Iris School of Wizardry is a new otome game, released for the Nintendo Switch on October 11th 2018. I was contacted by the publishers to write a review for their new game, which I am of course very grateful for.
You can find a trailer for it on YouTube through this link.
You can currently only buy it in the Nintendo E-shop.
The introduction for the story is as followed:
Secrets that can’t be solved by magic
～Iris School of Wizardry aka ISW～
Iris School of Wizardry, known as ISW, is the school smart, talented, and rich boys and girls attend. It’s very difficult to enter, but after they graduate, their future is promised to be working in a various elite section for the government organization.
Aria who lost her parents when she was small. As she was working in the second-hand book shop, she dreamed to be a great wizard like her father.
She received a letter.
It was the letter of acceptance to ISW
The story starts of with a Prologue and after the first chapter you get to choose the character you wish to romance. From Chapter 2 onward, you will follow that characters main route.
There is also an extra special route that you can trigger and due to my curiosity it was the first thing I stumbled upon.
The set-up is very similar to other otome games, you first read the prologue to get to know the characters and than you choose one to date. But the added in extra route is a nice touch to the normal concept.
Each character has two endings, the Good Ending and the Endless Ending, in the special extra route you are also able to trigger Game Overs (which mean the MC died).
The story lines contain 5 chapters with each 2 to 3 choices, the routes do feel a bit short and at some parts the story progresses a bit too fast for my taste, I prefer a slow burn.
The best order to play this game in would be this:
Keith -> Clyde – > Matias -> Cyril -> A-Jay -> ???
While playing the different routes, I will update my opinion on them here.
Clyde King’s Route
His story was very sweet and cute, as you would expect. His personality was exactly like I imagined it (the prince-like guy).
His Good Ending was adorable! I really liked reading his route. As for the Endless Ending…. I’m ignoring that, it doesn’t excist! It was so sad….
Matias Archibald’s Route
Where to start with this. His route was very different than what I had expected, his character was very different from my first impression. But that is not a bad thing, it’s no fun when you can predict everything in a game.
His Good Ending was very sweet and cute, but at the same time it was satisfying. This ending is how I would want his route to end. The Endless Ending on the other hand left me with a bad aftertaste, it was not how I would imagine his route to end. Matias is a very hard working person and he deserves his happy ending with the main character.
A-Jay Blackford’s Route
I intended to play his route first, but my curiosity led me to the special route.
A-Jay comes over as very kind and laid-back, but during his route you really get to know him. His Good Ending was very cute, but his Endless Ending was a bit… disturbing. It was a very interesting route to play and I would love to see a sequel to his Endless Ending.
Cyril Grundy’s Route
She does not have her own route, which is a shame, I would’ve loved to see a route for her! She is your roommate during the game and often sticks up for you, wanting what is best for you. She is also a feminist, wanting to do something that women aren’t allowed to (in some route endings she succeeds, in others she doesn’t right away, but she always keeps fighting for it). She is an amazing character that deserved a route!
Keith Night’s Route
I played his route first and got both the good and the Endless Ending. It was more of a coincident that I stumbled upon it.
His route was very different from what I imagined the game to be like after reading the first parts. He has a very unstable personality, I really enjoyed his route though. And now every time I’ll get to the point where I can trigger his route, I’ll feel guilty for not doing it.
During the first parts of his route, I kept thinking ‘curiosity killed the cat’. You could even make choices where the MC ended up dying, which was very unexpected to me. I had first though this game was very lighthearted and cute, but how wrong I was. His route was far from that, it was very emotional and it really affected me since I didn’t even know it was an option. He quickly worked his way into my heart, even with all his crazy behavior.
The illustration is done by Marika (茉莉花) and looks very beautiful. All of the CG’s look very pretty, the same goes for the backgrounds. All the characters have different sprites, which is of course nice and shows a lot more emotion behind their words.
The game is supported with text in both Japanese and English. Thank you for understanding that we also like those Japanese otome games! Please send more our way! Although I don’t mind translating the Japanese ones to English myself, it’s nice to see that Japanese companies are realizing how popular their games are in Western countries, so keep them coming, we’ll be waiting!
I played the game in English. Although the text in English isn’t always grammatically correct, it didn’t bother me. Anyone who naturally speaks English will notice that it isn’t written in perfectly correct English, but I doubt even my posts are always correct.
If you consider yourself a grammar nazi, you might have a problem looking past this. The English is not perfect, I will admit that, but it’s not so bad that I was no longer able to enjoy the game.
This is the voice acting cast:
Clyde King / CV: Tetsuya Kakihara (柿原徹也)
Matias Archibald / CV：Tomohisa Hashizume (橋詰知久)
A-Jay Blackford / CV：Ryosuke Kanemoto (金本涼輔)
Cyril Grundy / CV: Yuta Kasuya (粕谷雄太)
Keith Knight / CV：Kazuyuki Okitsu (興津和幸)
Ashley Curtis / CV：Mitsuki Saiga (斎賀みつき)
Lee Fitswilliam / CV：Atsushi Kakehashi (梯篤司)
Demetrius Bishop / CV：Atsushi Miyauchi (宮内敦士)
Iris / CV：Nobuhiko Okamoto (岡本信彦)
All of the main characters are voiced in Japanese, the MC Aria isn’t voiced. Minor characters, such as random students are also voiced, this makes the story feel more lively.
The background-music is the standard type of music you would expect, but it is rather loud compared to the voices. Even when you put it on the lowest volume and the voices at max, the music is still a bit too loud. You still understand the characters and if it’s really bothering you, you can just turn of the BGM.
I had to make this a section as well. While playing, you’ll always see what each button on your Switch does. There’s no need to start guessing which button skips or with which one you’ll see the log. I find that to be a nice touch, I have played games in the past where they don’t show this and I found that to be annoying. So I am very glad that they thought of putting it in.
Saving and Loading
You can save and load at all times (except when choosing which character’s route you want to play, but you can save before the screen comes up). This is so handy when you want to get all their Endings or aren’t sure which option you should pick. You can save during choices. This is also something that I found annoying in other games. So kudos to them for letting us safe at all times!
I have been keeping an eye out for other reviews on this game, I was a bit curious to see what other people thought. But I do regret that now, the way some people talk about it is just straight up rude.
They’re saying the English version is so bad that you don’t even understand what’s going on. As a non-native English speaker, I think this is ridiculous. The English is not perfect but you can still understand the story perfectly (unless your really that bad at English that you need a perfect sentence to understand it? Honestly, learn to interpreted things, it’s not that difficult to do).
I’m just glad they put in the effort to make a decent English translation for their Japanese game. And maybe these other people don’t know any Japanese, so they don’t know how hard it is to make correct translations. The languages are so different, it’s really difficult to translate a Japanese sentence to one in English that makes sense. I think I can freely speak about this considering I myself translate Japanese games to English.
Another thing that I’ve seen is people saying it’s trying to ride on the Harry Potter fame? Yes it contains wizards and witches (and half-bloods I suppose, but JK Rowling did not invent any of that. Are people no longer supposed to use a wizard theme for anything because Harry Potter exists? That seems stupid to me if I’m being honest.
Pardon my choice of words, but to me all of this seems like people are just being a bunch of whiny brats. If you can do a better job, make your own otome game or translate the Japanese version yourself.
I really enjoyed playing this game so far and am planning on making a walkthrough for it. I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to play this game and I do recommend it to others who are into the otome game genre.
I hope you’re all looking forward to the walkthough I’ll make for this game!
By shoving more caffeine in our bodies, we'll be able to work on a lot more content!