1 - 5 of 5 User Reviews

User review by arielle221

5

Magical Diary is one dark, AMAZING otome (dating sim). The game truly creates a boarding school milieu full of juicy bits of gossip.

Where to begin? Character creation provides more variety than I’ve ever seen in a visual novel. I could select from among 2 body types, 5 skin tones, 4 face types, 35 eye shades (though hard to see such subtleties in-game), 11 hair styles, & 14 hair shades. The game recognized any first & last name I chose. There appears to be an unlimited # of save slots (simply press “next” when you reach save series #8) that accept << l o n g >> file names, & the game also saves the onscreen image. There’s even an in-game cheat, uh, *debug* console that’s useful during replays Nos. 1—6.

While there’s a set number of poses & expressions for each character, some expressions differ very subtly so we see the expressions change as though animated: eyes looking off in the distance as the NPC considers what to say now shift to look directly at the PC; a neutral expression morphs into a quick blush, evil grin, or slow wink then back again. Though success in class should be less random & based on smarts or stress level, using arrows to shift scenes to “walk” around the dungeon, having a quick bar for spell-casting, & viewing a tiny map to track progress increased my immersion in the novel. My ability to specialize in blue/green/white magic is cool, and the bad boy choice is really naughty! Caution, adult themes implied throughout.

Suggestions to Hanako Games follow:

1. Price this game closer to $10—15 to attract a larger audience. I waited until this game was $20, but I’m already a fan.

2. Since several events can occur in a single day & the game is HUGE, create some sort of code (symbols? Colors?) for replays to enable players to follow other storylines w/o too much frustration. I might not play a 4th time (smile).

User review by fathskie

5

I've been a Hanako fan ever since Fatal Hearts, Cute Knight and lastly Date Warp. Every game is a jewel but so far Magical Diary outshines them all. I thought it would be very hard to compete with Date Warp but they actually succeeded!! Magical Diary is a super fun otome game with many route combinations and endings. I did not expect a long play through for a visual novel. Another plus thing is... you know when we need to plan our routine for the week, things are going monotone and boring and repetitive? That's not the case with Magical Diary. There's always some pop up events going on in the morning or afternoon or evening, and people knocking on my door and talk to me, many things actually happened =D You really feel like the game was LONG, and unlike some other game which would end like, after just one hour, this one can lasts for literally hours and hours.

I'm grateful they they have a seemingly unlimited save slots -,-'

The characters have strong personalities and cute drawing, and I really can FEEL them, you know? My love interest for the first playthrough, Damien, literally triggered some fluttery feelings in my stomach because he was such a ladies man with a certain background to which peaked my interest before I knew it. Good writings caused that, you know. Like -- you can FEEL the emotions in good writings and Magical Diary especially good with playing with your feelings. It beats shoujo manga with the guys collections, the girlfriends, the plot, the secrets. There are some of other minor characters too which made you feel like you're really in school and circled with many types of friends and happenings.

And the Dungeons!!! They are frustrating but TOTAL fun!! We can use any means we have with our spells and -as the professor said- be creative with them ^^ (by creative means there's more than one way to solve a dungeon and you will be forced to use your brain)

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

User review by SleepingDragon

5

With a clear conscience and a light heart I give Magical Diary a 5. I will reiterate what was said: if you dislike the genre avoid, if you like the genre be sure to get it, if you don't know I would recommend MD as a starting title.

The game mechanics are simple and easily grasped (unlike Academagia which, while more ambitious, was, for me, a bit overwhelming) at the same time leaving the player enough freedom so it doesn't feel like the game is railroading too much. The various paths, far as I've seen them, strongly vary and guarantee at least a few pretty different replays . The graphics are simple, cutesy anime style stuff but they work, the music is unobtrusive. The exam puzzles are perhaps not wonderful but they are solid and it can be fun to try a different approach on a subsequent playthrough.

All of these elements work and that is precisely what they should be doing, the high points of the game are where they should be: the writing, the characters, the choices. The game manages something that I've seen extremely, extremely rarely, it treats the characters, and the player, as mature beings. On a few occasions it addresses more serious topics but it does so without being heavy handed or ham fisted about it, and without making them the primary focus of the game and being preachy. Yes, some events follow some conventions. Yes, veterans of the genre will recognize certain clichés. But in MD they didn't feel like "nothing new under the sun" boring more like "welcome home" familiar.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

User review by rainbowsparks

5

This should be a 4.5, but this game sticks out from the usual game of the genre I preferred to give it a little bit more, instead of a little bit less. Last similar game I tried, I wasn't impressed. I tried this one following the GameZebo review and I have to confirm everything it says. This game is obviously part of a genre, but it's extremely well executed, extremely involving and even a bit challenging.
You can play it at least following 5 (or, more likely, 6) romatic paths, and you can focus on your personal knowledge and your magic spells too. It's entertaining, refreshing and interesting: give it a try.

User review by jkuci

5

This is a VISUAL NOVEL, so if you don't like to read dialogue its probably not your thing. There is a lengthy demo so, you can try it and pretty much know one way or the other by its end. There are multiple endings depending on the decisions you make.

This is the story of a young witch who is going away from home to a sort of magic boarding school for the first time and its about her reactions to the school and her interactions with two roomates, the other students (not all are human), other world creatures and her teachers This game only covers her first school year.

And she learns spells which she is tested on periodically, sometimes thrown into dungeons etc in order to find out if she can problem solve using her wits and talents.

The demo ends just as she has been put into her first dungeon. You actually are the one being tested as you pick the spells learned and have to figure out how to get out of the dungeon. To know how she fares (with your help), you must buy the game.

I bought the game. Very fun. I highly recommend it.
Enjoy!!


P.S. For a REALLY in depth version see "Academagia: The Making of Mages" - the most detailed of this type of game (or any type) I have ever encountered. Be prepared for a very long experience as the Academagia developers have added 9 free mods as of the date of this note. And the game was really involved to begin with - literally countless endings.

For a simpler similar game, try Magic Life, a PC game built similarly to Life Quest but with more depth. Also very fun.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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