Sometimes it is absolutely great when the Switch gets a port of a mobile game. It can mean a better control scheme, since you have access to a controller at all time. Maybe it will have some extra features. Perhaps previously paid content will be included in the overall package. In the case of WitchSpring3 Re:Fine – The Story of Eirudy – for the Switch, we have that rare situation in which it is best if anyone interested goes for the much more affordable and not terribly different mobile version instead.
There is a witch living all alone in the woods. All she’s ever known are the dolls she can bring to life, her grandmother, and the monsters inhabiting the Misty Forest around her. She’s avoided humans, afraid of what exposure might mean due to the threat they pose, despite her being more powerful than them. Then she meets Adrian, a young man exploring the forest in search of a remedy for his mother in a strange, slumbering coma. After the two help each other, he gives her the name Eirudy and she becomes exposed to the world. However, while some people may seem kind, others may leave her questioning which path she might follow.
What follows is a turn-based RPG that blends all sorts of mechanics together. You can gather materials and vitality to craft magic spells and breathe life into dolls that act as allies. You choose which sort warrior you might want her to be, as you can focus on her skill with dolls, magic, or the sword. There’s a character training element, as you can schedule her week and choose her focus of study to build stats. And all of the elements are… fine. Things work. It is a very tutorial-heavy game, often pointing out the obvious and things people familiar with RPGs already know. It is very possible to grind and over-prepare yourself by exploring certain areas early or spending a lot of time on Eirudy. The concept behind creating dolls that can act as allies to attack alongside or support her is novel enough, adding a bit of strategy when deciding who to bring along.
But it never really feels innovative or striking. WitchSpring3 Re:Fine, despite being on the Switch, very much feels like a mobile game. The UI, menus, and navigation elements aren’t suited for the system. It’s more like an effort was made to make what already existed function well enough to get by, rather than a rebuild to make it intuitive and comfortable. The elements pulled together are never as good as they are in other games, like say Gust’s Atelier series or a game like Princess Maker where you really have to pay more attention to planning and stats. And while you might need to think about which dolls to deploy, the battles never really challenged me.
Which would be fine if WitchSpring3 Re:Fine wasn’t so bland. Many of the characters feel flat, even with beautiful CGs, an array of events, and multiple endings. If anything, I’d lay part of the blame on the localization and translation. It’s not great! Things read awkwardly. You might encounter some errors. It is a shame. Because really, Eirudy’s story is a rather interesting one! She’s grown up mostly alone. She gets a chance to interact with people. But then things happen that shape her as a person and the course of her story. Even though the choices are pretty obvious for determining which path she’ll take, it’s novel.
And honestly, a downside to all this is because it is a bit bland and neutral, that the prospect of more didn’t leave me excited. One ending offers an opportunity to go through post-game events and activities. There’s an additional doll you wouldn’t normally have from that route, for example. But by the time I’d completed everything, I didn’t feel the need to keep exploring further.
I also couldn’t help feeling like the Switch version of WitchSpring3 Re:Fine doesn’t vary all that much from the original mobile adaptation. (Something I verified by picking up the iOS option after.) Considering it is $3.99 on the App Store and $4.49 on Google Play, that is something of an unforgivable sin. Yes, there is voice acting. Which is quite good. Sure, there are costumes and characters look a bit different. People might also end up finding additional events. But I can’t feel it’s enough to merit a jump to $39.99. Especially since the mobile versions’ price includes everything.
The appeal of WitchSpring3 Re:Fine is having an entry in the series on the Switch. The concepts behind it are fine. I had an okay time playing it, even if I didn’t feel terribly motivated to explore what the post-game had to offer. Some of the UI decisions don’t exactly feel comfortable, the localization isn’t great, and it isn’t terribly memorable. It’s not bad and people interested in the series will probably have a good time. But those with a passing curiosity may want to look at the more reasonably priced mobile versions instead.
WitchSpring3 Re:Fine – The Story of Eirudy – is available for the Nintendo Switch.