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08-21-19 03:40 PM

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Starting My First Visual Novel And Looking For More Suggestions
Amnesia: Memories...I forgot what to put here.
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Starting My First Visual Novel And Looking For More Suggestions

 

10-30-16 05:54 PM
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If you can't handle reading all of my ramblings, please at least read the last paragraph and offer any feedback that you can.
_____________________________________

So I've been wanting to try a visual novel for a while now, especially since my return to watching animé after more than a decade away from it. However I struggle with finding a good looking visual novel that runs on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation Vita in English (even if only with subtitles) and doesn't contain at least partial nudity.

Thankfully PS+ has given us not one, but two visual novels that fit this bill in the past three months (August and September both had one for PlayStation Vita), and so I picked them up. However, due to my extremely limited connection I hadn't been able to download either of them until last night when I went to the laundromat and used the WiFi there to download not only Amnesia: Memories (one of the visual novels), but also to download Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror, and finished the last half of my download of Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. Oh also I think we did laundry and stuff while we were there or something.

Anyway this is where things get weird, not that it isn't weird in it's own right to download a game about stealing things from dead people and a game about being a dead person trying to scare people away from your stuff back to back, but this game is it's own brand of weird for a straight male.

So I knew the premise of Amnesia: Memories, and that essentially you have to play through the story of a girl who dates these different guys in different realms more or less, and I knew it would feel incredibly awkward for me, a straight male, to play through such romance focused storylines as a female character. Yes, I'll be dating virtual men, but I've resolved to not think of it that way, but rather as me guiding this woman through her life while she dates the guys.
I'll let you know how that goes later. lol

But despite my best efforts, nothing could have prepared me for the shlap given me from awkwardness' big ol' hand when I booted the game for the first time and saw the opening scene that plays before the title screen loads. I'm assuming this scene and theme song are from the show, or at the very least, are based on the show's opening. Not sure.
Regardless, the moment that the opening started I was feeling so out of place and overwhelmed by a sense of awkwardness (that word will appear quite frequently in case you haven't figured that out yet) like I have never known.

To explain why, the men -- while fully clothed (thank goodness) -- were shown during the opening and they were all clearly meant to be sexy. It got worse however when they started flashing scenes of each one in romantic depictions (dates, about to kiss, and the like. It's rated T so get your mind out of the gutter ) with the woman I assume must be the player character. Yeah, despite my best prepping for this, I instantly see her and think "Oh, that must be me!".

*facepalm facepalm facepalm* Not you, Eirinn! The woman you're guiding. NOT you!

Yep, as Bintsy would say " The awkwardness is here. It has approached the world."

Unfortunately for me the moment I saw her as "me" she was embracing a "sexily" designed Japanese man. Yeah. That happened.


Still, I'm really hyped about this game, being my first visual novel and all. The general concept of it as a story seems interesting enough (there's much more to it than dating...I hope ), and the animé art style is a big bonus for me. So I'm not letting the awkwardness deter me, I'm going into this thing and trying to see this as someone else that I'm merely guiding. If that works I'll be good. Otherwise not so much.

So here I am, preparing myself for a game I really want to play, having to hope that I can manage to detach myself from the character: something gaming has always successfully tried to get me to do the opposite of for nearly two decades (of gaming. Not living). Let's see if I can manage to pull it off before things get too awkward and I'm left quitting at the third scene.




How about you? Have you ever played a visual novel? If so, what was it, and was it good? Can you recommend any good ones that fit the criteria listed above (no nudity, has English voiceovers or subtitles, and runs on PS4 or PS Vita)?

Now wish me luck with this one. xD It took me three months to download this. 2GB is huge to me given my speeds, so I'm really hoping I can play it.
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(edited by Eirinn on 02-01-17 12:30 PM)     Post Rating: 2   Liked By: deggle, MarioLucarioFan64,

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01-31-17 11:59 PM
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Eirinn : So... Did you end up quitting at the 3rd scene? lol j/k From what I know of the anime (I watched the anime with a few other younger girls), the overall story is kind of strange and a little(?) crazy but the ending wasn't too bad (maybe a bit cliché for some people like me, but it's not as terrible as some of the other visual novels out there). Since Amnesia: Memories is an otome game- wait… before we go off the deep end in this discussion, do you know what an Otome game is? oO;; I guess since you had already resolved to attempt to play the game by thinking of yourself as a male guiding a female through all of the various dating experiences, it wouldn’t matter too much whether you knew what an Otome game like this is technically supposed to do, but at some point, you might realize that for a visual novel to be (sort of) good, some of these more “realistic” elements need to be in the game (please note that plenty of visual novel fans will disagree with me on this point, since some of them are actually playing the games for other reasons).

