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What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

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default What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by BlueMist on 17/04/13, 02:50 am

I was just wondering what makes a Visual Novel fun to play.
You can also post your opinions about Visual Novels.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Ace of Hearts on 17/04/13, 04:16 am

I will list my personal opinion.

1. An engaging plot not reliant on the love aspect.
2. Wonderfully thought out, detailed characters.
3. The skill of the seiyuu.
4. Nice BGM that loops naturally (not an annoying break in the music, and then it starts over), and doesn't drive you crazy to listen to over a long period of time. Also a large variety of BGM.
5. Beautiful art.
6. Not an overly complex system that distracts from the plot. Like
extensive stat raising and time consuming mini games (I like mini games,
but they shouldn't take too long to get through).
7. Decent load time.
8. The option to skip text.

I think that's it for now. Hopefully I didn't forget anything.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Topaztan on 17/04/13, 04:42 am

I think Ace of Hearts has basically covered it. If there was a point to elaborate on, in regards to artwork having the CGs look nice. I mean, they take up the entire game screen and last for a bit. It's really distracting if something looks off.

Older games without an option to dialogue skip is really irritating but it doesn't seriously detract from the overall gaming experience.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 17/04/13, 05:54 am

Yeah, Ace of Hearts really did take the words out of my mouth!

Just an addendum to the "skipping options", I've noticed that Trick or Alice, a fairly recent (2012) game had a "skip scenes until next set of choices" type of command. Naturally, you can only skip the scenes you have already viewed. Still, it was instrumental in shortening my gaming time and making it less frustrating to start over and over just to find the right sequence of choices for certain endings.

That being said, my expectations change depending on whether a game is made by a doujin group (lower budget = lowered expectations) and what year it was made in. I expect ALL visual novels to have a good skipping function now. I hope all of them eventually implement the "skip scenes" thing I was talking about in the paragraph above.

Or if a VN's voice cast is full of newcomers, I still expect a certain standard of excellence but won't scrutinise as harshly as I would with a standard "experienced" cast.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by BlueMist on 18/04/13, 12:36 am

Oh ok thanks guys smile

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 18/04/13, 12:37 am

No worries, though it was mostly Ace of Hearts that did the answering, haha.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Makise Sunao on 18/04/13, 12:52 am

The option to skip credits
A gallery and music room function
Not the typical oversused school setting
Having the useless best friend a useful role
Dialogues that don't stray too much from the story (a.k.a useless talk that goes on)
Strong willed heroines (not the scrambled brain type)

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 18/04/13, 12:55 am

^ How could I forget "SKIP CREDITS"?! Nice, Makise! Reminds of me of Starry Sky...

Yeah, I'm sick of "the best friend" always being useless, bland or both.

Also, I think it's quite unacceptable for a game of recent times to not have a music gallery or a CG section. For the music gallery, like with Starry Sky not having it, perhaps they omit one because they plan on releasing soundtracks and worry that it could impact sales.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Makise Sunao on 18/04/13, 01:07 am

Laramie Castiel wrote:^ How could I forget "SKIP CREDITS"?! Nice, Makise! Reminds of me of Starry Sky...

Yeah, I'm sick of "the best friend" always being useless, bland or both.

Also, I think it's quite unacceptable for a game of recent times to not have a music gallery or a CG section. For the music gallery, like with Starry Sky not having it, perhaps they omit one because they plan on releasing soundtracks and worry that it could impact sales.

I quite agree with this, i know honeybee had put much effort in their background music aside from art and seiyuu. Their business model involves re-using stuff that has already been produced...they know a girls wallet so well..hahaha

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 18/04/13, 01:09 am

Oh, for sure! honeybee are marketing geniuses, brah. Be careful! xD

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Topaztan on 18/04/13, 06:50 am

Another thing that makes VNs really good is an interesting cast of minor characters. It's boring seeing generic friends, with generic roles. Obviously they shouldn't be the focus of the game but having them a little more fleshed out or play a small role in the plot would certainly be interesting.

A good example of interesting side character is Waka from Amnesia. His personality and backstory changed depending which route the player was on, that was an entertaining touch.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by spicy_diamond on 18/04/13, 07:19 am

Topaztan wrote:Another thing that makes VNs really good is an interesting cast of minor characters. It's boring seeing generic friends, with generic roles. Obviously they shouldn't be the focus of the game but having them a little more fleshed out or play a small role in the plot would certainly be interesting.

