Stop Children, What’s That Sound (Novel)?

soundnovelscreen

An ode to the sound novel. The once-popular medium for Japanese adventure games has sadly fallen into obscurity after being mostly replaced by the contemporary visual novel, with its character sprites and dating sims. While sound novels never really took off among English-speakers (07th Expansion’s works aside), there are a few significant sound novels that have ties to otherwise fairly popular/well-known works.

So, first off, what the heck are sound novels? Early in the 90’s, game developer Chunsoft (well before merging with company Spike and being here fore known as Spike Chunsoft since 2012) pioneered sound novels with their title Otogiriso. Sound novels are technically a precursor to visual novels and are characterized by the usage of text fully overlaying still backgrounds with emphasis on sound design through music and effects. Sound novels also employ the typical visual novel gameplay by means of multiple choices with branching story routes and multiple endings. Many sound novels were mystery or horror-flavored, though according to this Giant Bomb list, there was also a period of anime-spinoff sound novels landing on the Nintendo DS. Nowadays, sound novels are a rarity and visual novels have largely overtaken them as a medium.

With that intro out of the way, let’s get to the focus of this article: weird sound novel spin-offs (and one that isn’t a spin-off but led to one more well known than the parent game). The games I’ll be covering include Radical Dreamers, Play Novel: Silent Hill, and 428: Shibuya Scramble.

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Oddity Game Seekers’ Tumblr is up!

We realized that since it takes us so long to write articles and reviews (editing everything eats up most of that time) that we decided to share some short bits of obscure video game greatness over on our new Tumblr.

So if you are into the video games we write about here on Oddity Game Seekers, check out our Tumblr over at:

odditygameseekers.tumblr.com

Introductions

Welcome to our first post at Oddity Game Seekers, where we write editorials, reviews, and opinions specializing in rarely discussed games from the past to the present. We mainly write about RPG’s, simulation games, puzzle games, action games, imports, indie games, and the occasional visual novel.

On board we have:

Franklin Raines- Co-founder, Writer, and Editor-in-Chief. The resident time traveler, most of what he does involves looking for games well past our decade, Our hot-blooded one.

Alejandro Hajdar- Founding Member and Writer: The guy who will try just about anything without bias. Our jack of all trades.

Francisco Garcia Fuentes-Co-founder and Chief-Writer: The guy who traded his life for games, and will let nothing, not even a Spanish-to-English-to-Japanese language barrier, keep him away from playing a gamer he wants. The sardonic one.

Everything starts from here onwards. Let us hope we don’t fade away into obscurity, like the games we play…