Visual novels are a strange breed. They’re a blend of books, movies, and video games all in one. They’re interactive narratives that, with the correct storytelling and writing, can prove to be immersive, incredible stories. They originated in Japan, but have made a niche for themselves throughout Europe and the United States. They are mainly produced for video game consoles, predominantly the Nintendo DS, but since then have had releases on computer systems, and iOS and Android devices.
Since they are a bit of a puzzling genre, where should you start?
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If you have either iPhone or Android devices, I would highly recommend starting with the Ace Attorney series. You play as an emerging defense attorney, taking on the defense of falsely accused clients who have been charged for murder. But behind these murders, however, are complex storylines that are not afraid to take massive plot twists and leave you astounded. Before trials, you investigate the scene of the crime as well as other locations related to murder at hand, and interrogate characters with unique personalities and collect evidence. During the trial phase, you find the truth by cross-examining witnesses and finding contradictions between the testimonies and the evidence they have collected. The cases all last a maximum of three days, with the judge determining the outcome based on evidence presented by the defense attorney and the prosecutor.
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It is heavily text based, so if you appreciate good writing you’ll fit right at home with Ace Attorney. The character development is superb and the way the plot flows is satisfying and entertaining. Also, you get to cross examine a parrot, so if that doesn’t sell I don’t think anything will. If you’re looking for something new and eccentric to check out, definitely give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
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