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Dreamysyu

In your opinion, what VN has the most interesting choice system?

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I like choices in VNs. I like branching stories, and comparing all different branches to each other has always been fun to me. At the same time, I can't help but feel that the way most VNs use their choices is very uncreative. Basically, you either have a very standard system of routes based on several romanceable characters, or linear stories where choices don't even matter at all. Clannad, I know, tries to make its branching more complex, but the problem with it is that this basically makes playing unnecessarily hard, and in the end it all still comes down to routes. My question today: do you know any VNs that try to be creative with their choices and actually succeed into making them into something different?

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The best example I know is CUPID, where you don't control the protagonist with your choices, but act as a voice in their head (one that she attributes to her mother, who in reality is long dead). There's even one moment in the "bad" route where you can basically come out to the protagonist and tell her that you don't care about her and just tormented/manipulated her for fun. I've seen it as a really cool piece on commentary on choices in VNs and the way you often purposefully lead the protagonist to ruin, just to see what happens.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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I'm not sure when they started doing it, but the Sakura Taisen game has timed choices and decisions that require various user inputs. I always felt that was a neat way to keep the player involved. Though the series is helped by not being a true VN .

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11 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

The best example I know is CUPID, where you don't control the protagonist with your choices, but act as a voice in their head (one that she attributes to her mother, who in reality is long dead). There's even one moment in the "bad" route where you can basically come out to the protagonist and tell her that you don't care about her and just tormented/manipulated her for fun. I've seen it as a really cool piece on commentary on choices in VNs and the way you often purposefully lead the protagonist to ruin, just to see what happens.

Huh, this seems really interesting by the way. Actually, do you feel like EVNs generally tend to be a bit more creative with choices than their Japanese counterparts? At least, I got that impression from a fairly limited number of non-Japanese titles I tried, but I want to check it with somebody who has more experience with them.

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13 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

Huh, this seems really interesting by the way. Actually, do you feel like EVNs generally tend to be a bit more creative with choices than their Japanese counterparts? At least, I got that impression from a fairly limited number of non-Japanese titles I tried, but I want to check it with somebody who has more experience with them.

I wonder... Some of them definitely try to experiment with or subvert the choice system in some ways, like CUPID, most of Christine Love's VNs or even Katawa Shoujo, but I don't think it's that common. Most EVNs not only don't do anything not typically seen in JP ones, but even copy some annoying tropes (like absurdly-specific true ending requirements, abundance of blind choices with little or no logic to them etc.).

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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Forest has a pretty interesting choice system. Can't say I've seen anything like it before, but it really works well with the story it tells.

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Musumaker contains a raising simulator and a financial minigame. There is also a shop where you can buy items with surplus money from the financial minigame. Despite this, Musumaker is primarily a VN. The gameplay is the usual VN gameplay. It asks questions once in a while and sets flags to remember the answers. Flags can then be used to unlock or block certain scenes or entire routes. The reason why I mention it in this thread is that flags can be set by normal VN questions, raising simulator, financial minigame or shop item ownership.

I like this approach. You have to do some thinking on how to trigger each route. Some trigger conditions are obvious, like take good care of the girl you are aiming for. Other trigger conditions might not be equally obvious, but it has safeguards against being annoyingly tricky. If you pay attention to the dialogue, you will get hints about some trigger conditions. There are other safeguards as well to assist in not ending up with the same route each time, though I won't go into spoilerish details about those.

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7 hours ago, tymmur said:

Musumaker contains a raising simulator and a financial minigame. There is also a shop where you can buy items with surplus money from the financial minigame. Despite this, Musumaker is primarily a VN. The gameplay is the usual VN gameplay. It asks questions once in a while and sets flags to remember the answers. Flags can then be used to unlock or block certain scenes or entire routes. The reason why I mention it in this thread is that flags can be set by normal VN questions, raising simulator, financial minigame or shop item ownership.

