Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

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Cain0425
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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#31 Post by Cain0425 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:31 pm

wow cool good luck i am going to buy them all

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#32 Post by Krian » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:32 pm

Well, I bought it yesterday night, installed it after work today and finished it a few minutes ago.

My feelings are kind of mixed. It's a pretty nice game, the fact that it has voiceovers surprised me... but I finished in in less than an hour, so $15 is kind of expensive. Especially if you consider that the replay value is sort of low, since except the "Game Over" Ending(s?) there is only one resolution to the story. It also seemed kind of linear. Somehow, it felt like one of the intro cases in the Ace Attorney series... or maybe Time Hollow, which was also a great game, but way too short for full retail value. I guess my honest impression was that it felt like the pilot of a new mystery TV series, which I'd say is a huge compliment.... if you're ignoring the price tag.

I guess I'm going to buy the next part(s), but I really hope that those will be either longer or have more replay value. I'd accept a lack of voiceovers for that. At five times the length for the price of a regular game (i.e. $40), I'd recommend it, but at $15 for less than an hour of entertainment, it was incredibly short, and the money/time equation is worse than a trip to the movies. If I was still in college, I would sit out on the next one.

If this is important from a review-standpoint, I think I bought most commercial independant VNs avaible in english. From the top of my head, those were Bionic Heart, Heileen 1 and 2, Date Warp, Fading Hearts, Fatal Hearts, The Stolen Diamond Ring (same problems as Jisei, though I think it was a tad longer), College Romance, Summer Session, Cute Knight (the last two are more like Life-Sims, though). I also bought some commercial non-indie games from Peachprincess, but those turned out to be pure H-games which I didn't enjoy all that much. I just recently got into virtual novels, however, I loved the Choose your own Adventure / Fighting Fantasy and kin novels as a kid around 20 years ago. I tried out some virtual novels in college (like a decade ago), and most of those didn't impress me, since all that was avaible at that time were h-games with no story and lots of girls in various improbable sexual situations. Just to clear that up, I don't mind dating sims and romance games (I guess Date Warp is a good example), but not the barely disguised porn stuff (especially if the relationships are with step-siblings or something, which seems to be included in most japanese VN - eeeew).

However, what I enjoy even more are thriller / crime / adventure stories, so in that regard, Jisei really hit the spot - except for the aforementioned length, it would probably be my favourite independant VN.

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#33 Post by sake-bento » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:59 pm

Krian, thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. It means a lot that you'd take the time to share with me. Did it really take you less than an hour? I tested the game and played straight through making all the right choices, and it took me about an hour and a half with voices on. Based on that, I chose a $15 price because it's what I'd pay to own a DVD with four half-hour episodes of a TV series. A lot of people did mention that it was short, and the next installment is planned to be at least three times the length (if not more) for the same price. I think you really hit the nail on the head, saying that it's like the pilot to a series. Except in this case, the pilot is the short one, and the rest of the season is longer. Thank you again for writing you thoughts so eloquently and thoroughly (and for supporting the indie VN industry), and I hope that the next installment will go beyond your expectations.

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#34 Post by Sheru-chan » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:12 pm

Ano, I really enjoyed this game and now wonders if there could be a........female version?

Well, great story concept and art style. XD

I have to admit it was pretty short but at least not like some DS games with same genre that really turn me off after i've played for almost 24 hours..... -_- This make me crave for more except for being turned off....
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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#35 Post by Krian » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:54 pm

sake-bento wrote:Krian, thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. It means a lot that you'd take the time to share with me. Did it really take you less than an hour? I tested the game and played straight through making all the right choices, and it took me about an hour and a half with voices on.
Yes, it did, but I tend to skip voices once I've read the subtitles / text in games (as I said, I'd gladly choose more playtime in exchange for a lack of voices), and I'm a fairly quick reader. I guess it would take an average reader a while longer, but I started the game a few minutes before 11 pm two days ago (CET) and I finished a quarter to midnight the same day. I guess with fully listening to the dialogue, it would be a bit longer.

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#36 Post by sake-bento » Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:27 pm

Sheru-chan wrote:Ano, I really enjoyed this game and now wonders if there could be a........female version?

Well, great story concept and art style. XD

I have to admit it was pretty short but at least not like some DS games with same genre that really turn me off after i've played for almost 24 hours..... -_- This make me crave for more except for being turned off....
Hm...I don't know if it's possible to make a female edition, but I could probably make a spinoff story starring one of the female characters. Maybe a dating sim where you solve mysteries and pick up cute guys. XD Although it would have to wait, since right now doing anything with the main female cast would be a huge spoiler. >.>

Krian wrote:
sake-bento wrote:Krian, thank you so much for your comments and thoughts. It means a lot that you'd take the time to share with me. Did it really take you less than an hour? I tested the game and played straight through making all the right choices, and it took me about an hour and a half with voices on.
Yes, it did, but I tend to skip voices once I've read the subtitles / text in games (as I said, I'd gladly choose more playtime in exchange for a lack of voices), and I'm a fairly quick reader. I guess it would take an average reader a while longer, but I started the game a few minutes before 11 pm two days ago (CET) and I finished a quarter to midnight the same day. I guess with fully listening to the dialogue, it would be a bit longer.
Ah, I see. That makes sense, then. My estimate is based on the amount of time it takes to listen to all the lines (but I'm the sort of person who clicks through, too >.>). The next one will have a lot more substance in terms of length and plot.

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#37 Post by dstarsboy » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:08 am

I think $15 is a great price point. I always expect indy games to be a little pricey comparatively since they are, well, they take a long time to create them in their spare time. Unlike profession game companies, a really skilled group of VN makers can probably only put out a couple of games per year in their spare time, so it makes sense to charge more than market value per release.

