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Old 2013-08-02, 21:46   Link #1
denlee
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"Adult-oriented" visual novels

Hi!

I'm looking for some good visual novels for PC or (3)DS (preferably in English, though I guess I could manage in Japanese or simplified Chinese if there's no other way) with interesting "adult-oriented" mature themes.
What I mean is not 18+, but preferably no high school BS (well, it might be OK, if it's not the main point), believable character development (preferably with no stupid main protagonists) and sex is unnecessary as well (I don't mind either way, but it shouldn't be forced). I'm looking for a captivating plot with a mind-blowing ending and characters I really will care for. With no endless desperate sobbing scenes (boooring). Can you recommend something, please? I'll list some VNs I've played so far so you know what I might be really looking for:

What I've played (and loved) so far:
Steins;Gate
Finished 1 hour ago, loved it. Most characters were more or less adults and believable, the main protagonist behavior transformation was awesome, the physics-based time traveling and world lines changing theme was really interesting, great ending, no unnecessary forced hentai scenes.

Ever17
Again, no high school, which is a good start, even though there were kids. Characters were pretty good, not overly stupid (let's not count irritating Coco) and the ending completely floored me. A bit too much sobbing at times, perhaps, but the ending was just worth it. Great stuff.

999
Aaand again, no high school, great thrilling theme, very captivating. The ending could be better, but I loved the game.

Virtue's Last Reward
Haven't played it yet (it's on a shelf waiting ^^ ), but I love it already.

Ace Attorney
Not really a VN, but it was funny, clever and thrilling. Great.


What I've played (and it was "Meh")
Fate/Stay Night
I dunno, the story itself was pretty good, but the main protagonist was stupid, unbelievable and too superman-ish (almost got killed a quadrillion times but still shouting some supposedly cool desperate bullshit and gaining superpowers and winning) and it was just pretty strange overall. Long scenes of despair and flying intestines were just plain boring. And charging "batteries" with semen? WTF?

Cross†Channel
No idea what's really going on until half through the game, and the final part didn't really save it in my eyes. Annoying main protagonist, quite annoying characters, too much forced hentai. The story twist itself was pretty good, just not executed good enough. Loved Nanaka Crash though.


What I've played (and hated)
Tsukihime
Boring as hell (and I gave it some 15 hours), the main character was as stupid as a dandelion, no atmosphere and bad script. Bad. Well, just my opinion.

Thank you!

Last edited by denlee; 2013-08-03 at 06:56.
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:53   Link #2
GDB
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I'd recommend "Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo". The characters are high schoolers, but everything (way they act (usually), live, lodgings, etc) all come off as more similar to college. Main character's even training for his job, so I'd really say he is more like a college student than a high schooler, but you know, they try to make the characters younger to have higher appeal.
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Old 2013-08-02, 21:59   Link #3
denlee
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Thank you, I'll look into it!

Yep, I understand the reasoning. It's just that I'm not -teen anymore and I don't really find all this high school hero (desperate struggle of too young boys with lots of crying and hentai) stuff really interesting. I like more mature plots and characters who really might exist in the real world. I guess you all know what I mean when you look at my "likes" list.
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Old 2013-08-02, 23:44   Link #4
chocolatemilkgod
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Muv Luv Alternative is my favourite visual novel, like, ever (it's also the highest rank on vndb.org). It's about a world where aliens invaded and most of the population is dead. There's a lot of really interesting themes explored like nationalism and politics, as well as the best action scenes you will ever see in a visual novel. Fullstop. I wrote a review a while back on another forum here. Also I highly recommend that site if you want VN ideas or to talk with people who enjoy VNs ^^.

The only caveat is that Muv Luv is part of a trilogy; the first two parts, Extra and Unlimited (which are bundled into the first game called 'Muv Luv') are what you're avoiding. Extra is a high school moe-fest and Unlimited, while much improved, is still much weaker in comparison to MLA. If I were you, my recomendation is to skim read at least Extra to get the gist of it (it took me 5 or 6 hours to skim read it) and then if you really can't stomach anymore, read the synopsis so you're not completely lost. That's what I did and I don't think I missed much at all (it is important to experience the world of Extra, however). Let me just reiterate, however, that suffering through Extra to play Alternative is so worth it; the story is about survival and loss, and has some really interesting sci-fi themes...I'm not doing it enough credit, just play it.

