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Thread: The best visual novel and point-and-click adventure games of all time?

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Default The best visual novel and point-and-click adventure games of all time?

    I am a huge fan of the point-and-click/visual novel genre of games. But I am surprised at how little fare there is in this area, with Lucasarts releasing most of the acclaimed games. And worse yet with visual novels that the genre itself was mostly used to peddle the worst trash adult novel and high school moe crap games that were only released in Japan. It seems the genre briefly flourished in the 90s as a product of technical limitations more than anything. Aside from a brief resurgence on the Nintendo DS, the genre has been woefully underlooked in recent decades. Of the titles I have played and considered noteworthy:

    Snatcher
    Policenauts
    The Ace Attorney series (though the last game was highly forgettable and contrived, I consider the original Ace Attorney trilogy as well as Miles Edgeworth Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor's Path as some of the best games of all time.
    Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
    Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
    The Shivah
    Aviary Attorney

    I am always looking for more games in this genre. I managed to track down a copy of Ghost Trick for Nintendo DS (which has become unreasonably expensive these days...) and also plan to pick up Hotel Dusk 215. Anyone have any recommendations or favorites?
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    Wildside Expert vexatious's Avatar
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    I can't say but the traditional "Final Fantasy" 1 through 5 catalogs are arguably a different style visual novel with rpg mechanics. The stories are simple and easy to follow, while the games are rather large. Some may be turned off with the repetitive random battles, but the stories are enjoyable. edit: They're not point and click visual novels so beware.

    Can't say?? 16bit Sega CD "Rise of the Dragon". It's thoroughly enhanced with overhauled soundtrack.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Rise of the Dragon is my fav, closely followed by Dracula Unleased. I really liked Jurrasic Park on the Mega CD along with Gabriel Knight II on the PC
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    Master of Shinobi GelmiR's Avatar
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    My absolute favorite point and click adventure games are Day Of The Tentacle and Leisure Suit Larry Love For Sail.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    And worse yet with visual novels that the genre itself was mostly used to peddle the worst trash adult novel and high school moe crap games that were only released in Japan.
    I consider myself an aficionado of Japanese adventure games, and there are really two genres there: adventure games and visual novels. The latter came about more in the 90s and is characterized by very little, if any, player interaction. I don't know much about it. In regards to adult content: that was also a shift more in the 90s, but just because there were lots of adult games doesn't mean there weren't any regular adventure games.

    Japanese adventure games really peaked in the 80s. Their gameplay mechanics are, of course, quite different from Western adventure games. Western adventure games mostly consist of (often convoluted) item combination and use puzzles. Japanese adventure games, which are entirely story focused, usually have 'investigation' mechanics that require thoroughly searching rooms or exhausting dialog options before the game advances. There can be a lot of pixel hunting, but it really depends on the game.

    Probably one of the best of the genre is Misty Blue, released by Enix on the PC-88 in 1990. The music is done by Yuzo Koshiro. Of course, I doubt this will ever be available in English since it contains a vast amount of dialog. The game itself is a murder mystery of sorts, and most of the gameplay involves engaging in conversation with people. You have to carefully choose what you say in the conversations--depending on what you say, the energy bar to the left of the screen goes up or down and affects the outcome. I find the game and dialog very engaging and it's one of my favorites.



    There are almost no Japanese adventure games from the time translated into English, unfortunately, aside from the ports of Snatcher and such. One that recently got a fan translation, however, is Dead of the Brain (1992, PC-98):



    It's a fun and campy game with a few item puzzles and a basic exploration mechanic. The story is a lot of fun and worth playing if you like cheesy zombie horror.

