I want to get into Visual Novels.

RedEyesBlackGamer

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Jan 23, 2011
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I want to get into the genre. But I'm a little lost on where to start. The concept interests me greatly. Unfortunately, my knowledge of them is....I have none. I love RPGs and reading and the thought of a story I can enjoy and interact with is very exciting.
I was just wondering if someone had recommendations/stores/pointers that could help me get going. Any help is appreciated.
Edit: Thanks for the help everyone! This weekend I'll try one out. The recommendations and technical help are greatly appreciated!
 

Deskimus Prime

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Jan 26, 2011
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Woohoo, potential converts!

Depends on the kind of thing you're looking for. If you're looking for something action-y and RPG-y, Fate Stay Night is probably your best bet. It was my first too, as well as a lot of peoples'. Kinda like your "gateway drug" into visual novels. There be fighting and romancing and much epicness all around. It's also fairly easy to find, and has a solid english translation, and doesn't require all that much familiarity with the medium.

There's also Ever17 for your sci-fi/mystery/slice-o'-lifey goodness, although it requires a bit more work for the big payoff.

Or, like springheeljack said, there's Clannad, which I'm actually just in the process of finishing. It's probably the best you'll find for a slice-of-life/drama, but it's also mind-bogglingly long and a major time investment. So yeah.

If you have any questions about anything feel free to drop me a PM, or stop by the lovely Visual Novel User Group [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/groups/view/Visual-Novels] we have here. Always glad to share the awesomeness.
 

RedEyesBlackGamer

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Jan 23, 2011
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Deskimus Prime said:
Woohoo, potential converts!

Depends on the kind of thing you're looking for. If you're looking for something action-y and RPG-y, Fate Stay Night is probably your best bet. It was my first too, as well as a lot of peoples'. Kinda like your "gateway drug" into visual novels. There be fighting and romancing and much epicness all around. It's also fairly easy to find, and has a solid english translation, and doesn't require all that much familiarity with the medium.

There's also Ever17 for your sci-fi/mystery/slice-o'-lifey goodness, although it requires a bit more work for the big payoff.

Or, like springheeljack said, there's Clannad, which I'm actually just in the process of finishing. It's probably the best you'll find for a slice-of-life/drama, but it's also mind-bogglingly long and a major time investment. So yeah.

If you have any questions about anything feel free to drop me a PM, or stop by the lovely Visual Novel User Group [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/groups/view/Visual-Novels] we have here. Always glad to share the awesomeness.
Thank you. I didn't even know they they existed till I was 15. And I just got my own computer last year. I'll look into Fate Stay Night first. I'll hold off on Clannad. From what I've heard about the anime, I'd cry frequently.
 

The Wykydtron

"Emotions are very important!"
Sep 23, 2010
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Hmm would the Ace Attorney games count as VNs? I think they do...

Whatevs just play them

I mean who wouldn't want to play a game with this guy in?

 

Hurray Forums

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Well, Fate/Stay Night and Clannad are by far the most "popular", however I can't really recommend Clannad(slice of life/drama/romance/comedy) as I can see a first timer getting burnt out by how long, repetitive, and varying in quality it is. I had played quite a few before I gave that a shot and I still had a hard time slogging through it. Then again you have a Persona avatar so you're probably used to the meaningless "slice of life" time wasting that Clannad is oh so fond of. Fate/Stay Night(romance/slice of life/comedy/action/horror/porn/drama/philosophical navel gazing/Oh christ I give up) is far better at grabbing and holding one's attention, though the plot is extremely linear, making choices isn't so much making choices as reassuring the game that you haven't gone into a coma so it will continue with the story.

Kanon is fairly similar to Clannad, not near as funny but more emotional in my personal opinion, with the added bonus of being relatively more open as the required choices aren't quite as strict and none of the choices are "locked" like in Fate/Stay Night. It also doesn't slog on for hours on end so it's quite a bit easier to finish.

