Visual Novels; their place in the gaming world?

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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I wasn't sure if this fit in the gaming or off-topic discussion because the answer to this question would have determined it's place.

I was spurred on to ask this question after watching an old Jimquisition about "boring art games"

While I agree with the point that walking simulator games can get boring since they don't invest the player in their world, that got me thinking about what would make a visual novel exempt from this and I really couldn't come up with a reason.

Visual novels can have stories as moving or even more so than the better portion of art games or can be comedies with memorable and fun characters but the interaction is so minimal that the question of "why isn't this a book" is very likely.

So if by Mr. Sterling's definition, they would be consider poor games but from a literary standpoint, they could be considered good, where do Visual novels stand?
 

The Wykydtron

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inu-kun said:
If I'd have to choose a book or a VN (with the same plot) I'd pick VN, having character portraits and music is a big plus.
Also, the walking simulators is more about being "artsy" and letting people figure out the plot, which could work if the plot is actually good, VN's, on the other end, like every other standard media makes people connect with a coherent story... depending on the game (I'm looking at you Umineko).

Umineko is a good example actually, besides a great soundtrack it's far easier to follow through since every character is recognizable and the player definately is invested in the world in trying to solve the mystery, with big holy shit moments.
You know what's interesting with Umineko, it's how it's just as much of an underlying witch vs reader as well the main story of Beatrice vs Battler. That's the "gameplay" part of the novel, it's challenging you as much as Battler.

Like it's obvious that there's a witch, the characters wouldn't be where they are if there wasn't one but it's all about if you can come up with your own solutions to them closed rooms. I haven't finished Episode 4 yet but I figured out that hard one in Episode 1 that Beatrice touted as impossible, the one with Eva and the chain lock after some thought and I was far too proud of solving it...

Also Beatrice's voice. She could carry the entire VN on her own, it's so perfect. Also the gut punch at the end of Episode 3. Fuck. Beato why so mean? T_T

OT: Yeah i've not played all the arty walking games like Gone Home but how are those overly similar to Visual Novels? VNs actively engage you in the story, art, characters and music. It's a must, they have too. A VN literally lives or dies on its strong storytelling and characters, it cannot afford to dick around and be boring and "i'm so deep and arty, let's walk around doing fuck all for half an hour" since it has no gameplay mechanics to fall back on. It's why I find VNs have the best stories around. Not to say every VN is good obviously, everything has its share of wank but when given the choice of something like an FPS with a good story or a VN with a good story i'll pick the VN every time.

You all go on debating tryhard indie games like Gone Home and stuff and i'll be over here with a meticulously detailed explanation of how Monster Girl Quest is art. It's not art despite it being a porn game, it's art because it's a porn game. In that if you tried the story in a PG-13 context it'd be shit as fuck.
 

ninja666

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Their place in the gaming world? A garbage can. Visual Novels are a freakin' cancer. Not only they cost around 100 bucks each, but also they have nothing to compensate for this ridiculous price. Here's what you usually get for your money's worth:

- A few hours of piss-poor writing,
- Characters that are either one dimensional cardboard cutouts, or overly exagerrated anime tropes,
- At least three sex scenes (even when you buy a non-hentai oriented novel; looks almost like they have to meet some kind of T&A quota)
- Some pretty pictures to look at, while you experience the aforementioned shitty writing.
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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ninja666 said:
Their place in the gaming world? A garbage can. Visual Novels are a freakin' cancer. Not only they cost around 100 bucks each, but also they have nothing to compensate for this ridiculous price. Here's what you usually get for your money's worth:

- A few hours of piss-poor writing,
- Characters that are either one dimensional cardboard cutouts, or overly exagerrated anime tropes,
- At least three sex scenes (even when you buy a non-hentai oriented novel; looks almost like they have to meet some kind of T&A quota)
- Some pretty pictures to look at, while you experience the aforementioned shitty writing.
I really don't want to say this but I think you are lying.

Having done some research, several visual novels like Clannad and Fate/Stay Night are free to download and even VNs on Steam like World End Economica are around 13 dollars (steam page for reference [http://store.steampowered.com/app/269250/])

In addition, to use that old cliche, Sturgeon's Law, 90% of most things are crap so yes most VNs will be stupid, horribly written, and fanservice laden while the rest will actually be good in terms of writing and characterization.

Either you had a bad VN experience or there is an ulterior movie for posting
 

ninja666

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Izanagi009 said:
Having done some research, several visual novels like Clannad and Fate/Stay Night are free to download and even VNs on Steam like World End Economica are around 13 dollars
They're exceptions to the rule. Look up prices for novels in stores specializing in selling them. The prices range from 80 to 199 dollars.

