Monday, April 25, 2011

What the Hell are Visual Novels?

Some of you might be asking what the hell is a "visual novel"? I did talk about this some in one of my earlier post, but I just feel like there needs to be a full explanation for them. Did you figure out the answer yet? It's not that hard when you think about but fine I will tell you. It is an interactive story telling experience where you the player are read a story but instead of getting one predicable linear out come you the player choose the outcome by making choices over  the course of the game. Visual novels have been around for years in Japan for years so they are not anything new or big what soever. However they are finally starting to grow a bit more outside of Japan to places like the United States.

People here in the states got our first taste of them with in the early turn of the century with the bastardize name "dating-sims" while this might me true for some but the correct term is "eroge". The term means adult visual novels that depict scenes of  sex, nudity, bondage and other sexual acts. Now some "eroge" do the sex and nudity nicely such as in "Studio Key's" two great visual novels "Kanon" and "Air" due to the fact it is a part of the story and shows the outcome of what really happens in real life relation ships.

Another great example is from a different company is "School Days" from the company "Overflow". Now this adult visual novel alone has over 23 different endings and 3 different openings on the newer version "School Days HQ". Sadly most of the time they are quickly rushed out games that feel more like a "Flash games" just to give horny teen boys fapping material. The two off the top of my head I can think of are that are so bad is "Cat Girl's Alliance" and "Hitomi My Step Sister". Oh enjoy this "Happy Ending" from school days.

Okay now just to clarify not all visual novels have hard-core sex or nudity in them. There are other genre's such horror such as in the classic "Higurashi" or is sister series "Umineko", or mystery series like "Chaos Head" and "Stein's Gate". There are also examples of romance games such as "Key's" only all ages game to be on the PC is their masterpiece love story "Clannad". Now this Visual Novel has been ported and I kid you not to the Ps2, Ps3, Xbox 360, and Psp. 

Now some of you might be wondering with all of those visual novels for the handled and consoles why do none ever come state side?? It's simple really Sony and Microsoft of America do not see them as real games. They also do not want them here state side due to some the objectionable content that would just cause a media flame war.  The only 2 visual novels to come out I think of for the Ps2, Psp and Wii is "Sakura Wars: so long my love" and "Disagea Infinite". 

"Nintendo of America" on the other hand happens to be little more open minded to this subject.  they mainly localize murder mystery ones on the DS and the Wii such as "Hotel Dusk, Phoenix Wright and 999:Nine-hours Nine People Nine Doors".Now the ones with subtle hints with "ecchi" are still  a no go on a Console/Hand-Held here due to controversy it would cause even though they remove the sex and nudity hints towards it are still taboo. To be fair I think it's fine there is a huge "Fan Translation " groups out there for some of these games. Not every single one can get one mind due to the fact of how big most are and the amount of effort it takes to make a English patch for some games.

On fan translation side I will leave that up to your own judgment. In my personal opinion it's protected  the "fair use laws" .If you imported the copy from Japan and wish to install a patch to play it in English then go for it. You gave support to the creators and gave them your money for a set product so what's the problem?  I will provide links to said sites for the visual novels/ergoe that do have have a "Fan Translation". 

Moving on now there are places where you can legally buy eroge/visual-novels online and they are from "Mangagamer"  "Jastusa" and even "I-tunes" as of now. Now the first two are the two top leading publishers in bringing over eroge/visual novels state side for the PC. Now even With computer maker "Apple"   they have introduced some fan made visual novels for the I-pad, I-phone/I-pod touch which is a great way to give exposure these type of games. You can even get "Higurashi" as of now for your apple devices, just click the link to get the first arc free. Enjoy some game play below of the original umineko visual novel

Well that's all I really have to say on this. If you are still lost after reading and going through all the hyper links you know what you win the "smartest person" of the year reward. Yes I know I am being huge dick about this but there is no reason for your stupidity and ability for not being able to grasp on certain things. I do hope thought that I was able to help you and get across the general Idea of what these games are. Also if you can't see the subs on the videos just double click to watch them on the main site. The links below are to the English patches of the games not here state side so feel free to check them out.


  1. brilliant explanation of the genre, it really is a misunderstood franchise but your blog has certainly set the record straight ^^

  2. Nicely done! I wouldn't have guessed. My knowledge of all this is pretty vague, so a good explanation helped me out a lot.

    Thanks, Cecil.

  3. lol....when wikipedia just doesnt cut it..your going to need a full and complete explanation...