For a more obscure choice there's Aoi Shiro(mystery/romance). The story isn't as good as any of the previously mentioned titles, though it's still decent enough to be entertaining, and it's by far the most fun to "play" due to the way the story/choices are setup. A lot of the choices actually require a hint of brain power unlike most visual novels, the mystery aspect works very well with player decision making, and finishing a route gives a certain sense of accomplishment lacking in other visual novels. Finally, on a note that feels rather relevant with all the whining on this particular subject lately, Syouko is the best female lead in any game I've ever played period. It's hard to describe just how many things they got right with her. Seriously, I was going to try and describe all they did right for this post but it seemed too daunting for how lazy I'm feeling at the moment so you got this instead.
 

Hurray Forums

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UberaDpmn said:
Is 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World' a visual novel?

They're really good comics anyway - I don't really get the distinction tbh.
You're thinking of a graphic novel. A visual novel is basically a choose your own adventure book with pictures, effects, voice acting, music, and stuff like that.
 

RedEyesBlackGamer

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Jan 23, 2011
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Hurray Forums said:
Well, Fate/Stay Night and Clannad are by far the most "popular", however I can't really recommend Clannad(slice of life/drama/romance/comedy) as I can see a first timer getting burnt out by how long, repetitive, and varying in quality it is. I had played quite a few before I gave that a shot and I still had a hard time slogging through it. Then again you have a Persona avatar so you're probably used to the meaningless "slice of life" time wasting that Clannad is oh so fond of. Fate/Stay Night(romance/slice of life/comedy/action/horror/porn/drama/philosophical navel gazing/Oh christ I give up) is far better at grabbing and holding one's attention, though the plot is extremely linear, making choices isn't so much making choices as reassuring the game that you haven't gone into a coma so it will continue with the story.

Kanon is fairly similar to Clannad, not near as funny but more emotional in my personal opinion, with the added bonus of being relatively more open as the required choices aren't quite as strict and none of the choices are "locked" like in Fate/Stay Night. It also doesn't slog on for hours on end so it's quite a bit easier to finish.

For a more obscure choice there's Aoi Shiro(mystery/romance). The story isn't as good as any of the previously mentioned titles, though it's still decent enough to be entertaining, and it's by far the most fun to "play" due to the way the story/choices are setup. A lot of the choices actually require a hint of brain power unlike most visual novels, the mystery aspect works very well with player decision making, and finishing a route gives a certain sense of accomplishment lacking in other visual novels. Finally, on a note that feels rather relevant with all the whining on this particular subject lately, Syouko is the best female lead in any game I've ever played period. It's hard to describe just how many things they got right with her. Seriously, I was going to try and describe all they did right for this post but it seemed too daunting for how lazy I'm feeling at the moment so you got this instead.
Yeah, I love the Persona games. I enjoy the s. links and school as much as the combat. Aoi Shiro will also go on the "Try out list". Thanks for the feedback. I do appreciate a good female lead. I also like mystery. I would play 999, but I don't have a DS anymore.
 

lapan

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Jan 23, 2009
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It depends if you want to try something normal, or an erotic visual novel.

I can recommend the Higurashi series and the Phoenix Wright games. If you rather want something erotic, my favorite is Bible Black.
 

StormShaun

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Feb 1, 2009
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I would recommend Clannad, it was my first one and it was one hell of a story that had alot of moments but on the other hand their is the anime...
 

Veldaroth

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Jul 21, 2009
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Yeah, the big question is: Can you speak Japanese? I found a couple titles off of Wikipedia and went from there and ended up discovering some sites that hosted a ton but they were all in Japanese. Luckily I know a little and with the help of a translator to get through the more obscure kanji I was able to understand them. Sadly, I lost most of my sites when my computer died so I'd recommend lots of google searches and the wiki.

If you find one in Japanese that you really want to play but don't know the language, look into AGTH
 

NeutralDrow

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Mar 23, 2009
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Can't believe I was beaten to a topic like this. Almost like y'all are muscling in on my turf!

...nah, in a genre like ours, the more the merrier.

And at least I can say that I didn't see this topic because I was actually too busy with a visual novel (Symphonic Rain).

RedEyesBlackGamer said:
I want to get into the genre. But I'm a little lost on where to start. The concept interests me greatly. Unfortunately, my knowledge of them is....I have none. I love RPGs and reading and the thought of a story I can enjoy and interact with is very exciting.
I was just wondering if someone had recommendations/stores/pointers that could help me get going. Any help is appreciated.
Well, from my experience, I guess the first thing is making sure you know what you're getting into. Or maybe that's just my paranoia talking. Managed to get a couple of people in the past to try visual novels, only to find they were expecting something totally different.

