My adventure delving into Visual Novels (Part 1)

Ahhh–the visual novel. For someone who lives in a nation where they’re viewed with mixed opinions I am one who thinks highly of their style. Some others I know always remark with the phrase ‘that’s not a game’ and such, but honestly that’s based on one’s personal opinions. Being where I was born I was not afforded, and in fact, never even knew this medium existed until I became more interested in Anime. In fact it was several years until I knew what a visual novel was.

Unlike those who spout that it’s ‘not a game’ or requires ‘too much reading’ I definitely have the patience and like what it accomplishes.

So, what is a visual novel and how would I describe it? To me, it feels like if you were to combine the illustrative format found in Manga with the depth and length of a novel (or light novel perhaps?) with the audial atmosphere presented in Anime. Essentially, I’d probably sum it up to a novel that provides the visual and audio stimulus from other genres. But the one thing that it does even more effectively is provide ‘just enough’ stimulus to allow one’s imagination to take over. The most recent visual novels even have full voice over.

But most importantly, visual novels are an experience more than anything else.

Oh yes, there was another thing about visual novels if that wasn’t complex enough already. The player’s interaction in many of them comes from the ability to choose the protagonist’s actions (Your actions as you’re usually portrayed as the protagonist) at certain points in the story. This allows for multiple breaking points where the story takes a new direction. These are called ‘Paths’. Some visual novels only have one path though. This is something that a novel or manga series could not tackle. That is unless they were to tag each publication with who that book revolved around or say ‘read these pages for this storyline’. And that would just be far too much work and/or cost too much anyway :).

Visual novels can possess in them many different paths usually around different sub characters. It also means that there’s also a possibility for the inclusion of multiple ‘bad’ and ‘dead’ ends. Essentially a bad end is just that: where the story ends badly in one way or another. A dead end is when the protagonist (yourself) dies and thus the story can’t continue further.

Without a doubt, these are just a few of my reasons for liking the genre despite its critics.

Due to the length of the main post I had made (well Over 1000 words) I decided to split this post into three separate posts. In part 2 I will cover my history in visual novels.  In part 3 I will cover the latest visual novel I’ve gone through. Part 2 will come tomorrow, and part three the day after.

Until next time, Take care, have a great week, and most of all continue being epic!!

–All the best

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  1. My adventure delving into Visual Novels (Part 2) « Udsahn

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