Updated: Apr 30, 2018
Hey guys! Lore Beast here! For CatComb's very first blog post, we thought it would be worth introducing you all to one of our favourite genre's, visual novels!
The medium of visual novels have slowly wiggled their way into the hearts of many Western gamers, and we’re no exception. But then judging by our appreciation of other types of media that originated in Japan, it wasn’t much of a surprise. In fact many of the visual novels that we’ve enjoyed the most have already been adapted into an anime series for a wider audience to enjoy. As a sign of our appreciation, here’s a list of some of our favourite visual novels, in no particular order. If you don’t see your favourite on our list then be sure to get in touch and give us your recommendations!
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
This was perhaps one of the very first visual novels that we ever played back in the day, but it was an excellent first impression. You play as a budding defence attorney in this courtroom thriller. You’re responsible for proving your client’s innocence so you have to carefully read all the information you’re given and check for any lies or inconsistencies.
Time travel is such a great mechanic for visual novels. Player agency is achieved by giving the player choices which change the course of the story. One of the most impressive things about Steins;Gate is the sheer number of endings and branches in the game, varying from good; to weird; to funny; to horrifying. But the fact that there’s an in-game explanation for going back and fixing the mistakes you made is really effective at making the player to feel empathy for the main character.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
It’s difficult to talk about Danganronpa without mentioning any spoilers, but we’ll try our best. You play as one of the students who’re locked inside their school with the rest of their colourful classmates. The game itself follows a similar investigation and trial gameplay loop as the Ace Attorney games, but also balances some of the fluffy life sim elements.
Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds
A romance visual novel set in historic Japan. A lot of thought was put into the character designs and world building which reference actual events in history, even the characters are based on real-life figures. This gives a feeling of authenticity, despite some of the more fantastical elements. There’s even an encyclopaedia to explain some of the terms that are used throughout the game.