Still, I'll go out on a limb and guess that that's not a problem here. ^_^

<color=aliceblue>Fun fact: colored text makes for effective line breaks.

Anyway, I have a set five titles that I always recommend to people, and a number of others depending on their tastes. Springheel and Deskimus definitely hit on one of them, <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.223721-TYPE-MOON-Review-anniversary-Fate-Stay-Night>Fate/Stay Night, which is probably Type-Moon's magnum opus. Finding a copy is a bit of a challenge, and actually I wound up torrenting it; the English patch, at least, is <url=http://mirrormoon.org/projects/fate_stay_night>easier to find.

On the other hand, I usually wind up recommending <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.128851-TYPE-MOON-reviews-Tsukihime>Tsukihime, Type-Moon's earlier work, to start people off. It's shorter and simpler (and more technically limited), but it's also far easier to find (there's a Tsukibako torrent that has it), I actually kinda prefer its story in some ways (probably because it was my first visual novel ever), and if it's a concern, it's <url=http://mirrormoon.org/projects/tsukihime>English patch has the option of installing without the sex scenes.

I've yet to play Clannad, myself. I have, however, played and loved <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.163769-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Kanon>Kanon, Key's earlier work. Going by the discussion in the usergroup, it's not only far shorter than Clannad, but it sounds a lot less angsty, as well...still pretty sad, at times, but not overwhelmingly so...at least, until <url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O7O5ale-Pc>this song imprints in your mind. The main problem is that I'm still looking for another place to find it; my copy (the original, 18+ version) came off of a Hongfire thread that has since been deleted. <url=http://radicalr.pestermom.com/vn.html>The English patch and voice patches are easier to find, though, and I think I may be tracking down an All Ages copy of the game.

While there's not much shame (by my reckoning) in torrenting otherwise unavailable titles, there are a few really good ones with official English translations, including <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.135672-Neutral-Drow-reviews-A-Drug-That-Makes-You-Dream>A Drug That Makes You Dream. Barring the absolutely terrible Xchange, this was my first non Type-Moon visual novel, and the one that seriously got me hooked on the genre. If you're willing to spend money, it's the one I'd recommend most highly. It's also officially available in download format, if shipping cost or location is a concern.
http://www.peachprincess.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=P014&Category_Code= (mildly NSFW site).

And finally, far as I'm concerned, there is no way to talk about visual novels without bringing up <url=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/326.206764-Neutral-Drow-reviews-Kana-Little-Sister>Kana: Little Sister. It's more of a controversial title, but it's also basically the grandmother of all utsuge (depressing game) visual novels, and the closest I'd consider to required reading in the genre.
http://www.peachprincess.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=GC002&Category_Code= (mildly NSFW site)

<color=aliceblue>After all, even paragraphs can get wall-o'-texty at times.

So yeah, any of those five would be a good place to start, though for my part, I'd put Tsukihime, Kanon, or A Drug That Makes You Dream slightly ahead. And you've already been linked to the group, so my work here is briefly done. My apologies for the review plugs; I get pretty long-winded at times...but if that's not a deterrence, my other reviews (at the bottom of any of those linked posts) are always available.

Sweet, now I can get back to Symphonic Rain. <url=http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/9773/sr10g.jpg>I just met someone new...
 

Trucken

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Jan 26, 2009
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lapan said:
If you rather want something erotic, my favorite is Bible Black.
Oh come on now, you don't have to scar the poor man for life.

Personally I recommend Ever17, it's a great non-erotic VN and one that managed to make me laugh, cry and feel genuinely scared.

For erotic games I recommend Kira Kira, even though it's more focused on story than sex. It has very good writing and some really good music.
 

RedEyesBlackGamer

The Killjoy Detective returns!
Jan 23, 2011
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poiumty said:
RedEyesBlackGamer said:
NeutralDrow said:
Appreciated snip
Will they run on Windows 7? I see all the way to Vista.
I can confirm that they run on pretty much anything. Some require applocale or setting the locale to japanese, but that's not a huge problem.
That is my other problem. I am not computer-savvy. I get the feeling I'm going to spend hours trying to get the games to work. DOSBox was a pain to learn how to use.