For me, making some of the visual novel choices that you came across wasn't a terribly difficult thing to do (probably because I'm female?), but unless I liked the character, I too would be uneasy/uncomfortable with making some of those decisions. For Amnesia, I think the story-writers did try to drop hints of danger here and there so that when you're making some of those decisions, you'll feel the incongruity of it all and be less likely to end up with a Bad Ending. While this doesn't perfectly mimic what happens in real life, it’s my opinion that some of the better visual novels do take this more “realistic” element into account to make it easier to identify with the characters (except well, you’re a guy playing an otome game, so… ^^0;; ).

In real life, we always have the option of doing something else that's not listed (e.g. smile politely and get out of there ASAP), and sometimes, if the story was written by a story-writer that was lacking time, resources, or even just imagination, we'll get stuck with some horrible choices that make no sense to either guys or girls that are trying to play the game. By horrible choices, I mean that the choices are still horrible even when you've gone through all of the routes, made every possible decision to change things to get the good and bad endings, and that one choice still seems like a terrible choice to make no matter what. Most choices like that tend to stem from the fact that the game-maker either didn't give you enough choices, or they started with some (faulty) assumptions to begin with.

Also, I thought Ukyo wasn't as bad as they were making him out to be (again, I'm only familiar with the anime depictions of him). As a girl, I know the rules of not accepting any drinks (or anything really, for that matter) from people you don't trust, so not having the option of leaving the place/walking away in any visual novel tends to make me rage/quit the game. Yeah, for all of those story-writers out there, girls DO know how to protect themselves, so stop trying to force us to drink suspicious coffee and tea! DX
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02-01-17 03:28 PM
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I have mentioned this to you Eirinn, but the last visual novel I played and really enjoyed is Mystic Messenger. Also, technically speaking, it's the first visual novel I have actually played. I mean, I did play multiple visual novels in the past, but they were all fanmade. 

Anyways, as I have mentioned to you before, I love Mystic Messenger. It's really great. The game starts with you downloading an app where you end up talking to this "unknown" person, and he leads you to an apartment, and once you enter the apartment, you end up in a private chatroom with five people. The game goes by real life time and lasts eleven days. The first four days is casually talking to them, but from the fifth day onward, you're on a specific route where you basically romantically pursue one of the characters (unless you get Jaehee, then you're just friends forever cuz no girl x girl action ;_ 

I know you asked for PS4 or PSVita games, but I couldn't help myself xD Mystic Messenger is a mobile game, and it has nice artwork.

I am so sorry. I don't know any visual novels for the PS4 or PSVita cuz I own neither and play neither ;-; Have fun with your game though~
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I have played a number of visual novels. The first was the ace attorney series which I suggest anyone should play. I generally enjoy visual novels as unlike most games they actually make me cry,laugh,scared, As for recommendations well:


Dangaronpa Trigger happy havoc which is on the Vita and has English voiceovers for the important scenes. This is a mix of battle royale and saw. 16 high school kids are pretty much trapped in a school and the only way they can graduate from the school is to kill someone with being caught. The music is dark but can also be really intense especially at the class trials. There is a sequel to this as well which is a similar premise but continues the story.


Ones that I have played are: Hotel Dusk Room 205 (detective noire game on the DS), Ghost Trick phantom Detective (play as a dead detective and can go back in time to stop bad events from occurring as well as trying to solve the mystery of your death and stop the bad guy. On the DS).

Kara no Shoujo and Song of Saya (has nudity and "adult scenes". Thankfully you can skip it especially the latter as that game is really really screwed up. Kara no Shoujo is set post world war 2 Japan and you are a detective investigating a series of horrible and disgusting murders. Song of saya is a lovecraftian horror visual novel that killed my innocence. that is all I'll say).
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02-02-17 09:02 PM
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My favorite Visual Novels are Seinpai, Cory In The House (Nintendo DS), and Nicolas Cage Dating Sim.

I really hope this helps you out in your journey.
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02-03-17 05:21 PM
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Yuna1000 : lol I actually played through all four basic worlds (Shin, Ikki, Kent, Toma) at least once, and I plan to play more after I finish all of my Christmas games. It actually wasn't as bad as I'd expected from the opening scenes...even if the first "bonus" I unlocked was a picture of the five male leads shirtless. -__- The story was good (except Ikki's which was ridiculous and entirely beyond logic — irredeemably so), and the concept is nice. I really like the game, though the gameplay itself is severely flawed. More on that later.

