Jump to content
Sayaka

Your experience of "the visual novel entry barrier"

Recommended Posts

In my case I knew that some of my favorite animes were adaptations of VNs, and you know how it is when you really really like something: you want to see everything there is to it.

My first and main hurdle was, funny enough, English. It's not my native language and a few years ago my level was not even close to allow me to enjoy a VN. I technically could read them, as long as I looked up all the words I didn't know (a whole lot). Quite the ordeal, I must say. Ironically, that's exactly the case for me currently with untranslated VNs :makina: But I hope the day will eventually come, as it did with English.

 

Edited by Thyndd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steins;Gate got me into visual novel.
I'd say the barrier i got before was...eh..the fact i had to read an actual book with pictures on my screen, i mean, why should i do that? i can pretty much play a video with explosions and be the guy who make these explosions happen.

But no videogame gave me the feelings those 66 hours of Steins;Gate gave me, no one was even close to it, that's why i read VN, to experience something different, something closer to opening a book. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kurisu-Chan said:

Steins;Gate got me into visual novel.
I'd say the barrier i got before was...eh..the fact i had to read an actual book with pictures on my screen, i mean, why should i do that? i can pretty much play a video with explosions and be the guy who make these explosions happen.

But no videogame gave me the feelings those 66 hours of Steins;Gate gave me, no one was even close to it, that's why i read VN, to experience something different, something closer to opening a book. 

Pretty much this for me. I really enjoy how VN's give my imagination a workout. I also enjoy facial expressions and voice overs (2 things a book won't give you).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ended up playing Katawa Shoujo after a friend of mine talked about it to me one day. Spent about the next year hovering round those forums like a bad smell, while playing any free VNs I could find. I loved (and still love) the feelings that I develop towards characters while reading, be it because of their design (it normally is), voice, backstory, quirks and what-have-you. A good VN is one that I'm thinking about for what feels like forever after I read it.

The main barrier for me - well, there's two - is that I don't like pirating shit. It scares me, to be honest, and while I'm hardly flush with money I like paying for things where I can.

The second is the content. I am the vanilla-est, most easily bothered reader of these things that you'll come across. As such, I won't play most VNs, cos either I can't afford them, or I don't like what's in them. And that's fine, cos there's still plenty of highly-rated, very safe-for-lifework ones for me to read :sachi:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my case the entry barrier would be the h-scenes. Or, to be correct, the prejudice against h-scenes in a "serious" plot (I tried my limits with Subahibi and happened to enjoy it a lot despite it being pretty heavy on... well, you know, weird porn).
I actually played quite a few VNs back in the day, but only ocasionally. The one that made it turn into a habit was Steins;Gate, after played it I just felt the hunger for more.

Edited by Frullo NDE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2011. I first came to NZ. No friend, no acquaintance, no nothing, I started looking around the Internet for something to do. And I found manga. And anime.

2012. While reading manga, I came across a credit page of a scanlation group with the pic of a certain white hair loli. I tried to google her, and I found Little Busters. And that's when I learnt about VN.

 

Barrier? I had none. I'm used to reading novel (have a whole bunch of Dan Brown and Tom Clancy stuff on my bookshelf), so I have no problem with reading and the slow pace. I also had no problem with H-scenes, since, well, not the first time I watched porn, haha (though I got bored quite fast and just ended up skipping the hell out of them).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It stemmed from videogames, one day in 2011 I was checking a download blog that I had seen in an IT course (recommended by one of the teachers), and came across a game called "Shira Oka: Second Chances".

I more or less knew what dating simulators were, having a mostly bad opinion of them ("geez, they're pathetic works for hopeless people"), but the thing is I tried the game and, though it dragged, I completed all routes.

That brought some sense of accomplishment, as well as burnout, so I'm not touching a true dating sim again... but in the process I got to know about this site called Renai.us and checked out some of the games. Funny fact: I called visual novels "ren'ai games" back then. Apparently I thought only romance games were available.

