The Case for Playing 50 Hours of Visual Novels

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#51 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1744 posts) -

Yup, I'm ready for the third game now.

#52 Posted by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -

Re-posting this for the discussion.

Yes, a lot of VNs - I'd wager most of them - feature a cast of pretty girls and a male protagonist who is expected to choose from and romance one or more of them.

These games range from light-hearted romances like Clannad to pure, no-frills pornography; unless you're already wired into a certain strain of Japanese pop culture, that does treat porn as an unironic, legitimate form of expression, it's perfectly reasonable to be put off by this stuff. Even the biggest Western visual novel of recent years, Katawa Shoujo, felt the need to hearken back to its Japanese heritage with arguably-unnecessary sex scenes, whereas the bulk of the story was a consideration of physical disabilities and how they figure into - or, more precisely, don't figure into - a person's character. It was all very inspiring and uplifting, but, though I didn't feel so myself, I could easily see the porn leaving a bad taste in someone's mouth.

The single most affecting horror story I've ever read was Saya no Uta, about a man who, by a botched surgery, perceives the world as a repulsive, nightmarish hellscape and human beings as pustulent, vile monstrosities. But then he has sex with the only "human" girl on Earth - who, it's obvious from the premise, is the real monster - and then you realize that 99% of people will immediately close the game in disgust. It's sort of tragic that a lot of great storytelling has its potential audience stunted by porn that probably doesn't need to be there in the first place.

Still, not all VNs are porno games. I'm playing the rather great Steins;Gate, about a group of otaku college kids in Akihabara who accidentally wire their microwave oven to send text messages into the past. It's good stuff.

#53 Edited by the_korben (66 posts) -

@Jamsque: I'm sure you're right. But this already rubbed me the wrong way on his spoiler cast, so I just wanted to share my point of view.

If you want to do something good about the world, how about you start changing your fellow citizen's mind about climate change and cutthroat capitalism. Once those problems have been solved, we can start worrying about the culturally influenced depiction of fictional characters in a foreign video game.

#54 Posted by golguin (4060 posts) -

Shit, so I could play 999 then? You could make an argument that the Phoenix Wright series is visual novel with some puzzle elements, but the way the story hooks you in and how you make logical connections to present the correct evidence is something no other game series of stand alone game has ever provided.

Is 999 the same kind of thing where you can feel good about figuring things out or is it mostly the story?

#55 Edited by Superkenon (1506 posts) -

@alibson said:

It's like Patrick is incapable of writing an article without sneaking in his feminist crap somewhere.

This is a website about video games, I want to read about the game, take that sexist bullshit to your tumblr.

It doesn't take a feminist to say that it undercuts a character's believability to have them clad in nothing but their undies. I mean, one character wears nothing on her torso except a fat sorta-necklace. She runs around topless, save for the magical whim of some obstinate jewelry.

I don't think something as petty as that is demeaning to women. It's just annoying, to me. Annoying because it completely jives with everything the game otherwise tries to tell you about her character. It cheapens it, because I feel like suddenly they're trying to sell me some kind of sex appeal, when in fact she's a character that stands completely fine on her own.

I'm a huge fan of 999 and VLR, but I'll love it when games realize they don't have to peddle me boobies. Make no mistake, I think that sexual themes should totally be permitted in games. Heck, I'm fine with the bad sex jokes. Sex scene? Go right ahead if it serves the narrative. I don't even mind a scantility-clad lady prancing around my game. But creating dumb inconsistencies in your fiction, all for the sake of what can only be pubescent titillation? That's just plain unnecessary. And ironically, it does turn people off who view this genre from afar.

#56 Edited by SatelliteOfLove (1369 posts) -

Glad you brought up about the early "bwuh?!?" reaction to these. I chimed in on the goading you to play these back when and that was my reaction to getting the Sub ending. I had spent $35 dollars and I'm not mad but "bwuh?!?!".

For those of you reading this uninitiated in Uchikoshi's high-grade MINDFUCKERY this is the distance you're going to need to be willing to go to meet the game halfway. It's worth it.

