• We are delighted to introduce GiftBot 2.0, the next generation of our popular gifting feature. To celebrate, we'll be giving away some incredible prizes over the coming weeks in one big Giveaway Extravaganza!

Are "Ironic" Western Visual Novels hurting the VN Genre?

Castile

Member
Dec 1, 2017
3,436
Nah, I doubt the Japanese fanbase even cares about this game. Even looking at 4chan, the most otaku western site in the internet, and I see more people complaining about the actual chicken taste than the game. It will be release, and after a few weeks be forgotten like every other VN of its type.
 

UshiromiyaEva

Member
Aug 22, 2018
376
I think people on VN twitter have been doing an astounding job marketing this game for free by giving it so much buzz while telling their friends to buy games they already played or intend to play.
 

Naga

Member
Aug 29, 2019
436
I don't see anything bad with the KFC game considering it seems to have effort behind it, and just following trends...
VN is a genre, and there's different games in it, with enough sub-genres to please different crowds. I don't know, I don't like "ironic" VNs but I don't think they're a problem for the genre, some get into it through that, even if those games aren't particularly good (or really bad for the most part).
 

NeoZeedeater

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,039
What hurts a lot of these games is that barely interactive story experiences and puzzle heavy games are all being lumped under the VN umbrella just because they have anime artwork. It becomes hard to figure out what's what. If a game has puzzles, just call it an adventure game or graphic adventure.
 

lambdaupsilon

Member
Apr 17, 2018
487
This is the second time I'm seeing a poster imply that the ero stuff for female gratification is in any way less gross.

I mean, let's be real, we can count the EXTREMELY GOOD MASTERPIECES of the genre on two hands, maybe on four hands if we include unlocalized stuff.
A large portion (be it the majority or not) of VNs and especially dating sims (male and female!) deals with various fetishes and fantasies that will never appeal to a wide majority of people - that is on purpose. This is a niche genre.
to be clear - i'm not talking about otome (i'm very unfamiliar with the subgenre) but games made by queer people about queer people
which, yeah, involves sex often

like, heaven will be mine's store blurb includes "sext your enemies". there isn't actually any explicit sexual content in the game! but it's very heavily metaphorical for queer relationships and struggles.
it's a really cool blend of text and subtext because, yes, the protagonists (and some side characters) are explicitly gay, and in some cases trans, but they're also "othered" by society for reasons unrelated to their queerness. mechs fighting are an analogue for intimacy here.

or the other one i eternally shill, heart of the woods. the (optional, downloadable) sex scenes are just sex scenes here, but they're not... it's just a respectful, well-done (and, yes, appealing) depiction of such.
i haven't played it since i have no interest, but i've heard that coming out on top is essentially the same thing for MLM (well, with a lot more emphasis on sex.)
 

sauce

Member
Oct 25, 2017
356
There are plenty of examples on twitter If you search for VN.
One of the biggest complaints I noticed, is how VN's such as this will get exposure on all manner of gaming website (regardless if they typically covers VNs).
While other titles will never see an article or a mention, despite being of high quality. I think this is a fair point, even if there's no real input I can share on fixing it.
I feel like this sentiment is applicable for high quality games in general. Just look at all the great PC games that come out, get buzz, and yet you go to their Metacritic page or whatever and there's not a single review from a news outlet. Gaming journalism on the whole just doesn't seem to pay attention unless there's already marketing behind it. Sometimes the word of mouth gets to them, like DDLC, but think of games like Risk of Rain 2, which has literally one unscored review despite being one of the biggest games of this year.

So I can see how VN, which is a predominantly PC genre, gets left out in the cold as well. I don't really see PC VN coverage taking off like how Ace Attorney and the Zero Escape's did unless they've got an anime attached to them (which you could say is marketing too; think of all the anime that exist to promote manga and light novels).
 

Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,886
I think the only one I've played all the way through is Hatoful Boyfriend, and while I kinda liked it, I don't understand why that one is ok for the genre, but the KFC one might be hurting the genre?

