Those of you who enjoy visual novels have probably come up against at least one gamer friend who has refused to even entertain the possibility of exploring this interesting medium on the grounds that it’s “too much text” and/or “not enough gameplay.”
In fact, in several cases, visual novels which have hit “mainstream” platforms such as the Nintendo DS have found themselves saddled with middling or low review scores on these grounds — usually indicating that the reviewer has missed the point of the experience somewhat or is unfamiliar with this type of game.
So what I thought I’d do today is outline some reasons why exploring visual novels is a worthwhile use of your time.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: Reasons to Read
“Failure is not an option.” It’s a mantra we’ve had repeatedly rammed down our throats since the dawn of gaming — sometimes using those exact words — but is it really true?
Well, in the case of most games, yes — “failing” whatever task you have been set usually results in a Game Over screen (or, in more recent titles, particularly on console, an automatic reload from a checkpoint).
But in the case of visual novels, failure is often not only an option, it’s sometimes outright desirable to seek it out, if only for a certain sense of perverse pleasure in seeing characters suffering anything from a mild setback to extreme tragedy. The emotional engagement endemic to the medium means that sometimes “bad endings” can be even more striking and memorable than the good ones.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: The Guilty Pleasures of the Bad Ending