The Chamber of Time is a video game spin-off of the Little Witch Academia animated series that is available on the PS4 and Windows. A+ Games managed to bring to life the charming characters from the anime using their engine that is capable of producing true to anime life representation in-game. From Akko’s cute yet klutzy demeanor to Diana’s overflowing smugness, fans of the anime would definitely feel at home.
With an original story basing on the trio finding a mysterious room, and getting stuck in a time loop after unknowingly breaking an ancient seal. To get out of this predicament, Akko and her new best friends have to traverse various dungeons to get to the bottom of this mystery. Not only is the story pretty refreshing in the gaming scene, it is also a smart move on the developer. This allows the same assets to be reused, quickening development time and reducing the amount of assets needed to be created – e.g. the Luna Nova Magical Academy grounds.
However, this can translate into the player seeing the same locations over and over again, which can get pretty dull. To prevent this, characters are positioned in multiple locations in different periods of the day, which the time paradox loops around. To switch it up even further, quests are only available at specific periods of the day. With quests having a short time frame for completion, this adds some sense of urgency to the otherwise straightforward sidequests. Still, the execution is not perfect. Quests are rather vague, with some stating “Find a way to fly through the air” or “Find Carmen”. Using the “Mumble” button allows Akko to blurt out some exposition to point the player on the right path, but an on-screen guide would be much more helpful. Sometimes, the person you are looking for may not be available at certain times of the day, causing players to aimlessly wander around. This results in the game’s learning curve being pretty steep initially when players have to learn the “rules” of the game.
This is not to say that the development of the game is lazy. The sheer size of the Luna Nova is pretty ridiculous. With a total of 10 main locations, and anywhere between 4 to 20 rooms in each, the Chamber of Time is not a tiny game by any means. On the other hand, this can make travelling from one location to another pretty time-consuming. Yes, the main controllable character (Akko) is capable of teleportation. But she is bound by the laws of the anime and lacks the skill to perform such magical abilities. The game solves this by providing players with various types of potions (consumables) to cast abilities, which can only be bought with currencies found in the dungeons. This essentially limits the number of times said abilities can be used, tying the story’s progress to that of the dungeons’.
The dungeons that Akko’s new gang have to venture are essentially 2.5D arenas that contains monsters to defeat. Before entering, players are given the choice of three characters to take with them. A leader can also be chosen among the three, with their traits heavily affecting the composition of the team. So, choose wisely. Players will then be greeted with a familiar sight – RPG elements. Each character can be leveled up or equipped with different accessories for improved stats. When it comes to magical abilities, the default ones are pretty basic. However, once deeper into the game, powerful and more flashier abilities can be learned. Proper Little Witch Academia style.
The only complaint is that the PS4 Slim is showing its age and struggles to maintain a stable framerate in most parts of the Chamber of Time. As a result, input latency becomes a problem as well. It would be recommended to play it on the PS4 Pro or PC for the best experience. Other than that, the game is still pretty decent. Not only are you getting brand-new contents for your favorite anime series, the game is also by no means a short game as it takes a decent 20+ hours to complete.
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