As for the puzzles, I liked VLR's better than 999s, often because VLR's wasn't interrupted by intellegentsia info-dumping. "LETS TALK ABOUT CRYOGENICS!" whose necessity was much better handled with VLR'.

It hardly forgives the game's repeated indulgence of the player's character cracking cheap, juvenile sex jokes at the expense of every single one of these characters. It comfortably discredits the argument the characters were designed this way other than to be provocative. The next Zero Escape game would do well to dispense with this.

Funnily enough, this confusingly didn't happen to the unnamed character!

And for those going shit-flinging ape-shit over this, its just as much about the creators in the eyes of others than tender-hearted feminists. I like my sexual stuff in games with some taste and self-respect from the devs, as those two characters needed to show skin for their role as the 8th Enneagram.

Speaking of taste and self-respect, Sigma would've been much better served if the adult language from him was...adult, or at least funny like the infamous Elevavator Scene from 999. It makes it feel like it was written for the no-game losers back home and not the decent men with needs that populate the world over, especially someone as cut as Sigma. If we're going to talk "Japan" in this, we need to laser focus this issue onto that, as difficult as the video game-buying demographics over there have gotten for that to happen.

#57 Posted by Neurotic (632 posts) -

As someone who has played/read a visual novel or two, I think you're overstating the commitment it takes, especially 999 (can't speak for VLR yet). Anyway, you guys read books, right? Well, this is like that. On a (3)DS/Vita or your PC. The whole 'not really a game' thing seems silly to me. Sure, you can say they're not really games but why do they have to be? Just cos they're on a handheld or a PC? I don't know why 'not really being a game' is a basis to dismiss it as a piece of entertainment.

I have other complaints about Lotus before her dress sense. I didn't like her so if her clothing was supposed to be pandering then it failed on at least one account. Raised an eyebrow at Clover's wardrobe change but it's ultimately trivial.

Having said that, hearing Patrick talk so positively about 999 prompted me to actually play it when I finally got a 3DS so I have to thank you for that.

#58 Posted by Soapy86 (2623 posts) -

@patrickklepek said:

I do take issue with some of the sexualization in these games

#59 Posted by DG991 (1340 posts) -

Patrick always has to bring up Lost... which I can not relate to at all because it was a bad show.

#60 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

What was so bad about the puzzles?

VLR had a couple of terrible ones, but most of them were fun to figure out.

#61 Posted by Zeeco (102 posts) -

I have a feeling Patrick would really enjoy the Ace Attorney series.

#62 Posted by Linkster7 (1046 posts) -

I love that people are starting to notice this game.

When I first played it it seemed like such an impossible thing to convince someone to play seeing as the things you can't talk about (spoiler wise) are the best aspects of the game. Never thought I'd never see it here of all place, so glad it has some vocal advocates now.

#63 Posted by Beaudacious (935 posts) -

In order to purify my soul, every time Patrick thinks a game has sexual discrimination, I shall avoid that game till the end of time.

Thanks Patrick, for making me a better person.

#64 Posted by Anjon (124 posts) -
@Taku128 said:

@Anjon said:

Events shift in 999 when they really shouldn't. For example, there's a character who can die if you choose a certain course of action, but that action has nothing to do with them nor how they die. It's just an arbitrary change much like Heavy Rain's arbitrary changes.

I got every ending in 999 and have no idea what you're talking about. Your path opens up situations for certain things to happen that wouldn't in other storylines, but there's never an instance where something happens in one playthrough that should've happened in the others but didn't, at least not that I can remember.

I distinctly remember a situation where a certain character that originally died had escaped death for seemingly no reason when I got different endings. It's been a while since I've played it, but that stuck out to me as being a real "What are you trying to pull, game!?" moment. Though I haven't played VLR, so maybe they explain it in some crazy pseudo-science-y way later on in the timeline. Maybe Mantorok had something to do with it.
 