    The Enix adventure games on the PC-88 are really the peak of the genre, though (and unplayable in English, sorry):

    Jesus (1987)


    Angelus (1988)


    Jesus II (1991)

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    Death Bringer ESWAT Veteran Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Edit: the site keeps adding video tags and after removing enough it puts them back and doubles the links plus the message text. So I had to remove all of the videos. :/




    Some that I've really enjoyed:



    Private Eye-doll PCE

    RANMA 1/2 / らんま1/2 PCE

    3x3 Eyes PCE

    The Space Adventure Sega-CD (best Sega-CD localization)

    Beyond Shadowgate Turbo-CD (ICOM Sims' Turbo- CD games have zero text for dialogue)

    Spell Caster SMS

    Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom NES

    Nadia Secret of Blue Water PCE

    Uresei Yatsura Mega-CD

    Tokimeki Memorial PCE

    Bubble Gum Crash PCE (I enjoyed this one much more after the English version was released)
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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    I did enjoy Sam and Max, Under a Killing Moon as well. I thought the Dig was quite nice too
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    Wildside Expert Carl Sagan's Avatar
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    What about "Thimbleweed Park"? It's like Mulder and Scully point and click game.

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    Master of Shinobi GelmiR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Sagan View Post
    What about "Thimbleweed Park"? It's like Mulder and Scully point and click game.
    Loved it up until the ending. Of course I won't spoil it, but it ruined the game for me.

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    Old Sega is where it's at Wildside Expert Mykale's Avatar
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    I know this is not a visual novel game but this got me thinking about the Myst series. I really want to get into them someday.

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    Master of Shinobi
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    Wildside Expert vexatious's Avatar
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    Can't say but this isn't exactly point and click, but "D" has some similarities. Not a great game but I don't think it's bad either. Requires analyzing and puzzle solving.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Many of my favorites have already been mentioned, but I'll add a few that I had fun with.

    Back to the Future: The Game (most modern consoles and pc)
    Tons of fun with a great story that takes Doc and Marty into different times, my favorite of which was the Prohibition era when Doc was Marty's age. It was written by Bob Gale who co-wrote the original movies with Bob Zemeckis.

    The Adventures of Willy Beamish (PC and Sega CD, maybe something else, 3do?)
    Classic point and click advernture game from the early 90s about a young scamp who gets into whacky hijinx and wants to make it to the "Nintari" video game championship. Lots of practical jokes and trouble making missions, and the story is sort of a commentary on the trials of childhood in the face of authority. While the adults are written stereotypically, it's in a Charles Schultz manner, and it is from a young boy's perspective. There is some growth and a lesson learned element, but I'd hardly call it a bildungsroman/coming of age because it's much more about the fun of the journey. Some difficult missions for sure, trial and error is necessary for parts of the game.

    This had a Sega CD port, but the loading times were brutal. Not sure if it's on steam, but PC is definitely the way to go with this one.

    Scooby Doo Mystery (Genesis)
    This game contains 2 separate adventures that are basically like interactive episodes of the show. Point and click with puzzle solving and many options and different ways to go about solving the mystery. Trial and error is encouraged, because even if you don't get the desired outcome, the results can often be creative and entertaining. Graphically, it looks just like the show, and some of the animations are really great. Fun game which requires some time and thought, and while it's probably more enjoyable for fans of the show, I don't think you have to be to enjoy it.

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    Outrunner
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    For me, one of the most memorable and nice use if NDS (They are a lot of nice visual novel 'ish) is Hotel Dusk Room 215
    Also, we could say is worth to mention Nanashi no Game I and II also for NDS.

    The Cat Lady was a really nice game. (Steam)

    But for to me, the best, is a tie between Fate of Atlantis and Sanitarium

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    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all of the recommendations! Looks like there is definitely some great stuff out there that I have never heard of at all before. Shame a lot of those Enix PC-88 games never got translated, love the art design, of course it reminds me a lot of Snatcher and Policenauts. Looks like Nanashi no Game I and II haven't either.

    I had heard about The Space Adventure for Sega CD, but never heard of Rise of the Dragon or The Adventures of Willy Beamish, I think I will be looking at the PC versions of these games to start alongside Hotel Dusk. I also will have to check out that Scooby Doo game for Genesis. I had played through about half of Sam and Max Hit the Road a few years ago before losing interest, as I thought the game was a bit too zany and not logical enough for me to quite get the gist in a lot of respects. But I am also going to check out Secret of Monkey Island to see if that is good in the vein of those Lucasarts games from the same timeframe. I had heard of the Nadia Secret of Blue Water game for PC Engine. Did that ever get translated into English?

    I just got Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective today in the mail and played through the first level, extremely fun and novel concept so far.
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    The Sega Saturn was God's gift to humanity. This is inarguable fact!



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