula great and introduces it to the more casual player.