I wish more VNs were like this

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#1 by shazbut
2019-02-01 at 09:51
- Short
- Relatively realistic character design (though still beautiful)
- Realistic behaviour
- Nothing supernatural*

I've just replayed this for old times sake and finished Yuka's route. She's a fantastic heroine and I was thinking how if you removed any scene of hers from the game, her story would fall apart. It was all needed to tell that story. However, judging by most VNs, what people really want to read is ten hours of cooking noodles and being pestered to join the swimming club before everyone pulls out magic swords and saves the school from demons. How does everyone put up with reading hours of garbage like this? I understand slice of life as a concept, but when it's just hours and hours and goes nowhere and no-one behaves like a real person....

Since early VNs did tend more towards the realistic side, both story-wise and in the character design, who can I blame for this shift away from what I like into this stuff I don't like? Is it Key?

Can anyone recommend modern short visual novels with realistic art and story-telling? They can be in Japanese too. I just want to know they exist.


#2 by kiru
2019-02-01 at 14:08
Realistic is a word you shouldn't really use with stories like this. After all, the most unrealistic stuff happens in reality, and not fiction.
Because of that, it's hard to recommend games, as what "believable behavior of characters" is for one person may not be for another.

That said, you definitely don't want to look at modern moege, as the general idea behind them is "moe", as the name implies. Basically the stuff you don't like. It's like playing puzzle games while hating puzzles. No. What you want are charage. Basically what moege evolved (devolved?) from. Those are rare nowadays, but they do still exist. You are more lucky finding them in the 200x though, that's for sure. That was also when games were still shorter and often felt more incomplete and rushed, than padded. Not great either, but a different problem from what you tend to have nowadays.

Just mix games up in a while. Blatant moege like this month's love clear you can probably skip, though sometimes even those can surprise, but something like Tasogare no Folklore may be more worth a try. May still not be good, who knows given how it's not out yet, but yeah. Though in your specific case, you may not want to try that one, as you apparently want everything to matter. From what I know of the writer, he always starts to repeat story-points in some way at some point. As long as that doesn't happen, I had a lot of fun with some of his stuff though.
You will have trouble finding stuff with good pacing AND "super realistic" and so on and so forth, but I may just overthink what you want, and you'd actually enjoy something that's not just a moege no matter what. In which case: Golden HourLast modified on 2019-02-01 at 14:13
#3 by eacil
2019-02-01 at 20:24
What you want are charage. Basically what moege evolved (devolved?) from. Those are rare nowadays, but they do still exist.
Wat? Today's moege are almost exclusively all charage...
Charage and moege are not mutually exclusive, they are names highlighting different aspects and focuses of a game.
Charage and moege are like salt and water.
I am pretty sure your Love Clear is a charage. The latest discussion about latest Tone Work's was people whining about characters not being to their taste. How many polls here about best character?
#4 by shazbut
2019-02-04 at 09:46
Very informative, thanks! I've just read up on these terms and yeah - charage sounds good for me. I don't necessarily need the focus to be on the characters though. It could be a mystery thing, or a horror, or drama...and I don't mind a bit of magical realism...but as long as it feels like the characters and story are drawn more from real life than it is riffing on tropes created by other VNs. I appreciate it's a subjective thing.
#5 by ramaladni
2019-02-05 at 14:06
I'm happy to read this since Crescendo is special to me as it was the VN that got me back into the hobby after a long hiatus. The overall message made me feel incredibly nostalgic and like you say, every scene is meaningful. There is nothing that feels too much or too little, there's no filler and the story telling method through flashbacks is pretty refreshing.

I would recommend more G-collections stuff such as link - not Okaeri though.

I share your sentiment that nowadays japanese media feels too reliant on the same old tropes. It really gets tiring when you see the same thing happen dozens, hundreds of times. If you're into anime, there's plenty of classics worth your time.

I don't feel I can give you the exact answer you're looking for, but that's my input.Last modified on 2019-02-05 at 16:31
#6 by shazbut
2019-02-05 at 14:24
#5 Kana is my all time favourite. :) Probably changed my life more than any other piece of art in any medium. I played it when I was 17 and had never encountered anything like it. Was obsessed for months.

If new games can't be like Crescendo, then being like Kana is ok too. Thanks for bringing it up. Maybe I'll have to play that again next
#7 by kiru
2019-02-05 at 14:59
@3: I'm a bit late, but: There's quite a difference between charage and moege.

Charage are basically how a lot of older games handled things. The focus was very clearly on the character(s), NOT the romance, NOT "lovey dovey" scenes, NOT flat comedy and whatnot. These games are very commonly heavy on character based story. They can still have a date with the girl, comedy or whatever, but it's not the main aspect. A simple example is Chocolat ~Maid Cafe "Curio"~ . Common is basically just comedy, but pretty much the entire route is character drama. A classic charage. You barely find that today. However games like Hitotsu Yane no, Tsubasa no Shita de are pretty close. The romance is rather weak, as most of the route is spent on heavily character based drama where the flying part is utilized as a tool for that.

Moege reduced the story to the minimum and focus on interaction with the girls, mostly to show how "moe" they are. Thus MOEge. Character based story is fairly unimportant to them. Sometimes it goes so far, that the story that exists isn't even that much about the heroine in question, as it's more some overall thing.

So, no, Giga moege are not really charage. Almost no game is, nowadays. Moege simply evolved/devolved from charage. Easier to write and produce. Of course you could argue, that they are charage because that's where they come from, but I like to seperate things that are actually very obviously different in style and how they work.
#8 by shazbut
2019-02-05 at 19:39
#7 Ah I see. Do you know when Moege arose? Was there a major game or two that kickstarted this d/evolution?

Hitotsu looks good! Nice art and hey - it's "only" 30 hours. That's not so bad
#9 by sonhot
2019-02-26 at 06:02
I read some spoiler about the history between Kaho and the protagonsist so tbh i don't like that about her at all. Would she be affected in anyway if the protagonist goes for another girl instead of her?
#10 by ramaladni
2019-02-26 at 07:57
I guess the most interesting part about this game is how the heroine's lives go on, even if you did not go after them. It really makes the story feel much more involved and organic.

So, you have the initial love triangle and inside those character routes, the other characters don't interfer much. But most of the focus will be on the protagonist, Kyouko and Kaho, regardless of the path you take. Actually, it'd be more accurate to say that you have the "love triangle route" with varying events and different endings.

The other routes provide their own unique experiences and are a bit more self-contained, however this doesn't mean that there's no interactions with the other characters. The stepsister still has a role in the school nurse route since they're old friends, for example.Last modified on 2019-02-26 at 07:58
#11 by sonhot
2019-02-27 at 02:58
#10 So if i go for Kyouko would Kaho get affected and try to interfere? Or would she just take a backseat and kinda disappear from the game?
#12 by ramaladni
2019-02-27 at 20:56
What I was trying to say is that there will be a key decision that will either lock you into the love triangle route, which include Kyouko and Kaho's endings, or allow you to pursue the other heroines.

The following choices trigger flags for both girl's endings, but both characters remain involved in this part of the game. On the contrary, you won't really see anything from the other heroines, until perhaps the very end.

There is also a route (which would be a spoiler) that requires you to complete the game with all other characters (I'm assuming that the GE for each character is enough, but I always checked out the BE).Last modified on 2019-02-27 at 20:58
#13 by sonhot
2019-03-07 at 12:06
#12 Thanks for answering man. Maybe i'll get the game and go for Kyouko just to pisse Kaho off haha.
#14 by sidvanhalen
2019-07-30 at 04:57
I wish too :)


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