A good example of interesting side character is Waka from Amnesia. His personality and backstory changed depending which route the player was on, that was an entertaining touch.
Yes, interesting side characters is another really nice touch. It makes the setting so much more alive when the characters are interesting to watch rather than having it NPC, Tsundere-trope, token-jealous female frienemy, etc. (The downside to this, of course, are the awesome side characters you can't capture but *shrugs* win some, lose some.)

Another thing that will bump up my respect for a game is attention to detail in the menus. Is the menu pretty? Is it easy to access? Can I see my saves or do I have to whip out a notepad and start numbering my save points for future reference?

What they put in the omake section also changes my opinion of a game. I really liked Beyond the Future... but no scene recalls in the omake? When all I want to do is rewatch that one scene 3/4ths of the way in? ...There's quite a few games that are was guilty of skimping on this in general. I want more than just the CG scenes! Give me choices! >.<

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by kuchiyume on 18/04/13, 12:24 pm

I would say a good story not just some kind of "excuse" for romance and even if i like some stereotype character a more complex characters would be great. The art and the music is a huge part of the otome game so it better be not messed up, but if story+characters are good if the art isn't much great the game can still be super great. AND the protagonist needs a personnality ,i know that no personnality help the player to "integrate" the story, but sometime it's just too much. A heroine with normal reactions is great too! I like strong character and i identify myself as a strong woman that's why most of the time i just want to hit the protagonist who is most of the time a simpleton in some context with fluffy romance pink elements....ect it's cool really but personnality never hurt anyone...at least i never saw that.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Topaztan on 18/04/13, 12:39 pm

kuchiyume wrote:AND the protagonist needs a personnality ,i know that no personnality help the player to "integrate" the story, but sometime it's just too much. A heroine with normal reactions is great too!

The heroine has to have eyes. (I'm looking at you, Tsukiko.)

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by The_Cat_Lady on 18/04/13, 02:19 pm

Let me think:
1.Interesting story
2.Realistic yet unique characters
3.Strong main protagonist
4.Good art
5.Good soundtrack
6.Lots of extras(gallery,mini game;character profiles etc.)

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Akuni on 18/04/13, 02:55 pm

1. An interesting, well developed story. MUST TOP THE LIST (for me)

2. Characters that are also well written and developed (personality types, doesn't really bother me, as long as that character's story is well-written - assuming they get one)

And then secondary;
-decent art (Background, character, CG art),
-appropriate music
-not too many unnecessary details (over explanations; unnecessary scenes/character moments/dialogue etc)

hmm if I think of anything else I'll put it there. But the storyline is pretty much the most important thing to me. I think I'd play a game that might not be as visually appealing, if it had an interesting concept and story and was well-written.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by umi~ on 18/04/13, 03:20 pm

I look for a unique story. It's the same for books or animes but it. shouldn't. bore people! I mean I don't care if you put clichés. After all, if the writer has a talent to make clichés interesting, it will attract attention!
no useless filler characters who try to talk their way into the story, pls...
oh not forgetting art too. If I see a VISUAL NOVEL without a 'visual quality' I just skip it >.> some have exceptionally useless art... what is a human anatomy anyway?!
Music is vital too.
...
and SAVE BUTTON! unless you have an interesting idea, put the damn save button >n<

yeah that must be all... I believe...

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 18/04/13, 05:30 pm

spicy_diamond wrote:
Topaztan wrote:Another thing that makes VNs
really good is an interesting cast of minor characters. It's boring
seeing generic friends, with generic roles. Obviously they shouldn't be
the focus of the game but having them a little more fleshed out or play a
small role in the plot would certainly be interesting.

Yes, interesting side
characters is another really nice touch. It makes the setting so much
more alive when the characters are interesting to watch rather than
having it NPC, Tsundere-trope, token-jealous female frienemy, etc. (The
downside to this, of course, are the awesome side characters you can't
capture but *shrugs* win some, lose some.)
It's so sad how often minor characters are overlooked. I can't tell you how sick I am of the token "super-supportive best friend" in otome games and "doofus best friend" in eroge. It's fine that they're that way, but for goodness sake, add more facets to them! No human being is "just supportive" or "just a doofus". Add all the cynicism you want here, but even the most shallow people have more than one facet to them. Also, the bitchy rival is getting old. I'm interested in seeing how a "rival succeeding" role would play out, if done tastefully. Or maybe a route where I HELP the best friend with their love, or just an element of such an event in a route (maybe a common route, where I don't end up picking anybody).

