Visual Novels - Interactive Fiction Games Played By The Japanese!

For those players who like playing different games, ever wondered what visual novels are? A visual novel is a fictional game that is interactive. It consists mostly of static graphics with frequent use of anime-style art and the occasional use of video footage and live-action stills.

As can be seen, these represent novels that can contain more than one form of media. In Japan visual novels proper, consist mainly of narration.

These have a minimal amount of interactive elements and a clear distinction is made between these and adventure games, that may incorporate forms of problem solving and various other types of gameplay.

Needless to say, this distinction is very Japan specific, and it is largely lost outside of the country where both types of games are rolled up under the same umbrella, by those fans from across the waters.

The total of the PC titles combined made up almost 70% of the market in 2006, and the odd one actually made it through onto some gaming consoles: the Xbox 360, Playstation Portable, Dreamcast and the Sega Saturn.

Visual novels are mostly distinguished by their exceedingly minimal amount of gameplay. Normally speaking the amount of player interaction is pretty much limited to use of their mouse, in clicking to keep graphics, sound, and text moving.

That said, most recent versions now offer the player the chance to "fast forward" or "play" toggles, which now alleviates this need virtually altogether.

With many different endings and multiple storylines, the mechanics of the gameplay are mainly focused on sporadic multiple-choice points. Here decisions have to be made by the player, where they select the direction they want to take the game.

Visual novels may not be for everyone, but they certainly do have their fan base, even though some of the shorter games offer no decision points at all. These are created by fans, so how can one really knock them, whatever floats your boat, as they say!

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