We’ve gradually seen the expansion of the video game landscape over the past decade or so. It would have been unthinkable in 2005 or so that the majority of gaming would take place on mobile devices, for instance…well, at least in the West, as that kind of thing has been a thing in Eastern nations for quite some time. That’s not to say consoles are left out, though, and sometimes mobile games are able to make the crossover to a more traditional platform with aplomb.
That’s the case with WitchSpring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy, a remastered and remixed take on the third entry in the mobile-based WitchSpring franchise.
A mysterious witch lives deep in the forest, practicing magic and concocting items in solitude. This all changes when the adventurer Adrian arrives in her life, offering her a name – Eirudy – and a quest. Eirudy and Adrian will team up to explore the world, seeking the Stone of Life. It’s a standard RPG setup, but there’s a few different ways this story might turn out, and not all of them are all rainbows and sunshine.
There’s a few different plot routes here and Eirudy’s relationship with humanity might take quite the turn depending on what the player chooses.
Gameplay-wise, WitchSpring 3’s clearest inspiration is something like the Atelier series. As in those games, our heroine spends much of her time beating up monsters and gathering goodies to create new and helpful items. Don’t expect quite the same level of item customization as you’d see in that franchise, though; WitchSpring 3 would rather have you fill out recipe lists than design items down to the ingredient level the way Atelier does. Instead, there’s a little more focus on improving Eirudy herself via items, training and combat.
Those latter two merit a little more discussion. Training is a little reminiscent of Monster Rancher, of all things, as you have Eirudy pump up specific stats to fit your combat style. As for combat itself, it’s standard turn-based fare with a few twists. Eirudy’s able to summon and command dolls, for instance, which can offer benefits like healing without taking up Eirudy’s own turns. Let’s not worry about how this consumes “Vitality” taken from fallen enemies, there’s no way that’s evil, right? Eirudy herself knows her way around a sword and magic alike, so you’re able to adjust your battle strategies to suit your opponents.
As mentioned earlier, if you’ve not tried any of the other WitchSpring games and are coming into WitchSpring 3 Re:Fine as your first entry in the series, you might be surprised to find that this is actually a fairly extensive Korean-developed mobile franchise. There’s a fourth WitchSpring game out already and a fifth in the works. Presumably these will eventually make their way to Switch as well if they’re successful, but only time will tell.
Either way, this take on WitchSpring3 looks great, performs well enough and controls fine with a controller, so it’d be easy to forget that you’re playing a mobile game (even if you’re playing in handheld mode). Which is a good thing, given the significantly increased asking price compared to what the mobile version would run you.
There’s one significant issue that permeates the game, though. That’d be the localization, which isn’t quite up to the standard we’ve come to expect in the modern industry. Text cuts off awkwardly, writing is a bit stilted…it’s a pain. This won’t ruin the game experience, but a little more time in the localization oven probably would have served WitchSpring3 well.
That said, fans of the Atelier series – well, those who’ve already made it through Ryza – should be able to hold themselves over until the next release with WitchSpring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy. This is a surprisingly competent port, so much so that it’s easy to forget it was originally intended for phones. Spotty translations aside, the story isn’t going to overshadow its inspirations, but there’s something to be said for a game that tries a lot of different things without dropping any of the plates it’s spinning.