A question to everyone who's played Lost Odyssey

…how did you feel about the unlockable short stories in the game?

Those kind of stories are actually its own game genre in Japan (called Visual Novels/Sound Novels) and the implementation shown in Lost Odyssey is one of the better ones. Do you think that there is a viable market outside of Japan for these kind of games (ie. Would you pay $50-60 for a 20 hour visual novel if it had fully voiced dialogue)?

Many visual novels tend to be anime/manga inspired and focus on a love story angle but there are many that tackle more serious themes.

Some examples that spring to mind are :

Chunsoft’s Kamaitachi no Yoru series : http://chun.sega.jp/kama3.html
7th Expansions Higurashi no Naku Koro ni : http://www.alchemist-net.co.jp/products/higurashi_matsuri/index_main.html
Type-moon’s Fate Stay/Night : http://www.ps2-fate.com/realta_nua/index.html

I suppose the Phoenix Wright games also count as well, although that series actually has some gameplay elements.

What do you guys think?

Dude, I can’t navigate those pages. They’re in Japanese.

Anyway. I liked them. I thought they were the best parts of Lost Odyssey. They were genuinely something new in a game that seemed about polishing distinct jRPG tropes. I’m not sure I’ll pay a full $50-$60 dollar for a game that is entirely that sort of thing though, since I could spend the equivalent on 3-4 short story anthologies.

I’d be interested in seeing them integrated better in other type of games. Even games that force you to do some reading like Oblivion and Fallout. I think sandbox games offer the best system to put this sort of fiction. Imagine if playing Assassin’s Creed, you’d stumble into these small sections which tell the story entirely of people affected by the Holy War. Perhaps as Altair, you can do nothing but watch, but since these are (and should be) entirely optional along with the main quest, it would help flesh out the world and the cities that Altair was in.

Sort of tangentially related. COD4’s bit in the nuclear fallout* can be a good example where the game takes a break and allows you to play these little short story interaction bits.

I recall there being a digital-novel-game-thing in the Chrono Trigger/Cross universe released on the SNES(S. Famicom) in Japan. Radical Dreamers I think it was titled.

I played a bit of it on emulator eons ago, and the experience was essentially a ‘choose your own adventure’ novel including endless scripting loops and I think even the possibility of abrupt death if the wrong narrative path is chosen.

It could work on the DS, but I dunno how interested I’d personnally be. I’m already finding myself skipping chance opportunities to read LO’s latest stories in favor of maintaining motivated game progression. I do like their inclusion though.

I like them. They are well written and (so far) really flesh out how much it sucks to be immortal.

My only issue with them is that unless you let them fill in naturally, speeding up the text can interrupt music or make sudden changes in the color of the screen than can be jarring.

So far I’ve unlocked all of the dreams in the first city and I’m very impressed by them. It also helps that (so far) the music in them has been much better than in the gameworld.

In a similar vein, I rather enjoyed the Metal Gear Solid Digital Graphic Novel on the PSP.

I’ve only seen the first three, but so far I’m a fan. The writing is up to the task, and the simplicity of the presentation is really refreshing when bad CGI acting is the norm for the genre (this game is no exception in those aspects, although the voices are at least tolerable).

But I can’t imagine paying for them outside of a game. In fact, I have a tough time imagining games that don’t have the benefit of being super Japanese already and enlisting one of their writers (and, apparently, a decent translator) getting away with it. It keeps reminding me of the Highlander TV series’ “flashback of the week” thing, although those were entertaining in a radically different way.

I like the dreams in Lost Odyssey, but they’re visual the same way a novel is visual: words on a 2D plane. Sure, there’s some motion graphics thrown in, with some sound effects and the occasional background change, but there’s very little effort to bring the stories to life.

I’d buy visual novels if they were animated by Rust Monkey (the company that created the mission briefings for Thief).

I liked Twinsen’s better:

Even better than Odyssey Odyssinity El Guapo? Ya know the trilogy closing sequel to Divine Divinity?

I like them as well, especially the sound effects and background music. Apparently they were written by a famous Japanese author which explains the decent writing.

So is Lost Odyssey the only game that contains these “sound novels” that made it outside of Japan?

The only major one I can think of…Phoenix Wright is a bit of hybrid but I suppose that counts as well.

Aside from those the only ones I can think of that are non English-translated version of PC Hentai games is Eve Burst Error, which came out in the US back in…'97?

I wouldn’t pay for just a visual/sound novel. I would, however, pay for a book version of “A 1000 Years of Dreams”.

That actually exists in Japan (has all the stories that are based around Kaim in it, I think)…doubt it’ll come stateside though.