I might as well borrow this thread instead of starting my own ^^
Mostly copy-pasted from the reply I made on the Jast Forums since I'm lazy that way
Bought this the other day and have been playing through it 7 or 8 times (friends and romances, plus the two attempts where I got myself expelled).
The dialogue is... surprisingly good, actually. That's not to say that I had low expectations of it, but it's just a very good blend of funny, witty, serious and genuinely believable writing that took me by surprise. I always play my characters goody-good, but had a great time in this game getting detentions and getting on Grabiner's nerves (which got me expelled two times and a romance with Donald one time). And of course, I'm a sucker for stat-raising games as a whole which made it even better for me. The art was nice, the facial expressions of the characters very well done and fit the conversations well (I love the sly/smug look when my character is/thinks she is clever, or is flirting). I very much enjoy this game and still need a couple of more playthroughs before I can put it down.
That said, there are a few things about it which I felt were lacking.
Magic, as a whole, feels like it doesn't get the kind of central role it deserves, or more specifically the actual spells don't. There's a whole host of spells you can learn, but very little reason or opportunity to use the vast majority of them. One of the things I enjoyed the most was getting the opportunity to influence events by using spells I had learned (or seeing reactions like Donald's when I hadn't even learned Push), but sadly such opportunities were few and far between, partly because the game is relatively short per playthrough. The same kind of goes for dungeons; there are a few spells that are universally useful, and a lot of spells that are either useless or redundant due to the lack of combat and/or an excessive mana cost. It's understandable that it happens given the complexity, but a shame nonetheless that it didn't get a bigger role in the day-to-day life of the students, and the exams.
The randomness of studying results brought out my min-max OCD and caused me to save-scum in order to not lose precious time (and accumulate excessive stress) for nothing. Not a major issue, but the added stress from failures as well as the time constraints between exams makes it hard to resist reloading after bad streaks of failures/1 pointers, even if you don't actually need all that many spells to get through the game (without too many demerits, at least!). I just like roleplaying a great student who knows a lot of spells, even if I don't get to use them all, and random chance being the deciding factor of how many spells I can learn in the span of the game is hard for me to accept, hence the compulsive saving/reloading ^^;
The storyline, if I understood it correctly, is over for the current PC and there will be a different protagonist in later games. This compounds the lack of opportunities to use spells (especially the highest level ones if you max out a colour), and also bothers me a little bit because I kind of felt like I had just started getting to know the characters, and then it's over. I guess it might be the lack of an epilogue for the time after the first year that bothers me the most; it just felt like I was left hanging when I still wanted more. It's a credit to the characters and the story that I feel that way
Overall though, I loved the game and will be first in line when the next game hits. Here's hoping it will contain many more opportunities to fling spells haphazardly