Now is the time to enjoy full 3D MMORPGs on mobile phones thanks to the dazzling development of graphic technology. But that doesn’t mean that 2D has been completely forgotten by people. On the contrary, as 3D dominates, more and more people feel the thirst for 2D. Because the dot sensibility with cute modeling and warm colors is not filled with 3D. Just looking at the surprise success of Kakao Games’ Guardian Tales, launched in July last year, proves that the sensibility of enjoying pixel art is alive within us. Yostar’s new RPG ‘The Witch Awakens’, which started service in Korea on the 10th (Wednesday), is also a game that relies on such sensibility.
The story begins with ‘The Witch Awakens’ as the title suggests. The player, a silver-haired girl who wakes up near an unknown tower with lost memories, is led into the Chrono Tower by Erina, a servant who calls herself a Master. It was a mysterious place that managed the gates that lead to another space-time, but it had lost its guardian and had been neglected for a long time. With the expectations of those around him to inherit the power of the Guardian to solve the chaotic situation, and the desire to recover his memories, the witch goes on a journey. A being who materialized souls collected from various worlds, with dolls as companions. This is a rough introduction to this work.
Perhaps there are readers who noticed when the story about dolls as companions came out. ‘The Witch Awakens’ is a collectible RPG. A doll means a character obtained through a lottery (gacha, gacha), and its soul is, so to speak, the right to a lottery. If you’ve played a few mobile games, you can easily imagine it if you’ve played a mobile game like that, where you have a party with the colleagues you’ve collected, push the main story, run around the money dungeon, and break daily quests. However, the aspect that was very careful to reduce the burden on those who enjoy it and the dot graphics that feel nostalgic for the classic game are elements that make ‘The Witch’s Awaken’ stand out in its own way among the swarming collectible RPGs.
Then, why is the burden on those who enjoy it less? Because there is no competition. Basically, ‘The Witch Awakens’ is a game played alone. You can make friends with other users and exchange friendship points, but that’s it. There is no ranking reward for completing the story or defeating the boss, and there is no PvP content. A series of billings for selecting UR-grade characters, buying skins, and replenishing energy are for self-satisfaction. Of course, I’m curious about the next story right now, but I can’t charge it because I don’t have the specifications to push. Skin is… Buy that tidy. There are no specs attached.
Although it is a mobile game, it is clear that the play sense of ‘The Witch Awakens’ is influenced by the classic JRPGs. Upon entering the stage following the main story, a dungeon filled with pixel art greets the player. Each chapter has a different background with a ruined tower, a damp forest, and a snowy field, but it functions as a dungeon as well. There were puzzle gimmicks such as removing obstacles by manipulating levers and reflecting light on mirrors to collect them in one place, as well as treasure chests containing items and mana. In addition, if you encounter monsters roaming the dungeon in the symbol encounter method, you will enter a battle with a pre-organized party.
So, let’s start with the party arrangement. The dolls are divided into four grades, R, SR, SSR, and UR, and the guardian type, destruction type, assassination type, obstruction type, recovery type, and magic type. They also have arbitrary elemental properties. The funny thing is that R grade means Rare, but you can’t see the normal below it. Also, we are all special. There is a concept of a front and back row, even though there are three, with a party of six people in total with three elected and three preliminary. In other words, it is standard to put the protection type or destruction type in front and the assassination type or recovery type backward. And when three or six have the same attribute, the set effect is activated. I can’t afford to even care about the properties at first, though.
Almost all dolls, regardless of grade, are pretty girls or beautiful girls. Very rarely, there are uncles who try to prove that men exist in this worldview, but they are of course low-level. The illustrations seem to have been drawn with more attention to high grades (or famous illustrators participated). To summon a doll, you need a soul crystal (10 consecutive), a soul crystal (1 time), and a soul. Crystals and crystals are mainly distributed through events, but the soul can be supplied to some extent in-game. If you put it in cash, it costs about 4,000 won for 200 souls at a time. The probabilities are R 40%, SR 50%, SSR 8%, UR 2%, which is pretty good.
One more convenient thing about ‘The Witch’s Witch’ is that it gives you 100 free 10 draws at the beginning of the game. Of course, you can’t take all the results of the 100 times in the 10 draw, but you will be given a hundred chances, so you have to choose the one you want. Since there is only one UR, it is best to start with 1 UR and 1 SSR. Consideration that he will help systematically if he is going to re-semara (the act of deleting and reinstalling the game repeatedly to get the desired result in the introductory draw) anyway. Those who are serious about the lottery, even after doing all of this, they really challenged up to the first 10 streak, and even though they were called Resemara… Well, what do you do? It’s also my choice.
