Today, I just beat 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. It was absolutely brilliant. I don’t want to talk about the game too much though. I plan on do a full video review of it, most likely next week. However, there is something I do want to bring up.
The game has a fabulous story, which is something I seek in great video games. However, this “game” would be considered more of a visual novel than a game. According to MobyGames.com, this is the definition of a Visual Novel.
Visual Novel: Also called NVL games, “digital novels”, and “choose-your-own-adventure games”: games in which the story is told through text overlaid on a background representing the scene being described. The player’s input is confined to periodically making choices which might affect the direction and outcome of the story. Mostly regarded as a branch of Japanese adventure, but Western examples exist as well.
Many people who frequently “read” visual novels (Ex. /jp/ on 4chan) would consider (insert noun other than ‘video game’ here) like 999 or Katawa Shoujo visual novels rather than games.999 is heavily text driven, besides puzzles you need to solve. There is certain a game aspect to 999, but the text portions are just as important. I guess the question that is on my mind is…
Are Visual Novels considered video games?
I know this is a very subjective topic, so odds are I’ll never get a definitive answer. Nevertheless, I’ll leave you with this quote from Kotaro Uchikoshi, the director/writer of 999, to give you guys something to think about.
“I believe visual-novel games don’t belong in a game store, but in a bookstore – although that might bother some of the game stores who like to sell my games, so perhaps I should rephrase it: games stores can certainly sell visual novels, but they should also be sold in bookstores. The visual-novel genre should not be fighting against major RPG/action-adventure games that developers spend billions of dollars on.”