Visual Novels and Why You Should Play Them

Today I wanna delve more into video games. I am a gamer myself. One who mostly prefers JRPG’s and handheld consoles. I’m a big fan of games with pretty graphics where you can romance pretty boys.

So what I’m talking about will probably come as a surprise to very few of you if you’re into gaming yourself.

Visual Novels (VNs) are exactly what they say on the tin. It is a visual story that you play your way through. You’ll probably be able to name your character, and you will get to make some choices as to how the story progresses. This is usually for different romance routes, but not all visual novels are otome games. When it comes down to it, there is very much a particular story that you are following. And you get to experience it with some gorgeous illustrations that you’re encouraged to collect.

Collar x Malice for the Switch

If you’ve played something like Chapters on your phone, then this is similar. However, whereas phone games are pay to play – and often allow you to choose clothes and appearance for your character. Visual novels are just a one-time purchase, and the character’s appearance is designed by the game designer. You wouldn’t be able to have these pretty images of the romantic scene if you had a say in what they looked like. So it may be a little limiting there, but I kind of prefer that.

As someone who both loves reading and gaming, visual novels are great. They are a game you have to invest time in. But you can usually pause and save at any point if you need to. It’s a story you can invest yourself in, just like you can a book, but you’re following it at your own pace as a game. This does mean there is less text than an actual novel, and, okay, I wouldn’t exactly count a visual novel towards my reading goals. It is still a game. But if I just want to lose myself in a story, but I also want to game? Or if I’m in the mood for enjoying a game that doesn’t require my bashing buttons or putting in tactics? These are great. I don’t want to say they’re a lazy game, as you do have to focus when playing them. If you didn’t you’d miss out on the story. But they’re definitely more relaxing than a lot of other games.

Code: Realize for the Switch

I know a lot of people wound up getting Nintendo Switch’s last year for Animal Crossing. If you’re one of those people but don’t know what other games you should get, and you do love to read? A lot of Visual Novels are being ported onto the Switch. Where they used to more be Vita games, the popularity of the Switch and the decline of the Vita means they are moving over. You can get them in the digital store, or you can buy physical copies. They can be a little bit expensive, but most Switch games are. These are also games you can replay. You can make different decisions from your first playthrough to aim for a different route. That’s half the fun with visual novels and definitely a good reason to invest in them.

The other reason…well…for the games I have or I want? The pretty boy illustrations are the main reason I’m interested. If you’re shallow like me, that might work for you too! But, seriously, the art for some of these games can be absolutely stunning. Unlike a normal game, because this isn’t 3D, you don’t have to worry about putting all the work into how the models look. Instead, the game simply consists of illustrations and the odd bit of animation. That means the majority of the art budget is going into these illustrations and character designs. And you can tell. They’re often more beautiful to look at than most anime and a lot of manga. I could spend ages just looking at some of these games, and that’s a definite bonus.

I’ve included pictures of two of the more popular series on the Switch. I own Collar x Malice and have started it. In this game, you play a police officer – I know, boo! – in Japan during a time where a terrorist organisation is killing one person a month. There’s a lot of stuff about guns being banned and how violence can affect a country. You’re kidnapped within the prologue, and a collar is put around your neck. A collar that could kill you. If you want to survive and solve this mystery, you have to work with a detective agency that consists of former police officers as they try to protect the people.

I’m not very far in, but I’m adoring it so far. It has the promise to get pretty dark, it’s stunning to look at, and it’s a mystery as well as a romance? What more could you want?

The other game is Code: Realize. This one I don’t own yet. But I know it had an anime adaptation a few years ago. I don’t know much about these currently. Other than the fact it is a fantasy steampunk game where the main character has poisonous skin. You spend the game looking for a cure or a reason why or something. And you fall in love with one of your companions along the way. It does seem a lot of fun, and I wanted to watch the anime before even finding out about the game.

I think I only watched the first episode though, and I don’t remember it. So I will pretty much but starting fresh when I play it, oops.

Have you guys played any visual novels? Would you like to? Why not let me know down below.

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