What is a Visual Novel?
What is a visual novel you ask? Well its something like a hybrid of a novel and manga where there are descriptions and dialogue but at the same time you are aided visually with images of the setting and characters. What makes it different to your average storybook is that most of the time you can determine what ending (if there is more than one) your protagonist achieves at the end of his journey.
Many visual novels do include sound, some specific emphasize the use of sound as it can play a key role in the story, an example would be from the series Higurashi no Naku Koro ni where sound plays an important role as it gives clues to who some of the mysterious people are. Some visual novels have voice actors for the characters in the story but most of the time they are left unvoiced.
Sometimes mini games such as simple fighting game, sports and RPG’s can be included but may not be compulsory to play in order to progress which the main storyline but are added to create interactivity rather than reading the whole time. Personally a little interactivity is nice as it helps with staying awake during those regular everyday moments which can get a bit boring.
Even if the interactivity include is just a single push of a button, thats more than enough to keep me a awake for a few more minutes.It’s good they are finding new ways to get the reader involved rather than just excessive reading.
As the weapon choice roulette spins, a press of a button decides what amusing weapons they are given to face off against opponents, amusing stuff.
Common misunderstandings of visual novels are that all visual novels are perverted and that they are all dating simulators which visual novels can include but not all do contain it them. In fact many visual novels have the rating of all-ages, but often companies do create a spin-off with mature content aimed at the older audience.
For those that still don’t know what a visual novel is, Wikipedia can explain it to you here.
Most visual novels have to purchased but there are a very select few that are available for free such as Narcissu which can be found here. It may not be the best but it is certainly touching and very emotional as it is certainly one of my favourites.
My Visual Novel List
Plan to Play:
Saya no Uta
Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
To Heart 2
Visual Novel Reviews
Coming Soon! When more English translations come out for various visual novels. When I find a suitable rating system ALSO when I find the time to reread a visual novel. Which can take days for me…