Muv-Luv (Visual Novel)
In my epic hunting list I forget to put epic visual novel (both in length and story).
Anyway, today I was looking around for the translated stuff and noticed this game, which wasn't mentioned in my previous thread.
Now the art wouldn't get my attention even for a second, but this is being voted (don't know how, but people consider this reliable) as the BEST VISUAL NOVEL EVER (whatever you see at 1st, that's it) coming ahead of stuff like Fate/Stay Night. Even the western database puts it 2nd right under CLANNAD.
It's moe girls piloting mechas against aliens and they say the plot is the most awesome thing ever. And it's also quite long, given at 50+ hours of ... reading.
It's also being translated in english right now and it's divided into 3 parts. The one that is praised is the last Muv-Luv Alternative, but there's another game (that is divided into two parts) that comes before the Alternative and so should be played/read before if one wants the whole experience.
The translating group has already finished the first two parts, and halfway through with Alternative (which on its own is among the longest VNs). In about three months even the second half should be completed.
So, has anyone played this? What to expect? Is it really that good?
Last edited by HRose; 12-29-2010 at 04:43 PM.
Talk about damning with faint praise.
Originally Posted by HRose
Since I have friends, and weigh less than 300lbs I am medically not able to watch/enjoy anime. My doctor told me that.
Even by Anime's standards, such as they are, all of this is extremely... silly. And I've come to learn that trusting an Anime fan's opinions on anime itself is a terrible idea.
Are you seriously saying this on a video game focused forum when many people think the same of gamers?
Originally Posted by datter
They really should have thought more about that name. :P
How many folks here actually know Japanese, and might have played this?
Wait. Does that girl have one eye?
I haven't played any of these, but I will warn you that the Sengoku Rance series is notable for the amount of rape in it. I'm guessing you could probably avoid most of it by not taking the [Rape her] options, but since I haven't played it I couldn't say for certain.
I will say that I am beyond sick of moe girls, so I am dubious about Muv-Luv.
I don't understand, is this a game, or a novel, or a game-novel...or is it a 3 headed hydra?
From what I read the first two parts (that are rated much lower) are more standard harem, while Muv-Luv Alternative is much more into real plot twists. There's basically a major alien attack appearing like some kind of apocalypse with lots of deaths and so on.
Originally Posted by Angie Gallant
Anyway, I don't care much for the "sex", since it's obviously thrown in there like some kind of reward while the point in playing these games is elsewhere.
Uhm, can I get a disease by having posted here?
The closest analogue to a "visual novel" is a choose-your-own-adventure book with illustrations, only the choices usually come less frequently than that. You basically just click through a bunch of text and occasionally choose a story branch. Also, almost all of them are at least softcore porn, and I'd guess that a majority are hardcore, and you typically unlock pornographic photo galleries as a reward for wading through hour after hour of text.
Originally Posted by Janster
Originally Posted by HRose
This reminds me of that song about the internet....also my curiosity is now sated, I think I will pass on this, at least until the oncoming 40 year crisis hits and my inner pervert pops out.
No idea, but the wikipedia entry for Shibata Katsuie has this guy:
Originally Posted by Fugitive
I thrust game designers
Dell used to sell computers with "Can play MP3" written on the top, and other silly things. for the crown "Wait, you can do that with a computers?".
We can do a lot more with computers that we can currently do. We are wasting the talent of people like Neal Stephenson in novels where these people can write ????? and design ?????????? and create ??????? for ????? with ?????????.
Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Averroes's_Search
That's a really good point. We really should be doing more with ??????, and I never noticed how computers are able to have silly things written on them.
If you're curious about Visual Novel and not tolerating the "eroge" side you should look at the old thread, where we discussed VNs like Umineko, Higurashi or Clannad that have no sex/erotic scenes at all.
Originally Posted by Janster
Fate/Stay Night continues to be the most popular and the sex aspect is entirely missable.
Also, even most of those in this thread have the "all ages" versions that cut all the sex scenes out of the games. Muv-Luv for example is one those. Another famous VN that I think has no sex scenes and is well known is Chaos;Head.
I have had chaos head before. I can recommend it.
Really popular VNs tend to get reissued for PS2 or PSP with all the sex removed and sometimes additional gameplay elements added.
Part of Muv Luv's popularity is that the various parts of the game involve putting a standard VN cast of characters through multiple genres. The first third of the story is the "traditional" one and resembles other vanilla datesims like Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (made by the same developer, IIRC). There are hints of something strange happening, though, with a lot of conspicuous references to mecha anime and some inexplicable plot events occurring.
The second part of the story concerns the main guy ending up in a parallel universe where he and his friends are all fighting aliens in giant robots. Where the first part was light and goofy, the second part is extremely straight-faced and super-detailed. You don't actually see the aliens, the emphasis of this portion of the story is on how all the characters are different and what the shape of the world is. This is also the part of the game that is generally considered the best.
