12 Aug 2020
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Review: Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star

Video games are finally becoming an accepted format to tell involved, intimate, and personal stories. At least, it seems that way to me. What was once the exclusive realm of film and literature appears to finally be normalized in the gaming medium, which has long been questioned on artistic merit (and whether it has any).
21 Jul 2020
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Review: Necrobarista

When you think about the places games are created and developed, how soon does Australia come to mind? My wild guess for many is that it wouldn’t quite crack your top five list. Japan and the United States are usually the first the come to mind. Perhaps France and Canada next, followed up by Germany
22 May 2020
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Review: Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen

So this is a title with a weird approach. Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen is the first title in the Utawarerumono series, and also the last one to receive a localized release like this. Here’s how this happens. Utawarerumono was released in 2002 for PCs as an eroge, part visual novel and part strategy RPG
13 May 2020
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Review: Signs of the Sojourner

I found myself feeling very divided in my opinions as I played Signs of the Sojourner. Actually, that’s not altogether true; my opinion was relatively clear insofar as it was a game I really wanted to like if the darn game would stop getting in the way. But that may or may not be its
28 Jan 2020
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Review: Coffee Talk

When a game makes a splash in the community, whether big or small, any other release similar to it that comes after is bound to be compared to the original. Hell, just look how often people refer to difficult games as “The Dark Souls of [insert genre here].” It’s practically a meme at this point.
18 Nov 2019
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Review: Tokyo Dark: Remembrance

Back in 2014, Square Enix entered into an interesting experiment. One that would help indie developers pitch ideas, gain public interest, and possibly receive assistance in the creation and publication of their work. That experiment is known as the Square Enix Collective.
8 Sep 2019
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PAX West 2019 Hands-on: N1RV Ann-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

A few years ago, a little indie visual novel called VA-11 Hall-A popped on to my radar. A cyberpunk tale told through the eyes of a bartender, this first release from Venezuelan studio Sukeban Games quickly made it into my list of favorite visual novels. The game was heavily character driven, mostly focusing on the day-to-day life and issues facing the people living in the game's dystopian setting, rather than the world itself.
3 Aug 2019
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Review: London Detective Mysteria

When designing a character, an author can only hope that their creation will be one to stand the test of time. A character that readers decades from now, maybe even centuries, will still be able to enjoy and relate to in a way. A character that even those who haven't read the works they were created for can still recognize.
22 May 2019
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Review: World End Syndrome

I really shouldn't like visual novels. I have no idea why I do, looking back at many that I consider my favorites. For as much weight as I put on quality storytelling, the VNs I remember fondly don't seem like they would hold up.
1 May 2019
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Review: VA-11 Hall-A [Switch]

Ah, the common trope of the humble bartender. Always there to listen to the woes to whoever strolls in and needs to throw back a drink of their choosing. It's not uncommon for this trope to rear its head in storytelling in general, and for said individual to be the stalwart rock that dispenses useful advice to the protagonist and supporting characters.
13 Feb 2019
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Review: Arcade Spirits

Back in the 80s, the arcade was the place to be! All the cool kids would bike on down to the local arcade after school to play the latest games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, fighting for high-score dominance while simultaneously stuffing their faces with greasy food, all lit up under a warm neon glow.
15 Oct 2018
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Review: The Midnight Sanctuary

Open the Floodgates How often do you look at games that release in Japan, hoping and praying that they’ll eventually make their way west? Games that look intriguing or exciting, but, for one reason or another, nobody decides to localize it, so you’ll never get to play it?
26 Sep 2016
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Review: Harmonia

A Tale of Tears Many pieces of media attempt to evoke certain feelings or emotions in the person consuming it. Maybe its as simple as getting said person to empathize with its characters. Perhaps getting you to feel the same romantic emotions that a protagonist has for a love interest. Or even just trying to
13 Sep 2014
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Key’s “Planetarian” Now Available on Steam

Being Gamer Escape’s resident visual novel nut, I would be slacking if I wasn’t to mention this bit of news. Japanese developer Key is probably one of the most well-known companies in the visual novel community, both in Japan and in the West. However, until relatively recently, Key had refused to publish any of their
1 Jun 2014
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Japanese Digital Store Offering Infinity Series for Free

I’ve written a number of articles in the past concerning visual novels. Some may be thinking right now “Oh boy, another post about non-games!” in a nice sarcastic tone. I’ve always stood by the “don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it” mentality when it comes to these kind of games. After all, I was never
23 Mar 2014
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A Little Something for the Ladies: Hakuoki Remastered for PS3

A vast majority of visual novel style games are marketed to men, featuring a male main character pursuing a number of lovely animated women. Occasionally, though, a game comes along that switches up the roles to offer something to female fans. Known as “otome games,” literally meaning “girl games,” these are story heavy games that
14 Mar 2014
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Black Sheep Gaming: Ever17

In a couple of past articles I’ve written, I’ve mentioned the genre of games known as the visual novel. Actually, the term “game” is a difficult one to apply. The amount of interactivity between games in the genre varies, but all of them boil down to one thing: lots and lots of reading. There’s a
14 Feb 2014
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Development of Zero Escape 3 Stalled

Earlier today, Kotaro Uchikoshi, writer for the Zero Escape series (9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward) created an English Twitter page to share some news with Western fans of the series. The focus was on the development of the third installment of the Zero Escape series. Across a long series of Twitter posts,