It’s been a few years since Rainbite’s last game, a bite-sized Zelda-esque joint. While it didn’t set the world on fire, there was plenty to like about it, and it showed a lot of promise for the studio. Their sophomore outing is here, and it mixes some new with the oh so familiar old.
Trigger Witch takes place in Evertonia, a world separate from our own that’s divided by a barrier to separate the witches from the “goblins.” You play as Colette, a girl that’s coming of age as a witch and set to graduate, becoming a member of The Clip. To do so, you’ll need to pass a test of skill and then protect the land which has nourished you. Early on you are introduced to the main antagonist of the game, which is a fun reveal (that I won’t spoil) that turns the story on its head a bit. These witches have given up the old ways of magic and turned to ballisticism; guns have taken the place of wands and spells. The game’s narrative isn’t all that extensive, nor do you need to really pay attention to get the gist of it, but it was one of the driving forces for me to keep going in the last hour or two, as the gameplay loop was beginning to drag after an extended play session.
As before, this is a game in the spirit of the old titles in the Zelda series. There’s an open world with a sprawling map and biomes, and several dungeons that you’ll be exploring. Instead of acquiring tools that you’ll use and being limited mostly to melee combat, almost everything you collect is a gun or gun related. This is a twin-stick shooter, and one that can get pretty hairy at times depending on your upgrade choices. You’ll unlock upgrade paths by finding pieces in chests, and then use money to upgrade the damage, reload speed, rate of fire, or ammo count. I spent most of my time in the game using the basic pistol you get at the beginning, as you are forced to use it regularly as you wait for your alternate weapons to refill their ammo, and once it’s fully upgraded, it’s pretty stellar. The problem is that it made most other weapons useless in comparison, and I found myself rarely using them, aside from Redacted.
I mentioned that I got tired of this game, but in reality, it’s only because I spent so much time with it in my final play session. I wanted to ensure I finished this before beating it, because I had a feeling I was missing something in the first couple hours. The game isn’t too long – I beat it in six or seven hours, and I was doing a lot of exploring and got lost in one of the dungeons looking for a key, so I’m sure you could shave a couple hours off that if you wanted. However, and I may be remembering this wrong, but I feel like the puzzles and dungeons were more well done in Reverie. The majority of puzzles here involve breaking orbs or stepping on pressure plates to access chests or the next room. Rarely do you need to use the guns you acquire, although there’s more of this early on in the game. Similarly, outside of their respective dungeons, you never have to use the weapons you collect again. The one with the most use is the flamethrower (I think it’s called Flame Lance, but I don’t recall), and outside of the ice dungeon I’m not sure I ever used it again. However, they are all pretty fun to use, and the combat is a huge step above their previous work.
While I did push on for the closure on the story, the last 3 hours or so of the game had a podcast on as I kind of mindlessly plowed through the waves of enemies. Enter room, doors come up, kill wave after wave, move on, rinse and repeat. In short bursts this is perfectly fine, and short bursts are exactly how it was being played in the beginning. I’m sure this would’ve been lovely on the Vita, had it not been killed. The Switch is likely its ideal home, as it lends itself to being a pick up and go type of game. The world is fun to explore though, finding secret pathways and seeing little nooks and crannies you may normally ignore actually lead to treasure chests, making the act of exploration rewarding. Opposed to many games that have alley ways simply to fill out the world more and end up making it feel empty, there’s always something for you to look forward to when traversing Evertonia.
If you need a quick weekend game and are a fan of fantasy settings and twin-stick shooters, this gives a fair amount of enjoyment for its price. It’s not my favorite game in the genre, but it’s got some good messages in it and is a great example of how a similar blueprint can be extensively different in execution.
8 out of 10
- The Narrative Twist
- Tight Controls and Gameplay
- Fun World to Explore
- Most Weapons are Barely Required
- Loop Became Tiresome in Long Play Session
Trigger Witch was developed by Rainbite and was published eastasiasoft. The game is available for NS, PS4, and X1. The game was provided to us for review on PS4 and played on PS5. If you’d like to see more of Trigger Witch, check out the official site.
Here at GBG we use a rating method that you are more than likely familiar with – a scale of 1 to 10. For clarification, we intend on using the entire scale: 1-4 is something you should probably avoid paying for; 5-7 is something that is worth playing, but probably not at full price; 8-10 is a great title that you can feel confident about buying. If you have any questions or comments about how we rate a game, please let us know.