The first one I played through (began playing a week ago), was Homeward. For those not familiar with Homeward, here is a link to the developer's forum post. The other one I've played through is "No One But You" with the 18 plus patch - Here is the forum posting.
I greatly enjoyed Homeward, and am looking for something very similar, where the characters and the story arcs have a more realistic and meaningful feeling. I usually don't empathize with anything or anyone, especially fictitious characters, however within an hour of playing the first arc, I realized that all the characters in Homeward seemed like the real people I already knew in my life. Moreover I enjoyed the way all of the arcs interacted; the final chapters of all three arcs where centered around the same basic events, but were told from a completely different perspectives, so they all had tie-ins to one another that gave each one more impact.
I also enjoyed "No One But You," but to a lesser, extent due to characters feeling mostly 1 dimensional and the story arcs being slightly far fetched as well as cliche and predictable.
If TL:DR - Just skip to here
What I am looking for is a visual novel that includes multiple character arcs with multiple good/bad/neutral endings, conical tie-ins to other arcs/endings, realistic multi dimensional characters, realistic story arcs that have realistic scenarios, mature content and situations, and an emotionally dynamic story (light hearted humor counterbalanced by soul crushing despair).
Additionally, I require English translations, but prefer games that take place in Japan, with references to Japanese culture and traditions. I would prefer stories that revolve around a Japanese High School or University.
Also free is better (as Homeward was free and has turned out to be one of the best games I've ever played), but I'm still interested in all recommendations.
Thank you in advance
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Most visual novels I've played are good, but they are not THAT GOOD, if this Homeward you mention is so good I'll definitely give it a try when I have the time.What I am looking for is a visual novel that includes multiple character arcs with multiple good/bad/neutral endings, conical tie-ins to other arcs/endings, realistic multi dimensional characters, realistic story arcs that have realistic scenarios, mature content and situations, and an emotionally dynamic story (light hearted humor counterbalanced by soul crushing despair).
For recommendation, I have a suggestions. For a reallistic and really emotional story, try a game called Katawa Shoujo, it's free, it takes place in Japan in a very special japanese school (you'll see) and it's translated to many languages, I enjoyed every single line of it, specially Lilly's path. I think the link goes like this: https://www.katawa-shoujo.com
That's a tall order. I will try to think of titles that meet some of those qualifications...stoneslayer9001 wrote:What I am looking for is a visual novel that includes multiple character arcs with multiple good/bad/neutral endings, conical tie-ins to other arcs/endings, realistic multi dimensional characters, realistic story arcs that have realistic scenarios, mature content and situations, and an emotionally dynamic story (light hearted humor counterbalanced by soul crushing despair).
* Kana Little Sister was a good cathartic experience that left me thinking for days. One of its strong points is how the story slowly transitions from slice of life into drama. Though there were a few plot points which I found risible even in 2002-2003. I liked most of the characters. Some of them could be summed up in two or three words. (Though I could say the same thing for famous characters from literature, theater, and movies.)
* Overall, I liked Tears 9, 10. It has some strong points. 1) It also left me thinking for days. 2) It's a story about a relationship, but I wouldn't describe it as romance. 3) The protagonist is an ordinary person who does several (spoiler-intense) things in the story that left me stunned. 4) The story is often downbeat, but it opens with a comedy scene, and it has some moments of levity. ...Having said that, Tears 9, 10 does not have quality graphics. There are also some (very spoiler-intense) plot points which left me frustrated.
* A Midsummer Day's Resonance is free, but not easy to recommend. It's a short story with no choices or interaction. It also involves some comical plot devices. Why do I mention it? Because it was the first instance of a visual novel which moved me and left me thinking in *less than an hour*.
Also thank you for those recommendations, gekiganwing. Kana Little Sister sounds interesting, so I'll check that out soon. Tear 9,10 also seems good from your description, but it looks like the English version isn't available on windows.
While I was waiting for replies, I took the initiative and did a tag search dragnet of vndb.org (basically sorting the games using relevant tags from Homeward and No One But You). I've come up with a short list of games, most of which can be found free with an English patch.
I'm currently playing though Wind -A Breath of Heart and it seems pretty good, and has a lot of what I enjoyed from Homeward.
I also have Yume Miru Kusuri, and will be playing that next. Some of the reviews indicate it has the same impact as Katawa-Shoujo.
I'm eventually going to get Sunrider Academy, which is by the same developer (Love In Space) as Homeward.
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