Yes, like spicy_diamond said, the downside to excellent side characters can be how you can't "capture" them, and moreso if there's no fandisc. Which most games don't have. Even if that's the case, I still prefer the disappointment of not being able to "catch" a side character as opposed to the frustration of shitty best friends and rivals.

spicy_diamond wrote:Another thing that will bump up my respect for a game is attention to
detail in the menus. Is the menu pretty? Is it easy to access? Can I see
my saves or do I have to whip out a notepad and start numbering my save
points for future reference?
Another good one! Crap menus can get really annoying, but it's not a total dealbreaker for me, ever. I have seen games where the volume levels aren't well balanced. That can get annoying, since I like to turn the BGMs quite down and leave the voices relatively up high.

Topaztan wrote:
kuchiyume wrote:AND the
protagonist needs a personnality ,i know that no personnality help the
player to "integrate" the story, but sometime it's just too much. A
heroine with normal reactions is great too!

The heroine has to have eyes. (I'm looking at you, Tsukiko.)
Yes, I'm not the type to immerse myself in the game AS the protagonist, even though that's the idea and many otome games make their protagonists Mary Sues on purpose. As for Tsukiko, she improves in the ~After~ series, I think, plus she gets eyes! In the PSP versions of the ~in~ games, she gets eyes as well. I also prefer my heroines to be voiced. I've accepted that in eroge it will rarely happen, but in otome games, I'm still hanging onto the hope that the companies will start making voiced protagonists more prevalent.

Tsukiko and Komori Yui (from Diabolik Lovers) are as stereotypical Mary Sue protagonist as you can get. I also dislike this nonsense with how they're supposedly "average" or "average-looking", but brings all the boys to the yard. I'm pretty sure not all of the guys likes one particular type of girl- especially at the same.

I also don't like how bad protagonists tends to give obvious advice, but it's treated like the dude went to see a brilliant life coach. Am I really supposed to believe that the love interests' friends never told the guy to stop his self-destructive love habits, to grow the fuck up out of his delinquency, etc. I don't see how the protagonists deliver the advice would be so different from anybody else a lot of the time. Moreso, after the love interest has been sticking to his dumb habits for so long, it's just psychologically improbable that they'd drop it at anybody's words.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Topaztan on 19/04/13, 05:54 pm

Laramie Castiel wrote:Yes, like spicy_diamond said, the downside to excellent side characters can be how you can't "capture" them, and moreso if there's no fandisc. Which most games don't have. Even if that's the case, I still prefer the disappointment of not being able to "catch" a side character as opposed to the frustration of shitty best friends and rivals.
Solution: make main game establish awesome side characters but focus plenty on boys, release fandisc featuring awesome side characters as focus, and awesome main characters as side characters. >w<b
Laramie Castiel wrote:Yes, I'm not the type to immerse myself in the game AS the protagonist, even though that's the idea and many otome games make their protagonists Mary Sues on purpose. As for Tsukiko, she improves in the ~After~ series, I think, plus she gets eyes! In the PSP versions of the ~in~ games, she gets eyes as well. I also prefer my heroines to be voiced. I've accepted that in eroge it will rarely happen, but in otome games, I'm still hanging onto the hope that the companies will start making voiced protagonists more prevalent.

Tsukiko and Komori Yui (from Diabolik Lovers) are as stereotypical Mary Sue protagonist as you can get. I also dislike this nonsense with how they're supposedly "average" or "average-looking", but brings all the boys to the yard. I'm pretty sure not all of the guys likes one particular type of girl- especially at the same.

I'm not one to pretend I'm the heroine either, sometimes it would be nice to be where the heroine is and sometimes I'd really rather not be anywhere near a situation like that. Which is why I am me, and the heroine is the heroine. Tsukiko does get eyes in the PSP ports, as far as I know, and it's just so much better. <3 I noticed even in the anime they tended to make it so Tsukiko didn't feel like the main character... :U Speaking of um... "Insert yourself here" otome heroines, Amnesia had an interesting twist to it, though she was still a weak protagonist.