That said, I have bought a number of indy VNs that have less depth and a higher price point than Jisei, so I definitely think $15 hits the mark.
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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#38 Post by lepapillonrouge » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:16 am

-insert review here-

...though it's not really much of one. XD; I did like screencapping it for fun.
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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#39 Post by sake-bento » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:49 am

lepapillonrouge wrote:-insert review here-

...though it's not really much of one. XD; I did like screencapping it for fun.
Haha, I love all the commentary on the screencaps (and elsewhere). XD Thank you~

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#40 Post by Riviera » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:36 pm

This really reminds me of the "Through Violet Eyes" book series, in a very good way. I'll have to keep an eye on this to see how things go. It's gonna be a series eventually, right? ^-^
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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#41 Post by Krian » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:56 pm

dstarsboy wrote:I think $15 is a great price point. I always expect indy games to be a little pricey comparatively since they are, well, they take a long time to create them in their spare time. Unlike profession game companies, a really skilled group of VN makers can probably only put out a couple of games per year in their spare time, so it makes sense to charge more than market value per release.

That said, I have bought a number of indy VNs that have less depth and a higher price point than Jisei, so I definitely think $15 hits the mark.
Well, but it's spare time, so it's not like indie developers depend on their games as income like professional game designers. I guess that you- like myself - have finished your graduation and have some money to spend? I'd like (per PM, maybe?) notification of the indie games you played, just because I'd like to try them - as I said, I thought I played most releases.

However, the pricing point is a whole other discussion.

That said, I don't really get why the genre isn't more popular. I actually screams "casual gaming" to me (and don't get me wrong, I'd still call myself a hardcore gamer with time restriction, even though the time I devote to computer games has shrinked...) - I mean, playing an interactive story is kinda like the definition of casual. I guess that with an interactive crime or a romantic comedy VN, people who would have never dreamed of playing computer games could get hooked. And to be frank, the production values - compared to other bestselling games - are really low for VNs. I'd say it's at least on par with those "Hidden Object" games which are flooding the casual market, next to the "Match 3" crowd. Both were nice for a while, but they get boring fast. And the market is oversaturated.

I dunno, but I'd say that with an argument like "It's like a crime novel, only you are the suspect, and depending on what you do at certain points, the story changes for better or worse" could change my father's opinion on computer games - who, as I'd like to add, has been using computers for over two decades, but never felt the appeal of computer games. He's in the middle of his sixties right now. Those game could use photographs of (casual) actors for live photo shoots... to escape the "It's for kids! See, it's a cartoon!" stigmata.

Maybe "It's like those romantic novels you read all the time... you take the role of a young maid who has taken the favour of a lord, but they can't really be together because of their different standings, and it's like a novel, only you can chose what the maid does at important points! And that changes the outcome!" could even convince my grandmothers (both in their eighties) to try a VN. I mean, one of them already plays card games (one kinda like a version of Hearts in Germany ("Skat")) from time to time, though my aunt needs to set up the PC for her. And (admittedly and widely in the realm of speculation) with tongue in cheek... who knows? Maybe Granny could get interested in dating sims targeted for a younger audience? Once she has seen for herself that computer games doesn't mean blowing up aliens from space?

Yes, those are probably one-of-a-kind stories tied to a target group. But just think of what you could do with a tie-in of a popular trademark. I really don't get why most investors play it safe with a Hidden Object and / or Match 3 game just losely tied in with a trademark.

With the right kind of advertisement and the right choice of tie-in, a VN could (from my point of view) be a cash-cow.

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#42 Post by jack_norton » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:23 pm

Krian wrote:Well, but it's spare time, so it's not like indie developers depend on their games as income like professional game designers.
I'd say 99% not, but a small part are doing that fulltime. Just on this forum is me and hanako for example...
Krian wrote: With the right kind of advertisement and the right choice of tie-in, a VN could (from my point of view) be a cash-cow.
Hmm no. Casual gamers DON'T like to read at all. I don't see a pure VN as a cash-cow ever. My most selling games aren't pure VNs (story+choices). It might sell a lot if has insane production values but then would still be hard to produce and recoup the costs :mrgreen:
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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#43 Post by Krian » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:42 pm

jack_norton wrote:Hmm no. Casual gamers DON'T like to read at all. I don't see a pure VN as a cash-cow ever. My most selling games aren't pure VNs (story+choices). It might sell a lot if has insane production values but then would still be hard to produce and recoup the costs :mrgreen:
Of course, for a casual-gamer-succes, the games would have to be voiced - they should be more like movies. Probably with some sort of realistic graphics using photos? I know from experience that a lot of people consider hand-drawn graphics as comics (note that I didn't use the term graphic novel...).

I have no clue, but then again, I'm in a whole different field of employment. But a promise of an interactive story and / or movie where YOU can make the choices should have potential on the casual gamer market... though I agree, the required marketing costs to actually sell such an ambitious project would be prohibitive.

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#44 Post by papillon » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:00 pm

But a promise of an interactive story and / or movie where YOU can make the choices should have potential on the casual gamer market...
There's a lot of stigma attached to "interactive movies" as a genre as a result of some adventure games in the past... although Heavy Rain is managing to break that up a bit. Still, that title is generally thrown around as a pejorative and not something that most visual novels would want to remind people of.

Admittedly, truly casual players who aren't immersed in gaming history might not have the same reaction. :)

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Re: Jisei (Supernatural, mystery, commercial)

#45 Post by sake-bento » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:21 pm

This game is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a live action visual novel/dating sim.

But I think with the right team and funding, a live action VN could be really cool.

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