 
 

Apologies for incredibly obscure references.
#65 Posted by mrfluke (5351 posts) -

@Draxyle said:

(not only from Japan, but it's pretty excessive from there) that really needs to be subverted at least a little bit. Sexuality has to serve a purpose, and with Lotus.. it's hard to justify a purpose for it there. Her true profession made for an interesting contrast, but her outfit still felt a bit forced and probably could have been toned down a bit.

but if part of the backstory is her being a belly dancer though how is that not a purpose for the outfit, and said outfit is in fact in the style of an actual belly dancer outfit? if you want to say its the writers writing her that backstory for sex appeal then fine.

im only chiming in cause being of indian decent, these outfits are not really uncommon, they are part of middle eastern culture.. and said women from indian culture that wear these outfits have no problem with them and are not really "slaves to men".

#66 Posted by Slaegar (740 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

I still need to play 999, so I'll just leave this here to incite minor controversies:
 
*KS*

Katawa Shoujo even has a disable adult control check box. Of the two routes I played, the doings on are pretty mild too. They are NSFW, but something you could see in an R rated movie. 
 
While this doesn't paint the prettiest picture, I would say a lot of visual novels are come for the porn, stay for the story. You start rushing through any naughty bits to get to the part you care about. There are also some visual novels that have no porn on the PC, but its not as big of a group. 
 
Have another VN screenshot
#67 Posted by Tonch (93 posts) -

@golguin said:

Shit, so I could play 999 then? You could make an argument that the Phoenix Wright series is visual novel with some puzzle elements, but the way the story hooks you in and how you make logical connections to present the correct evidence is something no other game series of stand alone game has ever provided.

Is 999 the same kind of thing where you can feel good about figuring things out or is it mostly the story?

It's a bit of a different kind of story, but there is a LOT of mysterious stuff going on that does pay off when it all gets sorted out. I don't necessarily think the PLAYER is the one that is usually going to be deducing these things as they are in Ace Attorney, but it can be fun to speculate as you go along. The games do have puzzle rooms (and some of them can be sort of obtuse).

999 has a lot more novel-like narration though (which I personally find to be written a bit badly), although the character dialogue is mostly alright. VLR dispenses with the third-person narration and makes it from the main character's perspective instead, akin to how Ace Attorney handles it (mostly being dialogue, and occasionally being narrated by the main character's inner thoughts). Although I don't think either of the games has characters or writing as good as Ace Attorney, the overall stories are hugely mindblowing, and I think they're worth a try. Neither of those games' stories are what they seem, so if you're willing to stick with them long enough I think you'll be surprised. 999 is the best place to start since you'll get far more out of it if you play them in order, but if it's too much for you to stand, VLR is still worth a look on its own because it fixes a lot of the monotonous things from 999 (like adding the ability to skip around the timeline at will).

#68 Posted by PolygonSlayer (432 posts) -

Really awesome stuff! Great spoiler-free read that I will have to send a link to friends to try and convince more of them to play these games. :)

I also gotta agree, VLR did almost make my brain explode at the end. I actually got a headache from getting my head around it, and that is a first for any medium. I also had been playing 4-5 hours straight at that point not being able to put it down :P

Man, looking forward to the next one ^_^

#69 Edited by TechnoSyndrome (962 posts) -

@Anjon said:

@Taku128 said:

@Anjon said:

Events shift in 999 when they really shouldn't. For example, there's a character who can die if you choose a certain course of action, but that action has nothing to do with them nor how they die. It's just an arbitrary change much like Heavy Rain's arbitrary changes.

I got every ending in 999 and have no idea what you're talking about. Your path opens up situations for certain things to happen that wouldn't in other storylines, but there's never an instance where something happens in one playthrough that should've happened in the others but didn't, at least not that I can remember.

I distinctly remember a situation where a certain character that originally died had escaped death for seemingly no reason when I got different endings. It's been a while since I've played it, but that stuck out to me as being a real "What are you trying to pull, game!?" moment. Though I haven't played VLR, so maybe they explain it in some crazy pseudo-science-y way later on in the timeline. Maybe Mantorok had something to do with it. Apologies for incredibly obscure references.

