The Case for Playing 50 Hours of Visual Novels

#101 Posted by Chibi_Kaji (175 posts) -

I've been meaning to pick up 999 since it came out. But listening to Patrick talk about it has finally made me order it from Amazon. But I'll probably grab VLR for the Vita just to avoid that bug. 
I'm finally going to give Corpse Party a shot as well. I've heard Patrick mention wanting to try it a few times, and  Phil Kollar seems to dig the game as well.

#102 Posted by Psycosis (467 posts) -

Eww who the hell plays visual novels aren't they for nerds?

#103 Posted by krabboss (346 posts) -

@onan: It affects people in different ways, horror games gets my adrenaline pumping and it's a great feeling.

#104 Posted by Xymox (2161 posts) -

@theuselessgod said:


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...

Yeah, I'll second this. Corpse Party is great, especially if you need a breather from your standard adventuring games and role playing games.

#105 Posted by Ducksworth (670 posts) -

I think I have VLR planned in my "gaming budget" for next month but damn, the true ending to 999 was really unsatisfying.

#106 Posted by Cloudenvy (5874 posts) -

@Ducksworth said:

I think I have VLR planned in my "gaming budget" for next month but damn, the true ending to 999 was really unsatisfying.

90% of all true endings are unsatisfying, sadly. : (

#107 Posted by Gaston (43 posts) -

Hmm, do I really have to buy a DS? :P Maybe I do..

#108 Posted by buft (3409 posts) -

the sad thing for me is that visual novels don't fit into my gaming habit, I either play my game in small bitesize portions when im on the bus which doesn't suit the way these stories can be enjoyed(at least for me, i can't get into a book while travelling) or i play a long stretch of a game and usually that will be something multiplayer

#109 Posted by Superkenon (1563 posts) -

Glad that Patrick made this write-up. There's definitely a reason for why people roll their eyes at visual novels, but there are in fact lots of good games hidden away in there. Just like every other kind of medium, you just have to wade through all the crap to find 'em.

#110 Posted by MjHealy (1966 posts) -

Patrick's really been making good points about these sort of games on the Bombcast recently. He's bringing up games that aren't usually discussed and it great to see some variety between the five guys especially at this time of the year. Patrick has even got me interested in playing the new Fire Emblem, and I don't even know how!

#111 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1794 posts) -

Nice write-up, and some good comment discussion. As someone who’s recently been trying to jump into a genre I’d ignored for a while (JRPGs) and run into similar hangups about female depictions, I can relate.

I think

#112 Posted by civid (695 posts) -

If Michael Ironside explodes your head through telekenises at the end of VLR, I will buy this right now!

#113 Posted by hollitz (2100 posts) -

@Dallas_Raines: Clover was pretty sexualized in the first game too. Ace and Junpei definitely have at least one pervy conversation about her. And I can't speak to the original run of the game, but in the instruction manual of the reprint, she's in a pretty provocative pose on the table of contents page with a very short skirt on.

#114 Posted by Daneian (1307 posts) -

Aren't Snatcher and the Ace Attorney games visual novels? Thought those were a pretty big deal.

#115 Posted by fullmetal5550 (347 posts) -

I want to play 999 and VLR. Need to buy a 3DS first though. Visual Novels are awesome. Especially Katawa Shoujo.

#116 Posted by Rabbitsuit (9 posts) -

Here's to the upcoming Zero Escape game. Really looking forward to it.

#117 Posted by Keeng (1012 posts) -

Thanks, Patrick. You're giving this series the proper nod and respect. They're fantastic experiences and it makes us feel great as fans to see someone helping spread the word.