They're both parodies, aren't they? Is it just because KFC is a brand?
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,834
I think the only one I've played all the way through is Hatoful Boyfriend, and while I kinda liked it, I don't understand why that one is ok for the genre, but the KFC one might be hurting the genre?

They're both parodies, aren't they? Is it just because KFC is a brand?
Straw on the camels back yada yada. Basically it's not worse it's just the one that sparked the discussion.
 

Dee Dee

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,459
to be clear - i'm not talking about otome (i'm very unfamiliar with the subgenre) but games made by queer people about queer people
which, yeah, involves sex often

like, heaven will be mine's store blurb includes "sext your enemies". there isn't actually any explicit sexual content in the game! but it's very heavily metaphorical for queer relationships and struggles.
it's a really cool blend of text and subtext because, yes, the protagonists (and some side characters) are explicitly gay, and in some cases trans, but they're also "othered" by society for reasons unrelated to their queerness. mechs fighting are an analogue for intimacy here.

or the other one i eternally shill, heart of the woods. the (optional, downloadable) sex scenes are just sex scenes here, but they're not... it's just a respectful, well-done (and, yes, appealing) depiction of such.
i haven't played it since i have no interest, but i've heard that coming out on top is essentially the same thing for MLM (well, with a lot more emphasis on sex.)
You're talking about a very small subset of Dating sims then, and I understand that you feel you are fighting to get a subgenre noticed and better understood, but you're not doing the good games a favor by brushing over the problematic shit in the other games.

BL (Boys Love) games are often cited as a subgenre of Otome Games for example, with stuff like Dramatical Murder having a predominantly female audience that enjoys gay interactions as a way to live out their own erotic fantasies. It's a thin line for some of these games, between actual representation and mere titillation of hetero fetishes.
To argue that "not all games" promote unhealthy power structures in relationships or abusive relationships is fine and well, but when a very large number (and I argue the current number is too large, whether it's 12% or 40%) does this, I think it's fair to criticize the genre for facilitating this just as much as praising it for the times when it goes out of its way to subvert it and be inclusive.

You can't reduce it to the pedo-stuff, yes, but you can't argue that the pedo-stuff isn't there prominently.

I think the only one I've played all the way through is Hatoful Boyfriend, and while I kinda liked it, I don't understand why that one is ok for the genre, but the KFC one might be hurting the genre?

They're both parodies, aren't they? Is it just because KFC is a brand?
Hatoful is great fun, and then you get to the secret route and it's just amazing.
If the KFC game can pull off anything like that, I think most people will change their mind about it.
 

Twig

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,794
Nothing hurts the rep of VNs more than erotic dating sims about high school girls. Or younger!

Obviously, there's more to VNs than that. But they get a lot of coverage.
 

lambdaupsilon

Member
Apr 17, 2018
487
You're talking about a very small subset of Dating sims then, and I understand that you feel you are fighting to get a subgenre noticed and better understood, but you're not doing the good games a favor by brushing over the problematic shit in the other games.

BL (Boys Love) games are often cited as a subgenre of Otome Games for example, with stuff like Dramatical Murder having a predominantly female audience that enjoys gay interactions as a way to live out their own erotic fantasies. It's a thin line for some of these games, between actual representation and mere titillation of hetero fetishes.
To argue that "not all games" promote unhealthy power structures in relationships or abusive relationships is fine and well, but when a very large number (and I argue the current number is too large, whether it's 12% or 40%) does this, I think it's fair to criticize the genre for facilitating this just as much as praising it for the times when it goes out of its way to subvert it and be inclusive.

You can't reduce it to the pedo-stuff, yes, but you can't argue that the pedo-stuff isn't there prominently.
i've heard a lot of bad shit about DM but didn't realize it was vn-first. i'd managed to make myself forget that fujoshi exist
so yeah not contesting what you're saying. i just think it would be good for people to have awareness that the genre isn't solely a vehicle for creepy stuff (well, and that there are vns not even remotely about romance/sex)
 

werezompire

Zeboyd Games
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
2,547
Guess I'd better cancel Cthulhu Saves Christmas since I don't want to hurt the VN genre.
(It has a Persona-inspired life sim element that is presented in a VN format, along with the more traditional JRPG dungeon crawling).
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,834
Guess I'd better cancel Cthulhu Saves Christmas since I don't want to hurt the VN genre.
(It has a Persona-inspired life sim element that is presented in a VN format, along with the more traditional JRPG dungeon crawling).
I feel like this decision should be entirely hinged on whether or not fried chicken is in the game.
 