You could try Higurashi and/or Umineko which are both really in depth mystery VNs. I admit, I haven't actually read them yet (I watched the higurashi anime and loved it to pieces, though), but a lot of people really swear by them. If you play them, use the ps2 patch for the different parts since the native graphics for PC ...uh...let's just say they're pretty scary, haha. This is the description from vndb.org for Higurashi:

"Higurashi no Naku Koro ni takes place during June 1983, at a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa, which has a population of approximately 2000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara, moves to Hinamizawa and befriends his new classmates Rena Ryugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Hojo. ... The tranquility abruptly ends after the annual Watanagashi Festival, a celebration to commemorate and give thanks to the local god, Oyashiro-sama. Keiichi learns that every year for the past four years, one person has been murdered and another has gone missing on the day of the Watanagashi Festival. Keiichi himself soon becomes drawn into the strange events surrounding the Watanagashi Festival and Oyashiro-sama. In each story arc, he or one of his friends become paranoid, and a crime is committed. Usually, the crime involves the murder of one of their own friends. While it seems impossible to tell their delusions apart from the mystery of Hinamizawa, slowly the truth is revealed."

So...yeah. With the whole 'murder' thing, you rapidly forget about them being students, so don't worry about getting bored (I have similar tastes to you in that high school VNs can get pretty tedious if they're not backed up with other stuff later on). The first game is higurashi no naku koro ni, and the second is higurashi no naku koro ni kai. I think there's a similar naming convention for Umineko.


G-Senjou no Maou is by the same company as Sharin No Kuni, and it's similar in that they're 'in school', but there's a lot of really interesting stuff that happens around it; in fact the school is a welcome break. I didn't like it as much as sharin no kuni, but it's still really good (Usami <3) and the music was great.

There's a few other ideas, but that should get you started.

Last edited by chocolatemilkgod; 2013-08-03 at 00:11.
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Old 2013-08-03, 06:03   Link #5
denlee
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Wow, thank you very much for such a long post!

I've read your review and it looks promising, though I'm a bit afraid of broken pacing (that is, playing the first two parts at first) as I don't really have that much free time. But the main story seems interesting enough. I'll search for some info about those other games as well.
I saw Higurashi some 6 years ago and I liked the show (as far as I remember), so I might give it a try later. Though I heard that Umineko might be even better. (Is it all in English, I wonder?)
Well, now it's Google time, I guess.

By the way, are there any more good stories about time travel and/or parallel worlds? Such as in Steins;Gate, Ever17, 999, ...
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Old 2013-08-03, 12:11   Link #6
chocolatemilkgod
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Yeah the pacing in the Muv Luv series is a bit of a pain. Once you start in MLA I thought it was mostly fine, it's just the first two games that are an issue. As I said before, at least read Extra (on super-fast-reading-mode it shouldn't take that long ), read the synopsis of Unlimited that I linked last time, and then play Alternative. Yay, profit!

And don't worry, Umineko is in English and recently the ps3 patch fixing the graphics was released for the second part (I think the various ps2/ps3 patches for higurashi and umineko also add voices, too). I believe that the Higurashi VN has more detail than the anime, too.

Time travel...well there's Remeber11 which is the same 'series' as ever17. I say that with a bit of trepidation since they're only very loosely related, but I think it uses a similar narrative structure and such and it's fairly highly rated (I know you read it already, but I also wrote an ever17 review here if you're interested...plug plug plug ). I haven't read remember11, but since ever17 is probably my third favourite VN, it's probably worth giving a go.

There's also Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO, or just Yu-No, which is the classic time travel VN. It's really ancient and almost a must play since you don't often get to experience an old VN like that. I started to play it myself, but the gameplay is pretty confusing...when I try it again, I'm definitely going to have to use a guide. I think you vaguely play as a student, but you end up trying to solve a mystery about a disappearance and travel through time...Look, it sounds eccentric, quirky and amazing, so it's probably right up your alley with the whole sci-fi time travel/world travel thing.

Even though you might not like them, I have a hard time not recommending KEY visual novels since they're almost a staple of the VN medium. They usually start out as a high school centred visual novel but the reason I love them so much is because they will then have a lot of drama later on. For you, I'd recommend Rewrite since once you reach where the routes diverge, you'll be completely blown away by how much the story changes...and the final route is really nicely done. It might take some time to work through the common route in the school environment, but I still loved it nonetheless.

I'll probably come up with some more ideas later.
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Old 2013-08-03, 12:41   Link #7
Om Nerabdator
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Originally Posted by GDB View Post
I'd recommend "Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo". The characters are high schoolers, but everything (way they act (usually), live, lodgings, etc) all come off as more similar to college. Main character's even training for his job, so I'd really say he is more like a college student than a high schooler, but you know, they try to make the characters younger to have higher appeal.
i really didnt like that at all, the premise is ridiculous the characters "crimes" and thier punishments are pathetic youll just find urself going wtf is going on here!