Ugh, Yui, y u no better protagonist. Though, it could be worse. She could be Kurumi.

I'd be interested in more voiced heroines as well, they seem to be lacking. Though I can't say I want to hear more eroge females... That could turn into something really annoying if done wrong. If done right though I'm all for it.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 20/04/13, 01:29 am

Topaztan wrote:Solution: make main game establish awesome side characters but focus
plenty on boys, release fandisc featuring awesome side characters as
focus, and awesome main characters as side characters. >w<b
IF ONRIII~

It's as you say: Yui could have been Kurumi... and that's no good at all.

The thing about female voice actors in R18+ otome is that they're trained/learned to put on voices and mannerisms like an eroge heroine. Since guys apparently like the "embarrassed-but-turned-on" type of thing and the moe~ higher-pitched voices, that's what they're used to putting on. The acting is great, but the tones may need some re-evaluation. Akazukin's Tiana's seiyuu, Natsuno Koori, is experienced in eroge and it shows through her acting.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by KawaiiMess on 20/04/13, 01:42 am

I like otome games with heroines that don't fall into airhead flustered sterotypes, which means my list of games I like is very tiny orz D :

Dandelion sort of had a cynical heroine who occasionally took the piss out of situations, depending on which path you played, Hotokenser has a tough Red Ranger heroine (but we'll never see a translation ;__wink and Knife of the Traitor's main heroine was pretty neat too.

I do like games that know they're dumb--I'd say Uta no Prince Sama, but that's the anime that knows what it is and makes fun of itself all the time, less so the game. Tomo is also probably one of the best "best friend" characters and honestly she should end up with the heroine instead of any of the dudes, haha!

Tsukiko and Komori Yui (from Diabolik Lovers) are as stereotypical Mary
Sue protagonist as you can get. I also dislike this nonsense with how
they're supposedly "average" or "average-looking", but brings all the
boys to the yard. I'm pretty sure not all of the guys likes one
particular type of girl- especially at the same.

I also don't
like how bad protagonists tends to give obvious advice, but it's treated
like the dude went to see a brilliant life coach. Am I really supposed
to believe that the love interests' friends never told the guy to stop
his self-destructive love habits, to grow the fuck up out of his
delinquency, etc. I don't see how the protagonists deliver the advice
would be so different from anybody else a lot of the time. Moreso, after
the love interest has been sticking to his dumb habits for so long,
it's just psychologically improbable that they'd drop it at anybody's
words.

THIS EXACTLYYYYY World of Cardboard speeches barely work. I can give them a sort of a pass in stuff like Tokusatsu, but even in kiddie Tokusatsu shows, it takes a while for characters to change and develop.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Topaztan on 20/04/13, 02:07 am

Laramie Castiel wrote:The thing about female voice actors in R18+ otome is that they're trained/learned to put on voices and mannerisms like an eroge heroine. Since guys apparently like the "embarrassed-but-turned-on" type of thing and the moe~ higher-pitched voices, that's what they're used to putting on. The acting is great, but the tones may need some re-evaluation. Akazukin's Tiana's seiyuu, Natsuno Koori, is experienced in eroge and it shows through her acting.

B-but, otome games are aimed for girls so... -sigh- I understand that is how they've been trained but, you would think its only natural to change it for the audience. Most girls have a different opinion of what type of female voice is attractive, and what type of voice is ear splitting than a guy would. xD If it's done well I'm sure the overall effect of the scene would become so much better.

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Dududu on 20/04/13, 02:20 am

Personally all I need to stay interested is a decent story and characters to go with it.

I like art and music and whatnot, but if these things are slightly lacking I don't mind so much.

But then if there's a beautiful game with a crap story I'll probably still enjoy that as well.

Honestly I'm really easy to please... JUST STORIES + ART, I'M GOOD TO GO.

HAHAHA MY OPINION ISN'T VERY HELPFUL-

DUDUDUDUUAWAAYYYYY!

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Laramie Castiel on 20/04/13, 08:09 am

KawaiiMess wrote:I like otome games with heroines that don't fall into airhead flustered
sterotypes, which means my list of games I like is very tiny orz D :

Dandelion sort of had a cynical heroine who occasionally took the piss out of situations, depending on which path you played, Hotokenser has a tough Red Ranger heroine (but we'll never see a translation ;__wink and Knife of the Traitor's main heroine was pretty neat too.