The third part is actually an entirely separate game with much higher production values where they can afford to show us some alien-fighting. This part of the story is written in homage to the violent and nihilistic mecha anime of the early 80s, typified of directors like Yoshiyuki Tomino and Ryosuke Takahashi. All but three of the main characters die brutally, some with gory "death CGs" that actually offended the Japanese playerbase.
Unlike most VNs, this part of Muv-Luv is totally linear and it's impossible to save any character who dies. A lot of the emotional impact of this comes from playing the first two games, where you see the characters as they'd be in gentler stories. Alternative also circles around to the first third of the story at points, eventually explaining some of the strange things that happened.
Much of Muv-Luv's popularity with Japanese players comes from the way it combines the primal otaku-beloved genres of harem and mecha to draw out maximum emotional impact. I don't know if the game will affect a foreign player who didn't grow up on a steady diet of giant robot shows in quite the same way. It's probably worth your time if you're curious and if you already know you enjoy stuff like Fate/Stay Night and Higurashi.
Pretty much none of the VNs I play have sexual content. And there's always VN Database to check before you play. I never played Chaos;Head, but I did watch the anime adaptation and it was more wtfery than I expected, so it might end up on the to-play list at some point.
Yes. Anime = disco. Believe it!
Originally Posted by Murbella
The screenshot of the fighting reminded me of a sega saturn game that was actually pretty good. Dragon...dragon.. was it dragon warriors, no no, ah! Dragon Force! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_Force
Anyway, that was a good game, so if the game\novel actually had that level of depth, it could almost make up for the rest of the badness.
I can't post links, so all links are replaced by search keywords. Just search them, and click the first result.
Your ongoing quest for epicness reminds me, have you heard of Guin Saga, the world's longest running novel? It has reached 126 volumes when the author passed away. Unsurprisingly, people say it's not worth reading.
AFAIK, this is a fullblown strategy/RPG, not a VN. Its priority is not on story or making sense. Its setting is a mixture of series in-jokes and a parody of the sengoku era.
You can read this SelectButton forum thread to get a sample of what its story content consist of.
(Search: site:selectbutton.net rance)
People say it's passable, but its follow-up, Steins;Gate is an instant classic. Of course Steins;Gate is now in the process of being adapted into anime.
I bow before Lynxara's knowledge (and willingness to do research on topics she apparently doesn't care for). Muv-Luv is definitely linked to Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. It seems the latter's main characters all play important roles in Muv-Luv.
Originally Posted by Lynxara
EDIT: In fact, the Kimi ga Nozomu Eien main characters can be seen in the OP.
For me, I feel I've had enough just by reading this long-winded post (this blog post is written with a critical eye, and different from your average anime fan writing).
(Search: site:jphinano.wordpress.com muv-luv)
Last edited by cucuc; 12-29-2010 at 02:46 PM.
The badness in this kind of games can be so bad that it's great :)
Originally Posted by JoshV
Yes, but for how much I love quirky Japanese stuff I still haven't managed to learn the language, so I have to rely on stuff that is translated in a way or another. Steins;Gate doesn't seem to be...
Originally Posted by cucuc
Sengoku Rance was awesome, although the earlier Rance games (i.e Rance the Brute King) was better.
Alicesoft is making a Space Strategy game called "The Great Empire" to be released next year that I'm looking forward to now... http://www.alicesoft.com/daiteikoku/index.html
Oh, and yeah Muv-Luv was pretty good for its time, but I honestly think Fate and the Higurashi stories are better. It's a mix of a post-apocalyptic mecha series and a typical high school love comedy.
Chaos;Head has a very good introduction. I like a lot this kind of introspective writing, but at the same time it pains me to know that for every game I could play there are hundreds that I can't understand... I may end up liking this genre much more than classic JRPG, there's much more space for creativity and originality (same as anime, but this also gives better pacing and much more depth).
This has also an amusing introduction since it begins with classic MMORPG catass.
I find Ryosuke Takahashi's work pretty fascinating, so Muv-Luv got on my radar two or three years ago when it started getting compared to his peak work from the 80s.
Originally Posted by cucuc
Mecha anime has softened considerably since the genre peaked in the 80s, basically over character licensing issues. The brutality of Muv-Luv Alternative makes it very unusual for a modern take on the genre. The only comparable project I can really think of offhand is Bokurano.
It's true I don't care much for VNs as a rule. I'm glad fans are going out of their way to make its more interesting specimens playable by foreign audiences. Licensing issues tend to make it highly unlikely any of the best games could be released officially in English.
I would agree with the comment made up-thread that most foreign players would probably find Higurashi or Fate/Stay Night more interesting. Those games just have more broadly interesting premises.
If you really want some Mecha Visual Novels, Nitroplus did a number of them that were pretty good...I suppose Chaos:Head/Steins Gate counts as one of them.
The Baldr Sky games are also very good, with some pretty good 2D action to back it up.
Outside of the mecha stuff, I'd reccomend YU-NO, Cross Channel, Tsukihime, Umineko, and the other Alicesoft games...espeically Kichiku Ou Rance, Rance 6 and Dai Akuji