I highly recommend Majikoi its full of great characters and everyone is voiced by popular voice actors ^^
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Old 2013-08-03, 13:55   Link #8
Achiuakuna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denlee View Post
I'm looking for a captivating plot with a mind-blowing ending and characters I really will care for. With no endless desperate sobbing scenes (boooring). Can you recommend something, please?
The one I played recently that comes to mind is Subarashiki Hibi. It pretty much fits all your descriptions. I think websites tend to give it really boring synopses, but it's really one of a kind. My mind was blown 6 times in a row while playing it. I counted. There is no high school BS (though it takes place in a high school, there is no BS I assure you). Sex scenes are completely relevant to the plot(except for the intro chapter where they use to hook the people who are in for the sex), but the only thing you might not like is that the sex scenes(beyond the first chapter) are very odd to those who are not accustomed to those types of things. I personally found them refreshing, but I know it's probably not for everyone. As for sobbing, no. It doesn't try to make the reader emotional about the events in the novel by distancing pretty well. I felt more like an observer of a massive display of human misery and than someone who cries because she feel bad for the characters.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 2013-08-03, 14:01   Link #9
Om Nerabdator
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Originally Posted by Achiuakuna View Post
The one I played recently that comes to mind is Subarashiki Hibi. It pretty much fits all your descriptions. I think websites tend to give it really boring synopses, but it's really one of a kind. My mind was blown 6 times in a row while playing it. I counted. There is no high school BS (though it takes place in a high school, there is no BS I assure you). Sex scenes are completely relevant to the plot(except for the intro chapter where they use to hook the people who are in for the sex), but the only thing you might not like is that the sex scenes(beyond the first chapter) are very odd to those who are not accustomed to those types of things. I personally found them refreshing, but I know it's probably not for everyone. As for sobbing, no. It doesn't try to make the reader emotional about the events in the novel by distancing pretty well. I felt more like an observer of a massive display of human misery and than someone who cries because she feel bad for the characters.

Good luck in your search!
that does look pretty good i might give it a go, one question though, does it have rape or attempted rape in it? i cant stand those kinds of things
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Old 2013-08-03, 14:08   Link #10
chocolatemilkgod
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Originally Posted by Om Nerabdator View Post
that does look pretty good i might give it a go, one question though, does it have rape or attempted rape in it? i cant stand those kinds of things
I haven't read it, but there's nothing on vndb.org with the 'rape' tag, so I doubt it. Only problem is it isn't 100% translated into English yet (I think it's ~80% now). Apparently the translator said it might be done in the summer, so I'm looking forward to that when it's done ^^. If you can read japanese or chinese, though, it's not a problem.
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Old 2013-08-04, 06:26   Link #11
speedyexpress48
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I'll throw in Kara no Shoujo, which is a crime/puzzle type VN set in 1950s post-war Japan. There's high schoolers, but they aren't a major part of the story.
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Old 2013-08-04, 22:02   Link #12
Achiuakuna
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Originally Posted by Om Nerabdator View Post
that does look pretty good i might give it a go, one question though, does it have rape or attempted rape in it? i cant stand those kinds of things
Well I guess that can be a problem, as the plot somewhat revolves around a crucial rape event(and another very *unusual* type of rape scene, I don't want to give it away but I can say I was pretty surprised by it), but the game itself is by no means a nukige. If it didn't bother you it could be a very nice, thought provoking read.

Also, there is always the ctrl key. As long as you are aware of the event itself taking place, you're not missing much by sparing yourself of the bloody details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedyexpress48 View Post
I'll throw in Kara no Shoujo, which is a crime/puzzle type VN set in 1950s post-war Japan. There's high schoolers, but they aren't a major part of the story.
Yes I would definitely recommend this as well. I read both 1 and 2. It's a very beautiful story. The puzzle part is pretty much a few no brainer questions to make sure that you're paying attention, but I really enjoy the way they write. I think I like Kara no Shoujo 1 better, but that's probably because 2 is a gateway to 3, which could be a nice, final conclusion.

If you read Kara no Shoujo and liked it, you can also check out other works done by Innocent Grey. Cartagra is in the same style and shares minor characters with Kara no Shoujo.

Last edited by Achiuakuna; 2013-08-04 at 22:13.
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Old 2013-08-04, 22:33   Link #13
larethian
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Aiyoku no Eustia. Kanji may be a bit hard for some. I think there's a fan translation patch for the trial version which covers the prologue. So you can try that and see whether it suits you. No high school at all.
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Old 2013-08-10, 09:58   Link #14
denlee
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Great! Thank you guys for so many suggestions! I'll definitely try something. (Started Virtue's Last Reward a few days ago >_< )
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Old 2013-08-10, 23:47   Link #15
magnum12
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I'm going to agree with the Higurashi recommendation. Sure the characters are teenagers, but the series deals with some pretty dark and adult subject matter. Not to mention the whole psychological horror aspects. Warning, M rated for intense violence.
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Old 2013-08-11, 04:03   Link #16
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G senjou NO maou is highly recommended for you..
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