Izanagi009 said:
Either you had a bad VN experience or there is an ulterior movie for posting
I've played The Sunflower Girl and Saya no Uta, which are the ones considered to be one of the best in the genre. Both had everything I mentioned.
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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ninja666 said:
Izanagi009 said:
Having done some research, several visual novels like Clannad and Fate/Stay Night are free to download and even VNs on Steam like World End Economica are around 13 dollars
They're exceptions to the rule. Look up prices for novels in stores specializing in selling them. The prices range from 80 to 199 dollars.
What stores will those be? a quick search through Mangagamer, Steam and J-list have all the prices at 60 dollars or lower.
Izanagi009 said:
Either you had a bad VN experience or there is an ulterior movie for posting
I've played The Sunflower Girl and Saya no Uta, which are the ones considered to be one of the best in the genre. Both had everything I mentioned.
All right, that's more an opinion thing than anything else so I can't comment but I have a feeling that you are in a minority and that you will have to debate with a lot of other people.
 

ninja666

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Izanagi009 said:
ninja666 said:
Izanagi009 said:
Having done some research, several visual novels like Clannad and Fate/Stay Night are free to download and even VNs on Steam like World End Economica are around 13 dollars
They're exceptions to the rule. Look up prices for novels in stores specializing in selling them. The prices range from 80 to 199 dollars.
What stores will those be? a quick search through Mangagamer, Steam and J-list have all the prices at 60 dollars or lower.
http://www.play-asia.com/sharin-no-kuni-himawari-no-shoujo-paOS-13-49-en-70-3x46.html here's an example. Can't really bother to look for more.

Izanagi009 said:
Izanagi009 said:
Either you had a bad VN experience or there is an ulterior movie for posting
I've played The Sunflower Girl and Saya no Uta, which are the ones considered to be one of the best in the genre. Both had everything I mentioned.
All right, that's more an opinion thing than anything else so I can't comment but I have a feeling that you are in a minority and that you will have to debate with a lot of other people.
As with the examples of pricing, I won't even bother. You can like it if you want, I won't try to force my opinions on you, but I won't stop considering Visual Novels shit anytime soon either.
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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ninja666 said:
Izanagi009 said:
ninja666 said:
Izanagi009 said:
Having done some research, several visual novels like Clannad and Fate/Stay Night are free to download and even VNs on Steam like World End Economica are around 13 dollars
They're exceptions to the rule. Look up prices for novels in stores specializing in selling them. The prices range from 80 to 199 dollars.
What stores will those be? a quick search through Mangagamer, Steam and J-list have all the prices at 60 dollars or lower.
http://www.play-asia.com/sharin-no-kuni-himawari-no-shoujo-paOS-13-49-en-70-3x46.html here's an example. Can't really bother to look for more.
You do know that the reason those VNs are so expensive is that they are direct imports right? Most people will buy from local distributers or download sites that have much lower costs.

As for the opinion thing, can't do anything about that but do at least not ask that they be disposed of. I don't ask for a Bayformers movie to be disposed of despite it's lack of quality; that courtesy should be expanded to us.
 

ninja666

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inu-kun said:
PS: How is Saya an "anime trope" exactly did you actually play the game?
Well, hentai is also technically an anime genre, and that's exactly where I'd put it. The trope here is Saya being a girl that loves you so much, she wants to fuck your brains out and have your children. Also, yes, I'm aware Saya isn't really a girl. However, most of the time she appears as such, so my point stands.
 

ninja666

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inu-kun said:
let's start that both Saya and Fuminori are in actual love, a fact that's incredibly apperant by the game's final act, not the "know him 5 minutes" love.
I wouldn't call it a sex out of love, to be honest - it looks more like it's thrown in just for the sake of it. It especially shows in dialogues that lead up to the actual scene. All of them look more or less like this:

Saya: Hey Fuminori, let's fuck tonight.
Fuminori: I don't want to. You're a little girl and all and I'm not a pedo.
Saya: *puppy eyes*
Fuminori: Oh, how can I resist that look? Let's do this!
 

Asuterisuku

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I'd like to point out that the Zero Escape franchise (999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors - DS, Virtue's Last Reward - 3DS/PSVita) says hi... And that has none of the things you mentioned. Well, except for the pretty pictures part.
 

ninja666

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inu-kun said:
So are we going have an actual discussion or you just gonna say that because she looks like a little girl it sucks?
She could be a horse, or a tree for all I care. My point isn't her being a little girl, it's that the sex scenes feel so forced, they could as well not be in there at all. If they had a genuinely good reason and buildup for it other than "it's a 18+ game so it has to have sex in it hurr durr" I'd be more than fine with that.

inu-kun said:
If we talk about the sex:
Saya is having sex to learn about the human body, it's eventually her goal to change humanity. Meanwhile Saya represents for Fuminori the only beauty in the world, everything besides her is an abomination for him and having sex with her cements their realtionship, he loves her and will do whatever in his abilities to protect her, even if she leads him to a dark path he will still follow it because she's the only reason he didn't commit suicide. Their sex is ironically both pure and corrupt, pure in the sense that they love each other and Saya even creates a "pet" for Fuminori, but corrupt in that the sex only gets more extreme to the point of being more nauseating than erotic. In the end their love is tragic, regardless of your choices they will need to seperate, either by death, or by Saya maturing and dying, but giving Fuminori hope and changing the world in a way he'll be able to survive without her.

In the end there's nothing wrong about sex besides immature people thinking it's bad because reasons, if anything, Saya's relationship with Fuminori is more interesting than most love stories.
It's so apologetic, I found it extremely hard not to roll my eyes while reading that.
 

theamazingbean

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In a garbage can, where they can occasionally be searched through to have their better storylines adapted to manga and anime. Honestly, the format is fucking garbage. I play video games because I want to be engaged. Mashing the button to get to the next line of text is not engaging, even with pretty anime drawings in the background. They're just fucking boring.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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They belong somewhere near the bottom of the gaming barrel, with all the other things that are poorly written and offer no gameplay whatsoever.