Foreword: I feel so dumb… I had this review all planned out, written, and just needed to add screenshots, and I completely forgot to do that and publish this review OTL
So there goes my New Year’s Resolution in just 4 days… *sigh*
Being depressed won’t help anything, though, so let’s get on with the review!
A surprisingly decent Whirlpool game, I’ll have to admit that for some reason, this game was more superior to the previous games I’ve seen from Whirlpool before (like Usomeru). Finding this strange, I decided to check Getchu and BAM! Daisangen “大三元” is one of the scenario writers. If anyone forgot already, Daisangen also wrote the scenario for Ryuuyoku and Suzukaze, both decent (scratch that… the latter is a kamige) titles from the same company, Whirlpool.
Along with Mamizou’s loli-like character design (although there was another artist), I enjoyed this game quite a bit… … … only its beginning parts though.
Turns out, this game starts well like any other games, but seem to lose track of the overall flow of the story line. The theme of “flying” is intact, but many of the routes are your cliche Whirlpool-style story.
Title: まじかりっく⇔スカイハイ ～空飛ぶホウキに想いをのせて～ (Magicalic Sky High ~ soratobu houki ni omoiwo nosete) [Lit. Trans: Putting your feelings on a sky-flying broom]
Release Date: December 20, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v12983
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=782499
Game Type: Fantasy Romance Novel with themes of Magic and Flying
Summary: Hayato is really bad with magic, but he’s very good at one type of magic: Flying.
Second to none when it comes to flying around on a broom, he even boasts that he won several contests involving flying, and as expected from any other superior talent, he enjoys it greatly.
This is why, even after his homeroom teacher warned him about the disruption of the magical field near the forest, his attitude was “Challenge Accepted” and immediately flew out to the very area that was supposed to be dangerous.
Karma then comes into play, and Hayato is put to shame–he loses control and falls into the forest, luckily saved by the trees before he hit the ground; saving more than just a few hundred bones in his body.
Looking around, Hayato realizes the horrible truth that his favorite broom is broken in the process, and he is now trapped in a strange ruin located far beneath the forest floor. On an altar in front of him, there is…
A broom! Shining in the moonlight.
Seemingly oblivious to this situation, Hayato mindlessly pulls out the strange broom from the strange ruin, just so he can float back up to the surface and get back home. He does, however, notice that on his way back, he doesn’t lose control of his flight as he did a few minutes ago, and finds that his new broom is very efficient… MUCH better than his old one.
It would only be a matter of time until chaos arises, the MS-condition appears, and Hayato is the only one who can fly with his strange broom. He will be hated and hunted down by people who desire to have this magic item for themselves.
Hayato’s childhood friend, Yurika! For the reference, this is a scene where Yurika stands in front of Hayato’s “crash site”… I don’t think I really need to explain this scene any further xD
Story Length: Moderately Short (15 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: There are four heroines and two subheroines. For each character, their routes split off at the scene where Hayato chooses a “partner” to figure out how he is going to solve the MS-condition. I think that’s enough for the basics of the route format…
The subheroine, Marie! I won’t be getting into details of her, since it’s really not that great, but despite being a subheroine, she plays many important roles in other routes, just as how Saraira is the “central heroine”.
Character Design Rating: 5/10
Story Rating: 7/10
Game Quality: Good
Overall Rating: 6/10
Rating Comments: Despite the looks of what seems to be an average game, this is actually quite impressive since it’s Whirlpool we’re talking about. Their quality was falling so much that I would only play their games as a completionist’s perspective (is that even a word?), and always expected a crappy story.
Well, with the writer that I described above, I was given a pleasant surprise that really only lasted for a short time. I’ll definitely try to get more into this element in the comments section.
For the reference, the “MS-condition” refers to the abnormality where flight magic doesn’t seem to have any effect. As Kazuma (who is Hayato’s homeroom teacher) admits embarassedly, it’s an acronym for “魔法で空を飛べない” (Mahou de Sora wo tobenai) [Can’t fly in the sky using magic] condition.