Radeo

Banned
Apr 26, 2019
1,305
Honestly VNs themselves are what's hurting the VN genre's reputation. If a parody like this ends up being actually funny, it can only help it. VN fans love to act like the good serious VNs are the only true representation of the genre but it doen't take a genius to see how flooded it is with pedobait waifu trash. Hell, even many of the widely recommended "real" VNs can often have creepy shit that deters people from playing them much more than an ironic parody ever will.
That's a gym uniform. I get it is used very often for pervy shit but that's just a school uniform
 

Orb

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,552
USA
I thought Dream Daddy was an "ironic" game and played it because I thought it would be funny. It was funny, but it was also earnest, kind, joyful, and introspective. It made me interested in possibly playing other VNs in the future. So if anything I would say they are helping.
 

OmegaX

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,945
Guess I'd better cancel Cthulhu Saves Christmas since I don't want to hurt the VN genre.
(It has a Persona-inspired life sim element that is presented in a VN format, along with the more traditional JRPG dungeon crawling).
Cthulhu Saves the World did irreparable damage to the JRPG genre. Please, western dev rethink your actions and do not sully this proud genre /s
As always weebs are overreacting to any perceived offense to their hobby while ignoring the real problematic elements it has.
 

Dee Dee

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,459
i've heard a lot of bad shit about DM but didn't realize it was vn-first. i'd managed to make myself forget that fujoshi exist
so yeah not contesting what you're saying. i just think it would be good for people to have awareness that the genre isn't solely a vehicle for creepy stuff (well, and that there are vns not even remotely about romance/sex)
DM at least has a great art style and a bonkers plot going for it, but otherwise it's exactly the reason that I think "games made for girls" can be just as bad and gross as the ones made for men.

It doesn't really compare to the games you mentioned, but since it's never good to let a chance slip to recommend this game, you should check out "House in Fata Morgana" if you haven't yet! It's one of the best Visual Novels ever translated into English and one of the high points of the genre for sure. That's absolutely the VN that proves how powerful a way the Visual Novel is in conjunction of art and sound and pacing to convey a story, no smut or trash whatsoever.
 

lambdaupsilon

Member
Apr 17, 2018
487
It doesn't really compare to the games you mentioned, but since it's never good to let a chance slip to recommend this game, you should check out "House in Fata Morgana" if you haven't yet! It's one of the best Visual Novels ever translated into English and one of the high points of the genre for sure. That's absolutely the VN that proves how powerful a way the Visual Novel is in conjunction of art and sound and pacing to convey a story, no smut or trash whatsoever.
i have it! i've been putting off playing it though because i hear it's super long and ADHD makes vns already take a long time for me to read
Seriously though, this is like the only site I frequent that has no problem with her. I recall reading an abandoned VA-11 Hall-A Let's Play in the Something Awful forum and pretty much everyone was completely disgusted by her inclusion.
i don't think the presence of a problematic element in a work is necessarily an endorsement of such
imo it's pretty in line with the rest of the dystopian cyberpunk stuff in that game. it's perhaps a bit masturbatory, but here's a writeup by one of the authors on her
 
May 13, 2019
632
i don't think the presence of a problematic element in a work is necessarily an endorsement of such
imo it's pretty in line with the rest of the dystopian cyberpunk stuff in that game. it's perhaps a bit masturbatory, but here's a writeup by one of the authors on her
Regardless of the original point they were trying to get across, her inclusion is still creepy and pandering to me and I'll threat it as such.

Interesting reading, though.
 

