I’d say that Angelique is probably what really piqued my interest in the genre.
My favorite titles would have to be the class=''Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side] games.
I find them to be a pretty decent way to relax after a long day, but they aren’t the kind of game that really lights a fire in me and gets me playing for 10 hours without stop. From an outsider’s point of view, they look like chick lit for otakus. They seem to be pretty popular with a vast array of internet dwellers, as the massive reactions to RPS’s coverage of Katawa Shoujo show.
It’s hard to pinpoint the actual audience they have.
I blame it on the old Wizardry games, I made up my own stories as I sat there drawing out maps on graph paper and grinding through the same group of 6 monsters again and again.
I think the stories most of these games are interesting enough to stand on their own.
The genre basically started targeting men, and the genre remains popular with men in Japan, but I think we’ve seen more embrace of it by women in the West. Anyone who likes romance and isn’t afraid of being judged for it ?
I find that once people find out that it’s not all adult games that devolve into the worst of what the Internet has to offer, a lot of people are interested.
We do a whole lot of killing and exploring in games, but not necessarily a whole lot of loving.
So I guess my answer is an incredibly unhelpful "yes." In your Let’s Play you roleplay with a sort of ironic distance, you try to give character to the protagonist, and of course you give them wonderful names like Balls Mahoney.
Is it because you have to tell your own story to feel involved in a story that isn’t that interactive ?
You certainly have an element of choice, and pretty much all of them have failure states even if they don’t have gloriously over-the-top Bad Ends.
However, if your definition of ’game’ requires more than reading/listening for 30 minutes and making a choice, visual novels probably won’t be for you.
I like the variety of events and gameplay features they give you, and there’s certainly some very memorable characters. Himuro and Shiba Katsumi, to the aggravation of Saeki, and even the unspeakable terror inspired by the bearer of the pedostache and lurker-in-bushes Amanohashi. They don’t seem that interactive, especially when it comes to visual novels. My taste in dating games leans towards the lifesim side of things, and the more difficult it is to maintain your life/romance balance, the more I like them.