Character Summary: Although there’s only 4 heroines, I’m going to include Saraira into one of them, mainly because she seems like a central heroine, and also what I believe to be the pinnacle of Mamizou’s designing. (Sorry Marie. You’re not included)
Let’s start off with Yurika! As the childhood friend of our protagonist, this character is already infatuated with Hayato from the beginning of the story. This causes a lot of comical scenes, including the fact that when Hayato figures out Saraira can turn into a human being, he must hide this fact from Yurika as much as possible–this girl will become very jealous.
This actually suggests that Hayato already knows of Yurika’s feelings, and I would’ve liked it if there would be a love triangle somewhere, but alas, I expected too much.
Regardless, unlike our protagonist, Yurika is very skilled with magic. Excelling in all forms of sorcery, the only thing she’s bad at is ironically, flying. It’s not like she’s bad with the magic itself–she has the fear of heights, and magic, being the incarnation of the person’s mind (as explained in the story), is highly dependent on the personal mindset. Yurika, who has the fear of heights, has a hard time controlling her magic in the air, and thus seems to be very weak in flight magic.
Despite being mature (in more than one areas, huehuehuehue), Yurika is overall very childish. She is only able to see Hayato (or affectionately “Ha-chan”) and his reactions, because he’s the only one in her memories. Her route is late to explain that both of them forgot about their childhood that leads to Yurika’s fear of heights, and quite unfortunately do not leave any foreshadowing in the beginning scenes: aka, “sudden revealing”, which is a bad element.
Next is Fana, a strange girl introduced similar to Hayato. As explained by him, Fana is very weak with magic as well, and because of this, got closer to the protagonist in the past. Teaming up for many of the assignments they need to complete during their magic classes, there’s really nothing special about this character… or is she?
Turns out that in the game, Fana has cat ears. This doesn’t make her a cat, however, because she also has human-ears as well. The pleasant thing about this element is that during the game, a movement in her hair may catch your eyes–Whirlpool actually made it so Fana’s “cat-ears” twitch occasionally, on all of the sprites available. But wait… isn’t she a human…? o_o??
Regardless of how cute this feature may be, her personality might also support her charm. Despite her age, Fana adores “mahou shoujo” or Magical Girls, and wants to become a hero in the streets. Calling herself “Blue Cat”, she is often seen playing with the children or chasing after thieves that occasionally appear.
But other than her twitching ears (which I watched while stifling giggles, admittedly), Fana doesn’t seem to have much. The web-comic shows that she has the largest breast size (which is also mentioned a few times in the game as well), which earns the jealousy of many other characters–most explicitly by Saraira.
YES. A loli character!
Well, by the looks of it, Sharu (Her name is actually weird, pronounced “Sharururu”) is a loli, but she’s considered an incarnate spirit. Her task is to raise the Sekaijuu (World Tree) for the island. This character is most directly related back to an older Whirlpool title called “Magus Tale”, which introduces the concept of “World Trees” and its importance. For the reference, the setting is that Sharu was “just born”, so she’s no more than 1 year old!
At first, this “World Tree” is very small. Heck, in the CG above, that small seedling right next to Sharu is the World Tree. Despite this, given the right conditions, the World Tree grows extremely rapidly and even gains a conscience as presented in Sharu’s route: As shown in Magus Tale, the World Tree grows to be over a thousand times larger than a normal human.
Sharu’s route starts with Hayato trying to help the girl with her “gardening”, which not only includes taking care of the World Tree, but other grotesque plants as well. As Hayato chooses this seemingly-unreliable girl to help him solve the MS-condition, he’ll realize that even if this girl is unreliable, her kindness moves someone else to ultimately solve this problem.