I do like games that know they're dumb--I'd say Uta no Prince Sama, but that's the anime that knows what it is and makes fun of itself all the time, less so the game. Tomo is also probably one of the best "best friend" characters and honestly she should end up with the heroine instead of any of the dudes, haha!
That would make your game collection very limited... (╥_╥) It's pretty tough to think off the top of my head which games have a decent protagonist. Was gonna mention Gakuen Tokkyuu Hotokenser, but you beat me to it! xO I thought that was a pretty decent game, but it wasn't really my "thing" in the end... but yes, the protagonist was really refreshing.

I've had Dandelion on my backlog for a while now, but as dumb as this sounds, I've been hesitant to touch it because of the kemonomimi thing. I'm just so used to it being a symbol of inanity or silly moe~ness that it put me off. Then again, I did play BWS and totally enjoyed it, so I should afford Dandelion the same chance. I like the idea of a cynical heroine, though. Might get annoying at times, but I'm sick of the 120% positive protagonists with inhuman amounts of emotional resilience.

"Hey, I got screwed over real bad, beep, beep. Initiating emotional resilience and trauma repression programme now, beep beep."

I just couldn't get into Uta no Prince-sama. I don't really like the art and I don't like Haruka. I'm not too interested in the concept as well. However, I totally respect it for bringing back a big thing of what otome games should ultimately be about- FUN! A lot of games try to take themselves too seriously and fail/fall short.

KawaiiMess wrote:THIS EXACTLYYYYY World of Cardboard speeches barely work. I can give
them a sort of a pass in stuff like Tokusatsu, but even in kiddie
Tokusatsu shows, it takes a while for characters to change and develop.
LOL, World of Cardboard! Laughing dududu
Seriously, the protagonist is usually so blissfully unaware of the "harsher realities of the world". Then all of the sudden, maybe after consulting the New York Times' best-selling self-help book, they feel like they're imbued with a sense of wisdom? It's good that they're trying to help somebody and all, but I'd consult further than cheap, bumper-sticker advice.

That's the thing- even KIDS' shows have better character development than a lot of media aimed at an older audience. Very scary.

Topaztan wrote:B-but, otome games are aimed for girls so... -sigh- I understand that is
how they've been trained but, you would think its only natural to
change it for the audience. Most girls have a different opinion of what
type of female voice is attractive, and what type of voice is ear
splitting than a guy would. xD If it's done well I'm sure the overall
effect of the scene would become so much better.
It doesn't go just for the female actors, too. It's only recently that R18+ otome games have grown in popularity, so male seiyuu are still relatively inexperienced with H voice acting for "mature" otome games. Even so, they've still managed to step out of the "men-don't-really-moan-in-Japanese-ero" comfort zone and a lot of them really rise up. Just waitin' on Sakurai Takahiro, y'know? (*/ω\*)

So that was just my long-winded of way of agreeing with you, Topaz. Yes, female seiyuu in R18+ otome should try to experiment with their performances a little more.

Dududu wrote:HAHAHA MY OPINION ISN'T VERY HELPFUL-
I don't think so- we did cover a lot of stuff before you got here! I think it's great to be easily pleased- expands your pool of games! Maybe it'd be hard to handle, since I'd consider myself "average" in terms of ease-to-please and my backlog never seems to shrink!

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default Re: What makes a Visual Novel good or great?

Post by Topaztan on 21/04/13, 06:03 pm

Laramie Castiel wrote:
It doesn't go just for the female actors, too. It's only recently that R18+ otome games have grown in popularity, so male seiyuu are still relatively inexperienced with H voice acting for "mature" otome games. Even so, they've still managed to step out of the "men-don't-really-moan-in-Japanese-ero" comfort zone and a lot of them really rise up. Just waitin' on Sakurai Takahiro, y'know? (*/ω\*)

So that was just my long-winded of way of agreeing with you, Topaz. Yes, female seiyuu in R18+ otome should try to experiment with their performances a little more.

Ah, there are so many good male voice actors that make nice ero-noises~. =u= I imagine what it must be like to record that though, I mean, especially with the dummy head mics and being in a professional studio setting. Lol, the whole ordeal is so awkward sounding.

by experiment you mean stop squealing kimochiiii, right?? I'm sure with practice the female seiyuu will get better as well.

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