Could you spoiler tag what you're talking about? The only situation I could think of would be

*MAJOR 999 SPOILERS INSIDE TAG*

When Snake is "killed" by being pushed through the Number 3 Door, but in the true ending you find out it was actually Nagisa Nijisaki, one of the Cradle Pharmaceutical executives, who got pushed through the door. Santa dressed him as Snake to trick Ace into killing him since his prosopagnosia would prevent him from realizing it wasn't Snake. This is consistent across all "timelines".
#70 Posted by MrMazz (1036 posts) -

Ever since you started talking about these games I've wanted to play these games but alas no 3DS

#71 Posted by zerdune (170 posts) -

I played 999 back in 2011. Hated the characters and the plot. And that text scroll was so slow. When I got a bad ending, I said fuck this game, watched the true ending on Youtube and don't even remember it anymore despite Patrick claiming it was some "holy shit" moment. At least I got my money back when I sold the game at an auction site. I tried the VLR demo recently but it seemed about the same quality as 999.

#72 Posted by Tonch (93 posts) -

@zerdune: It's entirely fine you didn't like the game, but I think it's safe to say that the true ending won't have any impact if you only went through a single story branch.

999 and VLR both have story-driven reasons why you should know every ending, including the bad ones. All of the story branches have to do with tying together the main plot.

Again though, I can see why it's not everyone's cup of tea. Even as someone who likes this sort of game now and then, even I had to look past a lot in order to appreciate them. VLR I think is generally better than 999 in quality, but I can say for certain that it won't change anyone's mind if they don't like the first game's storytelling.

#73 Edited by Anjon (124 posts) -
@Taku128 said:

@Anjon said:

@Taku128 said:

@Anjon said:

Events shift in 999 when they really shouldn't. For example, there's a character who can die if you choose a certain course of action, but that action has nothing to do with them nor how they die. It's just an arbitrary change much like Heavy Rain's arbitrary changes.

I got every ending in 999 and have no idea what you're talking about. Your path opens up situations for certain things to happen that wouldn't in other storylines, but there's never an instance where something happens in one playthrough that should've happened in the others but didn't, at least not that I can remember.

I distinctly remember a situation where a certain character that originally died had escaped death for seemingly no reason when I got different endings. It's been a while since I've played it, but that stuck out to me as being a real "What are you trying to pull, game!?" moment. Though I haven't played VLR, so maybe they explain it in some crazy pseudo-science-y way later on in the timeline. Maybe Mantorok had something to do with it. Apologies for incredibly obscure references.

Could you spoiler tag what you're talking about? The only situation I could think of would be

*MAJOR 999 SPOILERS INSIDE TAG*

Wow, that's actually what I was talking about, but I was remembering it very differently, probably since I basically ran through all of the endings in that game in about a day, all while screaming "WTF" every few minutes. The game doesn't really take care in explaining its crazy twists, so there's so much stuff that got bogged down that I still don't understand. A lot of it is probably weird "anime" stuff like (not really a spoiler since it starts right at the beginning), why does Junpei actually care about Akane to the point of doing the things he does in the different ending paths when he literally forgot she existed until she literally tackled him to the ground and rubbed her face all over him? Is that just an anime thing or did they explain that in a twist? I remember a twist involving them that kiiiiiind of seemed like it was implying something about that but the game is just full of twists literally every 5 minutes or so and it all starts to feel very silly... but that's just my opinion. In any case, that dead character thing isn't as despicable as I thought it was. I thought it was some straight up David Cage-ian mess.
 
Edit: In retrospect, I guess having twists on top of twists on top of twists is also an "anime thing"...
#74 Posted by TheRealJpoe (134 posts) -

Guess I probably should get to playing VLR & 999. I'm a huge fan of VN's (Ever 17, Clannad, & Katawa Shoujo are masterpieces) but I've just never got around to those two.

#75 Posted by CJduke (800 posts) -

I just finished 999 a few weeks ago. That game is amazing./ For such a ridiculous and complex plot it makes perfect sense (as much sense as it can make) and has so many great tie-ins that just fit everything together. I can't wait to play VLR and thank you Patrick for writing this article to try to get more people interested in the series.