My first Japanese-made visual novel was Yukizakura, in 2012 I think, and I dropped it before completing it because it felt too cringey (that game has serious quality imbalance between routes and heroines. Maybe it's just my tastes). I capitalised on the fact that in that time, new novels were being translated, such as Deardrops, Little Busters or Never 7, and tried them. All those three made me keep playing (you see how there's lack of sex in those? huh...), if it were for the likes of Wanko to Kurasou, I'd have stopped right there.

Why did I jump so eagerly into visual novels? Because the job was done 13 years before by animu and manga. This is another medium in its own right, but feels like an extension of them as the tropes and themes are similar. But now, with English-original, and Korean-made and Chinese-made novels, that is expanding too.

EDIT: My goodness, I forgot about my idyll with Katawa Shoujo and how I followed the development in late 2011 and were among the first people to download it in 2012... good times! I loved the game.

Edited by Okarin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice to see so many people having come in via Katawa Shoujo tbh. It really does seem like it wound up having a big impact on people :D.

My story is much the same as many others': a friend of mine was playing Clannad and I asked them "What's a Clannad?". It turns out that a Clannad is a giant hole that yanks you inexorably towards a wide variety of fun and profoundly touching experiences, as I would come to discover later. At that point though, they explained visual nmovels and pointed me to Katawa Shoujo and I tried it, got to the end of the prologue (ie when he's at the gate of the school) and stopped for some reason. A few months later, I picked it up again, and immediately upon seeing Hanako and how skittish she was decided to learn what her story was about. Suffice to say I spent the next 2 or 3 days doing little else other than reading, and the story, soundtrack, themes, and art pulled me in and left me wanting a lot more. When I asked the same friend he said that there was plenty more than KS to discover, so I decided to fire up my copy of Steins;Gate (that I'd gotten on the recommendation of someone else). As with KS I'd started it and stopped it, but I continued, and enjoyed the relaxing parts of it, the characters, and events, and suffice to say, by the time I was done with that I'd come across one of the most memorable and impactful stories I'd ever read. Annoyingly this came just after the Golden Week Steam Sale so I missed out on the chance to stock up on several VNs, but I've been buying them up since then and really enjoying them. Still haveonly finished 1 route in Clannad itself though :P. 

The funny thing is that it acted as the catalyst for me - I wanted to see if I could find more stories like this, so I started to read manga and watch anime (which I've never really done over a constant period). The thing is, I've always liked stories as a kid, and can read quite a lot, so it works really really well on that front, but I've found that the emotional investment can be quite high too (which I like). 

As far as the barriers, I think in my case it was two things - firstly adapting to reading rather than playing: I didn't give KS enough of a chance (1 or 2 hours) to settle in before putting it down. This also happened to me with Steins;Gate. To elaborate on that, I'm used to *playing* something on a PC or console, so the mentality of sitting and reading on such a system was new to me - if I want to read I'd use a phone or a Kindle instead so I needed to get used to that. Secondly, after reading KS I think the barrier was limiting myself to things that were *exactly* like it and not necessarily "same genre but different". It helps if you're willing to look for the core elements but not going to just stick precisely to *I only want things from this universe*. It can make sense if you really really like that universe and want more from it (nothing wrong with that) but at some point it has to be realized that there are other universes that might not reach the high peaks of the just-read one, but have their own draws and merits. 

Edited by snowbell55

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a simple progression. I watched animes as a kid. First on TV then on the internet. When I finished watching the shows that most aligned with my interest, I couldn't find anything that really entertained me so I started reading manga. First I thought that it will be probably more boring than watching anime, but in a short time I realized that I like it aswell. After a while, I run out of stories that I like (same thing that happened with animes) and since most mangas doesn't get translated completly or the updates take months to come out, I decided to read VN-s. First I thought that most VN-s are just porn, but after reading a few good ones I realized that I was wrong and have been playing VN-s ever since :D
 

All in all I just like the unique style of storytelling and characters that you can find in animes and mangas and I was just satisfying that curiosity until I reached VN-s :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×