I just wanted to drop by and thank you for the game. I just finished my first playthrough (more like first and a half since I went back to a savefile a couple months back to fiddle with some choices) and I really liked it.
There were of course things that I would like to see (or see more), like the ability to romance Luke and/or Logan, more chances to use magic, more teachers, greater role of clubs... And I wish Snake was a boys' rather than a girls' hall (I like the character of the hall and but I wish I could play a boy when the game for it is released). On the other hand I realize that, for example, adding a club related mechanics and a big, branching storyline for it on top of the classes, money, social interaction and all that would probably mean complicating the game at least twice as much. And having more chances to use magic would mean that not getting certain colour high enough would lock you out of these options, which would be painful for me since the thought that I'm missing some scene/opportunity by not attending a specific class on a specific day after making a specific choice two weeks earlier is gnawing at me. So I guess I'll have to just sigh and say that the game is as good as it could possibly get.
As for the things that I REALLY liked:
-The story, or rather the lack of it. It's lifelike, you make choices, you live with your choices. Even if you never interfere with other people you'll get snippets of their stories here and there, sometimes fairly obvious, sometimes subtle, sometimes "what the hell was that about?". And a lot of these are of great consequence to some characters but of little importance to everybody else, way too many games of this kind go the Harry Potter way of putting an epic storyline that ultimately puts everybody into either the "us" or "them" camp on top of and at the cost of making the everyday interactions bland or stereotypical.
-The mature approach. In the whole game of good writing, fun gameplay, branching storyline, cute graphics and fitting music this, in my humble opinion, deserves the most praise and I solemnly swear I will raise it as an example whenever the topic comes up. Most games take one of the two paths: either they wave off any serious issues as non-existent or they decide that serious means the same as preachy. Not here. Here the characters and, by proxy, the player are treated as responsible human (non-human in some cases I guess) beings who can make their own decisions. And rather than fight to control them the "responsible adults" choose to inform them, warn of the consequences, offer advice but the choice is still up to the characters. I was reminded a few times during the game that dropping out was not only a failure and game over but also an option. I'm not even going to get started on the mature approach to relationships and sexuality (on the game's side, not necessarily on the student's side). Also, there is a very soft and warm spot in my heart for any book, play, movie, game or such that is so accepting of gayness.
-As a side note I wanted to give the "best character (that I've seen so far)" reward to Potstdam, who, if headmastering of magical schools was a form of combat, would rip Dumbledore's beard out and hang it on her wall as a trophy. She is genuinely nice, she has a lot of neat little tricks to get you to like her and at the same time she knows how to handle her students without actually sounding overly patronizing. And at some points it is made obvious that she isn't just a soft cupcake but there is a good, working brain of an experienced witch in that head. Finally, who wants to spell "non-judgemental" with me?I am talking about the Damien ending where he comes back for Mary. Again, the mature approach and responsibility thing. She made sure the guy isn't a direct threat (heck, possibly even scouted out for his abilities for future reference) and then she's pretty much "you made a choice, if you want it to work you'll need a lot of work. Best of luck!" no moral valuing, in "young people are so this or that" or "when I was young I too..." As a side note to a side note: I liked the thanksgiving (I think it was thanksgiving) speech.
What do you call the opposite of a rant, or can a rant also be positive in English? I think that is enough praise for one time, this got a bit out of control but I am still worked up after the game. What I wanted to say was that you have a great game here and I will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment in the series.
Female protagonist, in the hall for adventurous girls.
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