Your Fave Visual Novel/Dating Sim?

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Want to fanbird over what you think is the best VN or dating sim ever? Well, I'm excited to hear about it! I'm always looking for new VNs to try out, and especially if there are characters and arcs that leave a mark on other readers.
 
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All the BL VNs are great imo ~ though I doubt that's the genre you're looking for ~
 
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Yu-No is a nice retro VN. Love the ability to examine each part of the scene, including the characters. The ost is legendary.
 
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Haven't read VNs in a while (4-6 years ago) due to less free time & interest. It's difficult/ almost impossible to choose 'the best' since there are many different types out there. From VNs with fluffly stories, VNs with drama or tragedy (some of Key's VNs comes to mind), fun-filled nonsensical VNs, to VNs which are primarily designed For Academic Purposes - well suited to fulfill the needs a scholar might have.
Some that come to mind:[ul]
[li]Monmusu Quest series (Opened new doors)[/li][li]Majikoi + sequel + fandisks (light-hearted, fun)[/li][li]Little Busters (Key)[/li][li]Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (Might be confusing at times, you might be turned off by the art, other than some of the 'magic' sequences in the latter half of the story, a superb VN IMO)[/li]
[/ul]Unrelated, but I believe my first VN was G-Senjou no Maou.
 
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Normal VN :

-Any 07th expension game : Higurashi, Umineko, Rose guns days.
They're visual novels with 50/100 hours of texts, with great music and wonderful story. Give it a try if you have (a lot) of time.
https://vndb.org/v24

https://vndb.org/v9678

https://vndb.org/v67

-Muv-luv is a good one too.
https://vndb.org/v92

Ero-Vn :

Sengoku Rance. A vn with a great gameplay, and the main character is funny as hell. Same for all rance games after this, or Kichikuou rance.
https://vndb.org/v487

Saya no UTA : Ok this one is really disturbing, you better be prepared. But it's interesting to follow, don't expect to like the main character tho.
https://vndb.org/v97


Soukoku no Arterial : This one is one of my favorite too. Good story, the card based gameplay is really good too and most characters are good, others eushully game can be good too sometime, but not all.
https://vndb.org/v8424
 
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This is somewhat off topic, but i wasted about two hours yesterday when searching a fix for the problem of stretched visuals often encountered in full screen mode (while trying to comfortably run Katakawa Shoujo). As far as i know, point 3) is never mentioned among possible solutions on the internet, probably because its super dumb. I solved it by chance.

It should work for Windows users (confirmed for 7 x64 and 8.1), and also be quite universal (tested with two other titles):

Has this ever happened to you?

"Damn, i really want to play xxx in fullscreen mode"
"That tiny ass window makes it a pain to read text"
"This is bullshit, UHDs are a thing now. What am i, a farmer?"
"Why the duck visuals are so stretched?!"
"My eyes are bleeding!"

Fortunately, there're some things you can do to fix to all of those (except the last one):

1) Some VNs (mainly Fuwa releases) use "F" exclusively to switch to full screen, instead of usual combination (yeah it's dumb, but given how often i've seen "WHY ALT + ENTER ISN'T DOING ANYTHING?!", i think it's worth mentioning)
2) When in fs mode, if visuals are stretched (only part of the whole thing is visible), the first thing to do is to update your GPU drivers, and then force it manually to "maintain aspect ratio" when scaling (its easily googleable how to do that for AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel cards)
3) If that didn't help, find the game executable file (it has to be the one that you're using to actually start it) and do the following:

Right click -> Properties -> Compatibility -> toggle on "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings"


...

As for favorite vn, it would probably be Fate/stay night, even considering some serious writing issues (mainly in "Heaven's Feel", which development was apparently rushed). At some point maybe i'll write more about why.

I also very much enjoyed Umineko.

...btw, i know i'm not blowing anyone's mind with those two. They're as acclaimed and popular as medium can get in the west.

...

Yu-No is a nice retro VN.

It really is. I also think its impact in the long run was diminished by market expectations at the time.

Love the ability to examine each part of the scene

Eeeeeeeeh...

The ost is legendary

It's fine, but it feels like the idea behind it was more interesting than the final result.

(more on that here: https://hg101.kontek.net/yuno/yuno.htm , if anyone's interested)
 
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It would be TokiMemo on Super Famicom for me. It's the first one I played as a child and I didn't know about VNs at the time (I never used the term VN myself until around 2008-ish, I always called them dating sim). I can't read JP yet at the time, but I can't understand English yet as well so I didn't care about the language issue and just interpreted the story from the flow of events. I managed to trigger the genderbender character by bullying the supposedly side character.

The first one I fully enjoyed was True Love: Junai Monogatari. It was a very nostalgic one.
 
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Monster Girl Quest (MGQ for short) is still one of my top game despite how I thought it was to be at first. Here you get a fanmade-looking game with a bunch of monster girls in the menu. "Obviously the game will be full of xxx and fetishes", I thought, so I was kinda expecting to drop it (since a friend told me to try it). I am no big fan of ecchi and I value story/characters and production over it.

Turns out I was wrong; the game actually have an amazing storyline. Lot's of comedy (natural at that, many VN's "comedy" sounds forced) and adventure elements. I was so invested in the series by its end; it is so weird how something like this which looks like the kind of game for hardcore fetishes turn out to be legit funny/good/even sad at time. OSTs are a + as well. Regarding the lewd scenes, some are unavoidable but most are only when you lose to each monster girl, so simple enough: I played to win. I'm probably the only one playing this game because of how enjoyable the characters and the story are.

MGQ first 3 games are more VN than RPG, but the continuation called Paradox is be more RPG. and not finished yet :(

If you're looking for my top VN as in actual VN, then I would say Umineko. The ride was fun and made me sad when I finished it. It builds up on the mystery genre so if you're looking for a challenge, try your bet with this VN. It has two parts and each is 50 hr+, so be warned that it's VERY long. Many people will also hate how slow and detailed it is; but that's what to expect in a mystery VN: lots of clues to work with. Another thing people hate is the ridiculous events unfolded in the VN, but all I can say is that it's part of the VN since everything is necessary.

eri.JPG

best detective
(also consider supporting the next big Kickstarter for
Venus Blood Frontier! (may contain nsfw content)
 
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Grisaia Trilogy, Muv-Luv and Majikoi. Even though I've played several VNs, i still replay those for all those drama and intense stories behind each heroine. Especially Muv-luv for mah boi Takeru and his PTSD adventures (steins;gate vibe lol)
Still sucking up to the translations, i'm hoping their sequels would be translated.
Majikoi A-1 to A-2 only the fully translated, A-3 on progress but i think it's dying (i'm dying for Stacy and Lee's story) . A-4 and A-5 is impossible. Muv-luv Altered Fable/Total Eclipse for Yui Takamura.
 
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Any R-Rated BL/Yaoi and Otome VN games with gorgeous art and interesting CGs, if you catch my drift
 
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Tsukihime for introducing me to VNs and being good enough to force me to start novel writing.

SubaHibi, for fucking me up.

MajiKoi, I just fucking love.
 
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My tastes usually include those of the extra heretical variety.

Like if my friends and family found out, would I get flayed alive; that sort of thing. And of course that includes everything of a certain art-style.
 
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Kagetsu Tohya is hell. I was expecting some character driven love letter to the original game, in spirit of what hollow ataraxia did for stay night, but newp, it's hell when it comes to progression. It's the only vn that I've heard of, where it's apparently possible to lock yourself in permanent scene loop, if you don't trigger all the appropriate variables along the way.

I also read good things about Clannad, but then again, people do lie, so I'll probably pass on that.
 

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