Otome game: I had never heard of it prior to this. I discovered the term while actually looking for a sequel (and finding there were several, but none outside of Japan). I don't know what the term means other than it's a game made for girls and is romance focused. If you mean it's meant to be sexual in nature, I had no idea of that, and I haven't seen anything like that in the game aside from some suggestive comments and such. I dearly hope that's as far as the idea of Otome games go, otherwise I'm worried about playing my other visual novel (as it may be one as well. Not sure). lol

There are indeed several moments of bad choices being all that are available, and I've actually received endings where the heroine died on three occasions because all I had were dumb choices like "follow the crazy man down the alleyway" or "run to the other crazy man's house". Yeah I tried both and died both ways. Go figure, am I right?

The gameplay is annoying though. Literally the only objective in the end is to raise the heroine's affection level as high as possible, and the instructions say as much. The story is dressed up as a mystery and dangerous puzzle solver story, but it's not that at all. If you want the best ending, say whatever the guy wants to hear in most cases. Just make the choices that make the heroine happier with him.
The redeeming quality is that the stories that unfold are fun to follow, taking it from being a " get the best ending" game, to a "see what all of the story paths are like" game.

As an added bonus, Toma's good ending actually managed to challenge my perception of right, wrong, relationships, love, and acceptance.
Spoiler:
I never would have thought a man capable of the things he did could be viewed as good, but I couldn't help but see him that way. Also ended the first round genuinely heartbroken for the heroine because he left in the "B" ending.
If you read the spoiler and want more info, let me know. I absolutely love talking about that particular story and how it made me think of things. I already picked m0ss' brain and my own mother's about it. lol


xxAriaxx : I was wondering if you'd stop in here and mention that game. xD I was under the impression Mystic Messenger was a 3DS game. Is it available on Android? If so I might try it out. And yes, I would pick the girl so I could avoid awkward city for once. lol


DylanMcKaig : I'd never considered Ace Attorney a visual novel. O__O Maybe I will try it now. As for Danganronpa, doesn't it have nudity? I won't play games with strong language or nudity. I can be lenient with partial nudity depending on what it is since ESRB is pretty spurious with that rating descriptor, sometimes labelling cleavage as partial nudity, and sometimes letting full blown nudity skate by in an E rated game.


A user of this : Who am I to judge your gaming habits. lol
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02-03-17 05:35 PM
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Eirinn : Yes! It is for android~ You can try it out and play~ omg yay more love for Jaehee~ 

Reading other stuff not concerning me... wat? Danganronpa has nudity?? le gasp :O I totes didn't see that coming :O (I watched the anime and it was fine, always wanted to play the game though).

Anyways, have fun with your visual novels~
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Oh nice! lol Hm... I don't think Amnesia was supposed to be a "bad" game in the way that you were probably thinking of... ^^0;; (If you want to stay out of that part of visual novel town, you may not want to play the games like School Days. oO;; Consider yourself warned, if you're going to look up that series! D= Usually, you can tell if a series is a certain way because well... the pixelated scenes are kind of a dead giveaway. ^^0;; Personally, I stay far, far away from those types of games, but I understand that some people will exclusively buy those types of games/enjoy them. They're just not my cup of tea is all.)

As for some of the things that people find ridiculous or beyond logical (in other countries), things like those do actually happen in Japan sometimes… ^^0;; (I don't know if you know/would believe this, but in Japan, some types of idols are not allowed to have girlfriends or boyfriends because they have to retain their "purity" for their fans to continue to adore them... oO;; Some music bands also have this requirement; they are not even allowed to read or receive written letters or mail from their fans.) That's not to say that I don't think parts of Ikki's story weren't a bit exaggerated when they really didn't need to make it like that, and they still could have gotten their points across... They could have just had him go out with one or two girls (not an entire club), but I guess they thought it would be more dramatic if they created a crazy fan club for him to show how popular he's supposed to be with the girls. ^^0;; In any case, they did portray the group mentality that Japan tends to have (the bullying and ostracism is real), which I think sort of lends the visual novel a sense of realism.

