Monthly Archives: June 2013

Update

Hi. As you can tell, nothing has been posted in a week. Why? Because I’ve spent every free moment reading VNs and playing games. Got some more Corpse Party fun coming up, along with Steins;Gate, Saya no Uta (hopefully with Zakamutt), and The Last of Us.

In short, we’re not dead! We’re just playing the hell out of some games and reading a ton of visual novels. Hopefully I’ll have something up in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!

Ever17: The Out of Infinity Review for VN Noobs

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“The past isn’t important. What is important is whether or not you can smile right now… That is proof of your existence… So you have to smile.”

Ever17: The Out of Infinity is a visual novel  produced by KID that originally released in 2002 for the Playstation 2 and Sega Dreamcast. In 2003, KID released the novel on PC and Hirameki International brought the game to the United States 2 years later. Thank goodness they did.

Ever17 is part of a larger series called the Infinity series. Other novels in the series include Never7: The End of Infinity, Remember11: The Age of Infinity, 12Riven ―the Ψcliminal of integral―, and Code_18 (Code_18 was not made by KID, nor written by any of the KID staff.). The series is made up of separate stories with recurring themes and theories. Of the entire Infinity series, Ever17 is the only one that ever made it overseas to the United States, though fan translations exist for Never7 and Remember11. 12Riven is also currently being translated.

Now that this brief background is out of the way, let’s get into Ever17: The Out of Infinity. Ever17 is a visual novel. If you read my Clannad review, then you already have a general idea of how a VN is played. In a visual novel, There is usually little to no gameplay, allowing the writers and developers to focus solely on story. For that reason, playing a visual novel is more like reading a book than playing a game. Because it resembles reading more than gaming, many western gamers are turned off by the genre. This holds true for Ever17 — there is no gameplay, aside from picking dialogue choices. Picking the correct choices will eventually give you the good endings, which will eventually lead to the true ending — more on that later. Read the rest of this entry

Clannad Review for VN Noobs

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“Do you love this school? I have to say I love it very, very much. But soon, everything changes. At least, eventually. Fun things, happy things, they will all change some day, you know. But, can you still love this place?” -Nagisa Furukawa

If you are a fan of anime, there is little doubt that you have heard of a a couple of Kyoto Animation works called Clannad and Clannad ~After Story~. What you may not know is that those two shows are an adaptation of prolific visual novel maker Key.

For those new to the genre, a visual novel is less of a game, and more of a choose your own adventure book. They are not very popular in the west, but have a solid following in Japan. Despite the fact that they lack a large following in the west, many games you play contain elements of visual novel game play. If you have ever played Mass Effect, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Deus Ex, or the more recent Persona titles, you have played a game with elements of the visual novel genre. In those games I listed, you are often given dialogue choices that will shape the story. Now imagine a game where that is all you do. You watch the story unfold, and pick dialogue choices to guide it how you want to.

That is what a visual novel is. There is usually little, to no game play allowing the writers and developers to focus solely on story. For that reason, playing a visual novel is more like reading a book than playing a game. Because it resembles reading more than gaming, many western gamers are turned off by the genre. Another contributing factor to the lack of popularity is the prevalent use of sex scenes  in the genre. Luckily, there are many visual novels that do not feature these sort of things, instead choosing to focus on creating a great, powerful story instead of using sex to sell the novel. Clannad is one such novel.

Clannad opens up in a dream like world where everything appears to be covered in snow. This world is called the Illusionary World. There is no life in this world, save for one young girl who creates a body out of junk for the player to inhabit. The story quickly shifts to the real world again.

You assume the role of Tomoya Okazaki, a student at Hikarizara Private High School. In junior high, he were a good basketball player, until a fight with your father ruined his shoulder. Unable to play basketball, and alienated from his father, Tomoya becomes a tardy student, showing up late to class and not trying in the classes he does show up to. He spends most of his time at Youhei Sunohara’s dormitory. Sunohara is also a delinquent as well after a falling out with the soccer team. Together, the two scrape by in school, never trying to better themselves or plan for the future. Read the rest of this entry