Review: “WitchSpring 3 Re:Fine The Story of Eirudy” (Nintendo Switch)
Beginning life as a mobile game, WitchSpring 3 Re:Fine The Story of Eirudy is now available on the Nintendo Switch. Created by Kiwi Walks and published here in the United States by ININ Games, WitchSpring 3 is a fairly short (roughly ten hours), traditional turn-based RPG that has a great amount of charm. However, considering that you can get the mobile version for less than five bucks, does the Switch version really hold up to a $40 price tag?
The story follows Eirudy, an isolated witch who has the ability to bring dolls to life. In her desperation to create more doll friends, she has a chance encounter where she saves a young man from a boar which starts her on a bigger adventure.
The obvious truth is that, graphically, this game looks nothing better than an average forty-year-old woman at the bar. Does that suck? Not completely, you still may go home with her if you have had enough to drink, but let’s be honest, you will never feel great about it in the morning. The anime art is beautifully drawn but it can’t save the weak 3D graphics that the game mostly runs on. I played it almost exclusively in handheld mode, and it still looked pretty blocky overall. At one point I had to check my Switch to make sure that it hadn’t magically turned into a GameCube.
It’s not all bad news, mind you. Even though the graphics may be sub par, WitchSpring 3 oozes with character, adding hints of flair such as character animations that keep things fun and light hearted. I always enjoyed watching Eirudy exercise to level up and her animation while crafting potions made me laugh. I equally enjoyed that you could speed through these animations also, because believe me, you will see them a lot.
On the other hand, the music is pretty weak. If I could describe it in one word it would be “forgettable.” It never takes any risks and it really feels like many of these songs are just plug and play for almost any game. You could easily remove one or more of the songs from the game and put it straight into a game like Homescapes… It’s gross and I feel dirty thinking about it, and I also feel gross for having played Homescapes. For most of the WitchSpring 3, I was more than satisfied to mute the sound and listen to something else to ease the pain in my ear holes. On the other hand, I was extremely impressed by the Japanese voice acting throughout the game, a feature that really added to this particular version of the game.
WitchSpring 3’s core gameplay is your traditional turn-based attack system where you control Eirudy. She can attack, use magic, or summon dolls to fight alongside her. As you progress, new dolls become available that all have unique actions. For the most part, though, they serve as buffs and/or extra attacks in battle. Early on, WitchSpring 3 was a bit challenging, but I figured out quickly there is a way to exploit the leveling system, making our little witch so powerful that she was able to one shot every enemy in the game, no joke (I won’t spoil it here). This included every boss I encountered after hour four. I was so OP, I felt like I was playing as Teela in the new Masters of the Universe. That being said, the last half of the game became more of a gathering simulator for items to make potions than an actual RPG.
Speaking of the leveling system, you can raise your stats in two different ways. First, you have your traditional system where you kill enough monsters which unlocks the ability to select certain exercises that boost your stats. You also have your potion making ability that will raise your stats and allow you to create items for use in battle. You make potions by using items that are either dropped by enemies or spread across the world map, the latter of which respawn over time.
In the end, the gameplay never truly caught my attention, but WitchSpring 3 is at its best with the story and the characters. WitchSpring 3’s story had several twists and turns that kept it interesting, and almost every character was fun to get to know. The story alone pushed me through to the end and I don’t regret it. It is worth noting that there is also some end game content available after you beat the game. Nothing extraordinary, but having more game is normally not a bad thing, and you can get extra little bonuses, too, such as costume changes for Eirudy.
In the end, WitchSpring 3 is mostly for the traditional RPG fan who doesn’t really want a challenging game, but would like to follow a fun, wholesome story. The $40 price tag seems a bit too high for a ten hour RPG, but if you could find it on sale down the line, somewhere around $20, I think that is a fair price to give it ago. You can check out WitchSpring 3 Re:Fine The Story of Eirudy on the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
*Disclosure: A copy of WitchSpring 3 Re:Fine The Story of Eirudy was provided to The Splintering for the purpose of this review.
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