Money, What Money? (What I Wish I Knew Before I Got Into Visual Novels)

Hello everyone, and it’s been awhile since I’ve contributed a more informative type of game blog to the corner. While this platform does rally itself in several different creative outlets, I wanted to write a few more pieces in contribution to anyone who is new to playing visual novels. Now, if you aren’t familiar with this game genre, I highly recommend checking out my post about them and the types here. For those of you who are familiar with these types, you might be able relate to some of the issues I talk about and wish I knew before I got into visual novels.

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ It’s Raining Men/Women ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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When I first got into the visual novel playing field, you could only romance a female if you were a male protagonist and could only romance a male character if you were a female protagonist. Times have slowly started to change and accommodate to the modern day society, which makes it all the more appealing and a bit hard for players like myself who are interested in both men and women. Especially when you pop onto a game, and you see the array of characters you can romance, you find yourself sitting there for about thirty minutes or so debating who you want to romance first. 
 
It gets difficult at who you should play first, considering there are players who like to do things in a certain order and then there are those who are sporadic like me, and then we have the ones who close their eyes and let their thumb pick whoever and just plunge right in. When you start playing visual novels, you can romance someone, or you don’t need to romance them at all to further the plot. However, it is always fun to develop a relationship with one of the characters and fall in love. 

And if anything, you may be just like me where you have to really think of which person you want to fall in love with first. The possibilities have become very wide and hard to choose between, especially if everyone appeals to your tastes, LMAO.

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Damsels in Distress versus Heroines ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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This is a big one, so in a lot of the older otome apps more preferably known as Mobage (games on the cellphone, cell phone gaming), a lot of the main female protagonists aren’t their own heroes. Rather, they need their significant love interest to save them from everything, including the perils that MC has put themselves into due to poor choices. This is one of the items I wish I knew about before becoming as addicted as I am to visual novels as I am now, and there were many MCs that I could not stand in their own games. One great example is the MC from Kissed by the Baddest Bidder, this is a prime example of a damsel in distress and not a heroine that can contribute anything astounding in character development or win the MC Awards any time soon.

However, there are now more games with less damsels in distress and more heroines/heroes who can stand with their SO(s) equally in the face of troubles and dangers ahead. A good example of a heroine in a visual novel would be Cardia Beckford from Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth and Hinako Nakayama of Kenka Bancho Otome.

These fearless heroines grow into their power, and rise up to their destiny as badass females who aren’t afraid to show that they are scared but being scared doesn’t stop them from continuing to fight for what is right.

Gray’s Opinion

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Repeated Tropes ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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I cannot tell you how there is a lot of repeated tropes in a visual novel, sometimes it’s obvious that it’s going to happen, other times it is well written that you didn’t expect it. However, in the earlier games I’ve played, there was plenty of well known tropes like, falling in love with your boss, an older man younger MC romance, MC falling in love with a younger character, best friends to lovers romance, and the infamous Yandere romances as well. I’m sure there’s a drinking game out there that’s about “how many times a MC can be KABEDONed by all the LI in a game.

I’m not saying that tropes are bad (a lot of them aren’t)

Well, there should be a drinking game about overused tropes and finding them in the games, but then… I’d be always drunk LOL. I’m not saying that the tropes are bad (most of them aren’t), however, the reuse of a trope can get tiring when there isn’t something new or interesting being brought to the plate when the idea is being used. The childhood friends to lovers trope is a commonly used one, and it is more prominently used in games such as Dreamy Days in West Tokyo from Voltage Inc and also My Last First Kiss which is also from Voltage Inc as well.

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo

In certain cases I preferred Dreamy Days over My Last First Kiss, due to the fact that the newer game started implementing character types that were border-lining in an uncomfortable personality type. To each their own, but, for me, I feel that the childhood trope didn’t work out too well for me in that game because of how controlling and flat out rude AF a lot of the characters were towards the MC.

My Last First Kiss

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ The MC is Always Hungry ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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As a warning, for some reason all the MCs are always hungry for food or sweets, and when they talk about food, you get hungry as well. It doesn’t really help our situation as gamers/players when the game developers make a CG dedicated to food, and we have to sit there and wonder if we should order donuts, Chinese food, pizza, and other cuisines to assuage our own food porn moments. In a lot of the games the MC is always a big eater and can polish off a several plates of food without too many problems.

