Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by G3n0c1de » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:27 am

Totz the Plaid wrote:I agree with the majority here in that I feel that it is NOT a VN for one extremely simple reason: there are specific conditions for winning and losing.

Witn a VN, you get a complete story no matter what you do. Even if you get the bad ending, such as Kenji's "Manly Picnic" in the Act 1 release, it's still an ending, you still got a story, and there's no "Game Over" screen.

In the Ace Attourney games if you lose a case, you lose the game. Period. Retry and see if you can win this time. That's not what a visual novel is.
Not that I supporting threadcromancy, but I'll have to disagree on that point. Timing wise, the manly picnic does occur at the same time as the girl specific ends, making it an ending after having played through the whole demo. But that only works if you're talking about Act 1. In the finished game, the many picnic will work exactly like the game over screens from losing a case in Phoenix Wright. Making it onto a path will continue the game, whereas falling off a roof does lead to a sort of "Game Over, go back and make different choices to avoid this." The difference is how you get to this point. In Phoenix Wright, you'll have to jump through a lot more hoops than when reading KS, and there are the gameplay mechanics of sleuthing and turnabout. In VNs the mechanics are the choices. It is here where it can be argued whether or not Phoenix Wright is a VN or not. But the structure of the ends in both games seem similar. You do stuff before hand that leads to end you get. If you choose poorly, the game ends prematurely and abruptly, and you are encouraged to go back and correct your mistakes.

Now, this will only apply if KS keeps the structure that bad ends can occur at the end of each act, or perhaps at any time. I believe Aura has stated that this structure sucks dong, so perhaps it will play out like other VNs, with all of the choices culminating at the end, and you'll play through the whole game before finding out whether the combination of your choices gives you a good or bad end. If this is the case, then your argument is completely valid.

But let's take a step back, you mention that Phoenix Wright is not a VN because there are specific conditions for winning and losing. The good ends could count as "winning," and the bad ends as "losing." After all, your main goal should be to have a happy ending with your chosen girl, and the bad ends are something that you wouldn't want to happen. So in that sense, there might be winning and losing in a VN structure. But with all the branching paths, and multiple ends, good or bad, it's not winning and losing in a traditional sense. This is where KS differs from Phoenix Wright, in that there are many ways to do things correctly, and advance the story, as opposed to just one. Of course, this only works if you see the game this way.
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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by scott1and » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:41 am

I think Phoenix Wright is VN, as it has choices in which you can see a story unfold, with bad choices resulting in game overs or "bad ends", and it looks like one.
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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by Leotrak » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:05 am

scott1and wrote:I think Phoenix Wright is VN, as it has choices in which you can see a story unfold, with bad choices resulting in game overs or "bad ends", and it looks like one.
If you put it that way, every game that allows you to choose so much as which direction to go in, no matter its other mechanics, is a VN... Like in an FPS - go left now or go around the building and take the next left. You go left, and get shot in the head. Retry

But I think we had this discussion already a while ago...
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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by scott1and » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:51 am

Leotrak wrote:
scott1and wrote:I think Phoenix Wright is VN, as it has choices in which you can see a story unfold, with bad choices resulting in game overs or "bad ends", and it looks like one.
If you put it that way, every game that allows you to choose so much as which direction to go in, no matter its other mechanics, is a VN... Like in an FPS - go left now or go around the building and take the next left. You go left, and get shot in the head. Retry

But I think we had this discussion already a while ago...
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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by G3n0c1de » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:53 am

Just to clarify my own views, I don't think Phoenix Wright is a VN, though many similarities can be drawn. The gameplay is just too important in this case, whereas the level of interaction is KS and any other VN is limited to occasionally picking a choice. Other than that, VNs are all narrative. That said, I still think that VNs are also games. For that, I'll point out something that separates VNs from novels, and makes them more akin to games (Or at least, that's the spectrum I'm using. It's just as likely that VNs are viewed as separate from the two.) Now, I'm not a connoisseur of literature, so I may be completely wrong, but I don't think most novels have the reader identify the protagonist as themselves. I'm talking about the avatar, the player character, Hisao in KS's case. In games with controllable characters, most players will identify that character as being them. It won't be "The Master Chief died," when you hit a game over screen, but "I died." This still works for KS. Your decisions still drive the narrative, but unlike most other games, you are not in control all the time. The big exception would be those "Choose your own adventure" books. And I suppose those are a lot like VNs as well, except not very visual.

And yes, the thread for the VN vs Games debate is long dead...
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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by Teclo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:28 am

I'd say it is, simply because the "gameplay" is merely picking the right choice at the right time. In a normal game, you could show the critical evidence to the judge whenever you want and that would be the end of the case. In the AA games, you have to wait for the right moment or else the evidence is treated like generic incorrect evidence; it's like how you have to wait for the point that a VN allows you to confess to the girl or whatever - you can't just decide to do it when you want to. Elements like being able to investigate the background art for comment by your current avatar make it seem more interactive and "gamey" than it really is. The fact that picking the evidence involves selecting a small drawing rather than a sentence in a list of choices make it seems more interactive and "gamey" than it really is.

Clicking on, say, a table in the background for a comment is only like clicking on LOOK > TABLE in an old school VN, and if you replaced the evidence screen with a text list of evidence items that pops up when the judge says "So Mr Wright, what do you have to back up your claims?", any illusion of it being a normal game would vanish. The Investigations spin-offs seem yet more like normal games until you realise than essentially, Miles is just a human-shaped cursor and you're just clicking on things - the only gameplay occurs once you've clicked on something with the Miles-mouse, and once again this comes down to barely disguised dialogue choices.

@G3n0c1de: I like the way you're looking at it, but plenty of games that are indisputably games rather than VNs will refer to the player as "you" or will have a narrative using "I". For example, Resident Evil says "You Died" at the game over screen, not "Jill Died" or "Chris Died". You're also meant to be "you" in games like the Elder Scrolls series, Fallout, Dragon Age - well, pretty much every WRPG. Similarly, in many VNs you are quite definitely not the protagonist yourself. Even in KS, I'd argue that the fact Haseo has the heart condition and his own name and history separates him from the player on a fundamental level. In the various games I just mentioned, you choose your gender, your appearance, your name, they have no pre-existing conditions that you don't choose yourself (e.g. you can choose whether or not you need glasses in Fallout: New Vegas) and only the most inescapable of histories (e.g. in Fallout, you live in a Vault before you leave and the game begins).

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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by Totz the Plaid » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:40 am

Teclo wrote:Clicking on, say, a table in the background for a comment is only like clicking on LOOK > TABLE in an old school point-and-click adventure game
Fixed.
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Re: Is Phoenix Wright a VN (KS related)

Post by Teclo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:06 am

Totz the Plaid wrote:
Teclo wrote:Clicking on, say, a table in the background for a comment is only like clicking on LOOK > TABLE in an old school point-and-click adventure game
Fixed.
No, I don't mean like Monkey Island - I mean like pretty much every single VN before the age of auto-advancing text and all that. Back when they all had art like the picture below. Like Nocturnal Illusion, YU-NO, X-Change (IIRC), Time Stripper Mako, Paradise Heights, Immoral Study, Divi Dead and just about every other game until relatively recently. LOOK > TABLE would be dialogue choices, not like clicking on a "look" option and then clicking on the table.

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