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Release Date: Jan 13, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger
The idea of a world existing with magic being accepted as a way of life is hard to believe, especially in the sense that the government has to regulate it. However, this is the reality we are presented when it comes to our next review: Sorcery Jokers All Ages. Sorcery Jokers All Ages is an adventure, action visual novel developed by 3rdEye, later released by MangaGamer, that puts the reader in a magic-filled world where anything can happen and honestly does with a number of successes across the board.
Focusing out to channel, the story of Sorcery Jokers All Ages is one told from the eyes of many but connects to a whole, leaving some unique storytelling with a few elements out of place to go with it. Our story begins with a narration about how magic came into the world, suddenly appearing one day and never fading. This is followed up with a scene where we meet one of our six characters, Haruto, in pursuit of an Outcast, someone who can use magic with the help of a ring, as he manages to give chase and attempts to stop his escape. However, he is thwarted by the police of the world and a detective, who is Haruto’s dad. Before leaving, though, he is approached by a girl wearing a similar uniform who essentially curses him to be smited by the gods for an unknown reason. The rest of our tale from here on out is told in the form of nodes, where the reader can pick and choose whose side of the story they want to see it from, with five characters we get names to and a mysterious sixth who goes unnamed for most of the story. With that being said, though, I will end my synopsis here, as the story can get convoluted and spoilery quickly.
As I stated prior, there are a few elements of the story that feel out of place, which was surprising, as the novel itself was really well written and presented in a way that it felt it would not go that route. The first out-of-place element is some story breakup between each node. The node system is a great concept, in theory, executed well enough, but some scene jumps lose their sense, like early on when we go from Haruto to Senri, an Outcast who does not have a ring. It goes from this tone of trying to use magic for good to a silly and almost slanderous one, with a conversation between himself and the landlady. My second out-of-place element was the 18+ cuts from the all-ages version and how it affects some scenes. It’s known, at this point, that visual novels like Sorcery Jokers are bound to get an 18+ version or patch, which has all the content the developer intended to be there, and it shows in Sorcery Jokers more than it should. There are some scenes where you can see lines were changed and replaced to fit in for the all-ages version, which left for some lingering connections between some characters in the novel that never get answered fully.
Rolling in scene by scene, the presentation of Sorcery Jokers All Ages sticks the anime styling heavily, with a focus on different multi-instrument pieces to cover the soundtrack. Visually, I was surprised Sorcery Jokers All Ages sticks to a scene by scene presentation, with the only real movement-based scenes are when the characters are casting spells. The backgrounds are one of this novel’s strongest art points, being either very colorful and cheerful, in token to the scene, or dark and heavy, focusing more on the night or gripping scenes of the novel. The characters, as well, are something that surprised me, as they come off very stiff in some instances, using minor body movements or facial movements as its way to show what they are thinking. It caught me off guard for sure but never felt out of place for the novel, as the novel uses its voice acting to carry for the second part.
Reading as a mixed bag of results, the soundtrack of Sorcery Jokers All Ages was definitely one of those which has its good and its bad decisions. Musically, I enjoyed the overall soundtrack, as it stood out with the way it mixed certain types of instruments to create some tracks. From the use of the piano and winds, the inclusion of the guitar in a few pieces and drums when stuff like lightning was involved, it stood out and remained memorable overall. Sound effect-wise, it is the opposite side of the spectrum. While some effects, like the blast when fire hits the ground or the earth erupts beneath someone, felt on point, many of the others were more pointless or just not needed. Then, there is the voice acting, which goes a long way in this novel. The voice acting here was not always spot on, as some places felt hapless, but for the most part, it was on point and it made the scenes feel more alive when it needed it the most.
Overall, I felt Sorcery Jokers All Ages, while it is missing in a few elements like an incomplete story and the unneeded sound effects, to be one of the better novels I have had the chance to read from the perspective of storytelling, character development and use of soundtrack. The node-based story system, excellent storytelling, and perspective of telling, overall character development, beautifully designed and colored backgrounds, memorable and unique soundtrack, and excellent voice acting make this novel one worth the time you will sink into it.
- Use of the node-based story system
- The excellent storytelling and use of perspective
- The character development as the story goes on
- Very colorful and beautifully designed background and character models
- A memorable but unique soundtrack
- The excellent voice acting
- Easily showing where the 18+ content was removed
- Many unneeded sound effects
DarkLunarDude gives Sorcery Jokers All Ages a Drastik Measure 8.2 out of 10 (82)
For the price of $39.99 (USD) on Steam, I can highly recommend Sorcery Jokers All Ages to those seeking an anime-style, magic visual novel, with a story that goes deep and brings the reader along for a journey they won’t forget soon.