About "Otome" games, what that pretty much means is that it's a game geared towards girls (it targets the female market). To my understanding, it doesn't have much to do with sexuality, so much as that the game usually appeals to girls more than guys (although I know of some guys that play the games for fun, or they play the games just to see what the games are like, much like how you were trying out Amnesia =P ). Many of the games are visual novels but they don't have to be, and many of them also tend to explore what happens in relationships, although they also don't necessarily have to. XD (For instance, there is one developer/group that is more interested in in making games/visual novels about how women can be equal to men, which tends to be a fairly different approach from most of the games that portray women as helpless beings in need of a guy to help them/save them from everything, or that are always being "played" by the guys. Unfortunately, some of the choices in games like those will reflect those ideas, and I think you saw a few choices like that too, in Amnesia, right?)

I'm not exactly sure why, but there are times when the developers appear to think that making a certain type of choice the only one available (even if it seems to be a really strange, pointless or dumb choice) is a good idea for a visual novel. oO;; It sometimes makes me wonder if they are considering the effects of their visual novels on whoever is reading them. People have mentioned that some children/kids will emulate whatever they see in the games and visual novels and then take it all as the truth  , thinking that's what really happens in real life relationships so then there's a huge disconnect when they try to date someone and they don't end up meeting the same expectations.

In any case, I'm glad that you thought the stories in Amnesia were fun to follow. =) Replay value is a quality that many of the better visual novels tend to have, so when you're looking for some of the better games, you might want to check to see if anyone else has said that a game has high replay value.

As for another visual novel suggestion... Just for fun, I played a few of the Sakura games (like Sakura Angels and Sakura Spirit) and based on what you said here, I don't think I'll be recommending them to you. =P I've heard that the ones for Fate (Fate/stay night, etc.) aren't too bad though.

Finally, feel free to tell me about Toma's endings (maybe make your comments in some spoiler tags?). lol I'm always interested in seeing what others think about certain visual novels, and this one is no exception. =)

Just out of curiosity... Have you ever seen/read an anime/manga series called The World God Only Knows? =P
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xxAriaxx : Sorry for the ridiculously late reply, but I can't let that go because I made a mistake: I checked and Danganronpa isn't rated for nudity after all, at least not the one I checked out on the ESRB website. Not sure where I got that, unless it's because most visual novels I've checked the ratings on are rated for it (unfortunately, because I love these things).



Yuna1000 : Oh okay. In that case, yeah I was totally aware from the get go that it was made for girls, and that the basic concept of the game was essentially a dating sim mixed with mystery (though a murder mystery I did not expect! Pleasant surprise indeed). That was why I was so worried about the awkwardness of playing it. It wasn't too difficult to get past the idea though, as I may have said already, for the most part I managed to pull myself out of the "That's me" mindset. Naming her after one of my favorite animé characters ever may have helped with that too. lol

And like I told aria, it's unfortunate but most of the visual novels I have found that I could run are rated for nudity and I just can't do that. It kind of goes against my principles. I mean could you imagine finding a preacher playing a game with naked women OR men? Yeah... lol So please, if you can recommend any that I could check PSN or Amazon for, that would be amazing!!!


Oh yes, I've learned quite a bit (not nearly as much as you though) about Japanese culture in general as of late, so I know that many of the things that seem silly or exaggerated to us are normal to them, and vice versa. After all, customs are ultimately what dictates not only what is perceived as right and wrong, but even what's normal and strange, or what's considered healthy and unhealthy or even pure or evil! I think most of us forget that, but for example, I once had a friend from somewhere in Asia (pinky? Not sure if that's an offense term to refer to her nationality or not, but it's what she called herself. I can't recall the country that meant she was from though. Just that she spoke Tagalog), and she informed me that they ate dogs. To Americans that's one of the most disgusting things someone could say or do, but to them it's normal. And for the record,wouldn't find it as horrible as others around here, since again, I know it's merely my country's customs that dictate that.

That said, I'm not sure about in the animé, but in the game Ikki has what are essentially magical eyes. If he doesn't wear sunglasses to hide them, women fall under a near literal spell. They can't think straight or do anything but fawn over him. Now I can understand them absolutely loving his eyes, or in a sense, even being captivated by them, but to the point that they fanatically follow him and even try to kill other people if they feel threatened all because of his magical eyes? That was silly to me. Maybe such lore and story telling is common there? I would have found his story much more enjoyable though if they had simply said that the women thought he was incredibly handsome or something instead. I could believe the rest if that were the case, but eyes that literally enchant someone? And that they make them essentially a, can we say love zombie? lol We'll pretend that makes sense. xD But hey, the US has some ridiculous story tropes of our own.


