Little Witch Nobeta PS4 Hands-On Preview – Little Witch Nobeta looks to take the Soulsborne formula and turn it on its head using a charming art style and focusing on long-range combat rather than the brutality of melee action those games are synonymous with. But does it manage to entertain in its combat and world-building? The short answer is absolutely.
Little Witch Nobeta Hands-On Preview
A Promising New Adventure
I got to go hands-on with Little Witch Nobeta for a few hours and loved my time with it. The game’s story sees Nobeta entering a mysterious tower to recover her lost memories. While in the tower, she remembers something about a small black cat that will lead her to her destination. Sure enough, Nobeta encounters the cat that happens to be able to speak in the human tongue.
The cat informs Nobeta that she seeks the throne room, and the two set off on their quest to reach it. Though the game has an actual story with cutscenes and dialogue, it stands out because of its great world-building, which is told through the items you discover. These items also work as the game’s collectables.
They tell the story of a world where the “Church” is on some crusade and the atrocities committed in this world. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final product to get the entire story from the 103 collectable items in the game.
I loved finding these items and learning about the world, which from item descriptions, seems a lot darker and more terrifying than the game would have you believe with its adorable art style and shadowy monsters you face off against.
Excellent Combat That Keeps You On Your Toes
Combat is where the game truly shines. It’s simple yet rewarding. As a witch, most of your attacks come from long-range spells. Each attack takes up Mana, which regenerates over time and from breaking various environmental objects. In my time, I could use two different types of spells, Arcain and Ice, but the magic wheel shows you can unlock four spells in total.
The best way to describe how these spells work is by comparing them to guns. The Arcane magic acts like a handgun in the sense that it unleashes single-shot attacks against enemies. The Ice spell on the other hand is more of a machine gun and can be shot in rapid fire.
Most of the enemies I faced could be defeated using either magic, but I can only assume that you have to use specific spells to take down particular enemies later on.
You can also do a chanting spell, which sees Nobeta slowly perform a cast. You can unleash a powerful attack that can decimate your enemies when she’s done. The Arcane spell shoots a penetrating blast that can go through barriers and enemies.
Unleashing Powerful Spells Is A Delight
At the same time, the Ice spell creates a shield making you immune for a short time and allowing you to lock on to multiple enemies and unleash a barrage of icicles that rain from the sky on your locked-on enemies.
These spells are also used to solve the game’s various puzzles. One example is using your ice magic to lock on three switches in a room and activate them simultaneously to unlock the path forward.
Chanting also provides another bonus to our staff. Besides using long-range magic, Nobeta can use melee attacks. Though not as practical, chanting imbues her staff with the spell you chanted, giving you a bonus for the damage you dish out.
Exploration is also rewarding, with plenty of diverging paths that lead to hidden items and treasure chests that provide items which can be used to heal yourself or create shields during challenging encounters.
Fun To Explore Dungeons That Are An Eye Sore
Unfortunately, most of my time was spent inside a dungeon and underground mine. The environments left much to be desired and visually clashed with the character and monster designs.
In my preview, I faced off against two bosses who weren’t too challenging to deal with and two different enemy types. Shadow figures that shoot projectiles at you and rush you with a headbutt attack and creepy marionette monsters that move like they’re on puppet strings.
Neither one was a real threat, but I’m hoping for more enemy variety in the final product.
Levelling up works the same way in various other Soulsborne titles. Defeating enemies nets you souls that you can then use at statues to level up multiple stats you’ll find in other games such as HP, MP, and Intelligence, with one stand out being Haste.
Haste quickens Nobeta’s chanting ability allowing you to perform powerful chanting spells much more quickly.
My hands-on was short, but I got enough experience to pique my interest. Little Witch Nobeta is a more straightforward Soulsborne title that emphasises great combat and world-building to keep you engaged. Having said that, I would have preferred to see a greater variety of enemies and more visual diversity in regards to the dungeons.
Little Witch Nobeta releases on PS4 & PS5 via backward compatibility on March 7, 2023.
Preview code provided by PR.