This sort of stuff (or Those Japanese Games)

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  • L0cky 14 Sep 2013 23:10:00 1,497 posts
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    dominalien wrote:
    Did you play Virtue's Last Reward? It's in some ways a lot like it and in other very unlike it. :-) It's part visual novel, part adventure game, part old-school JRPG (at least environment-wise). Appreciation of Japanese culture and sensibilities is certainly helpful.
    Have fun.
  • santashi 14 Sep 2013 23:39:54 5,011 posts
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    There are already threads for VLR and Corpse Party, if that's what you're after:
    http://www.eurogamer.net/forum/thread/228851
    http://www.eurogamer.net/forum/thread/216829

    If not then carry on. :)

    PSN ID: finn1
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  • L0cky 14 Sep 2013 23:42:29 1,497 posts
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    Alright, I get your point already :p
  • L0cky 14 Sep 2013 23:49:21 1,497 posts
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    But while we're here, there isn't a general thread for this sort of stuff is there?

    The only reason I made this thread is because lately the Vita thread has been a full page or two about impenetrable Japanese games and I just roll my eyes and move on.

    Maybe an introduction to this genre of games (if it can even be considered a single genre) would be helpful, for the complete ignoramus such as myself.

    What's it all about, what's the history, what's the appeal? Why do I see these games and just scratch my head? What's a better name for those type of games than "Those Japanese Games"?

    In 800 words or more :p
  • santashi 14 Sep 2013 23:51:32 5,011 posts
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    Not really making a point, just not quite sure from the quote if you're wanting a thread about those games or a more general thread about Japanese created games. :) If the former I was giving a shortcut to discussions so you and others could see what people had said, and if the latter just ignore me and continue on.

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  • L0cky 14 Sep 2013 23:58:31 1,497 posts
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    Neither really, it was just a lame attempt to bring the focus in the Vita thread back to... the Vita.

    But then I realised I automatically dismiss any of "these" animated Japanese games (not Japanese games in general) as I am completely confounded by them; and thought perhaps a general introduction would be nice.

    For example, if I go to those other threads about Zero Escape, or Corpse Party I just get even more confused because there seems to be a lot of context (and references to other games as points of comparison) that I'm missing.

    Are these games in a genre of some kind, and if so, what is it called?
  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:00:01 5,011 posts
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    Arg, my tablet doesn't seem to be a fan of the EG forums tonight. Er, do you mean any Japanese game or are you talking about adventure/visual novel genre (like VLR/Corpse Party:Book of Shadows)?

    Edit: My tablet browser is so slow/glitchy that I'll leave it until tomorrow for my sanity levels.

    Edited by santashi at 00:03:07 15-09-2013

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  • L0cky 15 Sep 2013 00:02:47 1,497 posts
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    Not any Japanese game; I'm fine with most of them.

    So, Japanese adventure/visual novel games? Is that the same kind of thing as Phoenix Wright?
  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:06:34 5,011 posts
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    Yes (hope this appears before you answer it!). Some involve more choice and interaction than others. Some are like choose your own adventure books. Some have puzzles. Some don't have any interaction and you just read the story and look at the pictures (and maybe listen to the voices).

    PSN ID: finn1
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  • L0cky 15 Sep 2013 00:09:46 1,497 posts
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    And most of these are not released outside of Japan right (or not in the UK)?

    I'm guessing from the translated titles (and Ace Attorney) they do get at least some English releases.
  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:19:16 5,011 posts
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    Most are PC games that don't get localised, but there are a fair amount on consoles, too, especially handheld systems. There are at least 3 out this month that I can think of on the Vita.

    There are English releases, too, as you say (and also online translations-FL knows more about that than I do, though). Aksys publishes the Hakuoki games (plus that PSP game that just went on the PSN) which are in the otome sub genre - romance games for girl gamers. There are the Ace Attorney games, the Corpse Party games and the Zero Escape games (highly recommend both the Zero Escape games).

    Edit: I know MangaGamer do (legal!) PC visual novel localisations like Higurashi, too.

    Edited by santashi at 00:21:05 15-09-2013

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  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:21:02 6,802 posts
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    Some, but relatively very few. I think kalel was complaining recently that Japan gets many more PS1 and PSP games on their store than we do and I can only imagine most of the ones we're missing are typically Japanese, impenetrable to western peoples and, as such, not really to be missed.

    As for Corpse Party, VLR et al, I'd say they're somewhat what Heavy Rain is to other "AAA" (whatever that means) releases. A friend of mine played some HR and then commented to me "it's the strangest game I have ever played", to which I could only reply "you haven't played much, then".

    With these games, their creators seem to not necessarily care about slick visuals, streamlined interfaces, ease of access. They welcome grinding, frustration, groping around in the dark (heh) and take pleasure in explaining exactly nothing.

    If you're able to look past the clunkiness and the strangeness of it all, you may find compelling experiences there. There's a large chance you won't, though.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:22:24 6,802 posts
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    Heh, as always, santashi is faster and better with his input. :-)

    PSN: DonOsito

  • L0cky 15 Sep 2013 00:27:43 1,497 posts
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    Hmm, so if I was to play just one of these games to tell me if I like them or not, what would it be?
  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:28:56 5,011 posts
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    dominalien wrote:
    Heh, as always, santashi is faster and better with his input. :-)
    Not for most of this thread! :p

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  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:29:48 5,011 posts
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    L0cky wrote:
    Hmm, so if I was to play just one of these games to tell me if I like them or not, what would it be?
    If you have a DS then 9 Persons 9 Hours 9 Doors.

