Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time Review (PS4)on May 15, 2018 by Mitch Jay
I’m a big fan of Little Witch Academia, especially as I love magical boarding school-type stories, and its movies and TV series are pleasantly heartwarming, and so when a game was announced I was all over it. A 2D side-scroller is a great fit for the series, but it isn’t quite what it could’ve been.
During Summer break, Akko is serving punishment by organising all of the books in the library when she comes across a door that wasn’t there before. After exploring and realising that the day keeps repeating, but only those who’ve entered the Horologium Room notice, Akko and her friends investigate to solve “the Seven Wonders of Luna Nova” and to break the time loop.
It’s a game I’d only recommend to those who are in love with the series.
It sounds whimsical enough and something that would be a good fit for the series, but exploring the school, talking with students and getting to the bottom of the story is far more enjoyable than prowling the dungeons. The story itself doesn’t bear much depth, but the character interactions are as entertaining as they are in the anime and that drives it forward. Chamber of Time lacks the ambition to be something truly great, and it’s a game I’d only recommend to those who are in love with the series.
The combat and dungeon-crawling is simple, mixing in light and heavy attacks alongside a multitude of spells, but it’s basic outside of the game’s detailed animations. Stages are lengthy but don’t provide much challenge, and it felt as if I was button-mashing my way through the game with little to convince me to do otherwise. The dungeons take place on a 2D plane with room to move up and down but the lack of variety in enemies, and constant waves of enemies and twists and turns as you find your way to the end, are exhausting.
Chamber of Time has stunning visuals where the traits of each character has been brilliantly transformed into 3D, although the models don’t hold up as well under closer inspection. The animations are lively and the character designs are as strong as ever, and the environments, scale of boss enemies and character’s special attacks can sometimes be jaw-dropping. The animated cutscenes, as animated by Studio Trigger, are as awe-inspiring as you’d expect given that the anime is one of the most unique and gorgeous out there visually, and the game’s environments match what I know of Luva Nova academy.
I do miss the English voice-acting though. The Japanese voice-over is undeniably fitting, but I enjoyed the enthusiastic voice-acting found in the English dub, and it brought a lot of life to the show. I’d have loved for this game to have been dubbed, but it’s clearly more of a budget game – despite costing £39.99 for a digital copy – and something that’s only really for die-hard fans. It’s certainly not the best place to jump into Little Witch Academia, although it does have recaps for characters and part of the story, but you get more from it being a fan – although it’s harder to keep your expectations in check when you are.
Temper your expectations because this experience isn’t quite as magical as it could’ve been.
Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time is a simple side-scroller with its biggest draws being the series it’s based on and its visuals. It’s price point makes it hard to recommend right now, but it’s a game worth supporting if you’re a big fan of the series, and if you’re a trophy hunter then you’ll have your hands full as there’s quite a lot to do and find during the game, but those who aren’t familiar or fond of the series won’t find much to enjoy here. Temper your expectations because this experience isn’t quite as magical as it could’ve been.