Monday, September 10, 2012

Visual Novels, Why Not: Christine Love

Hey, um.... introduction? I guess? I play video games, Magic: the Gathering, spend a little bit too much time on the internet, and go to school. You call me PinkPutty if you want too... I mean I'm not forcing you or anything but it'd be nic-


Now time to talk about Visual Novels. I'm not an expert on this kind of game, but I do enjoy them for some reason. Probably because the one's I've played (or read, depending how much of a novel you consider it) are well written and have garnered way too much emotional investment out of me. There is the connotation of these kind of games focusing "adult themes", and some do. In fact, probably the majority of them do, but those aren't the ones I play nor do I want to play them. More often than not they're more focused on the "adult content" than anything else, which hurts the narrative and writing. Most people don't watch the films of Sasha Grey for the acting or writing after all.

But, there are a good number of visual novels not focused on that kind of stuff, and they're the ones you want to search out if you just want a narrative or story with good writing and well developed characters. Of course, that's not to say that this type of content makes it a bad game intrinsically, since it can still be done tastefully. To use movies as an example (again), just because a Hollywood action movie has a sex scene does not mean it's inherently pornography. Katawa Shoujo is a really good example of this. It's a very well done romance story, with "adult content" scenes never being exploitative or disrespectful towards the characters (With one exception, but that's for another time). It also helps that you're given an option to turn off the "adult content" from the options screen at any time.

Katawa Shoujo. This is one of the more typical visual novels...  Kind of.

However, I'm not here to talk about those games, or at least not yet. Right now I'm talking about three games with no actual pornographic content in them. The visual novels created by Miss Christine Love.

Love has, as of now, made three visual novels, all part of what I call her "Story" trilogy. Digital: A Love Story, Don't take it personally, babe, it just ain't your story, and Analogue: A Hate Story. Digital was received very favorably by the majority of people who played it, Don't take it personally had more mixed reception, and Analogue has also been received well. I'm going to go into detail with all of them in the upcoming posts, but personally I liked all three. Don't take it personally is by far the worst one, but it's more flawed than downright horrible, while both Analogue and Digital are both spectacular.

Oh, I guess I should explain how visual novels work. They're novels, but done with visual representations of locations or characters. The player is given choice and input, most of time deciding what the Protagonist is going to say or do. Because of this, branching paths or alternative story lines are fairly common in these kind of games. However, Love's games involve a little bit more input from the player, in that both Digital and Analogue use computer interfaces as the primary input method. Despite both games being linear, they still do a good job of making the player feel engaged and invested, and also allows for puzzles to be incorporated.

So, I'm going to go into more depth with this in the next posts, as I want to talk about each game individually. I highly recommend that anyone interested at least try out Digital as it's free and not that long. Also, I'm not entirely sure if I want to do no spoilers or some spoilers or all spoilers, so if one of the 5 people who are going to read this want to tell me that would be pretty cool.

ANYWHO, you can download both Digital and Don't take it personally on Christine's website here, and Analogue is $10 on Steam (Also it's apparently in a bundle or something). Analogue is worth the money, and the other two are worth the time to play them, even Don't take it personally. I'm on Twitter as @Killer_of_hopes and I sometimes do articles over at this place. So far I've only published one, which was a review of Sleeping Dogs. It wasn't that in depth, as it originally started out as more of me just talking about the one thing in GTA 4 that I liked, but I guess it became some sort of review along the way. I'm working on a Guild Wars 2 thing, which will probably be just me talking about how it's like WoW but more well designed. Ideally that'll be up within the month.

And.... that should be all for this post. Hopefully I end up actually posting content on here, and not letting it die like the last three two (Tumblr doesn't count) times I tried out this blogging thing. It might help if I posted interesting things too, but we'll get to that when we get to that.

So, see ya next time for Digital: A Love Story.

That's a "n" that my cursor is blocking.

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