Should I Have Bought The Blue Mayo And Not The Green? DAMN! (Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Buying Visual Novels)

QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF BEFORE BUYING VISUAL NOVELS

“It happens, and it happens a lot to the point either our family members, or significant others ask us whether we intend to either play the games or sell them because it is taking up too much space in the house or room.

I don’t think this should just apply to visual novels in general, but it can be applied to other media as well that we tend to want to consume; but we let it pile up or worse, we buy it, watch it/play it, and hate it with every fiber of our being. Then, the store doesn’t take returns on games that you just bought. It happens, and it happens a lot to the point either our family members, or significant others ask us whether we intend to either play the games or sell them, because it is taking up too much space in the house or room.

So I created a a question guide for myself, so that I don’t keep buying physical copies, or digital copies and explode my ever grown library of “TO BE PLAYED GAMES.”

While these are questions I ask myself, I do think they can be helpful for others unless they already ask the same question themselves. Games and media are hard to ignore, especially when we see all the sparkly and amazing new graphics or animations being brought out. We can’t simply side step the idea of the game once the commercial reel hits a few good nerves in our brain.

GRAPHICS AND ART DESIGN

As much as people always tell me that the graphics and art doesn’t matter, only the story needs to make sense–I’d say you’re lying. We all have an aesthetic towards certain styles, arts, and narratives in the media, for example, I tend to find myself drifting towards art that has clean lines or have a similar look and vibe of anime characterizations. The color schemes are easy on the eyes and aren’t harsh on my vision, and the invoke the element of wonder and intrigue.

Heart Fragment

I find it very hard to keep staring at a screen with characters that are poorly drawn, or look like they’ve been through a blender. This is just my opinion, and other’s will have their own too. It’s the same with a book narrative, and even the cover design of a book or game.

How something first looks and seems to feel for any player is the first step of deciding the purchase, and is always something to consider. “

Call it superficial if you must, but I know I’m not alone on the train, especially when you see a beautiful CG or commercial drop from Otomate with romantic scenes that are drawn with ethereal fervor. So when you see the headlines of a new visual novel about to drop this year, watch the commercial and take a look at the character designs for the game and ask yourself if this is a game you can look at continuously for hours?

I’m certain that this does raise a familiar flag for anyone, would you bother to stare at a computer, PSVita, or TV screen for hours when the graphics are so bad that it hurts your eyes?

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I like how the art and graphics look?
  2. Can I look at this type of visual for hours without much disruption from the art cues and game play?

ROMANCE AND NON-ROMANCE ROUTES

In most visual novels you can romance a wide variety of characters, and I prefer to have several characters that I can openly pursue in a game. I believe that romance shouldn’t also be one of the key indicators to completing a game, so depending if you are purchasing an Otome or a regular VN, check to see how many route endings can occur and see if there is a route for a Happily non-romance ending as well.

It’s a tough choice, but depending on your type of poison for VNs, these are some good questions to ponder as you look over the game and its possible endings.

Taisho x Alice

The reason I put this out there, is because I do enjoy routes that give the option to just have the MC be on their own and fully be in their own power. Also, there are times you have to consider if you really want to romance someone, or you want to have a straight and narrow plot that involves just the character growth of the MC themselves. It’s a tough choice, but depending on your type of poison for VNs, these are some good questions to ponder as you look over the game and its possible endings.

Questions to ask:

  1. Do I want romance in my game?

2. Does this have a non-romance ending?

3. Do I want 15+ multiple endings?

GAME HOURS/GAME PLAY TIME

“I always check visual novels on how much game play hours it has, especially if the game is going to cost me 59.99, I better be getting my money’s worth.

This is big one for me, questioning how much game time this media will consume. In better clarification, how long will it take me to finish this game? I always check visual novels on how much game play hours it has, especially if the game is going to cost me 59.99, I better be getting my money’s worth.

Shinra from Enchanted in the Moonlight

I like my visual novels to have an ample amount of time in them, especially if you plan on getting big name games such as Code Realize or London Detective Mysteria. You want to be sure you’re getting a lot of content, which can include several romances (or a lot), side stories, and special routes to unlock and mini games. This is a major question I always ask myself as I review if I want the game or not.

