It’s interesting reviewing a visual novel for the first time. As someone who does love to read a lot of fantasy, the visual novel should be an genre worth exploring. Littlewitch Romanesque Editio Regia is definitely a great introduction to the visual novel genre. The story focuses on an archmage and his two students exploring a Dark Tower, full of magic and secrets. The story is excellent, the main trio are well developed and the art style is amazing. With such a world to explore, it becomes an enjoyable experience for a first time visual novel player.
The story focuses on three central characters. One of these characters is the archmage Domino. He has the desire to explore a building known as the Dark Tower. The Dark Tower contain secrets of the past 1000 years, when Stella Mundo were covered with magical towers. He is given permission to explore and reside in the tower for the purpose for research. However, he is told to teach two young girls magic and turn them into mages within three years. These two young girls are Aria Vancleef, the daughter of a nobleman, and Kaya Xavier, an orphan. The story focuses on the adventures of the trio as they discover the secrets of the Dark Tower.
The story is quite intriguing. As a fan of fantasy stories, the world of magic and mystery turns out to be both entertaining and interesting to learn about. The secrets of the Dark Tower, the various characters it hosts and all of the magical wonder brings charm to the story, making it an enjoyable overarching story. The consistent introduction of characters and the disjointed events, however, does make a dent in the story. It felt broken, losing interest at times during gameplay. The lack of nudity scenes, though, makes it more enjoyable for all ages. Originally, Littlewitch Romanesque was released as an adult version with the subtitled Edito Perfecta. It proves the game didn’t need the nudity in the first place with the story and intriguing world being excellent.
The main trio are an interesting bunch. Domino acts as the mentor archetype. He looks over the girls like a father figure. He both show his serious and humourous side in several different scenarios. He often helps with the several occupants of the Dark Tower as well. The main character development, however, focuses on Aria and Kaya, considering they are the two young mages in training. They provide polar opposite personalities, yet they fit so well as friends. Aria is the adventurous, rash type while Kaya is the quiet, shy type. It’s typical but they bring a certain charm to the story. With Domino as the mentor, the trio are quite entertaining in the multitude of scenarios. Their backstories also provide some interesting discoveries into the trio.
In addition to the main trio, there are a plethora of supporting characters coming in and out of the game. Most of them are in fact women, which is why Littlewitch Romanesque can be described as an harem, where there is a high number of woman surrounding one man in a game of love. However, these characters are a hit and miss. Some of the women are interesting, such as Mariella, who takes care of the library. But then there are characters who seem too boring or nor interesting at all. They all have their own individual events, as well as interacting with each other in certain events, such as parties. It’s another negative to an interesting world. The characters all needed to be at least interesting to interact with.
As for gameplay, the player has 156 turns (which represents weeks in the game) to train both Aria and Kaya. In order for the girls to learn spells, which is structured as a skill tree, they take lessons. Lessons are undertaken with the roll of the dices. Both Aria and Kaya are provided with three dices with six faces each, representing the five different spirits (Knowledge, Wisdom, Experience, Intuition and Instinct) and a sixth face adding to all five spirits. Using spells during lessons adds effects to the dice, such as extra dice or an increase to the amount of spirit obtained. After acquiring certain spirits, the girls can learn the required spell. Spells are required for quests and exams at the end of every year. The exams are the same dice based gameplay the lessons are, except with restrictions. Certain spells need to be learned before the exams in order for the girls to progress through the year. Fail these exams and Domino can’t explore the Dark Tower no longer.
The art style is excellent. The hand drawn style really excels in the visual novel. The world is bright when it needs to be, full of colour. Each background and character model is drawn with articulate detail. The game also features a watercolour paint effect, looking like a beautiful painting. As it is the Steam release, it also edits out instances of nudity. But the developers didn’t remove the scenes, rather they edit them with some well placed fog or extra clothing. The art style is one of the strongest points of the game. What isn’t is the music. It’s too generic, although it fits the scenario. The game retains the Japanese voice actors. They’re great, with each character’s voice fitting the character themselves.
With a great story and characters, it’s worth playing through Littlewitch Romanesque Edito Regia over and over again. Playing through once doesn’t give it justice with the story, as there is multiple scenarios to explore. Add the excellent art style, great voice acting and the more mainstream accessibility and the visual novel will be one heck of an enjoyable experience. Just expect to suffer through a supporting cast where it can be a hit and miss. The music could have been memorable as well. Overall, it’s definitely worth picking up.
Rating: Too Many Dice Rolls/10
Littlewitch Romanesque Editio Regia was provided by JAST USA for the purpose of review. The game is now available on Steam for USD$24.99. Littlewitch Romanesque Editio Perfecta (the uncensored version) is available on JAST USA’s website for USD $39.99 for both digital download and hardcopy.