WitchSpring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy developed by Kiwi Walks and Ikina Games is a turn-based JRPG set in the WitchSpring universe. Being unfamiliar with the WitchSpring universe, I was worried there might be a bit of a learning curve. However, the game is a standalone adventure, so prior knowledge of the series is not required.
As for this game, we follow an unnamed Witch or Deity (Who is given the name Eirudy to match her distinctive red eyes but another main character). Taking place in a fantasy world, there is a fair bit of lore thrown around including the names of the cities, country, and people. Notable among the early exposition dumps are the facts that magic exists in this world, and the ones that control it are alternatively referred to as Witches or Deities (The former generally used by antagonists while the latter appears to be far more respectful), regardless of what they are called they appear to live in seclusion either due to persecution and exile or in an attempt to distance themselves from the people that will likely persecute them at some point based on their history’s current track records.
As well as living in seclusion, they appear to be few in number, resulting in isolation and the peculiar personality of Eirudy. While a lot of the elements are fairly standard fantasy and JRPG tropes, the reserved, blunt, and somewhat cold main character really stands out. Essentially living alone with only inanimate dolls for company, Eirudy tends not to speak much compared to other characters and has no qualms about saying exactly what is on her mind as she really has no social interactions before the beginning of the game (Save for her Grandma who lives quite close and is the one that made the dolls for her).
The inanimate dolls don’t remain that way for all that long as you play, through. In the opening tutorial section, you’ll fairly quickly awaken the first doll (Second if you include Failur the failed doll that serves more as a mascot than an actual character). In order to awaken this doll (and eventually the others), you’re introduced to Soul Power and the Soul Stone.
The Soul Stone is a magic stone that can store vitality from defeated enemies which can then be injected into the dolls to bring them to life or upgrade them further. While your original Soul Stone has a fairly small cap, you can upgrade it later on to allow more energy to be stored and more dolls to be awoken. Additionally, the energy stored in the stone can also be used to restore your health and MP which can also be used automatically if you get suddenly defeated.
Combat is somewhat similar to a lot of turn-based JRPG’s with melee attacks, magic, items, guard, and flee options all present. Eirudy also has access to magic sword skills and the ability to summon up to 3 dolls to act during combat.
However, you can only summon one each turn, meaning you’ll need to spend a few turns to complete your team each combat (and each summon will take between 10 and 25% of your MP). In order to speed things up, some of the dolls are “rideable”, meaning you can summon them outside of battle to use them as a mount, and they will start each battle with you allowing for their buff to be provided without needing to spend the MP or waste a turn each battle to bring them out. Each doll will have its own power and will act of their own accord, ranging from the starting doll that heals Eirudy every turn to combat dolls that attack and the aforementioned rideable dolls that generally act as buffers.
While the story and combat are fairly similar to a lot of other JRPGs, the leveling system somewhat sets WitchSpring3 apart. Which is to say there are no traditional “levels”. You’ll need to build your stats, but it will be in a mix of other ways. The main way would be via Training, where you can select from 8 different training methods that each focus on building different stats (As well as upgrading major skills at certain thresholds such as adding more recipes or new magic sword enhancements). You can also increase stats via items, finding consumable items or ingredients that can be combined into consumable items. And, you can also gain stats through other tasks such as chasing small creatures to increase your agility (Although each creature will only increase your stat to a certain amount) or performing well in a tough battle.
The combination of these stat boosts can make you fairly effortlessly powerful as long as you don’t mind a little grinding. However, there are certain restrictions such as the Training requiring you to perform other actions until the next round is ready, and thresholds stopping you from gaining power from beating the same enemies ad infinitum. However, the items the enemies drop appear to be set, so you can grind for certain items fairly easily with the main issue being waiting for enemies to respawn, which doesn’t take that long usually.
These fairly simple methods of gaining power mean that you can quite easily increase your power to breeze through the story, but you’ll consistently find enemies that vastly outclass you, at least until you grind a little more. It’s a somewhat addictive concept where you’re achieving gains virtually all the time, however, the story sections can be quite slow when the combat ends in a round or two and then you have dialogue for the next few minutes, but such is the trade-off from optionally increasing your power.
The look of WitchSpring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy, especially character designs is heavily anime-inspired, and the game is largely voiced with both Japanese and Korean options (Essentially all story dialogue is voiced, only small pieces like talking to grandma after the story section is over or shopkeepers, etc) are not voiced.
Controls are a little slippery at times, especially walking where you’ll sometimes move 4 steps just by touching the control stick. But this is a minor gripe considering the combat is turned-based, not platforming.
At the end of the day, WitchSpring3 is a solid JRPG and one that any fan of the genre can get into. If you are looking for the next one to play, this is a beyond viable option.
WitchSpring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: G Choice
Developer: Kiwiwalks, Ikina Games
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Price: $39.99, £34.99, €39,99
Game Size: 853 MB
Interesting stat-building concepts
Rather addictive gameplay
Full voice acting
Interesting main character
Story is a little slow
Movement feels off