If the draw is good and the party is well organized, let’s go into battle. The allies are on the left side of the screen and the enemies are on the right side, and the three elected come first, and whenever someone falls, the reserve fills the space. The battle is semi-turn-based, with both sides attacking each time the cooldown expires. The common resource for active skill use is the order and chaos energy shown at the bottom of the screen, and the order energy among them fills up by itself over time. Chaos energy fills up little by little each time order energy is consumed. Finally, when chaotic energy is consumed, the soul seal on the right side of the screen fills up to five squares one by one.
Let’s take a closer look. In general, skills that use order energy (on the left in the UI) have a low cost. Taking the UR assassin doll Akasha as an example, it is the meteor charm that consumes 1 space of order energy. Inflicts damage equal to 56% of ATK twice to a single target and temporarily increases own critical strike rate and critical damage. On the other hand, a skill that uses chaos energy (on the right side of the UI) has a high cost. Consumes 4 blocks of chaotic energy, Oui and Yugwang-cham attack the enemy in the last row 6 times, and if they die, they move on to the next row. In other words, in general, order skills are a light jab, and chaos skills are a heavy uppercut.
Now, chaos energy is gathered only by consuming order energy. In order for Akasha to use Oui and Yugwang Charm, she has to use Yoo Seong Charm 4 times. But let’s not forget that order and chaos energies are common resources. The player must have three party members, that is, six skills, manage resources, and fight effectively. Among the chaos skills, there are types that block enemy attacks or apply wide-area recovery, so be sure to use them carefully. When all the soul seals are collected by using the Chaos skill 5 times, the energy explodes and firepower can be projected with infinite resources (however, the cooldown still exists). Order → chaos → energy explosion is the flow.
This is the approximate battle method of ‘The Witch’s Awakening’. It is similar to other collectible RPGs, but differentiating it in its own way by dividing the common resources into two. If you want to know whether your party’s order and chaos skill cost is appropriate, so the deal cycle is constantly cycled, and whether the skill effects work properly, try a mock battle. Related functions are installed in the party organizing menu. This skill control is very important to break through the boss when pushing the story. Even if you match the appropriate level required by the system, you are often defeated in automatic battles. In a good way, the value of manual operation is high, and in a bad way, the AI is not very good.
The character’s growth is another reason why the Witch Awakens feels relatively light-hearted. Almost everything is done with mana, an in-game currency. The experience points tend to rise quite a bit even in battle, but there will be new characters drawn along the way, so you level up with mana. Equipment does not have a draw (it appears to be on the Chinese server, it will be added later), but it is obtained in-game, but it also costs mana when smelting it. When a character reaches the highest level, it can break through a total of 4 times with breakthrough stones and mana. In addition, certain materials are required to enhance the character’s skills. In other words, level, equipment, and skills are the measure of growth, and it costs a lot of mana here and there.
As such, mana, equipment, breakthrough stones, and skill contracts used for character growth can be easily obtained in the dream world, a material dungeon. These dungeons are open every day regardless of the day of the week and there is no limit on the number of entries. As long as you have enough energy, you can take as many turns as you want. Of course, it also supports n automatic battles. However, since it is an automatic battle, not a subjugation, the time is not shortened. So, the most valuable commodity in ‘The Witch Awakens’ is energy. It’s up to you to spend a day’s energy and stop taking a break or charge it for a fee. Even so, the number of energy recharges is limited to 10, so there is a limit to how much money you can use.
As mentioned above, there is no ranking reward or PvP in ‘The Witch Who Wakes Up’. There are packages sold by everyone else here, but the hurdles for growth are not high enough to prevent the process from being charged. The character illustration is of a high level, and the in-game modeling made good use of the sensibility of small dots. There are also small sub-contents for gardening a witch’s garden and decorating the house (a space that sends dispatches, not just decorations). The story is… I honestly don’t know. The main character has no memory and the surrounding situation is so-called ‘dreamlike’, so the story unfolds as if something is swept away. Proper nouns are also very common, but if you like narratives that create an atmosphere like this, it will suit your taste.
Although it is rather small compared to the recent masterpieces, it is a game that can be enjoyed without burden. Especially if you’re a gamer thirsty for dot sensibility, it wouldn’t be bad to take a picture of it at least once. Conversely, even the pretty characters are all dotted except for the illustrations, so if the emotions don’t match, it’ll be a bummer. Even with a paid skin, it only looks like dots in-game anyway. I wondered what it would be like to be released at the same time as a highly anticipated work like ‘Blue Archive’, but when it comes to reality, the direction is very different. If you are curious about the story of a silver-haired witch who travels through time and space to regain her memories, come to ‘The Witch Who Wakes Up’.
|By Kim Young-hoon, staff reporter [email protected]|