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Topic: A beginners guide to Visual Novels

Posts 1 to 20 of 23

farmer_humpf

I've had my Vita for about 18 months and have massively enjoyed my time with it. I've got everything from P4G, Ys Memories of Celceta and Toukiden Kawami to Gravity Rush, Dragon's Crown and Tearaway - but I've yet to try a Visual Novel. As a total newbie to the genre I'm looking for something that's a) standalone - because I won't have played any previous titles in the series, and b) accessible - because I'm new to this. I was tempted by Steins Gate 0 which a lot of review sites have rated highly, but I don't know if it's vitally important to have played the original Steins Gate or watched the Anime (because I haven't). Any advice greatly received!

Edited on by farmer_humpf

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KratosMD

Steins;Gate 0 is a sequel, so obviously don't play that one first.

Other than that, the obvious recommendations would be Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Steins;Gate and Zero Time Escape games. Even P4G is considered a VN because there is a lot of text, but if you want a Persona game that is more or less a VN then Persona 3 Portable would be a good fit for you. That game doesn't really have 3D environments like in P4G (with the exception of dungeons) so you'll be doing a lot of reading in the style of a typical VN. The Persona games are standalone as well so you need not worry.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is the first game in the series, so play that one first. Then Goodbye Despair, which is its sequel and later this year Killing Harmony, which is the third game. Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is more of a third-person shooter so it would not be something for you, unless you really become a fan of the series. These games are like a combination of VN and relationship aspects á la Persona so I think this series would be right up your alley.

If you want to get into the Steins;Gate series then play the first one and after that Steins;Gate 0.

The first two games of the Zero Time Escape games will be released in a bundle for the Vita this year (with the first game being available for the first time on the Vita), so get that one. Then you can play the third game, Zero Time Dilemma, but I've heard that it isn't as much of VN as the previous games, so it's up to you whether or not you want to play it.

KratosMD

johncalmc

I've played loads of these and reviewed some of them on this very site.

As a general rule, for somebody starting out, I'd recommend one of the more accessible - and least like visual novel - games. Most visual novels basically amount to reading a book with very occasional options being given to you. Generally, that's not like a Fighting Fantasy or Choose Your Own Adventure novel where you're constantly making decisions and changing outcomes. These are usually a fixed novel that you're reading and very occasionally choosing something. It's like getting trophies for reading a book.

There's a few that are more out there, and they're usually the ones that I recommend because they're the ones that will seem most familiar for gamers not used to this style of game.

There's two that I think are good options based on that line of thinking.

1. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - it's kind of accessible because the story is really compelling, and the more traditional visual novel sections are periodically broken up by having to investigate crimes and then take part in a courtroom trial. These parts of the game are more interactive than most visual novels will ever get. The story in both Danganronpa games is super-interesting and the characters are great too. I recently reviewed them both on PS4 but the same rules apply for the Vita versions.

2. 999/Virtue's Last Reward/Zero Time Dilemma - This is a weird one in that while Virtue's Last Reward is a sequel to 999, and Zero Time Dilemma is a sequel to Virtue's Last Reward, the bewildering time line manipulation going on in the series means that I, personally, don't think it matters so much which order you play them in. 999 is the most traditional virtual novel game, and ZTD is the least traditional. VLR is a middle ground. Again, super-interesting, super-convoluted, super-complicated story. There's some puzzle solving elements in some of the games (ZTD being the easiest and least frustrating in my experience).

If you know what you're getting into and you're perfectly happy abandoning all traditional forms of gaming and all you want is a visual novel to read, then I'd still recommend the games I did because they're great, but I'd also throw Steins;Gate into the mix which is a fantastic time travel story, and the recent Psycho Pass visual novel, Mandatory Happiness, tells a pretty interesting story, particularly for fans of the franchise.

johncalmc

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farmer_humpf

Thanks to you both for giving your time to come back to me with some really helpful advice. It's largely because I enjoyed P4G so much that I thought I was ready for a VN. I think I'll start out with Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls looks fun and I'll put that on my list too. I like the look of Zero Time Dilemma but I'll see how I get on with Danganronpa and if I like it, maybe I'll pick up the first two parts when they're released as a bundle. Thanks again.