Have You Eaten Today? – Ayakashi Gohan

While I can still do such things like that (eating copious amounts of food) as the MC, it probably doesn’t help when I’m already in my pajamas and don’t want to go out and get food. I do warn many new players to eat beforehand, or maybe have some snacks ready, because a lot of side stories and stuff usually has food in it, and it’ll make you hungry. The characters will sometimes go into detail about how flavorful the cuisine is, or you get a wonderful image of the delectable item, and then you’ll be besides yourself with being hungry.

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Research the Game ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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I’m open to all types of creative work for visual novels from LGBTQ+, mystery, rom-com, adventure, and dark romance. However, not everyone knows exactly just how creative the game may have been made to be, and this is where VNs can get march between the gray areas. Especially with certain VNs that have Yandere type characters, violent scenes, gore, and scenes of rape. One thing that needs to be addressed is that whenever we go into a new game that you do our own research and make your own judgement on if the game is right for you or not

Especially with certain VNs that have Yandere type characters, violent scenes, gore, and scenes of rape.

Games such as Amnesia Memories of No One has two types of Yanderes and a very controlling type love interest, and I was only aware of one Yandere in the game when it first came to the USA. However, when I did play the game and went through the perceived routes of the other two characters, I was able to manage, but I got the bad endings for certain characters because I stood up to them rather than stay docile. I openly try to support visual novels in the game world as I still see it as a small niche in the community, but again, I do my own research, especially if there are subjects and tropes I’m not fond of or can easily trigger me. 

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While most games have a trigger warnings, they don’t explain excatly what you’re about to see, and for those who don’t enjoy being surprised, they may not find Corpse Party an attractive sight for their casual gaming experience. So it’s always a good idea to research and weigh out the pros and cons of a game before purchasing it.

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Money? What Money? ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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Lastly, I want to talk about the number one issue that I wish someone told me about before I got into visual novel games, and that would be MONEY. Yes, while there are plenty of freemium type visual novels out there, but, to get the best CGs and events unlocked, you need to pay with some type of ruby/diamond/crystals to unlock it–and in order to get those gem stones, you need to pay actual cash. That’s just a heads up to those who play the freemium games such as Ikemen Vampires, Shall We Date Games, and Arithmetic Games.

“Visual novels also can be just as costly, especially when they release the ‘full game’ but then have ‘additional’ content with side stories on the side for purchase.”

However, while freemium games can be costly in the long run, the other side of the blade is that visual novels also can be just as costly, especially when they release the ‘full game’ but then have ‘additional’ content with side stories on the side for purchase. So instead of a game costing just $19.99, if you want to know the secret ending of your favorite couple or character, you’ll have to pitch over that extra $10.00 to get all the side stories to fully complete the game. There are a couple of well known visual novel game makers who do this, but if try indie visual novels, you will usually get everything in the bundle.

Side Note: I do have to tell everyone, just like all games, it can get costly, especially the Mobage VNs with there copious amounts of game seasons, additional characters, and side stories that they charge up the a-hole now. So be wise, and really think about if the game content is worth it to purchase so your wallet won’t be crying later.

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‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ Gray’s Corner ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

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Just a little skinship for the viewers as my blog starts to keep moving towards the more mature ranges, and you’ll more than likely see more provocative images from games a long the way. 

While there is probably more I could add to the context of this blog about “what I wish I knew” before going into the genre fully, I feel these are the top items that come to mind. However, I’m gonna throw in one more thing into the mix… CENSORSHIP. Yes, there are certain platforms that do not accept certain scenes or events that occur in the original format of a game. Such as, sex scenes, violence, and taboo incidents. 

There are a lot of taboo items out there already in certain games, like  the trope about dating your step-brother in games like Brother’s Conflict and Our Two Bedroom Story.

I’m not here to create a political game out of it, I just prefer to see a game played in its intended form and make my own opinions from the content. There are a lot of taboo items out there already in certain games, like  the trope about dating your step-brother in games like Brother’s Conflict and Our Two Bedroom Story. I’ve noticed that certain platforms will ask creatives to cut content from their games, due to what audience the platform appeals to, i.e. they may want the game made into a G-Rated game versus, PG-13 because the platform may be gear towards children and pre-teens. 

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With that being said, always do your research, go into a game with an open mind, and as always…

Thanks for stopping by in my corner of the blogosphere, and see you on the gaming side~!

 

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