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Little Witch Nobeta Preview

Little Witch Nobeta Preview

It’s not too often you see a cute anime aesthetic combined with Soulsborne gameplay, but that is exactly what we get with Little Witch Nobeta. Coming to us from developer Pupuya Games, I got to try out the first two hours or so of the game, where I was able to explore a handful of locations and tackle the first two boss fights.

The initial menu screen has a brilliant musical piece that is very reminiscent of some of my favourite JRPGs, and after listening to this for a while, it was time to dive right in. Two difficulty options are available (very welcome for someone who isn’t that great at these Dark Souls-esque titles), one of which gives Nobeta’s magical abilities a little extra oomph.


After a brief introduction to our main character — Nobeta — we learn that she has travelled to a monster-infested ruined castle in order to remember who she is. Upon hearing the meows of an unseen cat, she decides to go on a search for this mysterious feline first, and enters the castle.

From here, the game hands control over to the player, and anyone who’s spent even a small amount of time playing a Soulsborne title will notice helpful hint markers dotted around the floor, which act as bite-sized tutorials. Barely two steps into the ruins, and you come across Little Witch Nobeta’s version of the bonfires found in the Dark Souls games: Goddess Statues. These allow Nobeta to enhance all manner of abilities; from raising the strength of her physical attacks to hastening spell casting. Players can also acquire items, with both these and the ability upgrades costing currency you’ll earn from defeating enemies.

Speaking of enemies, the first set of monsters I encountered looked like they were ripped straight from a Studio Ghibli film, with their creepy red eyes, unnerving wide grins, and shambling, transparent bodies making for some fairly unsettling looking creatures. Naturally, my first instinct was to fire at will to get rid of them, which was my first taste of the game's combat system.


The ranged-focused combat sets it apart from most titles in the genre, with Nobeta using her witch staff to fire off magical projectiles as quickly as you can pull the trigger, with the left trigger used for more precise aiming. A charged attack is also available, which deals some serious damage to anything unlucky enough to be caught in its path. There’s also a melee ability to use in a pinch, though it’s not nearly as effective as ranged attacks. More spells can be unlocked, as aside from the basic projectile, I also discovered an ice spell, with its own unique (and devastating) charged attack.

A series of three meters govern Nobeta’s health, stamina, and magic and work just as you’d expect them to. Health regenerates slowly over time, so if you’re far away from a Goddess Statue, it’s always a wise idea to rest up for a minute or two. Stamina is used for sprinting and dodging, and finally the magic bar is used in place of ammunition that you’d normally find in games with ranged weaponry. The system works well, and not having the stamina bar tied to how many magical bullets you can fire off is a smart choice.

Little Witch Nobeta is fast-paced and frantic, with enemies that will charge at you as well as fire their own volley of missiles, so you’ll need to constantly be ready to dodge at a moment's notice. There were a few issues, such as being hit by an enemy spell despite dodging behind a wall, but my initial impressions of combat are positive.


The opening level was rather short, with not many options to stray from the set path. It wasn’t long before Little Witch Nobeta’s first boss was upon me, and despite its intimidating stature, it certainly wasn’t a tough fight! The second level — set in some murky caverns — is much more open, thankfully, with many off-shoots to explore and tunnels to get lost in. A few new enemy types are also introduced (just as unsettling as those in the first levels!) and although it was more of the same, the difficulty certainly spiked when compared to the previous level.

It was tough going, with a few restarts, lucky escapes, and even some basic puzzle solving thrown in before finally reaching the second boss, which put up much more of a fight than the first one. Both boss fights have been well crafted, with patterns of attacks players will need to decipher and learn to know when best to go on the defensive.

Overall, my two-hour play time with Little Witch Nobeta has left me wanting more. The anime aesthetics and challenging, but not unfair, gameplay has me hooked, and I can’t wait to dive in and uncover more of this unusual witch and the world she inhabits!

Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe

Staff Writer

Bought a PS5 and won't stop talking about it

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