I like this approach. You have to do some thinking on how to trigger each route. Some trigger conditions are obvious, like take good care of the girl you are aiming for. Other trigger conditions might not be equally obvious, but it has safeguards against being annoyingly tricky. If you pay attention to the dialogue, you will get hints about some trigger conditions. There are other safeguards as well to assist in not ending up with the same route each time, though I won't go into spoilerish details about those.

But isn't this combination somewhat typical for more story-focused raising sims? I would imagine that Littlewitch Romanesque gives you similar feedback and variety of input methods, Hanako's Magical Diary also does similar things. 

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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Sugar+Spice https://vndb.org/v421 (1 and 2) has a points based system with many many scenes to choose from, and many mandatory scenes that then progress the story one month. Playing the game multiple times you can end up with almost a completely different story, though there are many common scenes once you start romancing one girl (but you're not obliged to play the scenes again). In addition, there is a confession system where after you've amassed enough goodwill with a heroine, you can choose to try confessing to her - this doesn't always work for some routes where one may refuse to acknowledge you via confession. Also  after having unlocked scenes, if you come back to those scenes on a second playthrough, they may run differently depending on the points you reach the scene with. Finally you can go to every particular scene you want at any time to replay it via the menu after having unlocked it, and there are hundreds. That's the most fun I've had in a moege anyway.

None of these will be translated, but the much newer game from the same producers, Watashi ga Suki nara "Suki" tte Itte! is actually currently undergoing localisation. Not sure how many things it adopts from the earlier games or if it's any good but it's much newer and the art looks nice.

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Long Live The Queen is a game about choices since most of the decision that are presented might led you straight to the grave :mare:

 

33llcmx.jpg 

Just take a look of many awful ways that my princess died in picking the wrong choices :wahaha:

While more of a simulator than a actual Visual Novel, its still pretty nice to play from time to time:mare:

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I thought Sweet Pool's choices (reason vs. instinct) were really cool, especially visually.

For those who haven't played it, all prompts have you chose if Youji should follow his logic or his instinct, and the game goes from there depending on which one you've chosen. The choices are shown on opposite corners of the screen as red and blue sort of...veiny things? It fits well with the whole body horror aspect of the game. 

 

I also like VNs with raising sim elements.

Edited by Pomelo

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On 12/6/2018 at 10:19 AM, Plk_Lesiak said:

But isn't this combination somewhat typical for more story-focused raising sims?

Good point. However I will hesitate a bit in calling Musumaker a raising sim. I view raising sims as something different than VNs and they tend to be hybrid games. When mentioning a hybrid game, people tend to think of something like Sengoku Rance where the VN parts exist, but it wouldn't be a great VN without the other parts. Musumaker is different than that. It is by far primarily a VN. You need to go through 3k lines before even reach anything, which isn't pure VN and it takes almost another 1k lines before it has unlocked all the raising sim features. Cutting non-VN contents would result in a VN, which works as a VN. In fact it would still be a good VN. This is despite the fact that the VN and non-VN elements work well together.

In other words I feel that calling Musumaker a raising sim is the same as claiming worse VN quality than it really is. Because of this, I don't think Musumaker as a raising sim, more like a VN, which happens to have some raising sim elements.

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Chaos;Child....maybe? 

there are normal choices but one of the key elements of the game is the delusion system and story changes later down the line depending on whether you kept choosing a positive or negative delusion

Steins;Gate i heard does something similar but i've yet to play it (just bought it on Vita!) 

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On 12/06/2018 at 9:43 AM, Templarseeker said:

Long Live The Queen is a game about choices since most of the decision that are presented might led you straight to the grave :mare:

 

33llcmx.jpg 

Just take a look of many awful ways that my princess died in picking the wrong choices :wahaha:

While more of a simulator than a actual Visual Novel, its still pretty nice to play from time to time:mare:

Was there... was there an update after Wreck It Ralph 2's trailer?

I'm a fan of Steins;Gate's system. The idea that something might happen at any point in time, as opposed to a stop-and-go approach, is fantastic. I also dig Ladykiller in a Bind's votes system.

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