After writing of my past history with visual novels, I felt like it would only be appropriate to devote some time to the other major genre I adore — the Japanese RPG. I have a far longer history with the genre compared to VNs, as I practically grew up playing JRPGs, and it’s no exaggeration to say that they greatly shaped my general taste in games over the years. And hey, maybe if you’re semi-new to the genre or feel like playing some old classics you might have missed, the list of games I’m about to talk about might come in handy. I mean, some of you reading this may be from a younger generation, maybe you grew up playing the PS2, or even the PS3, and have never really been exposed to the stuff I’ll talk about below. In any case, in order to start this story from the very beginning, we’ll have to jump all the way back to the late 90s. To the Nostalgia Mobile!
Be warned: this is going to be a very long read — I’m basically going to start from the SNES era and go all the way until the PS2 days, taking note of all the major JRPGs that affected me one way or another during my childhood.
You can also check out: my history with JRPGs
This is a post I was gonna do sooner or later but kept postponing and postponing it until… well, until Kai from Deluscar was kind enough to remind me of it. So I guess this is as good a time as any to write about this. And by “this”, I mean how I got started with visual novels, what I thought of them, what sparked that initial fire in me, and so on. Some of this information is already out there in the wild, scattered on Twitter, Reddit and buried somewhere in the depths of certain forums, but I figured it would be nice to have it all in one place.
In other words, story time! Please bear with me as I reminisce about the last 10 years of my life. Like some old man.
I suppose this could be discussed in the context of just endings in general as they are in a variety of media, but since many visual novels tend to have several endings/routes, I suppose I might as well just focus on that one medium. Besides, this is primarily a VN blog, so there’s that, too.
As you may or may not be aware, Kai over at deluscar has posted a series of blog posts discussing visuals novels, from the origins of the medium to the problematic aspect of trying to distinguish different types of VNs. I answer some interview questions in one of the posts, along with a number of other bloggers.
You can also check out the all the other episodes of the series by scrolling down to the bottom of the interview post (or I can just link you to the first one). It’s a fairly long read, truth be told, but if you’re interested in the topic I urge you to give it a look.
This idea has been in my head for a while now, but I never really got around to actually putting it into words. Until now, that is. So let’s speculate a bit about a very basic question: what is it that draws people to visual novels, as opposed to various other forms of media including anime, manga, light novels, and so on? What characteristics do VNs share with the above mentioned media, and which ones are unique to their genre only? I’m going to attempt to reflect a bit on that.