#76 Posted by Veovisjohn (35 posts) -

The bug he mentions for VLR on the 3DS is NO JOKE. I lost 21 hours of progress after attempting a save in the PEC puzzle room and almost lost my mind. It took 13 extra hours just to reconstruct my game and replay up to the point where I lost everything. In the end it was worth it, and I really enjoyed the game. But if you play on 3DS, avoid saving in the puzzle rooms ENTIRELY. You definitely don't want to go through what I had to deal with.

#77 Edited by TechnoSyndrome (962 posts) -

@Anjon said:

@Taku128 said:

@Anjon said:

@Taku128 said:

@Anjon said:

Events shift in 999 when they really shouldn't. For example, there's a character who can die if you choose a certain course of action, but that action has nothing to do with them nor how they die. It's just an arbitrary change much like Heavy Rain's arbitrary changes.

I got every ending in 999 and have no idea what you're talking about. Your path opens up situations for certain things to happen that wouldn't in other storylines, but there's never an instance where something happens in one playthrough that should've happened in the others but didn't, at least not that I can remember.

I distinctly remember a situation where a certain character that originally died had escaped death for seemingly no reason when I got different endings. It's been a while since I've played it, but that stuck out to me as being a real "What are you trying to pull, game!?" moment. Though I haven't played VLR, so maybe they explain it in some crazy pseudo-science-y way later on in the timeline. Maybe Mantorok had something to do with it. Apologies for incredibly obscure references.

Could you spoiler tag what you're talking about? The only situation I could think of would be

*MAJOR 999 SPOILERS INSIDE TAG*

When Snake is "killed" by being pushed through the Number 3 Door, but in the true ending you find out it was actually Nagisa Nijisaki, one of the Cradle Pharmaceutical executives, who got pushed through the door. Santa dressed him as Snake to trick Ace into killing him since his prosopagnosia would prevent him from realizing it wasn't Snake. This is consistent across all "timelines".
Wow, that's actually what I was talking about, but I was remembering it very differently, probably since I basically ran through all of the endings in that game in about a day, all while screaming "WTF" every few minutes. The game doesn't really take care in explaining its crazy twists, so there's so much stuff that got bogged down that I still don't understand. A lot of it is probably weird "anime" stuff like (not really a spoiler since it starts right at the beginning), why does Junpei actually care about Akane to the point of doing the things he does in the different ending paths when he literally forgot she existed until she literally tackled him to the ground and rubbed her face all over him? Is that just an anime thing or did they explain that in a twist? I remember a twist involving them that kiiiiiind of seemed like it was implying something about that but the game is just full of twists literally every 5 minutes or so and it all starts to feel very silly... but that's just my opinion. In any case, that dead character thing isn't as despicable as I thought it was. I thought it was some straight up David Cage-ian mess.

I thought they explained all of the twists in the ending pretty thoroughly (999 is wordy as fuck), but it's been awhile since I played it so I could be wrong. As for Junpei caring about Akane/June so much, the only explanation they ever give is about how they were best friends during childhood, and they expand upon that with Junpei remembering specific moments they spent together as kids throughout the game. I guess that's not enough motivation for some people but it worked for me.

But yeah, there's no bullshit Heavy Rain style differences where character motivations or events arbitrarily change just to have different paths be different. There are always reasons for events to change based on the choices you made.

#78 Posted by DevourerOfTime (462 posts) -

I just played 999 over the break and finished VLR about... 3 hours ago. Perfect timing on my part aside, these are fantastic games. Utterly fantastic and I recommend to anyone who is willing to go through a story focused games outside of the genre. You will not regret.

Oh, and yes, being only 3 hours out from finishing VLR, I am still picking up pieces of my brain that are scattered throughout the room.

