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Monday, May 6, 2013

Visual Novels, Modern Age:

From 2008 to 2013 today, the following companies either proved their worth in the marketplace by winning top honors or simply piqued my interest because they looked good.  Since the games are all covered thoroughly at Omochikaeri, there's no point discussing the games in particular.

What's more interesting is how many new companies have established their worth than were around in the past.  Frontwing, August, Feng, Navel, Minori, Key, Type/Moon, and Windmill we could expect would make more good games.  But who saw all these new companies suddenly taking the lead?

Alcot, Lillian, Lump of Sugar, Palette, Sphere, Yuzusoft, Ryokucha, Saga Planets, Nitroplus,  Caricature, Sprite, Clochette, Favorite, Asa Project, and Pulltop all climbed to the top of the sales rankings from out of nowhere against established giants like Circus and Key.  Now it's just unknown who is the best visual novel company anymore.  Everyone has their fans and the consumers are split between many more competing interests than ever before.  Let's hope the competition encourages improvement instead of just a series of bankruptcies.

As for the still unnamed companies, I just found their games interesting or uniquely attractive.  The general public doesn't really agree with my remaining choices.  Rosebleu, Debu no Su, Journey, Moonstone Cherry, Wheel, Sorahane, Onomatope, and Tone Works just put out what to me look like really good looking games.

Of these mentioned titles, Grisaia is getting an anime, Fortune Arterial already has one, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai is getting one, Tayutama has one, Mashiroiro has one, Shukufuku no Campanella has one, Oretachi wa Tsubasa ga Nai has one, Yosuga no Sora has one, Steins;Gate has one, Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi has one, and Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate has one.  The rest have been left to the winds of fate.

Furthermore, a lot of games aren't mentioned on this list, for instance Da Capo III.  This is because any game that's a sequel or spinoff of an already mentioned game in this list or the previous list isn't necessary to include.  Every game I include means I'm including the entire franchise, and consider the whole franchise worth reading/playing/watching.  Almost all of these games have at least one sequel, which means this list is actually larger than it seems.  If you played all of these games and everything related to their franchises, I suspect it would take years.  This is, after all, the entire accumulated art of every last good visual novel ever made by every last good company.  It should last a while.

Alcot - Engage Links, Osananajimi wa Daitouryou, Real Imouto ga Iru Ooizumi-kun no Baai

Lillian - Twinkle Crusaders

Frontwing - Grisaia

August - Fortune Arterial, Aiyoku no Eustia, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Lump of Sugar - Tayutama, Hello, Good-bye, Hanairo Heptagram

Palette - Mashiroiro Symphony

Windmill - Shukufuku no Campanella, Witch's Garden

Navel - Oretachi wa Tsubasa ga Nai

Sphere - Yosuga no Sora

Yuzusoft - Tenshin Ranman Lucky or Unlucky?, Dracu-riot

Ryokucha - Koiiro Sora Moyou

Saga Planets - Kisaragi Gold Star, Hatsuyuki Sakura

Nitroplus - Steins;Gate

Rosebleu - Tiny Dungeon

Caricature - Bitter Smile

Feng - Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi

Debo no Su Seisakusho - Sora o Aogite Kumo Takaku, Toki o Kanaderu Waltz, Hanasaku Otome to Koi no Grimoire, Hanachiru Miyako to Ryuu no Miko

Sprite - Koi to Senkyou to Chocolate

Journey - Nanairo Kouro

Moonstone Cherry - Imouto Paradise

Clochette - Kamikaze Explorer

key - Rewrite

Asa Project - Renai O km

Wheel - Bura Bura

Favorite - Irotoridori no Sekai

Minori - Natsuzora no Perseus

Sorahane - Sakura, Sakimashita

Onomatope - Sakura no Reply

Pulltop - Kono Oozora ni, Tsubasa o Hirogete

tone works - Hatsukoi 1/1

type/moon - Mahoutsukai no Yoru - Witch on the Holy Night

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