The ren'ai game/dating sim/bishoujo game/visual novel... ah, forget it...
Game Recognition Handbook 3.1How to distinguish between game types.
by mikey & friends
Ren'ai, dating sim, hentai game, bishoujo game, even a molester simulation? The community seems to use these terms with ease, but the first-timer may be confused. You know, a dating sim is not necessarily a bishoujo game, and a hentai game can be a visual novel, but also a fighting game. The following article should help you in distinguishing between these terms and use them correctly if you ever need to.
This guide is very much the maximum we could put together at the given time. Times and word usage change almost every 6 months, and then there's all the blanks and probably lots of incorrect things. But still, hopefully you will find it comprehensive enough to understand the scope of the problem.
|A GLOSSARY OF TYPICAL JAPANESE & WESTERN USAGE|
PART II: System
This part's main aim is to create a suggestion on how and which terms to use to describe the games in English. The main objective is to have a systematic division of the terms that results in a vocabulary that is accessible to the Western English-speaking fan.
Here, logic, English meaning and system will be the main guidelines for distinguishing between the games and their categories. In this respect, the most important distinction is the distinction by the gameplay mechanic. This is a very traditional way of categorizing games in the West, ranging from shooters, to puzzles, to RPGs and it's the basic division on any game site.
Also, a reasonable English meaning is necessary. If we have three terms - simulation, visual novel and sound novel - all of which are used in Japan, it's good to be careful about which ones to use. Here are three of the terms and how they would be considered:
In Japan, the term "simulation" is used somewhat differently in the gaming terminology than in the West, and it's therefore probably best to retain the Western meaning for that word.
As far as "sound novel" is concerned, this is a word that on one hand hasn't its spot taken in Western terminology, but it doesn't have a logical meaning in the West, certainly not one that would make the English-speaking person associate the game in question with the term "sound novel". So it would not be meaningful to use the term.
As for "visual novel", this is a term that can be reasonably integrated into the English terminology, because it's not used, makes sense, and respects the country of origin. Although, the integration should be made by the logical meaning (describing gameplay and not content).
Dividing games by GAMEPLAY
The gameplay of dating sims uses player attributes and/or schedules and task management as means to move forward the story and relationships of the player and the courtable characters.
Examples: Casual Romance Club, True Love...
These games do not have a story, ...
Examples: Love Hina Sim Date
In these games you usually take care of a person or more, attend to their needs, so that their statistics go up.
Examples: Princess Maker 2, Graduation II,...
These may be best described as interactive books (fiction), or choosing your own adventure. They will differ in the amount of text to read as well as the number of choices and their true relevance for the story.
Examples: Kana, Kango Shicyauzo, Season of the Sakura,...
Some VNs will have just one ending, but make it an little more difficult to achieve and prolong gameplay by having the player first exhaust certain text/talk options before letting the story advance. Often these games can be seen from the perspective of more than just one of the story protagonists. There will be no courtable characters because of this linearity.
Examples: ADAM, Desire, Chain,...
A visual novel with no choices or path branches and without any gameplay advancing obstacles.
Examples: Fairy Nights, Until We Meet Again...
These games may in theory have any type of gameplay, usually they will use the pretty anime girls as bonus for achievements in the game's main gameplay.
Examples: Knights of Xentar (RPG), Sentimental Shooting (shooter), Metal & Lace (fighting), but also hybrids like DS/RPG,...
Dividing games by CONTENT
A game where manga-style pretty girls/women take on a leading and meaningful storywise or visual role within the focus and aim of the title.
Examples: Virgin Roster, Sentimental Shooting, Season of the Sakura...
A game where manga-style pretty boys/men take on a leading and meaningful storywise or visual role within the focus and aim of the title.
Examples: Amgine Park
A game with romantic relationship development as its main focus.
Examples: Hourglass of Summer, Crescendo,...
A game with some relationship development where love is a supporting element.
Examples: Do you like horny bunnies? 2, Slave Pageant,...
A game with explicit sexual content (the Western meaning of hentai).
Examples: Gibo, Pick Me Honey, Critical Point...
A game with mild erotic content (lingerie) or light sexual undertone. Normally non-h means anything under the adult rating.
Examples: Eve Burst Error, Amusement Park,...
Protagonist is male, pursuing females.
Examples: Pick Me Honey...
Protagonist is male, pursuing males.
Examples: Kuro No Tsuki,...
Protagonist is female, pursuing males.
Examples: Amgine Park,...
Protagonist is female, pursuing females.
Examples: Midsummer Day's Resonance
A game targetted at girls.
Examples: Amgine Park
Protagonist is male, pursuing males. The game is specifically targetted at female players.
Examples: Kuro No Tsuki,...
A game targetted at boys.
Grouping games by COMMON ELEMENTS
This method of dividing games is based on common usage of terms and generalizing a certain aspect of the game (e.g. tear-jerkers - games that make you cry). It's the theme of a game and it groups titles related by something other than a strictly systematic aspect. Often the names will be self-explanatory, so we'll limit ourselves to a few examples. Most often, they will relate to sexual preferences.
|ENGLISH PAGES DEALING WITH GAME TERMINOLOGY|