#118 Edited by sravankb (228 posts) -


I have tried playing these kinds of games several times over, and over, and over again. I don't care how good the story is, but if gameplay feels compromised in the process, I'm not gonna play it. Let's look at adventure games as an example -

Besides their stupid sense of "logic", I don't understand why they never implement fast travel in these, or at least a small feature like double clicking at the edge of a screen to make it skip to the next area instead of animating a walking character each and every single time. I just cannot comprehend design decisions like these and why developers are so adamant on sticking with outdated design. If there are players out there who enjoy this, good for them. However, I've had just about enough of that nonsense.

And this is precisely why I find myself tuning out and losing interest whenever Patrick talks about games on the podcast. Before I go on, lemme just say that I don't hate Patrick; I just find him boring 90% of the time. Again - it's indifference, not hatred. He focuses so much on the non-interactive portions of the game like the story and visual presentation that I just don't see why he even plays games. He almost never goes into detailing the gameplay and design, which kinda define a game, at least in my opinion. In my experience, storytelling is almost never done well in games; literally every other form of media out there does it better. Why should we lower our standards for stories and presentation whenever we critique games?

Here's why I think this is the case - the story and gameplay of most games never feels like it belongs in the same package. They're never weaved together into one element and presented that way. Any time anyone (on the internet or IRL) tells me what makes a game's story good, they never talk about the interactive portions of the game. I've never played or heard of a game that tells its story through gameplay.

Every time I play games that are critically praised for their storytelling - I think to myself - "Can this game's story be told using a book, movie, TV show / other non-interactive media?". If yes, I don't count story as one of its strong points. It's simply a tacked-on bonus and in my opinion, is not enough for me to go out and buy the game. I can understand if people here (or anywhere else for that matter) want to play games exclusively for their story, but I've had it with games that sacrifice interactivity for the sake of storytelling.

P.S. I don't know if it came off this way, but it's not that I don't like puzzles. I like games like Braid, Portal, Winterbottom, etc. Heck I love Sudoku and other mathematical puzzles once in a while (I'm an engineer). Games I don't like, however, are ones that emphasize a one-sided experience of just expecting a player to listen, watch, or read way more than playing it.

#119 Posted by pmurph (80 posts) -

It might be worth pointing out that a lot of the sexualisation of characters could have something to do with the translation. However as somebody who has played a few of the infinity series now as well as the sub-branching zero escape games, I'm inclined to think i may be wrong there as there are similar moments in pretty much every game. Remember11 Does a good job of NOT doing that to be honest.

#120 Posted by shepdelonge (23 posts) -

Found a typo Kleptok:

"Other times, it’s an overused narrative device mean to to kick the can down the road, like in LOST."

#121 Posted by Krabonq (87 posts) -

Visual novels aren't games.

They're nothing more than DVD menu simulators. Hell, even The walking dead is more of a game, than these animated books !

#122 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (4116 posts) -

Goddamn. I was hoping to hear of some new Zork-style games. I don't want to see any

crappy Anime photos in my story-based games. And Nintendo/Sorny? I mean, c'mon!

Not all of us live in Japan.

#123 Edited by hoonsama (33 posts) -

999 was a disappointing game. It had me gripped for hours as I went through rooms after rooms, endings after endings. I liked it so much, in fact, that I got every ending without consulting to a guide, which obviously added more hours of gameplay at the expense of my sanity. What ruined it for me was the True Ending. It had so much build up, so many questions that were supposed to be big revelations, but what the True Ending revealed was that the game didn't really have an answer that could match my expectation, and some answers flat out makes no sense.

With that said, I've been on the fence about getting Virtue's Last Reward. Story aside, it apparently has a game breaking bug and the change in the visual department is off-putting.

#124 Posted by KLEPEK_DefenseForce (30 posts) -

Sweet read, Scoops!!

#125 Posted by StriderNo9 (1277 posts) -

Interesting, I tend to get on a kick where I want to play a genre of game thats very different from my usual tastes, tends to workout well.

#126 Posted by probablytuna (4231 posts) -

I just picked up a copy of 999. Should I use a walkthrough to unlock all the endings or should I just play it without using guides for the first playthrough?

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