The last of the heroines is Emilia, who is an upperclassman, who holds great pride in being a maid. Her history with Hayato involves her originally hoping to serve Yurika for some reason, but Yurika had politely refused, and this led to a strange relationship with Emilia continuously asking Yurika to become her master. Regardless, this well-rounded heroine is very prideful when it comes to “brooms” and “Maid”, and doesn’t like it that Hayato is using brooms to fly around. Likewise, Hayato finds great pride in his ability to fly, so this sets up the two in very strange fights involving the origin of brooms.
As Hayato asks Emilia for her help, however, she readily accepts and suddenly starts to treat Hayato like her master. This awkward situation makes the protagonist very uncomfortable–who finds it strange that an upperclassman serves him with seemingly nothing in return. This leads the two into further conflicts as the story goes on.
Personally, I hoped to see more in Emilia’s route. Along with Emilia already having some relationship with Yurika, I was hoping a love-triangle somewhere in here, but that never really showed up… more like, Yurika rarely even appeared in Emilia’s route.
Obviously my favorite character, allow me to introduce you to the game’s central character: Saraira!
With a name rather difficult to pronounce, this tomboy-ish girl is very straightforward and honest, but is also a spiritual incarnation of the broom that Hayato found in the ruins. Saraira, as with Hayato, loves to fly in the skies, and she even claims that she “chose” Hayato to be her partner when he found her in the ruins, since she could also sense Hayato’s love for flying as well.
Immediately refusing to comply with the school’s demand hold custody this girl with the occurrence of the MS-condition, Saraira insists on staying with Hayato, since she feels most comfortable with him.
Being cute and the only one able to fly doesn’t put Hayato in a good condition, however, and Saraira genuinely feels sorry for Hayato who is immediately exposed to bullying. Despite this, in her “mini-route”, she can’t feel but help affection for this protagonist who accepts her everything and does everything he can to stay with her. This emotion complies the girl to ask around for advice, and ultimately solve the MS-condition with Hayato’s assistance.
It’s okay, Saraira! You have more curve than… uh… Sharu!
Sexual Content: Moderate
Comments: Okay so… comments.
Considerably superior than other games in the past from Whirlpool, I appreciated the beginning parts of the story, where Daisangen was probably the scenario writer. There was lots of attention to even the smallest details, and this helped me quickly understand the situations and personality of each of the characters. Of course, this didn’t take away from the comedy that was presented as a general set pattern, and I found myself laughing quite a bit.
As you get into the routes, expect the route quality to suddenly dip. Random and successive H-scenes, disappearance of characters (although not as prevalent), and for the subheroine routes, I had originally felt so much affection for them in the main storyline, that I was very displeased with both Saraira, and Marie’s routes. I really want more story and plot for them…
I mean… For Saraira, she seems to be the center of attention and all motive throughout the story, and she also seems to have affection for Hayato as she says “He (Hayato) is my only partner” to several other characters.
Seriously Whirlpool… Where the hell is your true routes?!
In all your past games, the ones with a true route ends up very well. Hell, take a look at your kamige–Suzukaze. Can’t you see the that there was so much favor for that title, that you went ahead and made a PSP version AND a sequel with additional characters? I’m sure that production wasn’t cheap, but you could’ve done that for a reason. You can’t do the same with several of your recent titles.
Affection for the Characters: Moderate
I’d like to dissect Saraira… mostly her clothes though (huehuehuehue)
CG Quality: High
Music Quality: Slightly Low
Hayato: Peace out. (like a baws)
Conclusion: A slightly superior Whirlpool game, it doesn’t even come close to the more older titles, but still worth my time than titles like Usomeru. There are significantly less effort put into the subheroines, except they’re the ones most important to the overall storyline (oh the irony). No true route as expected, and leaves a lot of holes that Whirlpool leaves to the player to wonder… Which is actually not a good thing in this situation.
I like how the island is in a star shape, but the shoreline suggest otherwise. Dat inconsistency.