Visual Novel Recommendations:

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Here's a thread for asking for and suggesting new Visual Novels to get into. If you're looking for anything in particular, or want to know what projects may be finished soon but aren't out yet, make sure you're clear on what you want.
I would like something good that's not pornographic, not a harem or dating sim, and I've already read Ever17. Good luck with that one. tongue

edited 1st Dec '10 2:15:00 PM by CDRW

Urinate with precision and elegance.
No porn at all, or would it be okay if it's clearly not the focus? Because Utawarerumono has like... five minutes of porn in 50 hours of reading or something silly like that.

Anyway, no porn at all: Symphonic Rain (slightly dating sim ish, but it's a little too dark to really qualify) or Remember11 which was okay, but not as good as Ever17.

A little porn that's not intrusive: Utawarerumono, Family Project. The latter has sex that's either unobtrusive or sort of important to the story for spoilery reasons. And little altogether.

edited 1st Dec '10 2:23:52 PM by Arha

4 Heatth1st Dec 2010 02:21:43 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up][up]When They Cry series. Whether it is Higurashi or Umineko don't matter much (if you go play both it should be Higurashi first, but it don't matter). It is a mystery Visual Novel with absolutely zero sexual content. Their focus vary a bit. Higurashi is more 'horror' or 'suspense' while Umineko has more emphasis on 'mystery', 'romance' and 'fantasy' (both are mystery, but Umineko a bit more so).

Higurashi has elements of dating sim and harem, but it is totally not the focus, no matter how the first half of any given episode try to convince you of the opposite.

Now, now, since I am partially responsible for the creation of this thread I will reply your question from the other thread, Arha. I am not looking for anything specific. I've played some varied V Ns (Fate/stay night, When They Cry, CLANNAD and Katawa Shoujo) and liked them all. My favorite were the When They Cry series, but I think I don't want to play another mystery for now. Reasoning mysteries is hard enough if it is only one, more will be confusing. I will leave it for when Umineko end (in a few more months).

[up]If just a few porn is OK Fate/Stay Night is another idea. Great game, even with porn. There is just a few scenes on each route and mostly forgettable. If you just skip everything there you will not lose much.

edited 1st Dec '10 2:27:21 PM by Heatth

^ Ef is rather good. I would recommend Sharin no Kuni and CROSS†CHANNEL as my personal favorites. Ever17 is also well thought of but has some mystery elements. Nothing too troublesome until the very end. Those are the best that I can think of off the top of my head.
6 Heatth1st Dec 2010 02:32:02 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up]I see, thanks, I will kept these in mind. Specially Cross†Channel, I think. I've hear this name many times so it must be good.

For reference, how long are these games, more or less. If one of them is short enough I might try to finish it before the new patch of Umineko comes out (so I am not forced to stop the story).
Depends. Sharin no Kuni doesn't really branch for each heroine, so while it's pretty long once you've gone through it once you've basically finished the whole game. CROSS†CHANNEL probably has the shortest routes, but they all sort of flow into each other making a stopping point potentially tricky. Ever17 has long routes, but they're all basically self contained.

But they're all lengthy. I can't think of any really short but good things off the top of my head. Princess Waltz is short but mediocre, for example.

edited 1st Dec '10 2:44:54 PM by Arha

8 Heatth1st Dec 2010 03:01:39 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
I see. I think I will start by Cross†Channel, then. If I understood well at last it have a clearer cut point. Even if it flows together well the end of a route is a better stopping point then the middle of one.

Just a final question. I am assuming that these are not Kinetic Novels like Higurashi, right? How is the branching? Is it linear as Fate/Stay Night or is more free as in Clannad? IF possible include Ef in the answer.

edited 1st Dec '10 3:11:18 PM by Heatth

Ef is like halfway between Higurashi and FSN. There are like 8 branches, all obvious, and leading to potential bad ends, or not doing anything. The routes are not optional.

Ever17 works kinda like Clannad.

Dunno the rest.

edited 1st Dec '10 3:10:06 PM by EternalSeptember

Sharin no Kuni doesn't branch, Ever17 has two protagonists with two routes each, branching at the 2/3 point. Any route can be done at any time apart from the bonus route, which comes last. CROSS†CHANNEL is basically linear with the routes, and Ef is very linear because it has multiple protagonists, and the earlier routes influence the later ones.

If you're going for CROSS†CHANNEL, you should know that you can't really do the routes in any order you please, though there is a little flexibility.

Ef routes are fairly short and self contained, I should add.

Oh wait, I thought of something pretty short. Both Da Capo and Suika have shorter routes than the previously mentioned games. They're not really as good, but they're certainly better than Princess Waltz level stuff.

edited 1st Dec '10 3:12:03 PM by Arha

11 Heatth1st Dec 2010 03:47:33 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Thank a lot, you two.

Ef routes are fairly short and self contained, I should add.