#79 Posted by Yorkin (142 posts) -

@the_korben said:

If you want to do something good about the world, how about you start changing your fellow citizen's mind about climate change and cutthroat capitalism. Once those problems have been solved, we can start worrying about the culturally influenced depiction of fictional characters in a foreign video game.

you simply can't claim to have the absolute moral or cultural baseline

#80 Posted by Alkaiser (366 posts) -

I enjoyed 999 a bunch, but man does that dude need an editor. There's so many redundant descriptions that it starts to numb your brain a bit unless you start skipping text.

#81 Posted by davedave24 (19 posts) -

@Alkaiser said:

I enjoyed 999 a bunch, but man does that dude need an editor. There's so many redundant descriptions that it starts to numb your brain a bit unless you start skipping text.

For real. I tried to get into 999, but the slow pace and not-great writing were too much for me to get past. It seemed like there might be a cool story underneath it, but it wasn't enough to make me want to put the time in.

#82 Posted by happymeowmeow (218 posts) -

There are definitely game genres that I stay away from, mostly military shooters and sports. Makes me wonder if I've missed out on something. But , on the other hand, there are so many good looking games out there I haven't tried yet that aren't in those two categories. You only have so much time to dedicate to this stuff.

#83 Posted by Alorithin (128 posts) -

So what you are saying it that you should glance over the filthy filthy porn ones?

#84 Posted by RedCream (694 posts) -

Loved 999! It's the gripping suspense and the fantastic soundtrack that keeps you going.

#85 Posted by Pudge (925 posts) -

I assume without reading the article (because, HAHAHAHAHAHA, no) that the case for playing 50 hours of visual novels is intense boredom? Insomnia? Brain Contusions? Or is it all just anime fanservice?

This post has been brought to you by The Anti-Patrick Brigade, The Katawa Shojo Hate Squadron, and the continual essay machine fueled by Fanboys Like You.

#86 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

For a different perspective on the romance visual novels, I'd honestly recommend you hunt down a copy of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom for the PSP. It's an otome game (a game targeted at women) and has no puzzle interaction elements, but it's not "just a porn game." I actually think the localization that Aksys did on it is quite good and despite my gender, I was pretty hooked on it.

#87 Posted by zeekthegeek (389 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@mangopup said:

@BlatantNinja23: They could bring Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate to the US/CA. Those games have really good stories.

JAST licensed Steins;Gate but they haven't brought it over yet afaik

I saw the anime (of Steins) and thought it was pretty interesting, I've had my eyes open for the english release of Steins. Didn't really care for Chaos;Head

#88 Posted by Shivoa (645 posts) -

I really hate to consume narratively linked content out of order and looking at the release info it looks like 999 was only put out in the US, no dice for us Europeans (or more accurately the added hassle and expense of an import for us lucky English speakers - thank the lords for region free portable gaming devices, otherwise the only way to play would be via breaking DRM and piracy). Weird that the sequel has been released over here on both platforms and doesn't seem to make any attempt to special edition it (see Xenosaga: Episode II - Jenseits von Gut und Böse for how this stuff is sometimes handled; digital distribution and global sales can't come soon enough - money left on the table in the UK where the US translation means the work has already been done).

Thanks for making the case for these games Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors a spin when I next have some spare time for portable gaming.

#89 Edited by Azurath (310 posts) -

It's weird that so many people have a problem with characters who are designed to be sexually appealing in a physical way, but are still smart characters.

People are sexually attracted to people, I would hate it if games didn't have sex jokes, because they are a part of life, everyone makes them. Games where the girls are all unattractive, the dudes aren't interested in the girls (or guys), and hormones are ignored tend to be boring. It goes the same way with dudes, if Nathan Drake was ugly, he would probably a lot less appealing, because he loses a part of his character. If he isn't a ladies man, he is just a guy looking for treasure, the romance aspect adds a lot to the character.

Do it actually hurt people's feelings when a someone makes a joke about breasts in a video game? I have never seen or heard of someone actually get offended, or even for embarrassed in these cases. I do agree that Clover could be dressed like a normal person, and still be the same character, but it makes her different, and overall more interesting.

Gamers are definitely an odd bunch.