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  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:31:02 6,802 posts
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    If not, Virtue's.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:32:23 6,802 posts
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    santashi wrote:
    dominalien wrote:
    Heh, as always, santashi is faster and better with his input. :-)
    Not for most of this thread! :p
    Well, faster than me, at least, then. :-)

    PSN: DonOsito

  • JinTypeNoir 15 Sep 2013 00:32:58 4,365 posts
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    Corpse Party was originally an adventure game (the kind you might be very familiar with from Monkey Island or King's Quest or Gabriel Knight and such) made in a free RPG-making program called RPGMaker. Since RPGMaker is dedicated toward top-down, sprite-based RPGs, it's an interpretation of the style of adventure game through that medium. Much like you can find new adventure games from amateur authors in the Western world who use Adventure Game Studio, there are a lot of free RPGMaker adventure games you can download in Japan (some of them free and translated into English, let me know if you're interested in links). They are usually, but not always horror-oriented. Corpse Party was in general so well received that it got ported to the PSP and became a professional adventure game series.

    Zero Escape is entirely different -- it doesn't come from the same source at all. In the early 90s, a company called Chunsoft made a game for the Super Famicom called Kamaitachi no Yoru. It was supposed to be a new kind of fusion of adventure game sensibilities and interactive fiction in the Infocom mold into something new. It basically over-layed over illustrations, animations and sound, with branching paths and multiple endings. Its purpose is to be fiction, not to be interactive. And no, I know what you're thinking, it isn't like a Choose Your Adventure or Game Book either. Chunsoft called this a sound novel, but they copyrighted that term, so all the games and people who came after Chunsoft's breakthrough hit started calling them visual novels. Zero Escape is descended from this tradition, but this series in particular decided to add puzzles so that they could attract a wider audience, so it flirts between the borders of an adventure game and a visual novel. Most visual novels don't have a whole lot of interactivity.

    Phoenix Wright is a Japanese adventure game in the purest form. That is, it mostly takes place from first person. Much of the gameplay is selecting options from a menu. It revolves around murder. These are the tenets of the average Japanese adventure game. One big difference from a Western adventure game is that sometimes the mechanics try for something really different from typical inventory puzzles you find in a lot of Western adventure games. Other than that, there isn't a lot to separate the gameplay from what you'd find in a Western adventure game. It's mostly just a visual and storytelling difference.

    If you want to slot all these games into a big category and call them Japanese interactive fiction you can, but otherwise, Phoenix Wright and Corpse Party are like PC adventure games in the same way you're very familiar with and Zero Escape is like a hybrid. All those girl games or cute boy (Hakuoki, for instance) games you read about are not the same genre at all.

    So Phoenix Wright, Corpse Party and Zero Escape have all been translated into English, but with the exception of Phoenix Wright, these games are niche in Japan, so English fans don't have a whole lot of recourse but to convene on forums and exchange information, because the mainstream media sure doesn't help them.

    As you're well aware, the Vita is a struggling platform right now. Struggling platforms often attract small and niche audiences in Japan. One of those audiences is adventure games and visual novels.

    If you want details on each specific game, just ask.

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 00:34:16 15-09-2013
  • L0cky 15 Sep 2013 00:33:17 1,497 posts
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    I don't have a DS any more unfortunately; can you recommend something for Vita (which I'll be picking up soon)?.
  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:35:05 5,011 posts
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    Different angles of answering the same question so both good. ;)

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  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:36:48 6,802 posts
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    Virtue's is on Vita; it was free on + recently, unfortunately it's not any more, fortunately it's rather cheap.

    I'm sure these are very different games from JTN's point of view, but I'd still class them as "this sort of (Japanese) stuff". ;-) And I'm a fan.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:38:41 5,011 posts
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    @L0cky Virtue's Last Reward, as dominalien suggests, would be my choice.

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  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:46:43 5,011 posts
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    A great history of development from JTN, too.

    Weren't 'pick your own adventure' type books often stories with branching choices that led to multiple (mostly bad) endings, though? I loved the Sonic ones when I was in primary school.

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  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:48:11 6,802 posts
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    These are the books you're looking for.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:50:18 5,011 posts
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    Hmm, I probably just read rip off ones, looking at those. :) I'm sure I still have the Sonic ones somewhere.

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  • dominalien 15 Sep 2013 00:52:27 6,802 posts
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    Apparently, there were a whole lot, from different publishers. I remember these as being the most awsomest, though. ;-)

    They're actually going through a little renaissance these days.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • L0cky 15 Sep 2013 00:53:15 1,497 posts
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    Thanks for the info, it's making more sense now :)

    Pity I missed Virtue's Last Reward, I have a habit of "purchasing" the Vita games on PS+ for the future.

    Just realised I've played a game like these before (Ace Attorney aside), called Hotel Dusk: Room 215 on the DS, and I enjoyed that one.

    I'll give Virtue's Last Reward a go.
  • L0cky 15 Sep 2013 00:55:11 1,497 posts
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    Used to like the choose your own adventure books as a child; but I always had this sneaky feeling it was some kind of trick to make kids read books :p
  • santashi 15 Sep 2013 00:55:41 5,011 posts
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    @dominalien They were great! Made car journeys go by quickly. :)

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