Jump to content

VNDB has inconsistent standards of what's considered a Visual Novel


Recommended Posts

Determining what a visual novel is based on how the story is presented has always seemed a bit odd to me, and I don't think it should affect whether it should be considered one or not. If you ask me, story/gameplay ratio is the only thing that should matter, and going solely by that would probably make things easier, since you wouldn't have to take all these others factors into account and do in-depth analyses on every borderline title.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

 If you ask me, story/gameplay ratio is the only thing that should matter, and going solely by that would probably make things easier

I think I overall agree with your sentiment, but if you define things with a vague term like "story" it can get very murky. Should Detroit: Become Human be considered a visual novel? It is mostly story driven, but not with a prose narrative. A similar argument can be made with the Metal Gear Solid series, that whole franchise is incredibly focused on story, and features many extensive cutscenes. But I would still classify it as a game series and not a visual novel series.

For a visual novel to count as one, I think its crucial for the story to be primarily communicated via a prose narrative. That's the distinguishing factor between VNs and games imo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, it can be tough to accurately judge such grey zone titles, especially if they are part of a series where some titles qualify and others not. That said, I would personally prefer the rules to be more strict towards reading time vs. gameplay time, even if it would mean that some popular series would drop out. But I remember buying some *visual novels* recommended by VNDB like Yu-No or the Nonary Games and ended up severely disappointed, because I just got some crappy puzzle or adventure games with little to no narration. That doesn't necessarily mean that their stories are bad itself, but that the stories are presented in a too gameplay heavy way to qualify as a VN anymore. If I want a gameplay title with a good story I'm usually better off with a real RPG/JRPG anyway. The current rules feel more like 'JRPG with porn => VNDB' anyway.

Though, personally I think I'm more annoyed by the new 'Suggestive' tag for images which just opens up another massive greyzone. The old separation into just explicit and tame worked way better imho. Nowadays, it just feels like 'Girl => Sexually Suggestive'. Fortunately, that nonesense can be disabled in the profile settings.

Edited by ChaosRaven
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there should be any doubt that 999 counts as a VN, personally. There really are long VN sections with heavy narration. What I want taken out is phoenix wright, evenicle, toushin toshi II, and whatever other ero-rpg is just in there because ero-rpg fans want desperately for their games to belong somewhere. That or rebrand to something else than vndb w

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zalor said:

Should Detroit: Become Human be considered a visual novel? It is mostly story driven, but not with a prose narrative. A similar argument can be made with the Metal Gear Solid series, that whole franchise is incredibly focused on story, and features many extensive cutscenes.

Honestly, as long as the main story takes up maybe 80%-or-so of the total playtime, I'd be fine with those games being marked as VNs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

Honestly, as long as the main story takes up maybe 80%-or-so of the total playtime, I'd be fine with those games being marked as VNs.

I agree that those types of games and VNs can both be lumped under the broader category of Interactive Fiction, but I wouldn't call them Visual Novels. I think reading is a critical component for anything to be considered novelistic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I see it vndb's rules are vague for a reason. As there is some leeway to adding and removing titles. A more unspoken rule is if the work in question is fits into the rest of the image of the entries in vndb. Which are as I see it, 2D sprites, a text box, story focused, mostly you spend time reading.

While it feels quite weird to remove the last title in the zero escape series. It does diverge from overall image vndb has. Games from Eushully and Alice Soft might have more gameplay than say X game that got removed from vndb. Their games does fit in with the rest of the vndb titles imo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...