I've been reading a lot of VN lately that haven't really made the front pages and I started to wonder, why is that? So I thought it would be interesting to start a list of VNs that you feel are underrated. It doesn't matter if it is free or commercial, just list a VN that you feel has been mainly ignored despite actually having something worthwhile in it. The only rule is you cannot list your own VN
. It also help to write why you think the VN is underrated (and what is good about it). That way, interested readers can pick up a hidden diamond.
For me? The listing order has no effect on preference, but is rather just when I thought of these VNs:
My underrated VN list:1. Bionic Heart by Winter Wolves
Great story and seriously surprising endings. I feel like this was a classic VN that seriously sidestepped the cliches that fill many VNs. I didn't care for certain character designs/clothing, but I finished the game feeling like I seriously got my money's worth. Very original and very enjoyable. No regrets whatsoever in buying/playing this game.Possible reason it's underrated:
The beginning didn't really pull me in and some characters annoyed me to death with certain whining. Thankfully, the main girl made me care a lot about what happened next and the storyline was so original that I couldn't put the VN down. I'm glad I didn't.2.Fading Hearts by Sakura River Interactive
When reading this VN, I was surprised by the sheer amount of story that was hidden in a seemingly simple/generic storyline. It is a VN where you can control your destiny and I was very impressed by the endings of certain stories that stuck with me even after playing it so long ago. I had low expectations but found them very much exceeded after multiple games.Possible reason it's underrated:
It was a bit hard to get into and you have to be willing to test out every action to get a hopefully good response. 3. Vera Blanc by Winter Wolves
Great storyline but still underappreciated by the masses.
Possible reason it's underrated:
I can only think the art style turned people off.
4. Other Age Second Encounters by Zeiva Inc.
3 years of making a sequel to the smash hit OA, this strangely was not popular. It had amazing art (as always), incredible amounts of gameplay/variety, and a charming humor seen in many Zeiva Inc. games. This is a game that can be played for hours on end and is well worth the price. I highly recommend playing the demo (which features the path of 1 girl) and if you like it, then get it!Possible reason it's underrated:
I'm not quite sure the reason. Its game play was very similar to OA (which was very beloved). I was a bit frustrated with some difficulty of games, but Zeiva Inc has very helpful walkthroughs online and she updated with patches that help the clumsy gameplayer (like me, haha). My guess is people expected a huge dating sim rather than realizing the game had a lot more depth in humor/everyday situations. 5. Thousand Dollar Soul
Time traveler offers me the chance to change my life? Sure, why not? A seemingly generic idea that became very interested and deep, I found myself replaying the game over and over again. The real story shocked me and I was surprised by the bittersweet tinge that remained afterwards. Very much comic book art but it is seriously a deep story.Possible reason it's underrated:
The beginning was a very poor way to pull readers in (choosing between popping a zit? seriously?) but if you can get past it, you'll find a treat.6.Gakuen Redux by ATP Projects
Yes, the art is super old. It reads more like a very, very long KN. But man, I felt like I had seriously relived my school years through this MC (Not my own personal experiences, but it was well done in a very, very long story). Did I wish I had more choices? Good lord, yes. I definitely wanted the freedom, but I respect the work and direction of this VN. It was very interesting and even though the ending/girl disappointed me...I remember it as a very interesting read.Possible reason it's underrated:
Art is a bit lacking and there were basically no choices. I can understand that in a few VN, but in this one where I'm supposed to change my life for the way I want to? It didn't make sense to me then and it doesn't make sense to me now.
There are no choices. The art is basically pictures. But the storyline and writing? Amazing. I read and read until it was over. Then I felt sad because it was touching and awed because it was brilliant. Sad, touching, and realistic. I wish there were more VN like this.Possible reason it's underrated:
Lack of drawn art/sprites hurt a VN popularity. It wasn't just one story, but multiple ones which aren't as popular.
I limited my list to English novels and those that I felt weren't particularly recognized/played. I'm sure I missed a few, so please let me know what your list looks like
EDIT: I adjusted the list order because I missed 2 fantastic VNs that were sorely underappreciated. My bad