As for the idea of women being equal to men, and that theme being reflected in the choices: no, not really. In fact, and I've been clear in more controversial threads about the topic how I feel about women and men and how each has specific and necessary functions and roles (not going to start that discussion here, because I really never want to have that discussion again. Too many people have to take everything as personal attacks and not honest and open discussions on opinions. Suffice to say that I think both sexes are mutually dependant on one another). And even still, I was a bit unhappy with how extreme the heroine's helplessness was. At many times it felt like she was literally incapable of thinking without a man telling her what to think. And in fact, at least two of the storylines were quite controversial in nature, in that she literally endured harsh verbal abuse from Shin because he cared about her deep down and wanted to protect her. I don't get encouraging girls to take VerbAl abuse from a boyfriend and saying that it's only because they love you and want what's best for you. I've seen that too much in real life and been all too close to it. I kept hoping they would find a way to redeem Shin, but frankly they never did, not even when they revealed his motives and tried to reveal his emotional side.
ladies: if your boyfriend calls you an idiot and/or tells you how bad you are at things, or his words feel like "tiny knives in your heart" every time he addresses you, dump the creep. 'nuff said.

The story with Toma was controversial as well, and in a somewhat similar yet oddly dissimilar way. I'll say what in spoiler tags as you suggested, because it spoils what I feel is a story that needs to be experienced because it makes you really question the way you perceive things, and what is right and wrong. The controversial nature of that story (after I reached the good ending) was easily one of the most profound concepts I've ever had to wrestle with when it comes to human nature and love.

But if I misread your comment, and you were asking if I saw the helpless thing conveyed, then yes, to an almost angering extent. lol


The emulating of actions was a huge part of what concerned me with Shin's story. :/ In normal games emulation of the actions isn't something I think has to be worried about, but in what is essentially a dating sim, yeah it can be a huge problem, especially when it's geared toward individuals who are still maturing emotionally.
And As for the limited and forced choices, I kind of felt like they reached a little too far, following the sgow's five lives path, and had to cut down on branching paths. They never properly depicted the effects of any one decision, as they always led down similar paths, and the only way to make any significant changes was to change several days worth of decisions. Because of that, the choices didn't carry much weight, and we're too unimportant by themselves to draw the drama element out like it could have been.


I've heard of Fate. I'll look into that, since it's on PlayStation I believe. Thanks so much! Always feel free to suggest any good ones that you find to me, please.
I've also heard of The World God Only knows, but had no clue what it was about, or that it was even an animé or manga. I'll look that up too.


And just to be clear: I railed on the game a lot here, but the stories were, for the most part, a lot of fun to follow, and the game was good I'd definitely recommend it, just be prepared to feel helpless at times (like knowing either choice will kill you, but having to choose one anyway ) and maybe be ready to roll your eyes a few times as well. lol


Spoiler:

In Toma's story you are being harassed and getting death threats. He takes you to his house to stay with him for safety purposes only -- it's clean lol. He makes you stay inside all day everyday, and scolds you if you even step foot outside. I could get all of that, honestly.

But then the twist happens. Be aware that reading any further will definitely ruin the entire story beyond repair. lol

You begin sleeping all day, waking only to eat and then going back to sleep Orion finds out that Toma is drugging your food to keep you sedated, and then one day you wake up in a cage built for a large dog. Toma keeps you locked in there for the rest of the story, slidingvmeals in and on occasion letting you out to bathe (If memory serves he cuffs you to him on the way to the bathroom). You're given a short time to bathe or he will com in on you to make sure you aren't trying to escape or something. Then afterward you're locked back in your cage.
There are more things that transpire by way of little touches like him putting a bunch of stuffed animals into your cage to try and make you happy, and the like. In the end, if you get the good ending, you live and find out that he did it because he trying to keep you inside for protection as he knew you would keep sneaking out until the girls found you and killed you. The whole time he was piling up evidence against them to report it to the police and save your life.

Now in the bad ending he snaps, chains you up in your frilly undies (I think? couldn't tell for sure from the angle) and causes you to snap to the point that you have to relearn his name everyday.

Still, the question raised by the good ending is this: are someone's actions as important as their motives? And is what he did excusable since he did it out of love, knowing that it was all he knew to do to save the life of you, the woman he loves? What he did was wrong as could be, but was it okay in the end, because of the reason why he did it?
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(edited by Eirinn on 04-30-17 11:04 PM)    

04-30-17 11:00 PM
Eirinn is Offline
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Eirinn
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EDIT: Double post.
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Eirinn


Affected by 'Laziness Syndrome'

Registered: 07-18-12
Last Post: 350 days
Last Active: 350 days

(edited by Eirinn on 04-30-17 11:01 PM)    

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