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farmer_humpf

@johncalmc Ha ha it looked quite fun from the video I saw, but I'll take your advice and take it off the list!

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themcnoisy

I would avoid Hatoful boyfriend. I picked it up after reading a review, I didn't read it thoroughly enough. Lol.

Still finished a few endings though.

As @johncalmc mentions the term visual novel is a strange one, Danganronpa has a lot of text, but mixed up with a variety of actual gameplay. The story is great as well, I will be playing that after finishing p4g myself!

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kyleforrester87

My two cents, which will be worth very little - I just have to say I bloody hate this genre haha.

kyleforrester87

PSN: WigSplitter1987

Ralizah

@Curlynob Ultra Despair Girls IS a lot of fun. I prefer it to the first Danganronpa, actually. Ostensibly it plays like a third person shooter/VN hybrid, but many of the shooting segments actually have puzzle elements to them.

As to Zero Escape: it absolutely matters in what order you play the games. You'll miss big story twists in VLR if you don't play 999 first, and ZTD won't make a lick of sense if you don't play both of the previous games first.

Same with Steins;Gate 0: you really should read the original VN first. Or watch the anime. Both are fantastic.

Edited on by Ralizah

Ralizah

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themcnoisy

@Curlynob I picked up Steins Gate for £5.79 in the Easter sale. I'm about 9 hours in and it's one of the worst for banging on and on about the same stuff. Apparently the characters are super clever, but then talk for a million years avoiding the most obvious conclusions.

It's a good read and I'm quite interested in quantum theory but the game gets lost in its own nonsense on numerous occasions. Fortunately I've realised it has multiple endings prior to posting this comment so have just saved at the start of chapter 3. Worth £5.79 but there's no way I would buy the sequel for the pre sale digital £45 asking price, that's a complete rip off.

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Ralizah

@themcnoisy Trust me, once it gets good, the payoff will be worth it. The game's early hours can be something of a challenge to get through, though.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

themcnoisy

@Ralizah it's picked up now! I haven't watched the anime so the first 3 chapters were awful as I had no emotional connection. But it's finally got going.

I wish more text came up on screen at once and the slow speed the voice actors sometimes deliver the lines is way annoying. I'm a pretty quick reader so I'm hitting X literally all the time and missing the dialog. But yes it's a much better read now.

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mookysam

I got Steins;Gate for my birthday a few years ago but haven't got round to playing it yet. It'll probably be what I play next on handheld after Pokémon.

I love the genre and the hybrids like Danganronpa and modern Persona. I can't wait for Danganronpa V3! Has anyone played Root Letter? It's cheap to buy at the moment and its been on my radar for a while.

mookysam

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KratosMD

Looks like an interesting visual novel and it's made by the developers of Steins;Gate. Definitely will keep my eyes out for this one. I will also try to play through Steins;Gate in the meanwhile, both look like amazing games!

Also the description "Japanese visual novel murder mystery" reminds me a lot of Danganronpa. Don't know if Steins;Gate was the same, but that description really intrigues me.

KratosMD

Ralizah

It's weird to me that Chaos;Child is coming over, even though Chaos;Head never officially made it overseas.

Well, whatever. Never a bad thing for the Vita to get more high quality visual novels.

Ralizah

PSN: Ralizah

TowaHerschel7

Does anyone know if Stein's Gate Elite for Vita will be released in the Western Hemisphere? @Tasuki I just barely posted in time. #TakeThatGrimReaperOfThreads.

Btw I wasn't insulting you @Tasuki, I actually think the six month rule is smart since you guys don't have unlimited bandwidth I was referring to time itself lol. xD

Edited on by TowaHerschel7

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TowaHerschel7

Also Muv Luv and its sequel are going to be released in North America this Summer, I don't know if Europe will be getting the games though...

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themcnoisy

Glad to see this thread back. Psycho pass was excellent!

Ive come to the conclusion that visual novels are a great companion if you already like a series or characters involved. Ive watched the psycho pass anime and enjoyed it, I could read between the lines and understood the world working through the novel. Steins gate was a different experience as Ive never seen the anime, so what was displayed in the visual side of the genre didnt really portray the world well. Now Ive done some homework playing steins gate a few nights ago was more enjoyable.

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