Visual novel review: Littlewitch Romanesque
Shoujo Mahou Gaku Little Witch Romanesque, was released in English by JAST USA a few months ago under the title Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque. At the time I didn’t think it looked very interesting, but because I kept reading that people liked it I ended up picking it up.
An all-ages version will be available on steam in the near future.
The story takes place in a fantasy world. Domino is an archmage living in an ancient tower, he has to teach Aria Vancliff and Kaya Xavier to be fully fledged wizards within 3 years, a task that would usually take decades. A few more women come to live in the tower to help with maintenance and teaching the girls, including a princess, a catgirl, a saint, a knight, an elf, and an angel.
Quests are events which help advance the story and meet the requirements for the character events as well as various endings. To start a quest Aria and Kaya must know the required spells for that particular quest. To learn spells there is a dice minigame.
Aria and Kaya throw three dice each, previously learnt spells can be triggered by dice combinations which trigger effects such as spawning extra dice and point bonuses. Points earned from this minigame are used to teach Aria and Kaya the spells required to complete quests.
It is easy to manipulate the types of points generated from the game by either bumping the dice with the mouse or by choosing particular dice combinations from a list of previously learned spells.
I was never a fan of the artstyle of this game, I got used to it pretty early on but I never got to the point where I could say that I liked it. The character designs weren’t that appealing either, the personalities were ok even if slightly bland at times.
Littlewitch Romanesque is pretty character focused as there isn’t really any story at all besides each characters final event. Most of the content has a slice-of-life feel, as most of the non-quest text is short exchanges between the tower inhabitants during spell-learning events and in-between each changing of the date.
Voice acting was done quite well, each of the characters I thought were well represented by their respective voice-actors and all the emotional parts were done well. Domino is voiced, which is unusual since most protagonists remain unvoiced in visual novels for various reasons.
I should probably make it clear that I don’t really think much of this game, my initial impressions were pretty neutral but it kept getting more and more clear that it wasn’t really for me. This isn’t to say it’s bad, the score I gave it is much lower than the average so most people like it more than I did. If you think it would be something that might interest you, it might be worth a try.
I’ve decided to stop listing my ratings in my reviews, they don’t really mean much and I still haven’t figured out exactly how I want to score visual novels yet. (I currently have this game listed as a 4/10.) I’ve decided instead to try listing positives and negatives at the end of each review and see how that goes.
- somewhat ok fantasy setting
- voiced protagonist
- soundtrack isn’t terrible
- a few of the characters star events are pretty good
- bland characters
- minigame gets incredibly annoying, especially when going through a second playthrough
- felt like a chore to finish
- sex scenes seemed unnecessary and out of place
Title: 少女魔法学 リトルウィッチロマネスク | Shoujo Mahou Gaku: Little Witch Romanesque
Aliases: Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque
Scenario: 桐月 (Kizuki)
Art: 大槍 葦人 (Ooyari Ashito)
Posted on March 23, 2015, in Reviews and Impressions, Visual Novels and tagged Kizuki, Littlewitch, Shoujo Mahou Gaku: Little Witch Romanesque. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
If it felt like a chore to finish then it must be really bad. Right?
For me it was bad. I’ve seen a lot of comments from people that say they really enjoyed it though. So I’d assume it really isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be.
But yeah, I wouldn’t really recommend it, it has the lowest rating that I’ve given a visual novel so far.
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I…really can’t stand the art style used in this visual novel (and it pops up way too often!). I’d like to think i’m not one to be swayed simply by visuals but those faces just look wrong.
In any case, it’s a shame that another Steam-ported VN isn’t all that great. I think Planetarian and Dengeki Stryker still lead the pack in that department; have you picked up any visual novels on Steam that you’ve enjoyed?
I haven’t actually got too many of the visual novels on steam, but now that I’ve started to focus on my visual novel backlog that’s probably something I should be looking at. eden*, Dengeki Stryker are ones I definitely will get round to. I also pre-ordered Princess Evangile, which comes out in a few days so hopefully I end up liking that. I really like the MangerGamer feature where you get free steam keys for games you buy from them if there is a steam version.
I’ve finished planetarian before and enjoyed it but I don’t have it on steam. I should probably buy that and replay it sometime as it was quite good for a short read. Also I assume when Clannad eventually comes out it will be on steam so I’ll be buying that as well. There were parts of Clannad which I really enjoyed and it’s been a long time so I wouldn’t mind re-reading it.
And Higurashi – I’ve never managed to convince myself that it would be worth reading through the bad releases of Higurashi, I know there’s a patch somewhere that adds the newer graphics and adds the missing audio back in, but no voice patch was ever made. (and also I should probably read Umineko instead since I’ve heard it’s amazing.) So when the redone Higurashi version is released I’ll be buying that too. From what I’ve seen the new version looks really good.
Higurashi and Umineko are probably worth the time to try them out. I personally found them to be a little drawn out but they both have a unique spark to them that has attracted huge numbers of fans. I’ll be interested to see if you like them!
Eden was pretty decent. I liked it better than Ef but less than Planetarian (as the only other short VN I can think of). The visuals are fantastic and it doesn’t take much time to get through, so I can happily recommend it.
I’ll add Higurashi to the list then, I’ll probably get to it sometime after Umineko. I enjoyed both the Higurashi and Umineko anime, so I’m interested to see the content that the anime missed. (which I hear is a lot)
I’m glad to hear eden* isn’t bad, ef is on my backlog so I’ll probably get to eden* after I get round to playing ef.
Technically Ef, Higurashi and Umineko are all in my average book…but it would be wrong of me to denounce them when so many other have had more fun than I did. There’s major variation in opinion when it comes to VNs (or just about anything, I suppose =P).
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