#90 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

I liked the sexual inuendos in the two games, but I do agree with Patrick that it is inconstant of the caractures.

In 999 Clover was a depressed child, in VLR she is kinda a slut. None of this would bother me if it was just constant, I dont mind Sigmas dialoge because it is constant, for the most part, except for the room where he gets super horny.

#91 Posted by Arx724 (227 posts) -

I haven't played VLR (don't own a 3DS/Vita yet), but I highly recommend the Infinity series of visual novels (on PC) by the same writer as that and 999. There are a bunch of fanmade patches available for them. While the games may seem somewhat dumb at first, there is more going on in them, not unlike 999.

Oh, and for anyone interested in visual novels, vndb.org is a great database if you're looking for stuff. It has tags, translation statuses, release dates, ... You can easily exclude plotless porn-focused games and just go for games that focus on a crime story, for example. Other than that, vntls.tindabox.net is a good way to keep up with the status of ongoing translations, it gets updated pretty much every Saturday.

#92 Posted by Slax (963 posts) -

This is reassuring. I bought 999 because it seemed really interesting and I had heard a lot of good things, but the slow text and rather slow start is kind of bothering me. I also am not the best at room escape (is that a genre?) or adventure games, so there are some early puzzles I am struggling with.

But the fact that the game speeds up on subsequent playthroughs, is really cool. I'm excited, I'll dive back in, as soon as I finish P3P. I promise. But I'll probably need to play P3P again, you know, for science. And then maybe again. Who knows!? But I will get to it.

#93 Posted by KneehighPark (14 posts) -

As a writer, gamer, and fan of the Zero Escape series, and visual novels by extension, it's nice to see some coverage of a long ignored genre. Thanks Patrick!

#94 Posted by theuselessgod (263 posts) -

@patrickklepek

Play corpse party.

Everything you want in one convenient package. Visual novel, tons of horror.

The adventure game elements are pretty much the worst, though, so be warned. But that really seems like a game that's right up your ally.

Now I need to check these two out...

#95 Posted by posh (530 posts) -

I loved hotel dusk for its story alone, i just really got into that game like I have many of the zelda games or even an actual book and I'd love to see more visual novels in the future, I think that's a genre perfect for handhelds and a great argument for the handheld console existing besides puzzle games

#96 Posted by SharkMan (685 posts) -

good read

#97 Posted by Neferon (262 posts) -

I played 999 when it was released. I wasn't entirely sure about it at first. But man, was that one strange and cool game at the same time. I guess I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that this game actually tried to be something new and quircky. It's not just the execution of the writing that is great, there's something genuinly different about it. Sequel fatigue is often discussed, but genre fatigue is where it's at! Entire genres lose my interest if they do not display some sort of innovation.

Idea: Discuss what truly differentiaties one game from another.

#98 Posted by hurtfulmadmax (73 posts) -

@Soapy86: Hahaha yeah, seriously...

#99 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -

"A gallery of innocent and often sexualized depictions of women is what you'll find, and it’s what I’d surmised about the genre during my brief investigation into it. I wrote it off, truth be told, and didn’t feel bad. Who would want to play that?"

Why wouldn't anyone want to play that? It sounds like every other game released ever, except it forces people to read more.

If we can take off our politically-correct hats for a moment, there's some good fun to be had in some of the visual novels that get easily dismissed otherwise. And it's not just a one way street, there's are entire visual novel categories geared toward women and gay men (although in Japan, women are the #1 consumers of VNs featuring male-on-male romance). Sexualized depictions can be fine in the right context. Adult games: That's the right context. As a bloody torso with a great rack that gets bundled with the Dead Island 2 Collector's Edition: Not the right context.

It's just a pretty bad double standard though when you're willing to accept the dim sexy teenager who exists solely to get naked and then get murdered in your typical slasher flick, yet cluck your tongue at similar behavior in a different (and much less mature) medium.

Personally, I can't truly understand why people would willingly subject themselves to horror games, but to each his own. Anxiety, stress, fear? No thanks.

#100 Posted by sate2801 (348 posts) -

try steins;gate

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