Important Importables Review: Wand of Fortune Portable for PSP

December 19, 2010 - 3:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports Review: Wand of Fortune Portable for PSP

Section: Reviews, Exclusives, Originals, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Handhelds, PSP & PSPgo, Game-Companies, Developers, Publishers, Genres, 2D, Adventure, Sim, Game-Genres-Other

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ワンド オブ フォーチュン ポータブル Wand of Fortune Portable

Title: Wand of Fortune Portable
Price: $55.90
System(s): PSP (Also available on PS2 as Wand of Fortune)
Release Date: June 10, 2008
Publisher (Developer): Idea Factory (Idea Factory)
ESRB Rating: N/A, Cero B for ages 12 and up.
Pros: Interesting storyline, likeable characters, visual novel with life sim elements, boost Lulu’s MP, Intelligence and Dexterity, six guys to end up with, beautiful artwork and music and there’s a card-based mini-game. Can quick save or quick load, can check stats and character status at any time. When you load, you can see which answers you picked the previous time.
Cons: Lots of text, so not very import friendly. Card-based mini-game can take some time to work out. Gameplay can get a little tedious at times. Fan-disc content not included. Takes a lot of time to get through a playthrough.
Overall Score: 8.5

Wand of Fortune Portable is a bit of a departure from the standard Idea Factory Otomate otome game. While it is primarily a visual novel, it also possess a number of simulation elements and tasks players with completing certain objectives and building up the main character, Lulu, to acquire the right endings. It makes you think, what with the various classes she can attend and the card mini-game she can participate in. The result is a more interactive adventure.

ワンド オブ フォーチュン ポータブル Wand of Fortune Portable PSP

Choose an element and a partner if you want to keep your magic powers

Lulu wants to be a magician, and has grown up knowing that was all she wanted to be. Her grandmother was one, after all and she idolized her. So the idea that she has the chance to go to Mils Krea university and do just that is a dream come true. Unfortunately, things won’t be easy for her.

Lulu is one of those rare people whose magic isn’t affiliated with any one element. This means she is a danger to herself and others, as she can’t control her spells and any she casts may do exactly the opposite of what she wants. She can still go to the university, but she will have to work harder than anyone else there to get into shape. She must choose one element to specialize in, train with her teachers and partner up with another student to succeed. If she fails, her magic will be sealed forever.

Coincidentally enough, all six of the fellow students she can partner with just happen to be men. Amazing! So as she works to develop her powers and discipline herself, she might also end up finding love.

Wand of Fortune Portable PSP ワンド オブ フォーチュン ポータブル

There’s more to do in Wand of Fortune Portable than just read text

As mentioned earlier, Wand of Fortune Portable is a nice balance of visual novel and simulation, though there’s a bit more emphasis on the visual novel part than the life sim. Lulu explores the university campus each day, taking classes and interacting with other students. Taking classes will raise her MP (magic points), INT (intelligence) or DEX (dexterity). I’d recommend checking a guide online, before you start playing, to get an idea of what Lulu will need to focus on to get the ending you desire. When meeting with other students, she can talk to build a relationship and work towards focusing her magic on one element.

This does mean lots of text, which will probably deter people who aren’t well versed in Japanese. On the plus side, there’s wonderful background music, fantastic voice acting and gorgeous character art. So even if you do have trouble reading Japanese, the full voice acting should help and at least you’ll get to see lots of pretty characters, and a few cool environments too!

It isn’t all about the talking, reading and skill building. There’s also a card-based mini-game to keep things interesting. You can take the opportunity to play against other players. It takes some time getting used to the flow of the game, but it is a neat little diversion. If you end up being good at it, you can try to collect all of cards of the guy you have Lulu going after in that playthrough to earn an extra ending CG. It isn’t super awesome, but it can be a welcome diversion.

Some people may also be a bit surprised at Wand of Fortune Portable‘s length and difficulty. Each ending has specific stat requirements and it takes quite a while to finish a playthrough, compared to other Idea Factory otome games. As I mentioned earlier, you’re probably going to need a guide of some sort, at least to see the stat requirements. Subsequent playthroughs are a little easier, since you know what you’re up against and can start to form a strategy and you can skip over text you’ve already seen, but it still can get a bit tedious and repetitive.

ワンド オブ フォーチュン ポータブル Wand of Fortune Portable PSP

A cute little magic-school adventure

Even though Wand of Fortune Portable is a lot of work, it’s definitely worth it and a wonderful change from the Idea Factory otome games that have players just reading a lot of text. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes you want more. It offers a sufficient challenge to players and Lulu’s adventure is a lighthearted and carefree, though going after certain guys will draw some drama to her. The only main downside is that a playthrough can take such a long time, and replays can be a bit repetitive. Well, that and Wand of Fortune Portable is one of the few Idea Factory PS2 to PSP ports that doesn’t include the original game and the supplementary fan-disc game released later.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports lists the top 20 import games of 2010

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week reviewed K-ON! After School Live!! for PSP.

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