Why haven't you mentioned it sooner?tongue Ok, change of plans. I will play this one first. I should have at last a week, so I think I can finish at last one route, even playing slowly.

About Da Capo and Suika. If you have to tell me it is not that interesting then I am not that interested.tongue
No, they're both good. Just not as good. If you rated CROSS†CHANNEL, Ef and the other stuff mentioned first as a 10, Da Capo and Suika would be an 8. I'd say they're as good as Kanon.
13 Heatth1st Dec 2010 04:07:00 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
I see. I will give a look, then. I kinda gave up on Ef for now, anyway. It seem soon it will be released officially in English, so I will just wait for it. It is not I am in a hurry to play it or anything.

Anyway, thank you all for the suggestions.
slate furry thing
I'm really interested in Saya no Uta because of its story if not for the fact it is uh... really out there in other areas too. . _.

When I learned the When They Cry series were Kinetic Novels I decided to just stick to the mangas though. I prefer at least some control in what's happening, otherwise I don't feel like I'm "playing" a game.
15 Heatth4th Dec 2010 10:21:04 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up] You should think in When They Cry as a book, not a 'game'. Anyway, even the manga suffer a bit of Adaptation Decay, though nowhere as severe as the anime. It mostly lacks the same quantity of content. Also, no music. There is a reason for the author calling them 'sound novel', after all. Particularly noticeable in Umineko. I usually don't care for music myself, but I can't help but notice the awesomeness of Umineko sound track.

edited 4th Dec '10 11:01:51 PM by Heatth

16 neobowman4th Dec 2010 10:23:58 PM from Unidentified Proxy , Relationship Status: Tsundere'ing
つ ◕_◕ ༽つ HELIX
^ Seconded. The art is god-awful but the music is ridiculously amazing.
slate furry thing
Hm, maybe I should go look for a to- the game on Amazon then or something. I am interested in what makes them "sound novels".
18 Heatth5th Dec 2010 03:37:10 AM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Well, anywhere you look will list them as 'visual novel' category. The 'sound novel' thing is a term the author invented to make clear he focused more in the music and sound effects them in the 'visual'. It is not an official category.

Also, to be frank, Higurashi's music are not quite as awesome as Umineko's (less budge, Hiurashi used free for use music and sounds). They are good, yeah, but I wouldn't look twice (I usually don't care for music, as I said). However, the usage of said music and sound effects are very important in Higurashi, as is is what really set the mood. I believe that, in some chapters (in the first this is noticeable), what you feel while reading would be very different without the music and sound effects. That is why I don't believe the manga is gives you the same experience.

edited 5th Dec '10 3:38:04 AM by Heatth

[up][up] You can only get the game (in English, legally) on Manga Gamer's website. Luckily it's not too expensive, especially compared to the price of most V Ns directly from Japan, which go for $100+ on average.
20 SpainSun29th Jan 2011 11:41:40 AM from Somewhere Beyond Here
Laugh it off, everybody
Soyeah necro.

Um. I have never downloaded a visual novel ever. HOWEVER, I am getting a new laptop in a week or two and will be able to download whatever the hell I want, so I was thinking of picking some up.

Any recommendations? (Note that they must be free, I have no money.)
I spread my wings and I learn how to fly....
What kind of story are you looking for? Fantasy stuff might be Fate/stay night to start. A standard high school setting would probably be something like CLANNAD or Kanon. I highly recommend Ever17, Sharin no Kuni or G-Senjou no Maou, though the second is a pain to install.

There are also V Ns that cross into RPG territory that are pretty good, such as Utawarerumono or Sengoku Rance. The latter has... rape issues, though. We'll go with that.

edited 29th Jan '11 11:47:25 AM by Arha

22 SpainSun29th Jan 2011 11:45:54 AM from Somewhere Beyond Here
Laugh it off, everybody
I don't really know what the options are, to be honest. XD

I know nothing about the format.
I spread my wings and I learn how to fly....
23 neobowman29th Jan 2011 11:46:24 AM from Unidentified Proxy , Relationship Status: Tsundere'ing
つ ◕_◕ ༽つ HELIX
I recommend Tsukihime. It's a relatively old one that can get you into the genre. Though you might want a walkthrough for it. Clannad's long but amazing too. Plus, all ages.
Um, if you have no preference at all, I'd say either Ever17, CLANNAD or Sharin no Kuni.

About the sources: If by "free", you mean legally free, you don't have many options, most of them aren't even licensed in english, so even if you would order them from Japan, you would have to crack them with a fan translation anyways.

If by "free" you mean "By Perfectly Legal Means", in heavily sarcastic quotation marks, try or just torrents. No one cares about it.

edited 29th Jan '11 11:57:29 AM by EternalSeptember

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