Question to ask:

How much game play time does this have?

Do I want a game that has 50+ hours of time to it?

Will I play this game even with how much game time I have to put into it to finish it?

NARRATIVE AND PLOT

While you may have hot men and women parading on your screen, if the conversations between the characters are stale and all they do is bang one another, it’s not really that awesome.”

Kagerou from The Men of Yoshiwara Kikuya
Ikemen Sengoku: Kenshin Uesugi

While graphics and game play conquer the first part of the questioning aspect, the plot and narrative should be a key question as well before you purchase. While you may have hot men and women parading on your screen, if the conversations between the characters are stale and all they do is bang one another, it’s not really that awesome. But Gray, you can’t know how the characters talk or the conversations unless you play the game….

You are correct, which is why if a game offers a demo, play it, and if you see that the game came out previously in another language before its final debut in your country–read the reviews about the narratives and how characters talk. I try my best to search the internet and use my VPN to get me to other websites to get more extensive backgrounds on the games I plan to purchase.

I truly want to be given a reason as to why I should care for these characters.

A good example would be Piofiore No Banshou which is set to release later this year, there are a lot of game reviews out in both English and Japanese about the game and its plot, including screen shots about the conversations the characters have.

I prefer to be engaged with narratives, I mean, you want to be given a reason why this character is important. Why should you read about them and the MC, what makes them compelling together, it’s similar to how I rate a book. I truly want to be given a reason as to why I should care for these characters.

Question to ask:

Does the plot sound interesting enough for me?

Is there reviews for the game out from other bloggers for me to read?

Is the plot sound, and does the summary interest me enough to buy it?

(Be honest, I see a lot of gamers jump on a game because the characters look hot, and then when they buy the game they rage on twitter about how the plot is terrible and they didn’t think it would have such and such, and blah and blah)

WORTH THE PRICE?

Visual Novels can get costly, especially if the game company is a famous one, you have to sit and wonder if paying that pre-purchase price is worth it.

Scorpio from Star Crossed Myth

This is the more loaded question out of all the ones I’ve listed, I always find myself standing at the store or looking at the game online debating if paying the 59.99 price tag is worth it. Visual Novels can get costly, especially if the game company is a famous one, you have to sit and wonder if paying that pre-purchase price is worth it. Since, regardless of all the other questions above, you are still going to have to gamble on whether this game is going to be amazing or a complete flop.

You’re paying a pretty decent amount on a game that you’ve only been superficially introduced to, and you plan on adding it to your monstrous pile of games you still haven’t gotten to yet.”

Shion from A Knight’s Devotion

This is my deal breaker question, is it worth it? That pretty much bites me in the ass pretty hard, when I ask myself this final question. It puts me right into the place to make a decision of “buy or leave it.” At the end of the day, it’s always a game of chance with any game you buy.

Question to Ask:

Is the content within the game worth the price tag?

Will I play it after spending all this money on it?

GRAY’S CORNER

One of the last questions I do ask myself is if I should even buy another game when I already have tons of other games to play.

Mirai Kageyama from Seduced in the Sleepless City

Just as a reiteration, these are questions I ask myself when I go out to buy a game or reserve a copy for delivery online. It’s getting pretty tough these days with buying visual novels with prices and hours getting cut d/t the Coronapocalypse, which is also another factor why I question if I need to buy the game or not. One of the last questions I do ask myself is if I should even buy another game when I already have tons of other games to play. While this question might relate to some, it may not relate to all considering if you work from home full-time.

“do I really need this game when I have others that I have yet to finish?”

Gray’s Question

Since I work from home, I’ve been steadily able to complete a few games, and hack away slowly at my backlog of doom. So the real final question to ask is… “do I really need this game when I have others that I have yet to finish?”

Ryoichi Hirose from Seduced in the Sleepless City

As we wrap up another gamer post, I wonder if maybe there should of been more questions to ask, but none comes to mind currently. If you have questions that you ask yourself before you purchase a game that can help players make a decision about purchasing a game or piece of media, drop it in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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

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