Recently, I've been playing a lot of visual novels. I'm sure that there are a few individuals out there who would love to dispute the term 'playing' when it comes to the subject of visual novels - after all, they are essentially interactive storybooks. That being said, I am more than happy to abandon all preconceived notions and just enjoy them for what they are. I suppose it helps if you're a particularly empathetic individual, seeing as I tend to spend more time focusing on individual characters and their relationships than I do the actual plot. But, I digress.
I picked up 'Magical Diary' earlier. It's a visual novel with some very obvious influences - the biggest being Harry Potter. As countless other reviews and synopsis' before mine have pointed out, the game seems to present this in a rather "tongue-in-cheek" manner. I actually thought about picking it up before today - it was actually the Steam Summer Sale that drew my attention towards it, but I was reluctant to actually make the purchase since there were other titles I wanted more, - but that obviously didn't happen, so today had to suffice.
I have already poured seven hours into Magical Diary. I've managed to gain three different endings so far, two of which ended with romantic interests. I won't name any character names or give anything away (although I'm sure my achievement list will do that for me when it updates), but I still feel as though there's more to explore in the story. This is something which feels pretty rare in visual novels; the last two I played, Katawa Shoujo & Analogue: A Hate Story felt distinctly linear. Your choices made a pretty big impact on the storyline, sure, but you didn't get to make them very often.
Magical Diary is different. You're presented with a wealth of options in terms of what you want to do with your time, how you want to respond to certain situations, where you want to go.. I feel as though there are less viable romance prospects, but that's actually okay - I'm actually finding myself more interested in exploring the world, in seeing what spells the game has to offer, and in learning more about my classmates and whatever else.
I'm not *entirely* sure what the point of this blog entry was - beyond allowing me to gush about my newfound love of Magical Diary, - but I hope it's been of.. some.. use? Or at the very least, has made for (somewhat) interesting reading.