Tacitus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,243
Seriously though, this is like the only site I frequent that has no problem with her. I recall reading an abandoned VA-11 Hall-A Let's Play in the Something Awful forum and pretty much everyone was completely disgusted by her inclusion.
She's not a "sexbot", she's a fully sapient artificial being, who is a sex worker who enjoys her line of work and has found her niche (in creeps).
 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,959
seems less damaging to the genre than all the "it's a game about falling in love with your terminally ill little sister" stuff
 
May 13, 2019
632
She's not a "sexbot", she's a fully sapient artificial being, who is a sex worker who enjoys her line of work and has found her niche (in creeps).
Not really an improvement as far as I'm concerned. Although I must concede it's one of the few times I've seen a sex-positive sex worker depicted in fiction, as bizarre as that may sound.
 

Tacitus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,243
Not really an improvement as far as I'm concerned. Although I must concede it's one of the few times I've seen a sex-positive sex worker depicted in fiction, as bizarre as that may sound.
You are welcome to feel that way, just don't call her a sexbot. It's rude.
And yes, this has been mostly tongue in cheek. But seriously, don't call her a sexbot.
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,834
She's not a "sexbot", she's a fully sapient artificial being, who is a sex worker who enjoys her line of work and has found her niche (in creeps).
Who a writer made the conscious decision to make look 10 years old and be a sex worker. In my eyes there's nothing wrong with a writer making commentary on that kind of stuff but let's not try to handwave it into something it's not.
 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,959
She's not a "sexbot", she's a fully sapient artificial being, who is a sex worker who enjoys her line of work and has found her niche (in creeps).
do you mean pedophiles, because people who have sex with a character who looks like a ten year old because she looks like a ten year old are pedophiles
 

Castile

Member
Dec 1, 2017
3,436
That's a gym uniform. I get it is used very often for pervy shit but that's just a school uniform
Yeah, not used no more in modern schools, but for the 90s and below it was the norm, and what many of the artists from those generation experience in their childhoods. It isn't a surprise that they will carried that design into their work, plus doesn't Higurashi takes place in the 80s.
 

KillstealWolf

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,966
Are reviews out yet for the KFC Visual Novel. It would be humourous if it turned out good.

Even if more likely it's going to turn out like those Burger King games from the Xbox 360 days.
 

Radeo

Banned
Apr 26, 2019
1,305
Yeah, not used no more in modern schools, but for the 90s and below it was the norm, and what many of the artists from those generation experience in their childhoods. It isn't a surprise that they will carried that design into their work, plus doesn't Higurashi takes place in the 80s.
Been a while but I think it does
 
May 13, 2019
632
You are welcome to feel that way, just don't call her a sexbot. It's rude.
And yes, this has been mostly tongue in cheek. But seriously, don't call her a sexbot.
Will do.

Yeah, not used no more in modern schools, but for the 90s and below it was the norm, and what many of the artists from those generation experience in their childhoods. It isn't a surprise that they will carried that design into their work, plus doesn't Higurashi takes place in the 80s.
Same deal with those blue school swimsuits, am I correct? I think they were also turned into a fetish thing also subsequently replaced.
 

Tacitus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,243
I..... I don't think that helps put this situation in a positive light my friend.
I must've misunderstood you then, I thought you were saying I made up that part about her finding her niche. It's been a while since I played the game but I took that screenshot when I got that conversation because I couldn't believe that they went there.
 

N_Cryo

Avenger
Nov 6, 2017
1,065
west coast
Valhalla to me is the epitome of “having our cake and eating it too.”

As for my thoughts on the KFC dating sim, at least it looks well made.
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,834
I must've misunderstood you then, I thought you were saying I made up that part about her finding her niche. It's been a while since I played the game but I took that screenshot when I got that conversation because I couldn't believe that they went there.
I completely believed you but going there or not it's still a 10 year old (or someone who is made to look 10) sex worker. Having a story behind it doesn't change that and that's something people reading the VN have to accept.
 

Pop-O-Matic

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,099
I'm just gonna throw this out there that it seems like most ironic VNs (or at the very least most of the noteworthy ones) seem to be almost exclusively about romancing men, which is honestly feels a tad troublesome to me. Like, people are down to mock this genre, but only the subset targeted to women/gay men.