So, where am I?
You are at VNs Now! (Obviously) This is a website dedicated to English Visual Novels and the people who make them. Not only do we follow their development, but we also review them when they come out! VNs Now does everything except cut Julienne Fries!
What if I made a Visual Novel in German? Would you cover that?
Er Spricht Sie Deutsch. I kid, but seriously No. We will be more than happy to promote your VN another way, but right now I only have the capacity to cover English VNs.
I've noticed that you tend to give commercial EVNs a higher score than free ones. Why is that?
We don't judge a game by how much you have to spend on it. Some of the best VNs you can get for absolutely nothing and there are mountains of commercial games not worth anything. I cover as many English VNs here as I can get my hands on and they will all be covered the exact same way: by their storytelling, ambition and just how fun it is to play.
If you put so much emphasis on the plot, what's the point of grading an EVN's presentation?
Well, let's be honest. If the visuals of a Visual Novel aren't that good, it kinda affects how you enjoy playing it. Of course, I'm aware that a lot of people just starting out making a visual novel either cannot draw or cannot afford an artist to provide the art, so they go with paper doll art instead.
Knowing that, I try and critque the art on how well it fits into the overall tone of the game rather than just the art by itself. Even if you're not a da Vinci, if everything comes together artistically you will get a high Presentation review. However, if things just clashes over and over again then it takes away from the story and at that point you're better off just writing a novel instead of trying to do a VN.
Where are all of the Hentai EVNs? Why aren't you covering them?
Nope because, as I've stated several times before, I am not a porn reviewer. This is one I monitor in degrees because a game can have sexual content in it without being mindless wank material. But a good rule of thumb is that if an EVN considers itself a H (or Hentai) Game, then it's goal is anime sex.
Wait! BL (Boys Love) and GL (Girls Love) EVNs have sex in them! Does that mean you won't cover them?
The same rules apply to BL and GL EVNs as it does with H-Games: case-by-case. Same-sex stories don't bug me as long as the story comes together well. The minute coitus starts visually ensues in front of me, though, I'm probably going to tap out. By the way, considering that's the rule for heterosexual sex as well please refrain from the homophobe charges. It just makes you look silly.
So, what EVNs WON'T you cover here?
Excellent question! There are certain VNs that I just don't want to play because my own personal opinions about the potential subjects involved in the game will affect how I look at it. For the most recent example of this: The Host Holic. That isn't to say it will be the case in ALL EVNs. Really it’s the romantization of the subjects I'm about to mention that gets to me and because my issues with THH was how it handled the subject rather than trying to romanticize it, it just barely slid under the radar. It is NOT normal, romantic, or can be explained away with an 'it’s none of our business'. Therefore, if it’s a part of an English Visual Novel it’s in the best interests of everyone involved for me to stay away from it.
So, here's a handy list of subjects a EVN can have for me to
- Rape/Non-Consensual Sex: The fact that there is even a sub-genre out there called 'rape play' bugs the Hell outta me. This is one done more in degrees really as I will be more apt to follow a story that handles the subject in a character or plot development, Law and Order kind of way rather than the 'Stop crying! You know you like it!' way.
- Incest: Again this will be done by degrees. I'm sorry but it's never okay and cannot be explained away no matter how 'pretty' the individuals (male or female) involved are, so we'll just have to see.
- 'Guro': I haven't seen a lot of English VNs using this, but since I know it exists I have to put it on the list.
- Underage Sexuality: Again: NO! Now, when I say 'underage' I'm talking below 18. Considering that, there is simply no need to have it in a game and it is counterproductive for me to follow a visual novel that has that going for it.