This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Many games these days make a point of providing some sort of “added value” over and above their base experience. Be it a postgame chapter with stiff challenges, post-launch DLC or a New Game Plus mode, these features are typically there to keep you playing even after you see the credits roll.
Visual novels, as an offshoot of video games, aren’t typically known for having substantial postgame content other than the “metagame” that multi-route titles have: seeing all the possible narrative routes and collecting all the CG illustrations. But, as we’ve already established fairly comprehensively in this feature already, Spike Chunsoft’s 428: Shibuya Scramble isn’t a game to do things… “conventionally”.
Oh, sure, the base game has 85 “bad ends” to collect (with a series of trophies and achievements attached to these, encouraging you to seek them out rather than avoid them — and it’s worth doing so because several are very odd indeed!) as well as a “normal” and a “true” ending, but once you’ve seen the main narrative through to a satisfactory conclusion, you’re not done. Not by a surprisingly long shot.
Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – In Search of the Truth
“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